345_A changed man (Upside-down frown)

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345_Story planner

Acts 9
The Children’s Bible in 365 Stories by Mary Batchelor page 391

You could talk to the children a little bit about the city of Damascus. Explain that it is a very, very old city. Show the children where it is first mentioned in the Bible by looking at Genesis 15:2.


Setting the scene and a starter question_3 mins 
Find the New Testament section in a Bible.
Show and talk about ‘The Early Church FlashCards’ cards one to four

Question:  How would you find your way around a busy city?  Would you use a map… or maybe a Sat Nav? Perhaps you would ask someone for directions: ‘Turn right, turn left, turn right again, then straight on until you reach the corner’.  But how would you find your way around busy city if you couldn’t see where you were going?


Tell the story with props_4 mins
Click on the images at the beginning of this post to download more web resources

  • A map of the Holy Land at the time of Jesus with Jerusalem and Damascus clearly marked.
  • Pictures from the internet of Straight Street in Damascus – make sure you comply with copyright regulations. 
  • An empty plate and cup
  • ‘Go to Straight Street’ speech bubble (see Printables) 
  • ‘He has become my servant’ speech bubbles (see Printables)
  • Tissue paper cut into two circles approximately the size of a contact lens  –  to represent fish-  scales 
  • A basket (Use any sized basket, but explain that the basket Saul escaped in would have been large and used for carrying heavy things)



Story Activity_6 mins
Option 1_Enjoy colouring in this weeks Dead Sea Comic Caper (see Printables)

Option 2_ A guided assault course
You will need: Lots of cardboard boxes or chairs and something to cover a child’s eyes such as a scarf or eye mask. 

1. Set up an ‘assault course’ in your teaching area using chairs or cardboard boxes. If you have enough boxes stack them on top of each other to make small towers.
2. Ask for two volunteers. Encourage the volunteers to choose which of them will be blindfolded and who will be the guide.
3. Allow the person to be blindfolded, to either carefully tie the scarf around their eyes or to position the eye mask so they cannot see.
4. The guide should then take the arm of the blindfolded person and lead them through the assault course.  Each guide should start with five points. Every time the blindfolded person accidentally touches a chair or box the guide should lose a point.
5. Once the blindfolded person has successfully manoeuvred through the assault course a second pair should be allowed to take a turn.



Reflective prayer_2 mins  
Father God we imagine the Christians‘ concern when they heard that Saul was coming to arrest them. We imagine men and women waiting in Damascus for the guards to arrive. 

Father we thank you that by the time Saul reached the city he was a changed man. Thank you that through your love and forgiveness and the powerful help of the Holy Spirit, Saul changed from a man that wanted to hurt the followers of Jesus to becoming a follower himself. 

Thank you Father God that, in the same way Saul turned from his old way of living and began a life of trusting you, we too can say ‘Yes’ to your love and forgiveness and with the help of the Holy Spirit, learn and grow to live the way you created us to live. Amen.

With younger children, or during a shorter session you may wish to select just one or two phrases from the reflective prayer.



344_Craft planner


Upside-down frown


You will need:
Face templates (see Printables)
Body templates (see Printables)
Sticky tape
Coloured felt
Black, brown or yellow wool
Colouring pencils
A clothes peg
Woollen gloves
Paper plates
Glue stick

How to prepare:
Print or photocopy sufficient head, body and nose templates. For younger children you may want to cut out the templates before the session. Make a sample puppet so that the children know what they are making.


How to make a puppet with an upside-down frown:


1. Colour in and carefully stick your head template to the middle of your paper plate.
2. Cut around your template and cut out a small strip 8 x 2 cm from the paper plate.      
3. Cut the wool into three or four strands approximately 6 cm in length.     
4. Use the nose template to cut out a ‘nose’ from the coloured felt. Stick the nose to the face, tucking the strips of wool underneath to make a pair of eyebrows/moustache.
5. Turn the face over and lay the strip on the back. Bend the strip slightly then secure the two ends with sticky tape. You should now have a small ‘handle’ on the back of the face.
6. Put on a woollen glove and slide your index and middle fingers through the handle. Your face will either have a frown or a smile – turn the face upside-down to change its expression.
7. To make a body for your puppet colour in and fold the template along the dotted lines so that the dots are on the outside of the folds. Stand ‘the body’ upright. Clip a clothes peg to the top of the body template. 
8.  Slide the ‘handle’ on the back of the face over the peg as shown in the picture. Turn he frown upside-down. 



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