Head, Heart and Hands- Connecting Children’s Lives to the Story

As children leave my Bible Class I want them to have gained:

  • New knowledge and understanding about God and the bible (head)
  • A tenderness of heart, desire or conviction (heart)
  • New skills or ways to live out what they have learned (hands)

Preparing a Lesson that Connects

A balanced lesson contains all three elements.  This is not always an easy thing to do and takes some practice.  Here are some ideas that might help:

  • Study the Scripture and decide on one main theme or application to emphasise in the class session.  Click here for a list of Bible Stories and Suggested Themes.
  • Try to understand the children in your class.  Spend time with them outside of class as well as in the classroom so that you see “their world”.  What types of situations might they encounter in their lives?  Think of how the theme you have chosen might relate to school, home, friends, playground, siblings, neighbourhood and church life.  Consider their ages and level of comprehension.  Talk about these things as you teach.
  •  As you prepare your class try planning a variety of activities that relate directly to the scripture you are studying and to the theme.  Ask yourself, “does this activity help the children know how to live out what they are learning or is it just ‘busy work’?”  Click here for a lesson planner for easier preparation.
  • Pray for yourself and for each child in your class.  Ask God to help you be His instrument to in bringing the children into a closer relationship with Him.
  • After you have taught a class give yourself a “review”.  Did you connect to the children’s heads, hearts and hands?  Ask yourself what went well and what you could do better next time.  Don’t be afraid to ask an experienced teacher for advice if you need it.  (I have found self-review extremely helpful!)

Head, Heart, Hand Lesson Examples:

Example 1: David Helps Mephibosheth

  • Head:
    1. We read about David and Mephibosheth in 2 Samuel chapter 9.
    2. David was king.
    3. Mephibosheth was Jonathan’s disabled son.
    4. David showed kindness and took care of Jonathan.
  • Heart:
    1. I want to be kind to others like David was kind.
  • Hands:
    1. When I go home today I can call Tommy to see if he feels better after being sick.
    2. I can open the door for Mrs. Jones when she comes to church.
    3. I can help my mum set the table this week because she is tired after work.

Example 2: Jesus Heals Ten Lepers

  • Head:
    1. Leprosy was a terrible disease.
    2. Jesus healed ten lepers.
    3. Only one leper said “thank you”
  • Heart:
    1. I should show appreciation and thanks to God
    2. I should show appreciation and thanks to others
  • Hands:
    1. Today in class I can write a card to thank Mr. Smith for cleaning the church building.
    2. When I get home I can give my dad a hug and tell him I appreciate how he works hard at his job so we can buy groceries.
    3. I can pray and thank God for my house, friends and sister.

Miracles versus Magic Tricks

In Bible Class I often teach stories involving miracles.  One such story is about the elderly couple, Zechariah and Elizabeth, who became parents despite the fact they were years past childbearing age.  The point I emphasise in the story is that nothing is impossible with God.  You can find details of that story in The Birth of John the Baptist.

Children love to see a “magic trick” but I want them to understand that a miracle of God is so much more than a trick a person does.  I searched online for “easy magic tricks for kids” and found a trick I could do for the children.  Once I performed the “magic” I showed the children how it worked.  I even helped them learn how to do it so they could “wow” their family and friends.

This provided me with an opportunity to talk about miracles of God.  Magicians perform tricks.  God does miracles.  Miracles are impossible for people.

I love bringing activities like these into my Bible class.  My hope is that, from now on, when they see a magic trick my students will think about God and His amazing, impossible miracles.

Another story where you might discuss miracles versus tricks is Simon the Sorcerer.

Click here for more Teaching Ideas.

Teaching a Child to Pray in Bible Class

Lately I’ve been thinking about what an honour it is to teach a child to pray.  Hopefully, this is only a beginning of a life of prayer.  What will this child pray about in the years to come?  Will they pray for me when I am old?

I am drawn closer to God when I hear a young one pray.  When a child prays to God about a sick pet or a scary “monster” I am reminded that my Heavenly Father also listens to my heartfelt prayers and cares about my concerns and fears.

I’ve created a page on my website called Prayer in Bible Class to help teachers guide their students in prayer.

Here are a few of the topics covered in Prayer in Bible Class:

  • Who and What Children Pray About
  • Respecting Children
  • Inappropriate or Silly Prayers:
  • Celebrate the Answers!
  • Finish the Sentence Prayer
  • Chain Prayer
  • Prayer Pail
  • Five Finger Prayer
  • Prayer Tree
  • Post-It Prayers
  • Bible Stories that Emphasise the Theme of Prayer

And Here are a few videos I’ve found about children praying. They really made me think so I thought I would share.

Kid’s Prayers (1 minute 50 seconds)
http://vimeo.com/6928257

Innocent Prayers of Children (1 minute and 44 seconds)
http://www.godvine.com/The-Innocent-Prayers-of-Children-13.html

What do children pray for? (1 minute and 8 seconds)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0faiprt4To