This simple adaptation of a jig-saw puzzle guides children to enjoy the challenge of putting together pieces to create a picture.
- Any picture that relates to the Bible Story you are teaching
(Draw your own or download from websites such as the ones listed at the end of this article)
Preparation Before Class:
- Cut the picture into pieces like a puzzle
(Try different shapes and find out what works best for your group)
- For younger children make fewer pieces and simple shapes
- For older children create more complicated pieces
- Consider the number of children and their ages. If the group is large or made up of various age groups it might be helpful to make more than one puzzle and have children work in smaller groups.
What to Do:
Spread the pieces out on a flat surface and let the children put the puzzle together. As they work talk about what the picture might be and what is happening. Let this be a lead-in to the story you will be covering today.
Additional Ways to Use a Puzzle for Teaching:
- Visual Aid:
Before class outline your story and then cut the puzzle into pieces, one for each point in your outline. If you wish, you can write words on the backs of the pieces to help you remember what to say. Proceed to place the first piece in front of the children as you cover the first point. Then add the next piece as you cover the next point. Continue until you have completed the story and the puzzle. (Hint: Save the most important parts of the picture for your last points so the children won’t guess what it is too soon.)
- Hide and Seek:
Before class hide the pieces around the room and let children find them and put them together.
- Make a Review Game of It:
After you have finished telling the story use a puzzle for review. Children can answer questions about the story to “earn” a puzzle piece. After the child adds the puzzle piece to the picture they can guess what it is.
- Use Words Instead of Pictures:
Instead of a picture write the memory verse or important words from the story on a paper and then cut it into pieces.
- Children Make Their Own Puzzles
Guide the children in drawing their own picture from the Bible story. They can then cut the pictures into pieces and trade them with the person next to them.
Helpful Resources for Pictures: