Good Conversations

One of my favourite parts of teaching is conversation.  There are times in a normal classroom setting for children to quietly listen while I share a story, read from the Bible or give instruction.  But, as far as I am concerned, I have not done my job as a teacher if I have not interspersed that lecture style with plenty of opportunities for good conversation between the students and myself.  I don’t want to always be the one talking.  I also want to listen.  I don’t accomplish this every time but it is my goal to engage with each child that I teach.

This is one of the reasons I love simple activities  like the ones below.

In these activities the teacher and students draw simple pictures and participate together in discovering the important words and ideas in a Bible story.

Draw a simple picture or outline and then fill it in with thoughts and ideas you have learned in the Bible story.
Draw a simple picture or outline and then fill it in with thoughts and ideas you have learned in the Bible story.
Draw a grid on paper and mark categories. Fill each category with thoughts and ideas you have learned in the Bible story.
Draw a grid on paper and mark categories. Fill each category with thoughts and ideas you have learned in the Bible story.
Choose a word or name from the story and outline the letters of that word. Have children fill the letters in with thoughts and ideas you have learned in the Bible story.
Choose a word or name from the story and outline the letters of that word. Have children fill the letters in with thoughts and ideas you have learned in the Bible story.

Click here for more detailed instructions or watch the video below:

The Bible stories used in the examples in the instructional video above are Jacob, Esau and the Birthright and Deborah, the Judge and Samuel Becomes a Helper in the Tabernacle.

Mothers of the Bible Quiz

Mary and Jesus at Jesus Birth Mother’s Day is coming up (May 10th, 2015 here in New Zealand) and I usually help the children write cards or make gifts for their mothers.

These days, the quickest way to find good ideas for Mother’s Day gifts is to go to Pinterest online and simply type in something like “Mother’s Day gifts from kids” into the search bar along the top of the page.  Once you click the search button you will find more ideas than you know what to do with!

But, even while you are preparing for others, I thought I would put together a little quiz for you, the teacher.  You try to challenge the children so here is a little challenge for you.  After all, children are not the only ones who like to have fun.  I’ve never tried creating an online quiz before so let’s see if it works 🙂

Answers Below (Don’t Peek!)

Once you have taken the quiz you might like to use the links below to find out more about these women of the Bible.  Actually, you can hover over each question and find the quick answer.  Have fun!

  1. My son was raised by another woman.
  2. Both a mother and a career woman.
  3. A mother who laughed.
  4. A mother who received baby gifts from smart men.
  5. Manoah’s wife’s son.
  6. Her husband was a priest and son a prophet.
  7. Match-making mother-in-law.
  8. Mother accused of being drunk while praying.
  9. A prophet raised her son from the dead.
  10. Tricky mother with a tricky son.
The photo above is from http://www.freebibleimages.org/photos/ 

25 Ideas for Teaching Children about the Resurrection of Jesus

25 Ideas for teaching Resurrection

Many teachers are making plans to tell the resurrection story on Easter Sunday.  Whether at Easter or any other time here are some ideas that will help you share what is the most important event in the Bible.

“For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him.”
Romans 6:9, NIV

  1. Learn about the Burial and Resurrection of Jesus so you will understand the story and feel comfortable sharing it with a child.
  2. Sing songs together from the church hymnal about the resurrection:
  3. Visit a mature older Christian and ask them to share why the Resurrection is important to them.
  4. Black out the windows of your classroom to make it dark like the tomb.  Quietly tell the story of the resurrection by the light of a candle or by torch/flashlight
  5. Place a dark cloth over a small table to form a “tomb”. Ask someone to be the body inside. Place a cardboard rock at the entrance. Let the children see the body inside and then put the stone in place. “The body” crawls out the back and the children remove the stone to see an empty tomb. Young ones love this obvious re-enactment.
  6. Choose words related to the resurrection story and tape them onto stones.  Before class begins hide the stones so that children can hunt for them.  As the children collect the stone discuss the meaning of the words.  Here are some words you might use:
    • Death
    • Burial
    • Resurrection
    • Cross
    • Tomb
    • Forgiveness
  7. After telling about the Resurrection guide a child in praying thanks to God.
  8. 9-torn-cross-instructUse these instructions for The Story of the Cross to learn a simple way to tell the story using one sheet of paper.
  9. Responsive Drawing:  Guide older children in reading today’s scripture references.  Then have them draw about what they have read.  Use a blank piece of paper or print this worksheet: The Burial and Resurrection of Jesus_Drawing Response
  10. Responsive Writing:  Guide older children in reading today’s scripture references.  Then have them draw about what they have read.  Use a blank piece of paper or print this worksheet: The Burial and Resurrection of Jesus_Writing Response
  11. Ask younger children to draw the story of the resurrection.
  12. Make use of plastic eggs on sale at Easter time.  Use these instructions for “Resurrection Eggs” to re-tell the story of the resurrection.
  13. Burial and Resurrection CraftMake a tomb craft from a paper plate.  Cut a paper plate in half, paint if desired, and then staple the top rims together.  To make the body of Christ cut a simple body shape from cardboard, wrap with one layer of toilet paper and dampen with water from a spray bottle, repeat layers and let dry.  The stone is just crumpled brown paper.  In one class we had the children each make a tomb and then put the body inside.  During the week I moved the stones and removed the bodies.  The next week we were going to be studying about the resurrection.  When the children arrived that day they immediately went to the tombs they had made and were shocked to find the body missing.  I let them search and conjecture for awhile before leading into the story of how the women came to the tomb to find Jesus’ body missing.  The children could totally relate to how the women must have felt.  At the end of class I returned the “bodies” so that the children could take the craft home and recreate the event for their families.
  14. 2015 Verse scramble (2)Write the individual words of Romans 6:9  on a whiteboard or chalkboard.  Say the verse together. Erase one word or phrase and say the verse again. Say it over and over, eliminating one word or phrase each time.  Soon, the children will have it memorised.
  15. Write the individual words of Romans 6:9 on pieces of paper and then mix them up.  Children can unscramble the verse to and memorise it.
  16. Print and use a colouring page or puzzle from one of these online resources.
    1. Colouring page and puzzle worksheets (Resurrection) at http://calvarycurriculum.org/pdf/Curriculum/Original/Curriculum/CURR238.PDF
    2. Colouring page and puzzle worksheets (Peter and John visiting the tomb) at http://calvarycurriculum.org/pdf/Curriculum/Original/Curriculum/CURR239.PDF
    3. Colouring page at http://www.sermons4kids.com/easter-sunday-colorpg.htm
    4. Colouring page at http://www.christiananswers.net/kids/clrpg015.html
    5. Colouring page and Wordsearch at http://www.colormountain.com/print/placemat.php?id=584
  17. Cook rolls that share the story of the resurrection: Cooking craft: Short youtube video on how to make Resurrection Rolls to tell the story- from CullensABCs at http://youtu.be/louAYkJPETQ
  18. Make a mobile using these instructions at http://www.sundayschoolcrafts.net/jesus-rose-from-the-dead-moblie.php
  19. Make a miniature garden using instructions at http://www.sundayschoolcrafts.net/garden-with-tomb.php
  20. Make a salt dough tomb using instructions from one of these online resources:
  21.  Life of Christ_LateTry out some of the ideas on the Pinterest Board: Life of Christ (late ministry)
  22. More puzzles and worksheets to print:
  23. Try one of these interactive group games from http://www.sermons4kids.com/surprise_its_empty_group_activities.htm
  24. Try one of the online activities and games at http://gardenofpraise.com/bibl31s.htm
  25. Before, during, and after your teaching, be sure to praise God for the resurrection of Jesus!

25 Ideas for teaching Resurrection

I Have Skeletons in My Closet

flickr CC cookiejan_2939715465I have to be honest, Halloween is not exactly my favourite holiday.  But one thing I really like about it is what happens afterwards.  After the big rush (and sometimes even before) there are all sorts of skeletons on sale!

Why is this a good thing, you might ask?  Why would I need to stock up on skeletons and stow them away in my closet?

It’s simple…I’m a Bible teacher!

Ezekiel and the Valley of Dry Bones

Bones and skeletons are great visual aids and conversation starters for the story of Ezekiel and the Valley of Dry Bones from Ezekiel 37:1-14.

I love to tell this story of hope.  This vision has the vital elements needed for a dramatic story.  The kids love the “creepy” image of dry bones lying all over a valley.  They can relate to how Ezekiel must have felt when the bones began rattling and coming together.  Tendons and flesh formed on them and finally God breathed his spirit into them.  If Ezekiel was hopeless because his people were in captivity he could finally understand how God had the power to bring a nation back to life.

Teaching Items in Post-Holiday Sales Bins

As a teacher I am always on the lookout for items that will help me share God’s Word in ways children can best relate to.  No one has to spend a lot of money or buy new things to teach children about God.  But if you live in a place where after-holiday sales provide extremely cheap items then this may be a great opportunity.  What are the holidays where you live?

After Christmas

  • Creche and manger scenes (angels, wise men, animals, Joseph, Mary, Jesus, the manger itself), pictures of Jesus as a baby, stars and spices like the wise men brought.  The obvious uses are for stories such as The Birth of Jesus and Wise Men and a Star.
  • Gaudy plastic strings of gold and silver garland can make great “treasure” when you later tell the Parable of a Treasure & a Pearl.
  • Greenery, artificial trees, candles and even twinkling lights bought in after-Christmas clearance sales really come in handy for costumes and acting out Bible stories later on.
  • You’re going to enjoy pulling twinkling lights out of storage when you tell the story of  Jesus Teaches about Salt and Light.

After Valentines Day

After Easter

  • This is the obvious time to find things like books and figurines to help you later tell the story of the Burial and the Resurrection of Jesus.
  • Since I teach infants and toddlers I sometimes use the little wind-up bunnies when I teach about Day 6-God Created Animals & People.
  • And I like to have a few plastic eggs on hand throughout the year so I can put verses or pictures inside and let the children hunt for them.  They are also great for telling the story of death, burial and resurrection of Jesus with Resurrection Eggs.

 After Halloween

After Thanksgiving

  • We can give thanks throughout the year so I’ve sometimes used items on sale after this holiday to teach stories such as Jesus Heals Ten Lepers.
  • And all of plastic fruit comes in handy for teaching about The Fruit of the Spirit.

Happy Teaching!

About Mission Bible Class

To Equip

…individuals and churches globally through:

  • Practical biblical teaching resources free on the web and
  • Training in simple teaching methods through the web and periodic seminars in strategic locations.

To Mentor

…and provide consultation for those interested in the spiritual formation of children

  • Missionaries and others who minister
  • Churches and leaders
  • Training schools
  • Apprentices

To Promote

…God’s plan for passing the faith on from one generation to the next through

  • Intentional conversation
  • Speaking engagements and
  • Social media.

Mission Bible Class Vision_Mission_Values