5 Great Tips for Teaching Children

Want to improve your effectiveness as a children's communicator? 

Here are 5 great tips for teaching children.  Use these and you will become a master teacher. 

HONOR THEIR ATTENTION SPAN.  I can't emphasize this enough.  Today's kids have a very, very, very, very, very, very short attention span.  How short?  3 to 5 minutes tops.
There are 2 approaches you can take for this. The first one is to ignore their attention spans and try to force them to be quiet.

The second approach, which I strongly recommend, is to teach for a few minutes (5 min. max) and stop to let the kids do an activity, game, craft or discussion about what you just taught.  Give them 5 to 10 minutes to do this and then pick back up with your teaching.  Continue this pattern until your teaching is done.

Do this and your behavioral problems will go away. 

TELL STORIES.  Kids (and big kids) love stories.  The next time you are teaching, notice what happens when you tell a story.  The kids will zoom in with you and carefully listen.  And when the story is over, their engagement will lessen.  Jesus, the master teacher, always used stories when He taught.  It's one of the best things you can do if you want to be an effective communicator with kids.

USE OBJECT LESSONS.  Use objects to illustrate the truth you are teaching.  As much as possible, make the object something the kids know about.  Here's an example.  If you are teaching about growing spiritually, you can use a video game controller and tie getting to a new level in a game to getting to a new level in your relationship with Jesus.

INVOLVE THEM IN THE LESSON.  Here are a few examples. 

If you are teaching about the animals coming into the ark, have the kids make animal sounds as you call out a few of the animals that went into the ark. 

If are sharing the lesson about Jesus walking on the water to the disciples, have the kids make sound effects for the storm.

If you are sharing a lesson about David and Goliath, have them make a swish sound every time you say the word "sling shot."

Stats show that when kids are involved in the lesson, their retention rate increases significantly.

GET KIDS TALKING.  The kids should be talking as much as you are or even more.  Will this create a noisy classroom?  Yes.  But that's a good thing.  Have lesson questions prepared that they can discuss.  Give them set times to talk through these.

Do these 5 things and you will see kids responding to and enjoying your lessons.  Here are some more articles if you want some more great tips for teaching kids.

Your turn.  What are some other tips you have for teaching kids and engaging them in the lesson?  Share your thoughts and ideas in the comment section below.