Paul Gets Bit by a Snake on Malta

Monday, March 11, 2013
Review: Last week Paul was sent to Rome to go before Caesar. Julius the Centurion was put in charge of getting Paul to Rome. There were 276 people going, including soldiers, other prisoners, Julius, Paul and Paul’s friend, Aristarchus, from Macedonia. With Autumn storms at sea, they had to stop and let the storms pass and then more storms came, so the seas were so rough, they didn’t go very far. They didn’t even eat.
Remember, Luke said WE didn't see the sun or moon but after 14 days, they saw land. Paul took bread, said a prayer and everyone ate so they’d have strength to be able to get to the shore. Julius said to unchain the prisoners so everyone would be able to swim.
The ship hit a sandbar and huge waves rolled over the it and the boat cracked in half! Everyone swam to shore and the ones that couldn’t swim, used the broken pieces of the ship to get to shore.
Lesson: Scripture is Acts 28:1-6. The people on the island of Malta built a bonfire and gave them food. The island was called Melita, which is now called Malta. I gave the kids bottles of icy cold water and fruit snacks to represent the cold and wet and gifts of food.

(Acts 28:1) It means honey in Greek. They were known for making honey.
It is October and they were cold because of the rain. They were gathering sticks to build a fire. A poisonous 'viper' snake was in the bundle of sticks. When it became warmed from the heat, it wrapped itself around Paul and bit him. (Acts 28:4)
When the people saw Paul get bit by the snake, they started talking among themselves. The people were thinking that if Paul was a murderer, (they assumed this since he was a prisoner), and he didn’t die in the storms at sea, now he is bitten by a poisonous snake, how is he still alive?? Paul shook off the snake.

The people were watching Paul and waiting for him to start swelling up and fall over dead from the snake bite. When he didn’t, they all thought he must be a god (small g) to survive that!
On the island, the chief man, probably governor, Publius, let them stay at his house for 3 days. His father was sick and had a fever. Paul went into his room where he was laying and prayed and laid his hands on him and healed him. When other people heard about this, they went to see Paul. They wanted to be healed also!

In January, and after three months on the island, the people gave Paul and the travelers gifts and gave them a ship and the necessary items to travel again. They stopped a couple of places on the way to Rome and when they got there, Paul was handed over to the captain of the guard. After three days, he called the chief of the Jews together. He explained what had happened to him, why he was a prisoner and how they should have let him go but didn’t. (Acts 28:18) And now, he had appealed to Caesar. Paul explained to them about Jesus. Some of them believed and some did not. (Acts 28:24) After Paul talked to them, the Jews left and had great discussions about what Paul had told them.  (Acts 28:29)
For two years, Paul lived in his own house, he was allowed to hire people to live in the house with him, but he was still a prisoner. He probably had help from his Roman friends at this point. People came to his house to listen to his instruction about Jesus. (Acts 28:30-31)
For a visual, I set up the fire, with a woodpile next to it with a snake peeking out.
We make the Island of Melita for this lesson. Last week the kids made and decorated boats and left them in class to use with the island. The first picture is a bigger island I make for the teacher's visual. The kids always want mine, but it too expensive.

If you look at the supplies in the second picture, I bought most of the items at Dollar Tree. The round Styrofoam discs you see are what I use for the base. I prefer the green, since I want it to look like grass. They are 2/$1.00.The floral moss and the disc bases are in the artificial flower section. I prefer round, but have used every shape, whatever is cheapest.
The snakes are also at Dollar Tree, but I have found them at Wal Mart (The snakes at the top are from Wal Mart at Halloween and is what I used for the pretzel  'woodpile') and Target. I will also hand out these snakes in a review lesson coming up. 
The water is a die cut and I use a straight (sewing) pin to attach it. I push it in sideways so it holds the diecut in place. If you push it straight in, it will come back out of the Styrofoam. You can look at the shape and cut one out of cardstock if you do not have the die to cut it. I didn't add that to the printable.

I also put Aleene's Tacky Glue on the top of the island, then lay the 'grass' on it to help hold it. Not a lot, because the people, etc. will also hold the grass down.
This is the front and back of the printables for the island. I buy the wood sign and paint it and attach it to a craft stick, but I have included a sign in the printables. Also, you can use diecut palm trees if you'd rather. As you can see from the second picture, I use Scotch tape and attach toothpicks to the backs of everything. I have everything prepped and in a sandwich bag and the kids can just put the island together.
Here is the final picture for the student's island.
 Click here to download the printables.
Woodpile With Snakes!
 This first picture is how I laid out each pile to make. I used 2 pieces of twine cut about 9" for each set. I laid out the strings sideways and laid the snake on them upside down. That will be the top of the pile. Then, I laid the pretzels on the snake, woven like a basket, one on, one under, etc., with the head on the bottom.
I tied the first string together, then wove the snake as much as I could, and tied the other string together. Tie the strings as TIGHT as you can, without breaking the pretzels.
Turn it over, and you have the top. They LOVED this!

Click here to find all the Acts worksheets.
Bible Verse: Ephesians 6:10
Passport: Island of Malta

 Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.

Used by permission.


  1. Debbie,
    Thanks so much for all your hard work on this!
    Such great and creative ideas and I love the pictures - I remember them as a child, but don't find them in stores anymore.
    I pray God will bless you in wonderful ways for sharing your ideas and work with us.

    1. Thanks so much for the nice comments! I appreciate it! Thanks for visiting!

  2. What another great model. It looks very detailed and I love the pretzel snakes.

  3. Love your blogs and your resources... So helpful.. Thank you so much :)

    1. Thanks so much! I appreciate the nice comment! Thanks for stopping by!

    2. First I want to thank you for all your hard work. The visuals are great and the stories are accurate. For the last couple of months we have been studying the book of Acts in my 4, 5, and 6 year old bible class. We are nearing the end of Acts and I'm having difficulty printing the last two stories. The newer versions are not available and the older version will only allow me to print the small pictures that when enlarged are too blurred to identify what is happening. If you can help I would really appreciate it. Thanks again these lessons have been a life saver. Charlotte Franks

    3. Charlotte, thanks for your comments! I am not sure what item you would like to print on this post. Can you let me know exactly? If you'd like to send me an email and I can send you the items directly, that might help also. Thanks!

  4. I went to % tree in two different towns to get the things needed. While in the first $ tree I found a David, Mary , and Moses dolls in with some of the other toys hanging up. also seen a bunch of pineapple looking containers for the kids. they can be used in several lesson. But went to another town and found the rest of the stuff I was needing but it was at WM. got the green round disc. the big one for me is styrofoam and the other smaller ones for the kiddos is another type of material. but looked in the fish area and found some weeds that go in fish tanks for what you show on your finished product. thanks for sharing.

    1. I just told my husband last weekend that I needed to make a Dollar Tree run. That is code for we are going around Memphis to every Dollar Tree until I find what I am looking for. Which is at least 6 stores and maybe more if I have any energy left. That is another reason I buy items when I see them because I can't find them if I want them for later. ☺

  5. I was gong to ask you if you made the waves from friendly foam but went back and read it that you used card stock. I used construction paper probably won't hold up well.

    1. Hello! Construction paper for this project would work fine. Where I used to live, cardstock was a lot cheaper than construction paper. I pretty much use what I have on hand for most projects. I have even cut down construction paper to print on if I need to! Also, I think the foam is a great idea if someone wants it to last a long time. Thanks for the comments.

  6. Debbie, I love this lesson, but can not find where to download this lesson. can you help me?

    1. Thanks for visiting! You can download it @


Thanks so much for taking the time to comment! I appreciate it! They will be added as soon as they are approved.