Teaching with the Lights Off
I am all about teaching using various styles of visual aides. Some weeks we act it out. Sometimes, I use magnets of pictures having to do with the story. Some weeks I have props. Sometimes, I use Abeka books. Occasionally, we draw the story together. This week, my last week of the quarter, I'm teaching Elijah and the Prophets of Baal. And I'm going to do it in the dark. Why? Because I am doing a black light lesson. Ever heard of it? When I first found out about black light lessons, I was immediately enamored. Maybe it's because I'm a girl born in the 80s who grew up the 90s when black lights were fun to play with. Maybe it's because it catches the children's attention better than a lot of other visuals. Maybe I just have a flare for the dramatic. Who knows? But if you've never tried it, I highly recommend it as a way to mix things up every now and then.
Here's how I'm doing it. I skimmed pinterest until I found several different coloring sheets telling the story of Elijah and how he defeated the 300 prophets of Baal. I printed them all out and colored with highlighters. I mostly just use the highlighters on the pieces that are most important ... like the FIRE that God sends down. Oh yeah. I then cut out the parts of the pictures I wanted and glued them onto black cardstock. On Sunday, I will have one of my kids hold my blacklight for me (it's a flashlight) to shine on the pictures as I hold them and tell the story. We turn the lights out with the door open just a crack (there's no windows in our room so it gets really dark otherwise). Each picture, with the fluorescent light shining on it, practically jumps off the page and shines in neon colors. The kids love it. They groan when we have to turn the lights back on to move to the craft and review part of class. I've done it with several other stories (Joseph --seriously, think about how many colors go in that coat! -- and Ruth, and I think Elijah in the whirlwind) and it's always a hit.
So, go buy some highlighters and get coloring. Your kids will appreciate it. I'd love to hear about your experiences with teaching this way.
I am one of those Bible class teachers who can't stand to just present the lesson and then hand out a worksheet. I want whatever I do in class to stick with the kids, reinforce the lesson, and really make them understand that this isn't just a story ... it's something that really happened. I want to include some of the ideas I've come up with here so that I can hopefully help some of you who want the same thing. I'd love to hear your ideas, too!
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