Jul 31, 2019

10 Tips That Will Make You a Great Kids' Bible Teacher

How would you like to be a Bible teacher that captures kids' attention?   A teacher that kids look forward to hearing?  A teacher that kids can't wait to learn from?

You can be.  Here are 10 tips that can help you be a great kids' Bible teacher.

Don't monologue for more than 5 minutes at a time.
It is vital that you honor kids' attention spans.  The rule of thumb is you have 1 minute per the child's age....maxing out at 5 minutes.

If you will stay inside this guideline, kids will love coming to your class.  Here's an example of a 20 minute lesson that will grab kids' attention and hold it.
  • 4 minutes - monologue teaching
  • 4 minutes - activity about lesson and dialogue discussion
  • 4 minutes - monologue teaching
  • 4 minutes - game about lesson
  • 4 minutes - monologue teaching 
Your goal should be to have just as much dialogue as monologue in your lesson.
Vary your voice decibel.  Don't stay on the same level or you will sound like a robot droning on and on.  Use whisper level, regular talking level and exciting level.

Here's an example.  David heard the Philistine come out and challenge someone to come fight him (regular voice).  His heart began to pound as he felt God telling him to go and fight Goliath (whisper voice).  David began to swing his sling around and around and around.  And then at just the right time, he let the rock fly and God guided it right into the head of Goliath.  Boom.  Down Goliath went (excited, loud voice). 

Use object lessons.  Kids are visual.  Don't just tell them about an item.  Show them the item while you are talking about it.  And if you can't locate a physical item, then at least put a picture of it on the screen.

Here's an example.  You are telling the story about Moses' rod becoming a snake.  Have a wooden walking stick and a fake rubber snake to show the kids while you are talking.

Tell stories.  This tip comes straight from the greatest teacher of all time - Jesus.  Jesus used parables (stories) when He taught.  There is something about a story that grabs kids' attention.  Become a good storyteller and you will become someone kids love to listen to.

Involve the kids in the lesson.  Kids love to get up and move.  Bring them into your story.

Here's an example.  You are telling the story of Peter sinking when he tried to walk on the water to Jesus.  Make a boat by grabbing a table and turning it over.  Have some kids sit on it and pretend they are riding in the boat.  Have other kids make sound effects of the wind blowing, water splashing, etc.  Have someone play the part of Jesus.  Have someone play the part of Peter.  You get the gist.

Use video clips as illustrations.

Here's an example.  You are teaching the kids about faith.  Show the clip from Indiana Jones' Last Crusade where Harrison Ford has to step out in faith onto the invisible bridge.  Follow up with some questions and discussion about how that is like trusting Jesus.

Hit as many learning styles as possible.  Kids learn in different ways.  Try to use as many of these learning styles as possible when you are creating your lesson.
  • Visual (Spatial) 
  • Aural (Auditory-Musical) 
  • Verbal (Linguistic) 
  • Physical (Kinesthetic) 
  • Logical (Mathematical) 
  • Social (Interpersonal) 
  • Solitary (Intrapersonal)
Use current kid culture.  Tie in some of the popular toys, video games, movies, sports teams, music, etc.  Connect it to a Biblical truth you want the kids to remember.

Here's an example.  Talk about how you strive to get to the next level when you are playing a video game.  As Christians, we should also be striving to grow and get to the next level in our spiritual walk.  Then share some of the ways you can grow and thrive as a Christ-follower.

Use as many senses as possible.  Tap into their senses and kids will remember what you taught.

Here's an example: You are teaching about John the Baptist.  Give the kids a small taste of honey so they can taste what He ate.  The locust?  Probably not. But you can have one to show the kids.  On a side note, I have had a volunteer who agreed to eat a locust for the kids and did so.

Here is a list of the senses.
  • seeing
  • hearing
  • smelling 
  • tasting
  • touching
Teach one truth per lesson.  Have one key truth you want the kids to remember.  Repeat it throughout the lesson. When you hear something 6 times, your retention rate goes up to 90%.  Make sure kids hear the key truth at least 6 times per lesson.

Our curriculum (Connect 12) hits on all of these tips.  Using all of these elements, we created a grid and ran all the lessons through the grid so it includes all of the elements. You can see sample lessons, games, videos etc. at this link.

So, there you have it.  Use these 10 things in your lessons and I guarantee your lesson will be a home run.

Your turn.  What are some other teaching tips you use?  Share with everyone in the comment section below.

2 comments:

KEY - follow up with discussion. Down on floor with a small group of children with adult. Get them to think the truth through - how do they see it being a part of their lives. There was nothing more exciting to me than a small group of kids on their knees surrounding me - intense in thinking through, talking through the truth of the morning.

Great insight Wanda. Thanks for sharing this.

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