Tarnishing Time

Scripture: Acts 19:1-41

Learning Objectives:

  • Students will learn God does not want us involved in sorcery or evil deeds.
  • Students will learn some Gentiles rejected Christ because they made money off of those who worshipped the false gods.
  • Students will learn sometimes Christians need to be wise like Paul and stay away from situations where people are too worked up and violent to listen to God’s message.
  • Students will learn how to tarnish silver.

Guiding Question: How do idols keep us from fully devoting ourselves to God? How does the way we speak help others to better understand us?

Materials: Silver, hot boiled egg yolk, sealable plastic bag, 4” deep baking pan, foil, baking soda, measuring cups, boiling water

Procedure: Review the story of Paul and the Silversmiths from the scriptures above. Emphasize that Paul’s teaching against idols was done in order to help lead others toward the one true God who they could fully devote themselves to. Tell the students that idols are distracting and can be anything that we put as a priority over God. Remind students that the silversmiths were upset because they were afraid that Paul’s teaching would destroy their business and they would have to find a new job. Even if God puts us in a place where we feel uncomfortable, He will always provide. 

Introduce the activity. Remind students that silversmiths use something called tarnish. Tarnish is silver mixing with sulfur in the air to create silver sulfide which is the black tarnish. Have the students experiment with making tarnish silver quickly. Put silver and hot boiled egg yolk in a sealed plastic bag which will tarnish quickly from sulfur in egg. Then put tarnished silver in a 4″ deep baking pan on top of foil placed in bottom of pan and add boiling water (handled by adult using all safety procedures). Then add 1/4 cup baking soda per liter of boiling water to remove tarnish.

Additional Questions: How is silver cared for and taken care of?
Supplemental Activity: Bring in silver jewelry and explain how to properly care for and clean silver. Bring in items for students to practi

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