Paul and Silas were beaten and thrown in jail for healing a fortune-telling slave girl. They were chained to rocks so they couldn't move. Rather than complain, they sang praises and prayed to God. An earthquake freed them and the other prisoners. The jailer was amazed and took them home where he learned about Jesus and was baptized. Lead children in creating crafts to help them remember the story of Paul and Silas and their courage.
Cuffed in Jail
Have children cut out strips of paper from construction paper. On each strip, have them write a word that helps them remember the story. Examples of words include "Paul," "Silas," "singing," "praise," "healing," "earthquake" and "baptism." Have each child make two paper chains out of the strips. One paper chain will be the handcuffs that Paul and Silas wore. The second chain should be connected to a balloon to represent the leg cuffs that were attached to rocks.
Give each child two paper plates. On the back of one paper plate, have them draw a picture of the Paul and Silas story. On the back of the other paper plate, have them write out whatever Bible verse you would like them to memorize to go with the story. Have them glue 3/4 of the two plates together, with the blank sides facing inward and the pictures and verse facing out. Put 10 to 15 beans between each paper plate and then glue the plates shut the rest of the way. Each child now has a makeshift tambourine which they can use to sing praises. Let them decorate the tambourine by coloring it, adding stickers or gluing on yarn, beads, streamers or craft beads.
Give children clay, corrugated cardboard, craft sticks, pebbles, craft foam and construction paper. Challenge them to create a diorama that tells the story of Paul and Silas in jail and their miraculous escape. They can use any of the materials to create a jail and the figures of the story. When they are done, have each child share his creation with the other children.
Give each student a pint-sized berry basket to act as a jail cell. Then let them make puppets of Paul, Silas and the jailer using craft sticks, fabric scraps and construction paper. The children can use markers or crayons to draw facial features on the ends of the craft sticks. Let them take turns acting out different parts of the story.
As a professional writer since 1985, Bridgette Redman's career has included journalism, educational writing, book authoring and training. She's worked for daily newspapers, an educational publisher, websites, nonprofit associations and individuals. She is the author of two blogs, reviews live theater and has a weekly column in the "Lansing State Journal." She has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Michigan State University.