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.

Same Game – Different Name

I thought I’d finish off 2014 by posting a simple game to use as a review in Bible Class.

Well, at least I assumed it would be simple!

XsandOs

A woman named Debbie (Arizona, USA) emailed me awhile back with the suggestion of adapting an “X and O” game into a review activity for Bible Class.   Children list words and ideas and then play a game similar to “tic-tac-toe” or “noughts and crosses”.  The example in the picture above is from the Bible lesson Conquering the Land and Fighting Giants.

I thought such a simple idea would be easy to explain until I began filming a “how-to” video and writing out instructions.  Hopefully, the final result makes sense. Click here to learn how to use the game in your Bible Class.

Same Game-Different Name

It turns out that many of us play the game but we know it by different names.  That’s why I stuck with the simple title of “X and O Review Game“.  Here are some of the other names listed by Wikipedia:

  • Tick-tack-toe, Tic-tac-toe, Tick-tat-toe, or Tit-tat-toe (USA, Canada)
  • Noughts and crosses or Naughts and crosses (United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa)
  • Exy-Ozys, Xsie-Osies (verbal name only) (Northern Ireland)
  • Xs and Os (Egypt, Republic of Ireland, Canada, Zimbabwe, Romania)
  • O-X (Mauritius)

qml-tic-tac-toe-example

Older Than You Think

I was amazed to find out that In fact, 1st Century Romans played a version of this game that was very similar to what we play today!  So this game has been played since the time of Christ.

Same Same but Different

As my Thai friends say, “same-same but different”.  God’s Word does not change but it is shared in different languages and and by various methods that fit the culture and understanding of the hearer.  You know the needs of the children you are teaching.  I’m hoping you are reading the ideas on www.missionbibleclass.org and then adapting them to your own teaching situation and language.

If a simple and inconsequential game of “X and O” can still be played and enjoyed by adults and children century after century then how much more lasting is the Word of God for all people for all time?

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.

Crayon Resist- Using Art for Teaching

Surprises Are Fun!

You will prepare a white paper before class by drawing or writing something on it with a white crayon.  Nothing is visible to the children at first but your drawing will begin to appear when you apply paint to the white paper.

This is a simple idea for teaching or artwork and it can be adapted to any lesson or subject.

Watch the video instructions here.

Supplies you will need:

  • White paper
  • White crayon (or a white candle will work too).
  • Paint (Water based paint.  I like using tempera paint with children because it is washable but any water-based paint like acrylic will do.)
  • Paint brush or sponge to apply the paint.

Instructions:

  1. Plan the picture or writing.
  2. Use the white crayon or candle to draw a picture or words on the white paper.  Because this is white crayon on white paper the paper will appear to be blank.
  3. Use the paint brush or sponge to apply the paint to the white paper.
  4. The paint will soak into the paper but not into the parts covered in wax.  Whatever you have drawn with the white crayon will “appear” as you apply the paint.

Helpful Hints:

  • You can use a black pen to do the writing or drawing first and then place the blank white paper over it and trace it.
  • Prepare this in sunlight or near a lamp so the wax will reflect and you can more easily see what you have drawn.
  • Apply the paint to some blank areas before you reveal the picture.  Kids love surprises so draw out the suspense a little.
  • Experiment beforehand with the consistency of the paint so it won’t be too thick or too thin.

Applications:

  • Use this idea to tell the Parable of the Hidden Treasure and Valuable Pearl.  Use brown paint to depict the treasure being found when the man was digging in the dirt.  On another paper draw lots of little pearls and one huge one.
  • Write a memory verse or important word from a story and let the children guess what it is before you apply the paint.
  • Use a black pen to draw part of a picture but leave parts blank.  The missing parts will appear as you tell the story.
  • Guide the children in creating their own hidden picture.

Who’s Holding the Bag? Game

Today I had fun making a “how to” video for playing a review or application game for Bible class.

Two girls allowed me to video them explaining how to make a home-made rice bag that can be used for a variety of games in Bible classes.  Spending this fun morning with them reminded me again that we don’t need expensive teaching tools to share God’s with children.  We made a great game using rice, old socks and a little imagination.

Click here to see the video and complete instructions.