Checklist for An Effective Large Group Lesson

Over the past 22 years, I have taught thousands of large group lessons for kids. There have been times when I bombed and times when the kids were on the edge of their seats. Through lots of mistakes and trial and error, I began to see a pattern of what elements made up an effective large group lesson. Here's my checklist. When preparing a lesson, I make sure many, if not all, of these elements are incorporated into the lesson.
  • One main Bible verse and truth.
  • Repetition. I repeat and illustrate the one main truth multiple times throughout the lesson.
  • Audience participation. As a group, I have the kids shout out answers, make sound effects, do motions, etc.
  • Voice fluctuation. I whisper...I shout...I talk normal.
  • Visual props. If I'm talking about the wise and foolish builders, I will have sand and a rock on stage.
  • Visual imagery. A video clip or a picture.
  • Sounds effects. I let them hear the wind and rain.
  • A story that illustrates the truth.
  • Attention span monitoring. For preschoolers the lesson is going to be 4-5 minutes. 10-12 minutes max for early elementary kids. 13-15 minutes max for preteens.
  • Kids helping. I bring a few kids up front to help act out stories, hold props, emphasize the point, etc.
  • Application. I give them concrete ways they can live out the truth that week and challenge them to do so. 
  • Kids talking. At the right time. I ask kids to repeat points or say key phrases to the person sitting next to them.
  • Humor. I bring in some funny elements and get the kids laughing. You learn when you laugh.
  • Prayer. I close the lesson in prayer, asking God to bring life change and spiritual growth from the truths that were shared from His Word.
Would enjoy hearing about other elements you incorporate when teaching kids. Share your ideas.
    Posted by Dale