Simple Truths- Sam’s Drawings

I’ve seen and used quite a few very elaborate visual aids and presentations in the 35+ years I have been teaching Children’s Bible Classes.

I’ve used…

Once I even convinced a wonderful man at church that he should construct an amazing “feat of engineering” whereby a young man was lowered, on a stretcher, down through an air vent in the ceiling, into the church auditorium to teach the story about the Man Lowered Through the Roof.  That was just awesome (thanks, Steve!).

Even though these times were memorable for the children and great fun for me and others involved they could certainly not be done every time I teach.  That would be both exhausting and expensive.

Jesus used amazing miracles but what did he do day in and day out as he taught people?  It seems to me that he made use of situations and teaching tools on hand.  Once it was lilies in a field.  Another time a coin in the mouth of a fish.  In John chapter 8:6 Jesus even wrote on the ground using his finger.

Very simple.  Very effective.

Recently, Samer (Sam) Samlertaree, a student at the South Pacific Bible College offered to help add to this website.  Sam had seen some simple line drawings and thought he could create some more to depict Bible stories in a way teachers might find useful.  The drawings could be used for flip charts or included in Power Point presentations.

Knowing Sam was a great student of the Bible I challenged him to tackle some stories that teachers sometimes can’t find visual aids for.  Drawing what the Bible says is much more difficult than it appears and I challenge you to give it a try.  At first glance this picture here seems simple.  But have a closer look.  In a simple drawing Sam has captured the essence of 1 Samuel 8:4-9 by showing the people’s desperation for a king and Samuel’s confusion at their request.  Sam has proved that a simple visual aid can say it all.

Kids love simple drawings!   I’m no artist but that has never stopped me from using stick figures to teach a lesson.  Once I have set aside my self-pride and make attempts I find that children encourage and even want to help me give it a go.  And simple drawings inspire children to listen to the story and draw their own pictures.

Click the links to view the Bible story pages where you can view and/or download the pictures Sam has drawn.  (The pictures appear in the lower sections of each Bible story page so be sure and scroll down once you are there.)

Achan’s Sin Joshua 7-8:1
Achans Sin Flip Chart Cover

Saul Becomes Israel’s 1st King (1 Samuel 8-10) 

Jehoshaphat and the People Pray 2 Chronicles 20:1-30

Acrostic Applications

Try adapting an acrostic to make application to the lives of the children in your class.

This is a fun way to encourage class participation and discussion around the key words in the Scripture you are studying.

 

 

Supplies:

  1. Pencil or pen
  2. Paper

Instructions:

  1. Read the scripture containing the lesson you have chosen and decide on the theme or thought that you would like to bring out and apply.
  2. Choose a key word (or words) and write the letters of the word vertically down the left side of the paper.
  3. Guide children in thinking of related words that begin with those letters.

Instructional video with examples from a number of lessons here.

Examples in the video include:

More teaching ideas here.

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.

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