Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Teaching about Teaching

I was invited to teach a class called "Teaching the Bible," at Corban College this week. I graduated from Corban in 2004 (back when it was still Western Baptist College), and Teaching the Bible was one of my favorite classes! It was an incredible experience to go back to the school that made such an impact on my life and teach on what I'm so passionate about. My assignment was to teach the class about teaching methods to first through fifth graders. It was a blast! I had the students up and down participating in each element. I will say, though, I do prefer to teach the little ones more! I thought I'd share what I taught.

I opened with an activity (thanks to an idea listed on Kidology) where we used a 14 food string to represent each hour in a child's week. Sections were marked for how a child spends each of those hours, with only 1.5 inches for church. I used this to help show the students how short our time is, so we need to make it as impactful as possible.

Then I covered our mission statement and values to show how we keep ourselves on track at Morning Star.

After that I got into how we need to know what a child can understand spiritually at different age levels. This portion came from an article from Today's Children's Ministry by Marlene LeFever.

Bible Truths for Kindergarten & First Graders
-Jesus loves everyone and that’s why He came to earth.
-I know who God is, what He’s like, and what He’s done for me.
-I can talk to God whenever and wherever I want.
-I know people in Bible times loved God and served Him, and I know how I can love and serve Him today.

Bible Truths for Second & Third Graders
-The Bible is God’s truth for me.
-Jesus’ death and resurrection makes a difference to me.
-The Ten Commandments are hard to obey. I need Jesus’ help.
-The world is a big place, and God is working all over the world.

Bible Truths for Fourth & Fifth Grades
-The Bible defines right and wrong
-Salvation is for me and all people who trust Jesus.
-The Bible is the big picture of God working with His people, and I’m part of that picture.

Then, because it's important to not just know who you're teaching, but also who they will become, we looked at
Bible Truths for 11-14 Year Olds
-Being a Christian is a part of who I am and the choices I make reflect that identity.
-God’s Word is filled with people just like me who were faced with difficult circumstances. I can look to the Bible for solutions to problems I face.
-God wants me to serve Him by serving others through missions trips and ministries.

And, since we now know who it is we're teaching, we need to know how they work. As I introduced each learning style (which you can read more about here) I gave interactive examples of how you might incorporate these in the teaching, first in a K-3rd grade way, then in a 4th/5th grade way. We used the story of David and Goliath for each one to show how many different ways a Bible story can be taught.

Auditory Learners
-Not just hearing, speaking
-Group discussion
-Interactive teaching

For K-3 we had a lot of story telling/kids repeat back elements from the story, question and answer, etc.
For 4/5 one student read the passage out loud then they were given potential small group discussion questions.

Visual Learners
-Not just looking, participating
-Highlighting, drawing pictures, writing notes

For K-3 we did a modified "Art Attack" where three students helped draw the picture as I read it. One person drew every reference to people, another drew objects, and the third drew action. The pictures were hilarious!
For 4/5 we talked about how you could hand out papers to each student so they have the option to take notes, doodle or draw pictures of what is being taught.

Kinesthetic Learners
-Need to stay in constant motion
-Hand motions
-Non-specific movements

For K-3 the kids were given three different actions to do when referenced in the story--hitting your legs with your hands for running, turning your arm in circles in the air for the sling, and victory arm movements for triumph.
For 4/5 we marched in place while saying, "The battle is the Lord's" in different ways--like we really mean it, like we're going to battle, so the kids next door hear us, etc.

-Always need to know more
-Focus on specifics
-How, why, where?

For both age groups we looked a the specifics that are listed in regards to story--how many stones David got, where he got them, what they were like, why he didn't wear Saul's armor, etc.

Global Learner
-Skip the details, go for the action
-Think about the details relevant to the big picture
-Let them help tell the story

Several students helped act out the big elements of the story--the tallest guy in the class was put on a chair and played Goliath, the shortest girl was David, and three people each represented the Philistines and the Israelites. They had to act out the story as it was told.

Over all, it was a lot of fun, and a great reminder to me of what all needs to be thought about as we plan lessons and write curriculum.

1 comment:

Natalie said...

That is really neat! Thanks for sharing that. :) And I am glad that you had so much fun!! :)

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