Meet an Amazing Animal in the Story of Paul Shipwrecked (Elementary Lesson)

Use this grab-and-go lesson to bring Acts 28:1–10 to life.
2 min read

Today, we’re looking at the story of Paul shipwrecked on Malta and how one animal in particular can help us bring it to life for kids.

Meet an Amazing Animal series banner

Welcome to the “Meet an Amazing Animal” series.

God has done some remarkable things through his furry, fuzzy, and funny creations. A talking donkey? A fish carrying around a tax payment in its mouth? A rooster reminder that brought a grown man to his knees?

In this series we’re exploring how God has used animals to make himself and his purposes known. Get all twelve free lessons.

You’ll help your kids experience powerful transformation as they link Bible truths they need with the animals they love.

Let’s get started!


Bible Story: Acts 28:1–10 (Paul Shipwrecked on Malta)

Animal: Snake

Lesson Theme: God is powerful

Activity: Slither Soccer

  Time: about 10 minutes

  Supplies: balloons, masking (or painter’s) tape, stopwatch

Have kids form two teams, the Rattlers and the Pythons. Place two 18-inch tape lines on the floor at opposite ends of the room to serve as goals.

EXPLAIN: Kids will play a game of soccer but the way snakes play— using only their heads to move the ball. And slithering. The entire game lasts just five minutes—with no time-outs.

After everyone lies down on the floor, toss an inflated balloon onto the field and let the snakes go at it. About two minutes in, toss a second balloon onto the field and then, with one minute left, a third balloon. After the match ends, ask both teams to give a mighty hiss (it’s not like they can applaud!) and then sit together to discuss:

  • Was playing Slither Soccer tough or easy?

SAY: If you were a snake, you’d hate playing soccer. Snakes have to control their temperature by sunning themselves or finding shade, so soccer matches in the winter are out. Ditto for very hot days. Snakes are usually solitary animals, so team sports are out. And they shed their skin, which will make for a very messy field. Sometimes we have to do things we’re not good at either. Maybe we’re great at math but have to write a story about Brazil. Or we’re good at soccer but have to swim laps in a pool. Good news! God is powerful, and when we’re not strong he step in. A Jesus follower named Paul discovered that when he met an especially nasty snake.

Teaching Time

Share the story of Paul shipwrecked on Malta from Acts 28:1–10. Point out how God used the snake, and use the following questions to guide discussion:

  • In what ways did God show His power in this story of Paul shipwrecked?
  • If you were one of the people living on Malta, would you want Paul to come back? Why or why not? 
  • What’s something you wanted to do, but even though you tried, you just weren’t powerful enough to pull it off? 
  • What’s something you could use our powerful God’s help with this week?

Love these lesson ideas? Get 13 lessons filled with activity and teaching ideas in 13 Very Amazing Animals and How God Used Them.

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About the Author

  • Mikal Keefer has published more than 25 books and is a frequent contributor to Group Publishing curriculum. Mikal is an active children’s ministry volunteer in his local church in Loveland, Colorado. Mikal, who is married and the father of two children, loves teaching kids—especially his grandkids—the truth of God’s story in fun and engaging ways!

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