I am a firm believer in getting the kids involved in a lesson. It's more memorable and more fun.
At the end of last summer, I found a bow and arrow set (the arrows have suction cups on the end) on clearance at our local Walgreens. I knew I'd be teaching the story of Jonathan warning David to flee from Saul again this spring, so I grabbed it. I don't actually use this to teach the lesson, though. Instead, I use it to review afterwards. I set up the classroom to where the kids can stand a certain distance from the marker board. On the marker board, I will have various points with a circle around them -- you choose how high or low you want to go. Each student will get a turn to step up to the line. If he or she can answer whatever question I give them correctly, he or she gets a turn to shoot the bow and arrow at the board to try and get the arrow to hit one of the points.
Our lesson covers not only how Jonathan loved David so much that he gave him his tunic, sword, and ring, but also how he was almost killed by his father because he tried to talk him out of killing David, and how he shoots the arrows to warn David to flee. This gives quite a bit of story to choose from when coming up with questions. I also go farther back to lessons we've done in previous weeks if I need more. It's a win-win. The kids get to be up and moving around a bit, shoot a bow and arrow, and are still soaking up the lesson.
Do you ever come up with fun ways to review that incorporate something from your Bible story into the game? I'd love to hear about it!
Did you ever do hopscotch as a child? I did, though usually on a sidewalk or driveway, drawn with chalk. This version is a bit different.
I love reviewing the books of the Bible with my students, because even though most people use their phones or ipads now to follow along during scripture readings (assuming it's not up on the power point screen), it's still good to know where things are in an actual Bible. I'm always looking for more ways to review with them that are different and makes them use other sense than just their sight or hearing. When I found this version of the hopscotch, I knew I wanted to try something similar.
Our congregation has an amazing program called Teacher Toos. It's a group of ladies who meet on Tuesday mornings and work in the teacher workroom on anything that the teachers have left to be done. It could be running copies, cutting out shapes, or even punching holes as I had them do for a Ruth craft last year. They're wonderful and so appreciated. When I came to one of them with this idea, she seemed skeptical, but told me to write out the details and she'd see what they could do.
I think they did an amazing job. Each book is a separate square or rectangle of card stock, sealed within a pocket of contact paper. Our laminator is old so it doesn't like to do big thick pieces of paper. Hence, the contact paper. They cut out all the letters and arranged them.
This literally goes all the way around our classroom, but the girls especially love it. As we get further into the quarter, we can flip some of the pieces over and see if the kids can remember what is next before jumping on that space. Or we can mix them up and have them lay them out in order again. There are so many options. I have one girl who sings as she steps on each spot.
I'd love to hear from you. What get-up-and-get-active things do you do in your Bible classroom to help kids learn the facts?
We've started going through the first kings of Israel in my Bible class. As I was preparing my lessons several weeks ago, I remembered seeing an idea from a teachers' workshop I attended years ago. I even found a picture of the idea, although I have no notes to be found as to who came up with the original or when. But see what a neat review game this is?
I decided I wanted to make my own version, so I started creating my own jewels, cut out crowns from yellow posterboard, and simplified a bit. Not too bad, considering I couldn't read all of her original facts on her crowns from the sad quality of the pictures I took with my little digital camera all those years ago.
I think they turned out okay, don't you? The main point is that I can have them in my Bible class and let the students decide which crown each jewel belongs on.
Here's the good news. I'm sharing this hard work with you. That's right. I am going to include the word document I used to make my jewels here so you can just print them on whatever colors you want and cut out your own crowns to make this game for your own classroom use. Yay! I also included a page of blank jewels in case you wanted to include any facts I didn't have on here. If you aren't sure which king each jewel belongs to, you can just look up the scripture listed under the fact. ;-)
Click here to download the jewels.
And here's a picture of what my crowns look like without the jewels on them. I just used sticky tack to put it all together.
I hope this helps you in some way. I'd love to hear your stories of how you use this!
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!