Print off this free Sunday School lesson based on Acts 9 where Peter raises Dorcas back to life. This lesson teaches children the difference their lives can have on others, and the power of how the Lord can work in the lives of those willing to obey Him. You can also modify this lesson to work in Kids church or other ministry settings.
Bible Story: Peter Raises Dorcus
Scripture: Acts 9:36-43
Target Age Group: Age 7 – 12 (U.S. 1st – 6th Grade)
Original Learning Context: Sunday School
Target Time Frame: 20 minutes
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Supply List: Pictures of Dorcas (and clothes she made, if possible), and pictures of Peter alone in the room with Dorcas, and Peter with others with Dorcas (as possible to find); search google images, purple construction paper cut in 1 inch slices length wise and purple construction paper uncut.
Learning Goal: After this lesson, the children will demonstrate their knowledge about the key people and events in this passage.
Learning Indicator: In the retelling of the story back to the class the children display what they learned.
Learning Activity #1
Active Listening: Ask the children to listen carefully for the detail of the story in order to re-tell it. Read (and summarize) Acts 9:36-43 and engage the children with good story telling techniques such as various voices depending on whether it’s the narrative or a person/s speaking.
Divide the children into two groups and assign one group the listening assignment of identifying all the things they learn about Dorcas. Assign the second group the job of identifying the actions and words of Peter to help Dorcas.
Immediately after the story call on volunteers to retell the story and from each group the facts they identified from their listening assignment.
Learning Activity #2
Agree/Disagree: Read the following statement and have the children tell you the reason they disagree with any untrue statements.
- Dorcas’ name means Tabitha. Agree.
- Peter was in Joppa when Dorcas died. Disagree. He was in Lydda, near Joppa.
- The Lord told Peter to go to Joppa. Disagree. Two men came to get him.
- Peter touched Dorcas to heal her. Disagree. He kneeled and prayed.
- Dorcas was known for the clothes she made. Agree.
- Peter left Joppa right away. Disagree. He stayed a few days with Simon, the leather tanner.
Learning Activity #3
Craft: Have 8 by 11 construction paper sliced into 1” strips (length wise) prior to class. Teach the children how to weave the strips to make a mat and glue onto solid purple piece of paper to keep the project together. Explain to the children that Dorcas was known for items that she made from purple cloth as you help the children weave their own place mat.
Test: Ask several volunteers to role play the story, selecting one to play the Narrator of the story, Peter, Dorcas, and some of the children play the disciples and others the friends of Dorcas. If they need help prompt them with the questions like “What comes next?”
Connection with the Gospel:
This miracle shows that even the disciples had been given the power to raise the dead after Jesus ascended into heaven. Jesus instructed the disciples to spread the news about the Lord. Jesus empowered the disciples to do what He called them to do, such as raise the dead and heal the sick. The disciples demonstrated the Lord’s power to raise the dead, but Peter remained in Joppa to help the people learn more about the Lord and His salvation for them.
Connection with Life:
This is an excellent time to remind the children that the Lord is the Author of life and His desire is for us to live in such a way that our lives impact others. Ask the children how Dorcas is remembered in this story and how Peter is remembered in this story. Challenge them to think about the ways in which their lives can make a difference to others.