Antioch Arcade #2

This lesson plan is copyrighted and belongs to the Kirk of Kildaire Presbyterian,

Cary North Carolina. It may be used for non-profit uses only.


ANTIOCH ARCADE   -    This workshop will last 45 minutes.


SCRIPTURE: This workshop will review the stories that the children have heard on previous VBS days.  These include the Wedding at Cana (John 2:1-11), Feeding the 5000 (Matt. 14:15-21), Healing of the Centurion’s Servant (Matt. 8:5-13), Blind Bartimaeus (Mark 10:46-52) and the Paralyzed Man Healed (Mark 2:1-12)


OBJECTIVES:  The children will see where Jesus’ miracles took place.

                          The children will understand that Jesus moved through Galilee preaching and                                        teaching.

                           The children will learn about Bethsaida, Capernaum, Bethany, Nazareth and                                       Cana, Sea of Galilee.


CONCEPT:  Define “miracle” for children (miracle - a wonderful event which shows us the power of God, or an especially vivid moment when as a result of an unexpected and surprising event, one becomes aware of the presence and power or God at work). 


Using maps and creating their own map will help the children place these miracle stories of Jesus not only in historical context, but help the understand how real these stories are.  The use of maps will provide the visual learner with the information they need to better learn.   The creation of a map will insure that the logical/mathematical and the kinesthetic learner are engaged in  optimum learning experiences.




1.  Welcome the kids.  Open the time with prayer.  In your prayer, thank God for each person gathered there and ask God to open your ears and eyes that you might all see/hear/experience God’s awesome power.  If you are not comfortable using your own prayer, find one in a resource book in library, ask someone to write one for you to use.


2.  Make sure you know each child’s name and use their names when speaking with them.  You may want to have each child introduce themselves in a game appropriate for ANTIOCH ARCADE.


For example:  Hi, my name is ______________and my favorite place to visit  is _____________.

(for older kids make the place begin with same letter at their name:  Susan, San Francisco).


3. This workshop focuses upon the fact that Jesus did many miracles during his ministry as he traveled throughout Galilee.  Begin your session with Nazareth, the beginning of Jesus’ ministry.  Read Luke 4:16-19 (use either New Revised Standard Version or the Contemporary English Version). 


Review the Bible stories this workshop will be using.  Have the stories  and scripture references listed on newsprint or a poster/chalkboard.  See if kids can help you remember where each story took place.  List places as kids remember them, or as you remind them!  Be sure you have listed all the locations mentioned above.


4.  Use Maps.


                        Use a variety of maps to have kids locate the cities/areas mentioned.  As kids locate each site, remind them what miracle occurred there.  You may want to have a copy of map for each pair of kids and have a blank one for you to use with overhead projector, or have a large one drawn on newsprint that you can ‘complete’ as kids help you locate locations. 


For the younger kids, you may want to have them use different colors to label the different cities.  You would use the same marker color to mark your map on the overhead.  The younger kids will have a more difficult time finding the locations - you may want to have theirs “pre-labeled” and just have them use different colors to make them more visible or to help them locate them more easily.


Both age groups will need a variety of resources to find the cities.  Many bibles have historical maps.  Suggest the children use their own, but you should also have additional ones on hand.  You may also want to have a Bible Atlas - this is an excellent resource for this activity.  Many libraries have one - I am not sure if our Kirk Library has one or not!  Joan and/or Tom may also have some map resources that would be good to show the kids in this workshop.


Once you have located the locations on a historical map, show the kids a present map of the area of Israel and see if you can locate the same locations.  This will help to reinforce that these places do exist and that Jesus lived here among us. 


5.  Create Maps.

                        Have the kids make a 3D map showing the locations they have previously identified.  This could involve a number of different things.  For example - have a blank map Xeroxed and have kids glue it onto poster board.  They can then use clay, playdoh, construction paper, whatever you think is okay, to construct land, water and cities.  Using little flags attached to toothpicks, kids would identify the locations mentioned above.  They could also mark those with little beads, rocks, however you want to approach the challenge of making a 3D map of the locations! 


Another option would be to construct a 3D map as a group - each class or all of VBS together.  This works especially well for the younger kids as they may not have time to finish an entire map, but would have time to color in or design a Galilee Sea or other land Form.  You could assign each class a particular part of the project and have it as a cooperative project - one that could be displayed after VBS!  (This is the one I would do - but you need to decided for yourself which idea appeals most of you and which one you think will address the objectives of this workshop)


6. Clean up.  Involve all kids in this so that you will have time to share together in the closing.


7.  Have kids put either a stamp from your workshop, a sticker or a small item ( small flag with city name, sticker or stamp of US, draw a map of US?) in their journal to help them remember where they went and what the workshop was about.  This is to help them when they do their journal writing at the end of the day.




Close with a prayer.  For example:  Loving God, thank you for stories of faith which you have given us.  We thank you for our teachers and for our time together this morning.  May we learn more and more about our faith as we grow as Christians.  Amen.




1.  Preview the miracle stories you will be reviewing.  Review the historical information on the locations (see attached).


2. Write list of stories being reviewed on newsprint or other board.


3.  Write opening prayer  or “get” one you like.


4.  Find maps you like and think through how you will have kids map the locations.  Make overhead of map if you choose that method (I recommend this way - but also have kids work together in pairs to find cities using maps in Bibles and other reference books).


5.  Decide how to have kids do 3D maps and have materials on hand.  DO NOT insist that all maps look alike.  Set up the activity, but let kids choose what exact materials and method they want to use.  I suggest you have a variety of materials on hand and let kids be creative.  Some may simply want to draw land, sea, etc. and mark locations with bead/flag.  Some may want to construct more contour type maps.


6.  Gather a variety of maps to have on display for those kids interested- (for example - globe, relief, 3D, topographical, computer generated map, laptop map program).


7.  Decide what you want to use to ‘mark’ kids’ journals.  This sticker/stamp/item is to help them remember what they saw, did, learned in your workshop to help them at journal writing at the end of the day.  It is NOT to be a craft they do, just a small item you have for them to place in their Daily Journal to encourage them to respond to what they have experienced.


7.  Decide how you want to close.  Have prayer written - are you going to read it, have kids read it together, one kid read, etc.  What if you have extra time?  Are there other activities you could do?   Map games using maps in their bibles?





*Sheet with stories to review listed on it

*materials for making 3D maps

*Bibles and reference materials

*Overhead projector

*attached reference materials




“Jesus’ Miracles”, J. Nowak, Memorial Presbyterian Church, Xenia, OH

Journey to Jerusalem Boyd Lien, Abingdon Press, 1988