Guess what? I just updated my Acts Hands-on Homeschool Bible Curriculum! I am super excited about the new look — and especially the updated worksheets that go with many of the lessons! I want you to have the opportunity to see what this curriculum is like — so here is a week’s worth of lessons taken directly from The Book of Acts:A Hands-on Homeschool Curriculum. Enjoy!
Memory Verse: Acts 4:12
Needed: Bible, journal, Stuffed animals, action figures or other toys, box that can be made into a temple gate
Read Acts 3:1-11 with your student. Say: Now you are going to have the opportunity to make your own dramatic production of this Bible event.
Have your student choose three toys to represent each of the characters. Also have him make his own scenery out of cardboard boxes, paper, or other objects that you have around the house. When he has designed his “set”, have him act out the event using the toys he has chosen. Encourage him to be as creative as possible. If you are able, record his final project so that he can watch himself.
When the project is finished, ask the following questions:
Where were Peter and John headed? Prayer service at the temple
Who was at the temple gate? A man who had been lame from birth
What did he ask Peter and John? To give him money
What did Peter reply? I don’t have money, but what I have I will give to you. In the name of Jesus of Nazareth, walk.
What did the man do? He went walking and jumping and praising God.
How did the people respond? They were amazed.
What can we learn from this? Answers will vary, but may include: nothing is impossible with God, God can help anyone no matter how long they have had a problem, God can use ordinary people to do His work.
Have your student write this week’s memory verse in his journal as copywork.
Spend time memorizing the verses with your student. Spend time in prayer together.
Needed: Bible, Journal
Have your student begin today’s lesson by performing his play from yesterday over Acts 3:1-11. Then
Read Acts 3:12-26 with your student. Ask: What did Peter take this opportunity to do? tell about Jesus. Say: Notice that Peter took every opportunity he could to tell others about Christ. The Old Testament is a prophecy about Jesus. The entire Bible points to Jesus. However, the Jews did not want to believe that Jesus was the actual fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies. Why do you think this is the case? Allow your student to answer.
Read Matthew 28:11-15. Say: The Jewish leaders wanted lies spread about Jesus. These lies are still spread today. There are many Jews who are still waiting for a Messiah. They still follow the Old Testament laws (over 600 of them!) and they refuse to believe that Jesus was the Messiah. In fact, they believe that the idea that the Messiah would be a sinless sacrifice to save mankind is wrong. Instead, they believe the Messiah will be a political leader who will restore the temple and the Jewish nation. Furthermore, they believe many lies about Jesus himself. (For an example of many of the lies they believe about Jesus, see the Jews for Judaism website, www.jewsforjudaism.org ),
Have your student choose one of the following Journal prompts to write as a journal entry for today. Give him 5-10 minutes to respond to the journal prompt he chooses and then have him share his response with you. Once he has shared, spend time praying for Jews today.
1. Pretend you were one of the soldiers guarding Jesus’ tomb. Write your account of what happened the day of his resurrection. Be sure to include the response of the Jewish leaders and how you feel about their response.
2. If you could talk to a Jew, what would you want to tell them about Jesus? Write a letter sharing what you think they should know.
3. Search the Old Testament for as many of the rules as you can find. Write these down in your journal. Make a big X over all the rules and write, “We are saved by GRACE through JESUS CHRIST!!” Write a letter to Jesus thanking him for his free gift of salvation.
Needed: Bible, Journal, Optional: Stories of martyrs, posterboard and art supplies
Review the last lesson. Say: Remember how the Jews didn’t want to believe? Well, let’s look at what happens next.
Read Acts 4:1-4. Say: The Saduccees didn’t believe in any resurrection at all, so they were really upset when they heard what Peter said. Now Peter and John have been put in prison because of their belief in Jesus. Let’s see what Peter has to say about the this.
Read 1 Peter 4:12-19. Say: Peter tells us that it is not unusual to suffer for believing in Jesus. What are some ways people today suffer for believing in Jesus? Allow your student an opportunity to respond. Accept any answer, but be sure to stress that there are people today who are still put in prison, persecuted and sometimes even killed for their belief in Jesus.
If you have a book about martyrs, read some of the stories of persecuted Christians together. You may also choose to visit the Voice of the Martyrs website at www.persecution.com for modern day stories. They also have a children’s website, www.kidsofcourage.com, that gives several ideas of ways your student can get involved in helping the persecuted church.
Say: It is important that we are 100% sold out for Jesus. We should not be afraid of suffering for Jesus; instead, we should count it as an honor. Often, we are afraid of being teased or called names because we are Christians. However, there are people even today who suffer much greater persecution for their faith.
Have your student make a poster challenging others to stand up for Jesus. If it is possible, have your student hang that poster on a bulletin board at church or share it with a Sunday School class.
Spend time praying for the persecuted church and also for the courage to stand for Jesus no matter what.
Needed: Bible, journal, blocks
Give your student a pile of blocks. Tell him he needs to build a pyramid as tall as he can with all the blocks he is given. The pyramid must not fall over for at least 30 seconds. Once the pyramid is built, check it to see if it can stand for 30 seconds. Discuss what it took to make a strong pyramid. Stress that the strength of the pyramid depended on the bottom row, or the foundation. If the foundation was strong, the rest of the pyramid was able to stay together. Optional: If you have multiple kids, have them try to make their own human pyramid.
Read Acts 4:5-12. Say: Our foundation needs to be Jesus. Jesus is what our faith is built upon. If Jesus is our foundation, our life will stay strong even in the hardest of times.
Read 1 Peter 2:4-10. Ask: Do you know what a cornerstone is? Allow your student an opportunity to answer. Say: The cornerstone is that part of the building that keeps all the rest in place. If our lives are built on a solid foundation, we will not fall away. The only solid foundation we can have is Jesus.
Read Matthew 7:24-27. Say: Once again, our foundation needs to be Jesus.
If we are wise, we will build our entire life upon Jesus. What are some things that might come against us to try to get us to collapse?
Have your student make a list in his journal of those things that might come against us and try to destroy our faith. Discuss the list with him. Discuss what he can do in each situation to stay strong for Jesus. Spend time praying with him.
Needed: Bible, Journal, Cult awareness worksheet (located in the pdf for this lesson)
Read Acts 4:12. Recite it together several times. Say: This verse is vital to the Christian faith. Many people try to tell you there’s a different way to get to heaven and try to lead you astray. That is why it is important to have Jesus as your foundation and to be grounded in the word of God. Otherwise, you may be led astray. You can remember how cults try to lead others astray by remembering your math lessons. There are four primary ways that cults try to lead us astray. They are through addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Let’s look at each one of these in greater detail.
1. Addition – Cults try to add to the Bible or provide other books besides the Bible. Read Revelation 22:18-19.
2. Subtraction – Cults subtract from who Jesus Christ is. They say he’s less than who he is by claiming that he is just another prophet or good teacher. Read John 1:1-3 and John 14:8-11.
3. Multiplication – Cults try to multiply the requirements for salvation. Read Acts 4:12.
4. Division – Cults try to divide loyalty between God and man. They try to make you follow what another person says.
Read Acts 4:19. (Note: Discuss how we need to submit to authorities, but when someone tells you to do something contrary to scripture, you need to obey the Bible!) After discussing these patterns of the cults, give the cult awareness worksheet. Have your student tell what pattern each statement is following and then have him respond using the scriptures talked about. When he has finished the worksheet, spend time praying together.
Extended Activities for Lesson Four
. Compare and Contrast Judaism and Christianity. Use a Venn Diagram or other organizational tool to compare the two. Discuss how, though there may be some similarities, there is one major difference that makes all the difference in the world. Discuss how that difference, belief in Jesus as the Messiah, means that those who practice Judaism are still lost and in need of a savior.
. Choose a cult and do a report on it.
. Choose a martyr and do a report on his/her life and death.
. Find pictures of what the temple gate may have looked like. Make a model of the temple gate.
. Find 3:00 in the afternoon on a clock.
. Look at your clock right now. How long will it be until (or has it been since) 3:00 in the afternoon?
. Do a variety of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division problems. Discuss the patterns of the cults as you do these problems.
. Build a house out of different types of food. Decide what types of food you want to use (examples include pretzels, frosting, marshmallows, chopped fruit or vegetables). Try to make the strongest, yet edible, house you can. Decide which type of food would make the best foundation. Eat your creation.
. Build a house out of sand. Then build a house out of rocks. Take a bucket of water and pour it over both houses. Which one stood? Which type of house would you want to live in? Why? Discuss how Jesus can help us stand during storms.
. Act out Acts 3:1-11 using sock puppets.
Act On It
. Volunteer at a local homeless shelter or take some food to a food pantry.
. Check out the Voice of the Martyrs website (www.persecution.com) for some ideas on how you can get involved in helping the persecuted church. Do one of their activities as a family.