Summary of Lesson Activities:
View a portion of the live-action video The Visual Bible: Acts as it dramatizes the coming of the Holy Spirit to the disciples at Pentecost. Discuss how the power of the Holy Spirit can help us spread the Good News. As this is a short video, they will watch it twice, the second time they'll be dubbing in the voices because the sound will be turned off and the children will tell the story.
[Note: 4th – 6th graders visited this workshop.]
- Read the scripture for this lesson.
- Read and reflect on the overview material provided for this lesson.
- Preview the video and have it cued to the correct starting place. Be familiar with the places where the video should be stopped for discussion. [Neil MacQueen's Important Video Showing Tips: Use the PAUSE button. It’s your most powerful “video” teaching tool. Don’t be afraid to view an important scene a second time. Kids (and adults) watch movies over and over all the time.]
- Gather the materials.
- Prepare popcorn and water.
- Insert Disc 1 into the DVD. From the main menu, choose “Search By Chapter.” This is where this video will be started (on chapter 1).
- Make sure you know how to use the TV/DVD, especially scanning forward within a chapter.
- Make a “Things to watch for” list. Include these items: Luke, Jesus, Peter, Disciples/followers, Holy Spirit, and Crowds.
- Write out index cards with these roles: (Make as many cards as you are liable to need so that each student gets a card). Luke (narrator), Jesus, Peter, Disciples/Followers (have several of these), Crowd (have several of these), Holy Spirit (could have a couple of these).
- Sort out the costumes, laying out a limited number – one for each student.
- DVD: The Visual Bible: Acts, Volume 1. Visual International, 1997. (Total viewing time: 7 minutes and 41 seconds.)
- Snack items: popcorn, cups, napkins, water pitcher
- Easel with paper; appropriate marker
- Bibles; One purple Adventure Bible with tabs (Law, History, etc.)
- Bible tab writing kit: tabs, fine-line Sharpie pen
- Index cards (3 x 5 sized) – 12; Sharpie pen
- A megaphone or a piece of poster board shaped into a cone-shaped megaphone
Greet your students warmly, welcoming them to the video workshop. Introduce yourself and any other adults.
[Note: The Shepherd will quietly take attendance/ do nametags while you are starting your lesson.]
Ask: Who can tell me something about Pentecost? (accept a few answers – see how much the students know)
Say: We will be watching a video that tells our story but first, let’s begin with prayer.
Ask for any prayer requests. Ask if anyone would like to lead the group in prayer. Use the Lord’s Prayer as the ending. [You may ask one or two students to lead the Lord’s Prayer.] A suggestion: Dear God, Thank you for helping us to understand that you are represented as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Thank you for sending the Holy Spirit to accompany us in life. Help us to be comforted and reassured by the Spirit’s presence. May the Holy Spirit help us to be like Jesus, in what we say and how we act. (End with the Lord’s Prayer) Amen.
Have the students find the book of Acts, chapter 2, in the Bible.
As they are finding the passage, explain that Acts is in the New Testament and comes after the Gospel of John.
Say: The events in the book of Acts occur after Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. Acts tells about the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost and the beginnings of the Christian Church. Acts is the only book of History in the New Testament. If you have your own Bible today, be sure you receive a tab for the History section of your Bible.
[Show the classroom Bible with tabs. Have the Shepherd do tabs for students who bring their Bibles. Use the classroom Bible with tabs as an example.]
Say: We are going to watch a video that uses the exact words from the Bible. The part we are going to watch is about Acts, chapters one and two. I wanted you to know how to find our story in the Bible, which starts with chapter two. I encourage you to read Acts chapter two at home this week.
Ask: Before we watch the video let me ask you something. Have you ever seen a movie or a TV show that was made in a foreign country, so the actors spoke another language? Have you ever seen a show like that, where the show had been changed to make it sound like these foreign-speaking actors were speaking English?
Say: The process of adding English to a foreign film is called “dubbing.” We are going to have a chance to try out dubbing today. This is a short video, so we’ll watch it twice. The first time we’ll hear the story, and the second time we’ll be dubbing it, because we’ll turn the sound off on the video and you’ll tell the story.
Refer to the “Things to Watch For” poster and briefly introduce the characters/events in the story.
- Luke: He wrote the book of Acts and also the Gospel of Luke.
- Jesus: Remind students that Jesus appeared to his followers several times after his resurrection.
- Peter: One of the disciples.
- Other disciples/followers of Jesus.
- Crowds in Jerusalem: There were many Jews from other countries in Jerusalem because of the Jewish festival called Pentecost. Pentecost was a Jewish harvest festival like our Thanksgiving. During an important festival like this, Jews were required to travel to Jerusalem. So there were Jews from many nations, who spoke different languages, gathered there.
- Holy Spirit comes upon the disciples: watch to see what happens.
Pass out the index cards that have roles written on them.
Say: When we do our dubbing, we’ll need people to handle these different roles. When we watch the video this first time, pay attention to what your character says or does. You don’t need to memorize anything. We’ll talk about it so that you’ll be able to tell the story in your own words.
Show the Video
Have the Shepherd distribute the snack.
Say: This video starts out with Luke traveling on a ship. At first Luke is remembering what has already happened. He’s describing the visits from Jesus after he was resurrected. Then we’ll see Jesus go up to heaven and see what happens on Pentecost.
Using the DVD, from the menu previously cued to, choose “Ch 1.”
VIEW scene of about 1 minute, 25 seconds…
- POINTING OUT Luke (he’s reading a scroll at the beginning) - point him out on the screen without stopping the video.
- POINT OUT Jesus.
- POINT OUT Peter (drinking out of the cup).
PAUSE just before Jesus begins to rise to heaven (at verse 1:8 when Jesus says, “…to the ends of the earth.")
- What instruction did Jesus give to the disciples? (don’t leave Jerusalem but wait for the gift my Father promised – he’s telling the disciples to wait for the Holy Spirit)
- I wonder what Jesus means when he says the disciples “will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon them?”
- What do you suppose Jesus meant that the disciples would “be his witnesses?”
Say: Now we will watch Jesus go up to heaven.
[Don’t take time to dwell on the ascension of Jesus unless there are questions about it. Remind the students that this story is taking place after Jesus had been killed and had risen from the dead. Jesus had spent time with his disciples for 40 days after the first Easter. Now he is going back to heaven.
If kids have questions about how the ascension really looked, remind them that we just have the descriptions as written in the Gospels.]
VIEW scene of about 1 minute, 24 seconds.
PAUSE at 1:15.
Ask: Did you hear the names of all the disciples listed as being together in this room?
Say: This is a scene where the disciples are selecting someone to replace Judas, who had betrayed Jesus. The disciples prayed about it, and Matthias was selected as the new 12th disciple. We are going to skip over this scene.
Choose MENU then choose “Search by Chapter.” Choose “Ch 2.”
VIEW scene of about 1 minute, 22 seconds.
PAUSE at 2:5.
- What happened? (there was a violent wind, saw what seemed to be “tongues of fire”, the Holy Spirit came to the followers of Jesus)
- What does it mean “to speak in other tongues” (to be able to speak other languages)
- What Jewish festival was going on in Jerusalem? (Pentecost)
Say: Because it was Pentecost there were many people in Jerusalem that spoke other languages. We will hear the video mention some of these places where people are from.
VIEW scene of about 2 minutes, 8 seconds.
PAUSE at 2:19 (after “I will show wonders in the heaven above and signs on the Earth below.")
Say: Peter is teaching the crowds about the Holy Spirit. The crowds were wondering if the disciples were drunk! Peter refers to the Old Testament writing of Joel, a prophet, who had written about what it would be like when the Holy Spirit came.
- Remember when Jesus said that the disciples would receive power from the Holy Spirit?
- What power have they received? (the ability to speak in other languages; the power to speak out about Jesus)
Say: In this story we are just starting to see the power to speak about Jesus. The rest of the book of Acts has many more examples. When we read about Peter in the Gospels he’s the one who was afraid to admit that he knew Jesus – remember him denying three times that he knew Jesus? Now look at Peter – he’s speaking to a big crowd! The Holy Spirit has given Peter the power to tell everyone about Jesus. Peter gives quite a sermon! Let’s just hear a little more of what Peter has to say.
Use the CONTROLS option to SCAN FORWARD to 2:32
VIEW scene of about 1 minute and 22 seconds.
PAUSE just after 2:39 disappears (when the ship appears on the screen).
- Were the disciples expecting the Holy Spirit? (yes, Jesus told them to expect this help)
- Did they know exactly what was going to happen? (no - God’s presence is often surprising and strange)
Note to workshop leader: what to do if kids want to watch more of a video than the lesson calls for? Please don’t give in to their requests, unless you’ve finished the entire lesson and have extra time! Why? These lessons are specifically planned to get across certain teaching points. If you are spending time watching a part of the video that’s not a part of the lesson, you’re taking away from the intended teaching opportunities! What can you say to the kids? We’ll watch more of the video if we have time at the end of class. OR We should plan a family night activity here at church to watch the entire video! (Then tell Ellen the idea to do so.) Thanks for following this lesson!
Dub the “Foreign Film”:
Ask: Now let’s see if we can dub our story.
Turn the sound off. [Allow kids to quickly choose a costume, it may help them get into the mood!]
Choose MENU then choose “Search by Chapter.” Choose “Ch 1.”
Allow students to provide the dialogue for the video. They don’t have to provide all the dialogue. Just try to get in the major points of the story.
You may need to prompt the various characters. (Such as getting Luke to start talking, that the disciples are gathered together and Jesus told them to wait in Jerusalem for the Holy Spirit).
You may need to frequently pause the action. You may need to ask questions such as – what’s happening here? Or, tell me what you see? SCAN FORWARD through parts as needed. Let the kids have fun with this exercise. [BUT, allow 12 minutes for discussion and closing.]
- What was the special gift given at Pentecost? (gift of speaking in a way that others can understand, the power to not be afraid to speak about Jesus)
- Who did/does the Holy Spirit come to? (those who believe in God)
Say: When people look at us as Christians, they can see what God is like, by our actions. Ask: What do your actions tell others about God? (allow all answers)
Bring out the megaphone.
Say: This is our “good news” megaphone. Let’s think of some ways we can share the good news of God’s love to others.
Have students raise their hand. Give the Megaphone to someone who’s waiting patiently. The holder of the Megaphone gets to tell their idea of how to share the Good News. Pass the Megaphone to someone else. Have the Shepherd write down the answers on the easel. Some possibilities: being friendly, doing kind acts, smiling, doing the right thing, making smart choices, coming to Sunday’s Cool, attending worship, bringing a friend to church, going on a mission trip to Appalachia, helping around the house, helping others who feel sad or bullied, not fighting with siblings, how you act when no one is looking, singing in a choir, playing hand bells in the choir, bringing in items for FISH, etc.
- Have you ever been in a situation where it was hard to tell someone about Jesus or it was hard to do what Jesus would want you to do?
- I wonder what God wants you to do when this happens?
- What has been your experience with the Holy Spirit?
- When have you felt the Holy Spirit in your life? [Share your own example!]
Say: Don’t worry if you haven’t ever felt the Holy Spirit in your life or if you hardly ever feel it. Ask the Holy Spirit to come into your life. The Holy Spirit will grow in our hearts. We will learn, with time and practice, to listen for and feel the Holy Spirit.
Collect the index cards. Refer to the list on the easel paper.
Say: There are many different ways (or “tongues") to speak the Good News. It is surprising how many ways we can tell about Jesus. Try out some of these this week.
If you have extra time:
Return to the Main Menu. Select “Biographies.” Then select “Peter.” Read the text on the screen. Find in the Bible Peter’s story of denying Jesus (in Mark 14:66-72). Discuss the change that Peter experienced. Discuss other stories of changes that the Holy Spirit has made in the lives of people.
Some lesson ideas were inspired by previously posted Rotation lessons.
Written by Carol Hulbert for First United Methodist Church
Ann Arbor, MI
Copyright 2009 First United Methodist Church, Ann Arbor, MI.
Permission to copy materials granted for non-commercial use provided credit is given and all cited references remain with this material
A representative of Rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability.