In addition to the general Teaching Ideas on this website each of the 170 Individual Bible Stories offers a selection of learning activities. You, as the teacher, will be choosing activities that best suit the students you are teaching. Often, we are teaching children of a variety of ages, abilities, learning styles and interests in one classroom so you might need a few different activities for one class.
Here are some helpful tips for making the selections that will best connect your students with God:
Choose activities that match the age of the children you teach
- General Information about Teaching According to the Age of a Child
- Infants and Toddlers (0-2 years of age)
- Pre-School (3-5 year olds)
- Primary School (6-7 year olds)
- Primary School (8-10 year olds)
- Pre-Teen (11-12 year olds)
Choose activities that draw children into God’s Word
Read and study the Scripture so that any activities you choose help the students relate to the original message and meaning. Remember that, as a teacher, your job is to facilitate this occasion where God is speaking to children. A well chosen and intentional activity will enhance that process.
Choose learning activities that focus
Children need to be blessed and not just busy. Keep in mind that you are teaching and not just “baby-sitting”. Learning activities should relate to the the main theme or emphasis you have chosen to present.
Choose a variety of learning activities
God has created us to respond to Him through a variety of emotions. To help students relate to Scripture and respond to God don’t use the same activities or same type of activities every time. Consider the following variations:
- Calm and Lively– Different energy levels keep the momentum going.
- Reflective and Active– Allowing children time to both think and do.
- Intense and Fun– Preparing the heart for repentance and grace.
- Theoretical and Practical– Producing both knowledge and and intentional action.
- Complex and Simple– Enjoying mental stimulation and confidence in achievement.
- Familiar and New– Feeling comfort and facing challenges.
Choose learning activities that relate to the student’s “world”
When choosing scenarios and application situations think about what is happening in the personal lives and families of your students. What is happening in the city and country where they live? Who are their current heroes or favourite sports figures? Are there movies and TV programs that they are watching?
Adapt games that students already enjoy
What games and activities do they enjoy outside of the classroom at home, in the neighbourhood or at school? With a little imagination you can often adapt these games and use them for class.
Choose activities that are challenging but not too complicated
If activities are too complicated or difficult children become discouraged or give up. On the other hand, if they are not challenged then they become bored and disengaged. In both cases this can lead to frustration, misbehaviour and a lack of interest.
Participation itself is a learning activity
Remember that no matter how much you try it won’t be possible to keep the interest of every child with every activity every time. Just try your best to have a variety of activities and encourage the children to participate and have good attitudes even when they are not doing their “favourite” activity. The practice of patience, self-control and tolerance are opportunities to learn.