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Welcome to our public Pentecost ~ Acts 1 and 2 ideas and lessons forum. Don't forget to check out the supporting members' "Wind, Fire, Faith!" Pentecost lesson from our Writing Team. The lesson summaries and Bible background are open to all. If you're looking for Ascension lessons and ideas, go to our Jesus After the Resurrection forum.

This topic is for posting Lessons and Ideas for teaching Pentecost with audio-visuals and/or video. Acts 1 and 2.

Reminder: The Video Workshop can include the making of "non-video audio-visuals" as well as viewing them.

Please use the full title of a resource, and provide the original publisher's name in case folks need to go looking for it. If suggesting a clip or section of a video, please provide plenty of details about where to stop and start the clip.

Here's Saddleback Kids' "Pentecost" video "God Sends the Holy Spirit" posted to YouTube. Length 3:29.

Last edited by Neil MacQueen
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Movie Workshop

(using the DVD - The Visual Bible: Acts)

Summary of Lesson Activities:

The children will view a portion of The Visual Bible: Acts, Volume I depicting the coming of the Holy Spirit and will discuss how the power of the Holy Spirit can helps us spread the Good News to others.

Scripture Reference:

Acts 2 (also Acts 1:1-11 and Luke 22:54-62)

Memory Verse:
"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." (Acts 1:8) (NIV)

Objectives for Pentecost rotation

At the end of the Pentecost rotation, the students will

  • know where Acts is in the New Testament and know that it is the story of the early church after Jesus' death and resurrection.
  • be able to retell the story of the coming of the Holy Spirit.
  • begin to understand the role of the Holy Spirit.
  • understand that the Spirit is with us as we are called to share the Good News.
  • find their own answer to Acts 2:37 in response to the coming of the Spirit: "Brothers, what shall we do?"
  • repeat the memory verse.

Additional objectives for the movie workshop:

At the end of the workshop, the students will be able to

  • describe the difference that the Holy Spirit made in the life of Peter.
  • understand that he Holy Spirit will help them when they are reluctant or fearful about sharing what they know about Jesus.

Supply List:

  • Popcorn,
  • water or lemonade,
  • cups,
  • wet wipes,
  • TV/DVD Player,
  • Bibles,
  • drawing paper for everyone,
  • crayons or markers.
  • Video: The Visual Bible: Acts

Teacher preparation:

  • Read the scripture passages and attend the Bible Study ____. It will be very important for you to attend this Bible Study.
  • Prepare a closing prayer.
  • Learn the memory verse.
  • To our teachers at RCC: The design of this workshop is very intentional. The activities and discussion questions for this workshop were designed to meet the goals of the entire rotation and the educational objectives of the Rotation Model (tm) at River Community Church. While we feel it is important to follow the serendipitous leading of the Holy Spirit, please do not change the lesson plan without consulting a Curriculum Planning and Writing Team member.
  • Check out the room before your first Sunday workshop so that you know where everything is located.
  • Make sure you have all the supplies you need. The video, video setup, popcorn, and handouts will be provided. If you would like any additional supplies, let ___ know by ___.
  • Preview the video. Be familiar with the places where the video should be stopped for discussion. (Neil MacQueen's "Two Most Important Showing Tips: 1.) Use the PAUSE button. It's your most powerful "video" teaching tool. 2.) Don't be afraid to view an important scene a second time. Kids (and adults) watch movies over and over all the time.")
  • Before class insert disk 1 of Acts and go to Event 5 and pause.
    • Event 5 - Holy Spirit Comes at Pentecost
    • Event 6 - Speaking with Other Tongues
    • Event 7 - Peter's First Sermon Explains Pentecost
    • Event 8 - Fellowship of Believers

Room set-up:
Students will sit in seats facing the TV/video projection screen.

Lesson Plan


Greet the children and introduce yourself. Wear your name-tag. Make sure the children are wearing name-tags. Remember, you are interacting with a different group of students each week who may not know you.
Explain the purpose of this workshop. Use kid friendly words to give a brief overview of what the children are going to learn and do.

Scripture/Bible Story:

  • Read Acts 2:1-13. This is the main event in the video they will see today. (Have everyone find the verses and read along. As they are finding the passage in their Bibles, explain that Acts is in the New Testament and comes after John. Tell them that events of Acts occur after Jesus' resurrection from the dead. Also tell them Acts tells about the coming of the Holy Spirit and the beginning of the Christian Church. Tell the children that the same Luke who wrote the book of Luke, also wrote Acts.)
  • Explain that the Day of Pentecost, referred to in Acts 2:1, was a Jewish festival of thanksgiving for the harvested crops. Pentecost was held 50 days after Passover. Jews of many nations gathered in Jerusalem for this festival.
  • Explain that the disciple Peter is an important person in the passage they will see on the video. Ask the children what they remember or know about Peter. If they do not mention the time Peter denied knowing Jesus three times, remind them and review this story from Luke 22:54-62. Ask the children, "I wonder why Peter would deny knowing Jesus, after Peter had been so close to Jesus for three years?"


Before beginning the video, tell the children

  • that the story they will see in the video comes from Acts 1-2 and that the words on the video are the exact words from the Bible.
  • the man reading the scroll at the very beginning is Luke, the writer of Acts.
  • to watch for what happens when the Holy Spirit comes upon the disciples.
  • to watch for any changes in Peter's willingness to admit he knows Jesus.
  • to listen for how someone can receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Peter gives this information at the end of the clip.

Pass out popcorn and lemonade or water. Start the video at the point where "ACTS" appears on the screen after Luke cares for the injured girl on the ship. (Don't dim the lights too much as you will be stopping frequently for brief discussion. The clip is approximately 10 minutes long. Verse references are in the bottom right corner of the screen.)

STOP after Peter drinks out of the cup at the end of verse 5.
Q What instructions does Jesus give to the disciples?
Q I wonder what Jesus means when he says the disciples will be baptized with the Holy Spirit?

STOP and the end of verse 8 just before Jesus begins to rise to heaven.
Q I wonder what Jesus means when he says the disciples will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon them?

STOP after Acts 1:11 and fast forward to Acts 2:1 and resume play.

STOP after Acts 2:4 when Luke says, "...and began to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit enables them."
Q I wonder what Luke means when he says the believers began to speak in other tongues?

STOP after Peter says, "Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say."
Q To whom is Peter talking?

STOP after Peter says, "... and has poured out what you now see and hear" at the end of Acts 2:33.
Q About whom is Peter telling the people?

STOP at the end of Acts 2:41 when the ship appears on the screen.
Q Peter tells the people "to repent and be baptized . . . .in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." I wonder what it means to repent?


Pulling it all together (closing discussion):

  • I wonder why Peter is willing to tell people he knows Jesus now, but he would not admit to knowing Jesus before Jesus was crucified?
  • 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?

Review the memory verse.
Teach the sign language for the memory verse. See attached instructions.

Additional activity: Have the children design a movie poster for the video clip they viewed today using the form. Encourage them to name the "movie" and include information and drawings that would make someone want to see the movie.

Closing prayer:
Offer a prayer asking Jesus to give each child the power of the Holy Spirit when they are reluctant or fearful about sharing what they know about Jesus.

Tidy and Dismissal: Ask the children to help tidy up. Give any specific instructions for clearing the workshop room.
Give everyone the parent take-home flyer the first week of the rotation; give it only to children who were absent and have not yet received it the other weeks of the rotation.

Additional Suggestions:
Older children:
They can be helpers (finding Bible passages, passing out popcorn, etc.)
Younger Children: Assist with writing/spelling on the movie poster.


  • MacQueen, Neil. A MANUAL for the "VIDEO ~ A-V" WORKSHOP posted here at
  • Life Application Study Bible notes. Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 1991.
    Deaf Missions Official Online Animated Dictionary web site:
  • Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®.Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.

American Sign Language for Acts 1:8a

"You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you. . ."

The index finger points straight ahead. This is a natural gesture for indicating a person.

The open hand with the fingers together moves forward from the side of the head and in a downward movement. The forward movement indicates that something will occur in the future.

The hands grab something and pull it in.

The fists move out in a firm movement from the chest to indicate strength.

Hold your left hand flat in front of you, palm upward. Hold your right hand just above your left, palm down with fingers perpendicular to left.. Begin with your right hand over the base of your left palm and move it toward the fingertips of your left hand. Next hold your left hand in front of you in an "O" shape, palm facing toward you. Begin next motion with right hand in "F" shape just over left. Move right hand up and away from left, wiggling it as you do. (Search: "American Sign Language Holy Spirit")

The fingers move towards the body to indicate the concept come.

One hand moves on top of the other hand.

The index finger points straight ahead. This is a natural gesture for indicating a person.

This lesson was written by Jamie Senyard for River Community Church
Prairieville, Louisiana.

Copyright 2003 Jamie Senyard. Permission granted to freely distribute and use, provided the copyright message is included.

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Last edited by Luanne Payne

Video Idea

We used a segment from Jesus: A Kingdom Without Frontiers - The Acts of the Apostles. The kids liked it - Brenda 

Moderator Notes:  Now sold by retailers as Bible Stories for Children New Testament by Under God's Rainbow.  To see a review of this video series see here.

Last edited by Luanne Payne

Movie Clips

We showed clips from 4 movies.

  1. We began with the Visual Bible Acts,
  2. then showed a scene from Flubber (where he had to have the flubber to have power,
  3. then The Lion, Witch, and Wardrobe (Aslan breathes breath into statues to give life) and
  4. The Empire Strikes Back (The force be with you).

    Introduction activity: Made a Mad Lib type fill-in the blank story. Funny! then filled in the correct answers after viewing the Acts segment.

    Closing fun: Had the kids lay back and think about what it would be like if they had been present. Would they be scared? (of course they said, "no") then we lit flash paper over them and they were WOW-ed!!!!!!
Last edited by Luanne Payne


Video Workshop

Summary of Lesson Activities:

Uses the DVD - The Visual Bible: Acts

Supplies List:

  • The Visual Bible: Acts
  • Costumes

Leader Preparation:

  • Read the scripture ahead of time.
  • Gather the materials.
  • Preview the video.

Lesson Plan


Greet the children and introduce yourself.

Open with a prayer.


Assign the following roles to students and give them some costumes to put on:




Holy Spirit (two people with a piece of cardboard to fan or large fan)

Tell them they need to watch the video to look for their roles and what to do.

Watch the opening two chapters of ACTS from the Visual Bible Series.
Stop after verse 41 or so. Acts 1 will help them place the story in the timeline of "After Holy Week Events"

Group the characters in different parts of the room and ask them what happened and what their characters did.

Verbally summarize what the story.
Now help them walk through the story starting with the Disciples in their upper room. After you have walked through it, have them take their seats back in the theater chairs.

Ask a couple of questions (these can also be asked during the mini-skit if you like):

  • Were the Disciples EXPECTING the Spirit? (Yes the angels said to expect help)
  • Did they know what was going to happen? (no... God's presence is often surprising and strange).
  • What was the reaction to this surprising event? (surprise and astonishment)
  • What was the special gift given at Pentecost? (gift of speaking in a way that others can understand)
  • In our day, what are the ways OUR church speaks in different ways about God? (worship, sunday school, fellowship)
  • How can you speak the Good News of God's Love to others...
    with your body language
    with your facial expressions
    with your words of thanks
    with your words of appreciation
    with the way you help people who are hurt, feeling down, bullied
    with your presence in church
    with the way you sit in worship
    with the way our church looks
    with our cookies and juice
    with our mission program
    with our songs


Have the class PRACTICE OUT LOUD some of these ways we can speak God's love to others in a way that will be understandable and meaningful to them.

Leave them with this idea: we are the Bible many people read. When they look at us Christians, they see for better or worse what our God is like.

If you want to extend this visual idea here's an idea to expand on: Create a large cut out of a Bible from cardboard. Have students walk behind the cut out "open the Bible" cover and each of them acts-out or shows an idea of SOMETHING THEY CAN DO to show others the message that God cares.

A lesson by Neil MacQueen

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Last edited by Lesson Forma-teer

The Visual Bible: Acts

The Visual Bible-Acts is a word for word visual representation of the Acts of the Apostles. I have used it for elementary age children. The Pentecost section lasts about 10-15 minutes. I let the children watch a little of the preceding verses and the succeeding verses to let them get some of the context of the story. This is actually an adult video series. It is not animated but is well done. James Brolin plays Peter.

Last edited by Lesson Forma-teer


Video Workshop

Summary of Lesson Activities:

The children will celebrate the birth of the church at Pentecost by having the room decorated for a birthday party. They will watch portions of the video "Falling Fire" and identify a gift which they can give to the Church.

Memory Verse:
Matthew 28: 19 “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”

Objective of this Workshop:

At the end of the session, the students will be able to:

  • Identify the coming of the Holy Spirit during Pentecost as a gift that Jesus had promised.
  • Identify that The Holy Spirit helped Peter as it is hear to help us and be with us.
  • Identify something they can do that would be a gift to our Church.

Materials List:

  • DVD – “Falling Fire-The Gift of the Spirit”
  • Bibles
  • 30 sheets white typing paper
  • 2 red poster boards
  • 10 sheets white construction paper
  • Glue
  • Markers
  • Curly ribbon
  • Bibles
  • Popcorn
  • Water & straws
  • Baby wipes

Advance Preparation:

  • Become familiar with DVD
  • Recruit musician to come play “Happy Birthday”.
  • Decorate room for birthday party.
  • Become totally familiar with the Bible chapters.
  • Visit your classroom before your first Sunday rotation so that you know where everything is located.

** As you prepare for this lesson and as you teach, call upon the Holy Spirit to use you and to guide your words as you share the Good News with the children.**

Lesson Plan


Greet the children and introduce yourself. Have a short prayer to ask God to be with us as we learn more about his word and how we can follow him.


Review the events of Easter (Last Supper to Resurrection). Explain that the Jewish people had a special thanksgiving celebration for their harvest 50 days after Passover. This celebration as called Pentecost. (Deut. 16:9-11). There were many Jewish people in Jerusalem at this time, including the disciples.

Pass out popcorn and water.


Bible Story and DVD: “Falling Fire”

  1. Outside of Jerusalem, Jesus appeared to his disciples and told them about the Holy Spirit.
    - Read Acts 1:4-11 – explain the location of Acts in the Bible and that it was written by Luke.
    - The movie starts with Luke on a ship, he helps a girl who is hurt, and tells some of the people on the ship the story of the disciples and the beginning of the church as he wrote it in the book of Acts.
    - Watch DVD “Falling Fire” – Luke reading the scroll to Jesus ascension. (5 min.)
  2. What is the Holy Spirit?
    Can you see it?
    How do you know it is there?
    Compare to wind. In Greek and Hebrew, spirit and wind are the same word.
  3. The disciples stayed in Jerusalem as Jesus had told them to wait for the Gift that God had promised. (Acts 1:4)
    - Read Acts 2:1-6, 11b-12
    - continue DVD – Disciples returning to Jerusalem to the coming of the Holy Spirit. (5 min.)
    - What gift did the disciples receive? How did they receive it?
  4. Recall Peter’s denial of Jesus. Now he is anxious to tell the people about Him because he had received the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is out Helper.
    - Read Acts 2:14-18, 22-24, 36-39
    - continue DVD – Peter’s speech to the crowd to Peter’s healing of the lame man. (10 min.)
    - Peter could not do this on his own. He needed a helper. He needed the Holy Spirit.
    - The people asked, “What shall we do?” (Acts 2:37) How did they receive the gift? How can we receive the gift?
    - This was the birthday of the Christian church because now many people were spreading the word about Jesus.
  5. The Holy Spirit is God in our hearts, our helper, and he is with us always. This was God’s gift to us. What gift can we give to God and His church? (Being kind, helpful, polite, respectful; telling others about Jesus, singing, listening to God’s word, going to church and Sunday School, praying, etc.)


Follow-up Activity: Grades PreK-1, Grades 2-4

  • Have each child think of one gift they can give to God and His church.
  • Write the word inside folded paper.
  • Use makers to decorate the outside of the gift.
  • Put ribbon (bow) on the outside with a tag that reads: To God, With Love, _____________, and mount on red poster board – “My Gift to God for the Birthday of the Church”.

Follow-up Activity: Grades 5-8

  • One of the symbols of the Holy Spirit is a dove. The dove appeared when Jesus was baptized. (Matt. 3:16).
  • Using Origami, have the class make doves to be used to decorate the church on Pentecost or Temple Sunday. (see info about "Peace Pals" origami project below)
  • Each student should make at least 3. One can be taken home.

Prayer: Thank God for His gift of the Holy Spirit. With this gift God and Jesus will be in our hearts always. The Holy Spirit will be our Helper.

Alternate Suggestion for Younger Children

  • Show the DVD - "Return of the King" (Kingdom Under The Sea Series)


  • DVD – “Falling Fire-The Gift of the Spirit” by The Visual Bible, Thomas Nelson
  • DVD – Kingdom Under the Sea “Return of the King” by Bridgestone Multimedia Group, Inc.
  • Origami Doves found at Peace Pals, c/o The World Peace Prayer Society.  For online instructions, google "peace pals origami" or visit

Paraphrase of Acts 2

Paraphrased: After Jesus' death, resurrection, and ascension, his disciples met in Jerusalem to celebrate a Jewish wheat festival which falls fifty days after the Passover.

When the disciples had gathered (Acts 2: 1 - 41), the Holy Spirit came down from heaven in tongues of fire and rested on the heads of everyone in the room. All the people began to speak in every language that had ever been heard in Palestine at that time.

Because Pentecost is the day that the Holy Spirit touched ordinary people, the Season of Pentecost focuses on the Spirit and the way in which it touches everyone in the world. One of the ways the Spirit reaches the world is through the Christian church.

And because everyone in the room began to speak about the wonders of God and about the life of Jesus, on Pentecost Sunday we celebrate the birthday of the church, the birthday of ministry, and the birthday of evangelism.

The Feast of the Pentecost is a special time for baptisms and confirmations.
Christians spend the Season of Pentecost looking at the relationship of God with His people as they experience his Holy Spirit. It is a time of outreach, and a time of letting the Spirit flow through each Christian to touch God's creation. Christians go to camp during Pentecost in order to appreciate God's beautiful world. It is also the time they begin to keep their confirmation promise of going into the world to make disciples of all nations.

Pentecost is a time of praise, of fellowship, and of spiritual renewal, as each Christian draws the Spirit into himself or herself with every breath.

Written by Dotti Siegel & Liz Weingart for"JC’S PLACE" Sunday School at Petersburg Presbyterian Church

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Video Workshop

Summary of Lesson Activities:

Children will watch a clip from the "Visual Bible; Acts" DVD.  Then will all participate in a newsroom skit. 

Lesson Objective(s):

In this workshop, the learner will view an interpretation of the Pentecost event and respond to questions about it.


  • DVD “Visual Bible: Acts”
  • Copies of script
  • Props for WWRM newsroom set (sign, microphone, etc.)
  • A fan
  • Recording of people reading in other languages
  • Nametags for characters of “Peter,” “anchor,” and “reporter"
  • The memory verse on poster board

Teacher preparation:

  • Read the Bible passages.
  • Read over the background material included in your teacher packet and the entire lesson plan. 
  • Write memory verse on poster board. 
  • Find recording of people reading in other languages (check your local library). 
  • Gather supplies.

Lesson Plan


Greet the children and introduce yourself. Remember that you are interacting with a different group of students each week—some may not know you. Wear your nametag and make sure that the children are wearing theirs.


1. Tell the children they will be watching a video showing our story of the day of Pentecost. The dramatization on the video comes directly from the book of Acts in the Bible. Refer to the poster board with the memory verse. Read it to the class and have them repeat it together. They should watch the video for the kind of power received by the people as the Holy Spirit came upon them.

2. View the video—see instructions for watching the portion of the DVD desired. It should take 10-15 minutes, and you should stop after Acts 2:41 when the ship appears on the screen. Following the video, ask the children to sit quietly for a couple of minutes and imagine they were in the crowd that day. 

Instructions for finding the Pentecost story in “The Visual Bible: Acts”

1. Insert disk 1.
2. On the menu screen, choose “Search by Event” (3rd choice).
3. On the menu screen, choose “The Early Church and Peter” (1st choice).
4. On the menu screen, choose “Receiving the Promised Gift” (1st choice).
5. On the menu screen, choose “5 The Holy Spirit Comes at Pentecost” (5th choice).

The selected scene will play. View the story through verse 2:41 (see the notation at the bottom right corner of the screen) when the boat appears.


3. Ask for volunteers, or assign parts,  for Peter, the anchor, and the reporter. Give them their nametags and the appropriate props. The rest of the class will be people in the crowd. Hand out scripts to everyone. Explain that this will be an on-the-spot interview portion of a live newscast from WWRM-TV. Tell the crowd members that they can follow along on their script, but their responses to the questions should be their own thoughts and feelings about the events of the day.

4. Begin the interview process, having the anchor read his or her part while the reporter reads his or hers. (The reporter can ad lib if he or she desires.) When appropriate, the reporter will approach each crowd member in turn to ask them a question and get their response. They should interview Peter last.


Gather the children together following the newscast. 

Play the recording of people reading in other languages and as a class try to figure out what languages they are hearing. (Do this if the named recording is available.) 

Discuss how it must feel to live in a place whose language you can not speak or understand. Remind them that we, too, have the gift of the Holy Spirit that gives us the power to understand the needs of another culture even when we don’t understand their language. The gift of the spirit also gives us the power to show God’s love for someone even if we don’t speak their language.

Close with a prayer of your own, or use the following:
Thank you, God, for loving us so much that you sent the gift of the Holy Spirit so that we might tell of your love to others. Continue to speak through us. Amen.

Journal Time:
Help the shepherd pass out the journals. Ask them to write or draw about things they have seen or experienced that show God’s power. (Some examples might be rainbows or sunshine.)

Adjustment for younger children:
If some of your Beginners don’t read yet, feel free to play the anchor and/or the reporter yourself and interview them. The responses to the event are the important elements.

Newscast Script

Anchor: Good day. I’m (name) and joining me on location is (name) for WWRM News. Our top news story comes from Jerusalem. Thousands of people have gathered there for the festival of Pentecost. It has been fifty days since the man called Jesus was crucified. There have been reports of sightings of him in and around Jerusalem. His disciples, although rarely seen, have confirmed these reports. They have gathered in a house in Jerusalem to celebrate Pentecost. Joining us live at this gathering is (name).
(The reporter should be standing in the midst of the crowd.)

Reporter: As you can see, I am surrounded by people from many countries. I can hear several different languages being spoken. Everyone seems to be waiting for Peter or one of the other disciples to speak to them.

Anchor: Can you tell us the mood of the crowd?

Reporter: People here seem to be excited; there is almost a party atmosphere. We are . . . wait . . . can you see this on the camera? (turn on the fan to the crowd; the reporter should move as if being blown by wind.) An incredible wind is blowing through this room, but the trees outside are not moving. This wind is just in this room. This is remarkable! Let’s talk to someone in the crowd. (reporter goes to some of the crowd.) Excuse me . . . do you have any idea what’s causing this wind? (let person answer; ask several members.) Wow, that was interesting. Let me ask someone about this. Excuse me . . . what did you feel as the wind gushed through here? (let person answer; ask several members; don’t forget to turn the fan off.)

Anchor: Well, that was exciting. Wait a minute . . . there appears to be light flickering in the room. Can you . . . (the reporter cuts the anchor off.)

Reporter: Whoa, you’re not going to believe this! Flames of fire are coming out of nowhere and touching everyone for just an instant! No one seems to be hurt, though. Let’s see what someone thinks about this. (reporter goes to some of the crowd.) Excuse me . . . how does it feel having fire hit you like that? (let person answer; ask several members.) Excuse me . . . where do you think this fire is coming from? (let person answer; ask several members.)

Anchor: Well, that was weird. Have you heard any of the disciples speak yet?

Reporter: No, not yet, but for some reason everyone is speaking at once. They all seem to understand each other! How can that be? There are people from all over the world here and they seem to understand at least part of what each other is saying. Let me talk to someone about this. (reporter goes to some of the crowd.) Excuse me . . . are you intoxicated? Since you speak English, how is it that you understand someone speaking German (or French or Spanish)? (let person answer; ask several members.)
Now that Peter has spoken, maybe I can get an interview with him. (goes to Peter.) Peter, (reporter’s name) from WWRM News. Can you tell us about what you saw as you were preaching?
How did you know what to say to cause such a reaction in the crowd? Do you think they have had too much wine?
How did you feel as the wind gushed and the fires burned?
What language do you speak? Then how do you think everyone in this crowd from around the world understood you?
What do you think will happen now?
Thank you, Peter, for your cooperation.
Well, (anchor’s name) this has been one extraordinary day here in Jerusalem. I’m going to sign off to you now and return to this excited crowd. Maybe some of their spirit can rub off on me. This is (name) reporting from Jerusalem.

Anchor: Thank you, (reporter’s name) for that unusual report. You know, whenever we cover a story about Jesus or his disciples, unusual things happen. But we here at WWRM News will keep you posted on this breaking story from Jerusalem as we return you to your regular programming. Good day.


A lesson posted by  JanMarshall, Brenthaven Church,
Brentwood TN

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Last edited by Lesson Forma-teer


Video Workshop

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.]

Leader Preparation:

  • 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.)
  • TV/DVD
  • 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
  • Costumes

Lesson Plan


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.


Distribute Bibles.

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.]

More Discussion:


  • 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 reformatted this post to improve readability.

Last edited by Luanne Payne

DVD - “The Tower of Babel and The Day of Pentecost” (New Superbook Series)


Chris and Joy struggle to communicate with a new student in their school who just moved from India. Suddenly Superbook takes Chris, Joy and Gizmo back in time when God created multiple languages on two different occasions - at the Tower of Babel and on the day of Pentecost. 

Lesson:  “Working together you can accomplish great things”.  (Animated - approx. 28 mins)

See reviews of the "New Superbook" DVD Series for more details on this series link)


Images (1)
  • Superbook%20Tower%20of%20Babble%20DVD
Last edited by Luanne Payne

Voice of the Martyrs has released a DVD entitled "The Messengers: The Birth of the Church."  The first 15 minutes 24 seconds retells the Pentecost story and places it in context of the full story of Luke-Acts via a retelling of the Apostle John imprisoned on the island of Patmos.  Here is the trailer.

Attached are PowerPoint review questions for use with this DVD.


Last edited by Ron Shifley

Illustration for Pentecost from the Annie Vallotton Bible Illustrations Collection


On Pentecost, the Holy Spirit looked like tongues of fire on the disciples. (Acts 2)


On Pentecost, Peter and the other disciples spoke to the crowd in many languages.

  Larger and higher resolution versions of the Vallotton illustrations and color background options as well are in our Vallotton Bible Images Forum (Supporting Membership required, become one today). The larger versions of these two pictures are in two different sets, here for the flames image and here for the Peter preaching image.  Copyright and usage information here.


Images (2)
  • Pentecost-Disciples-Crowd-Vallotton
  • Pentecost-Disciples-Vallotton

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