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Free Sunday School Lesson Plan: Peter Raises Dorcas From the Dead

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This elementary-level lesson teaches children about God's power over life and death

This elementary-level lesson teaches children about God's power over life and death

Need a Sunday School Lesson?

Use this free Sunday school lesson plan with elementary students who read, write, and answer simple questions with little adult supervision. It takes about 45 minutes to teach and requires only a Bible or the text of the New Testament Bible story from Acts 9:36-43.

The lesson teaches children that God controls life and death and sometimes works through humans to perform miracles. Tabitha (or Dorcas as she was also called) was a godly woman who made clothing for the poor. God received much glory from her good deeds, but when Peter resurrects her, God is glorified even more. This can build on other lessons about serving others or hiding from God.

Bring the Story to Life

Telling Bible stories (instead of reading them) is more interesting to elementary students because it engages their senses.

To make the lesson even more interactive, after you tell the story, ask for volunteers to retell the story in their own words.

You may be surprised by how inventive the kids can be, and their interpretation of what they heard will give you clues to where you need to do more explanation to clarify their understanding.

Read or tell the story from Acts 9:36-43. Explain unfamiliar terms such as resurrection, disciple, widow, and apostle to the children.

A good way to do this is by asking the class a question like: "Has anyone ever heard of the word widow? What is a widow?" Continue in this manner and build on the knowledge that the students already have.

Use these discussion questions to encourage the students to think more about the concepts presented:

  • How did Tabitha serve others?
  • How can we help needy people?
  • Was Peter able to raise her from the dead by his own power or by God’s power?
  • How did God receive glory from Tabitha's death?

Fill in the Blank Worksheet

Copy and paste the text below into a word processing program and make any changes you want to modify this for your curriculum or lesson plan. Make copies for each student.

Write the correct word from the word bank into the blanks to complete each statement.

Word bank: sewing, died, Dorcas, God’s, clothes, Peter

  1. Tabitha was also called _______.
  2. She served others by _______ clothes.
  3. Tabitha became sick and _______.
  4. The disciples at Joppa sent for _______.
  5. Peter raised Tabitha from the dead by _______ power.
  6. The widows showed Peter the _______ Tabitha made.

Teacher answer key: Dorcas, sewing, died, Peter, God’s clothes

True or False? Worksheet

Prepare this worksheet in the same manner as the one above, and then make copies for the class:

Write T for true or F for false after each statement.

  1. Peter waved his hands and sang over Tabitha to raise her from the dead.
  2. Tabitha was a tentmaker in Joppa.
  3. Peter said “Tabitha arise” and she sat up.
  4. Many people believed in Jesus because of this miracle.
  5. Peter left Joppa immediately after Tabitha’s resurrection.

Teacher answer key: False, false, true, true, false

Making Clothes for the Poor Craft

In this interactive craft activity, kids make clothes for paper doll friends.

Here's what you need for this art project:

Here's what you do:

  1. Copy the paper doll outlines onto card stock.
  2. Reproduce the clothes templates onto copier paper.
  3. Have the children cut out the figures.
  4. Allow the students to choose clothes for their paper dolls and cut them out.
  5. Let them decorate the clothes or leave them plain.
  6. Invite the children to glue the clothes to the paper dolls.
  7. Encourage them to glue on scraps of yarn as hair.

Use this lesson to teach children that only God has the power to resurrect people from death. They will learn about kindness and serving others from the story of Tabitha’s example. The activities reinforce the educational materials, and the art project links learning with pleasure.

Peter Raises Tabitha (Dorca) From the Dead

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.


Donna Cosmato (author) from USA on October 15, 2011:

Thank you for your kind words, Andy! I'm so glad that your enjoyed this and found it useful. I've always loved Bible stories and enjoy finding new ways to bring them to life for children.

andycool on October 15, 2011:

This is just an awesome hub DonnaCosmato! Every parent should try to follow what you advised in this article. In school I was awarded Bible prizes a couple of times. Since my childhood days I was very fond of Bible stories. Raising kids this way is a great idea and parents of modern times should understand it. Thank you for sharing your wisdom! - Andy