What teaching techniques are you using to encourage kids to ask more questions, to know more of the Bible story, or to imagine what it was like to experience the moment?

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Asking  more "why" and "how" questions rather than so many "what" and "when" and "who".  For example, how do you think Miriam felt watching her baby brother -- or how to you think Rahab felt when hiding the spies?

I agree with Mary....Godly Play does a excellent job of helping children to 'wonder' about Bible stories, rather then learn facts about them.

http://ministry-to-children.com/godly-play-introduction-review/

Spot on! Information does NOT equal transformation. The wonder of God compels the heart towards the Gospel.

I think the best way to encourage kids to engage more with the Bible is to just set aside a specific time for questions and discussion. Sadly, too many times we don't leave time in our lessons for kids to ask questions. Also, sometimes we may set aside time to answer questions, but a kid may ask a good/deep/interesting question, but since the question does not directly relate to the story or topic at hand, and because we don't want to distract or confuse other kids, we leave the question unanswered.

I encourage my teachers to make sure they allow time for open ended discussion, and I try to periodically throughout the year try to set aside specific times where kids can ask questions that are on their mind even though they may not be related to what we are studying st that time. 

We switch it up each week how we listen to the story- acting it out as a class, creating individual "comic strip" drawings as we listen, watching someone tell the story with figurines, etc. We always end with a period of intentional reflection, incorporating both individual reflection and group reflection (i.e. sometimes we'll all work together on one art project and talk about it as we work). Switching it up allows our kids with different learning styles to see that engaging with Scripture can look like lots of things. 

At least 2/3 of the time I try to have the 1st and 2nd grade kids find the story in their Bibles, even if they don't want to read along. I don't want to frustrate them with it, but I also don't want them to see finding things in the text as intimidating.  It's easy for kids to think that everything is just mixed up in all the books and they need an adult to tell them where to turn. Little sayings like, "Exiting Egypt is in Exodus", "Israel's Kings are in 1 and 2 Kings" or "Prayers and Songs are in P.S.alms" help kids know where to look when exploring on their own. 

Thank you thank you thank you! 

I've worked with many teachers who have incredible experience in leading kids. However, I've also seen many teachers that have forgotten to change things up a bit. In other words, they use the same format every week. Thanks Robin for the suggestions.

And to Peter's point, many teacher need to learn to let the Holy Spirit develop the conversation that erupts from the "mouths of babes." There needs to be "space" for kids to respond to the lesson we teach, studies we lead, and questions we ask! Letting the kids interact with God's Word and the people teaching it is a critical facet that is often missed.

I so agree with these thoughts about letting the Holy Spirit be in charge & allowing kids space & time to process their thoughts and feelings, so that God has time to work in their hearts and minds. We are often so focused on the 'lesson' & our teaching objectives, that we don't leave room for what God wants to teach them! I am working hard on that this year...it's a challenge & sometimes scary to 'not be in charge' & not seek that 'one right answer' but it's so rewarding when we see God at work in young minds & we end up being the ones to be taught :)

A lot of good responses - 

We work hard to guide our Disciplers to build relationships with the kids beyond Sundays - thus when they share their own personal walk with the Lord, that applies to the scripture of that week. This intimate sharing will happen during the Chat 'n Chew time.

Before Chat 'n Chew they go through a Reality Learning experienceduring which they actually experience the Biblical concept that is being taught that week - lots of emotions stirred up.:) Then a Story Specialist takes the children through the scripture - presented different every Sunday. List of some of the ways kids experience the scripture.

We then follow up with the midweek gathering - or one church does it during their first gathering the following Sunday- for review but not just facts, more importantly they play a little game on how they've applied the truth or did they? Stimulating Children to apply truth During this gathering they have different Disciplers so each child has at least 2 adults from whom they hear how God works in the lives of others.



Glenys Nellist said:

I so agree with these thoughts about letting the Holy Spirit be in charge & allowing kids space & time to process their thoughts and feelings, so that God has time to work in their hearts and minds. We are often so focused on the 'lesson' & our teaching objectives, that we don't leave room for what God wants to teach them! I am working hard on that this year...it's a challenge & sometimes scary to 'not be in charge' & not seek that 'one right answer' but it's so rewarding when we see God at work in young minds & we end up being the ones to be taught :)

Amen Nellist

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