Bulletin boards in my Bible classes? Nope! Never!
I have never made a bulletin board to decorate my classroom and probably never will.
I do enjoy looking at bulletin boards in classrooms and other places. They make a space much more attractive, inviting and fun. Beautiful artwork and thoughts expressed can have a positive effect on those who take notice.
So, if I enjoy bulletin boards, why don’t I use them? I’m glad you asked. Let’s first define some terms.
Traditionally this is a board on a wall used for posting bulletins or notices. Teachers typically use bulletin boards to make a classroom colorful, fun and inviting. This certainly serves a purpose in many instances.
What do I use instead of bulletin boards as defined here? “Teaching Walls” of course.
What’s a Teaching Wall? It is facts, places, images, etc. displayed in a visually appealing way on any vertical surface.
I started calling them Teaching Walls many years ago when I realized the powerful “teaching effect” visual aids have when spread throughout the classroom. Any vertical space evolved to carry its share of the teaching load. Size does not matter. Use what you have.
Why Teaching Walls instead of Bulletin Boards as defined here?
- Teaching walls can be a powerful tool to immerse students in a sea of information.
- Teaching walls can be a powerful tool to review events, places and facts.
- Teaching walls can be a powerful tool for visual learners.
- Teaching walls can be a powerful tool for children to view if their mind wanders during class.
Let’s examine just one Teaching Wall more closely. This is my Teaching Wall for Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
As we study Abraham, there are many important facts to remember. This visual aid contains clues in the body and clothing. What clues do you see in the image? (Click on each image to enlarge it.)
- His left hand shows the number three. It stands for 3 promises made to Abraham by God.
- The 3 promises are written vertically on his robe.
- His arms have the name of his wife, Sarah, and his concubine, Hagar. If we move from left to right we notice that Sarah was first and Hagar came later.
- His feet have the names of Ishmael and Isaac. Again, moving left to right, we see Ishmael was the first son born to Abraham. However, Isaac was still the promised heir.
- On his robe you see the words “all blessed”. Do you see the light brown cross on which those words are placed? The cross represents the fulfillment of the most important promise in that God would bless all nations through Abraham.
- He is looking to his left. On his left is Isaac. He is looking at his beloved promised son, Isaac.
- The raised right arm is for a shepherd’s staff. The staff is in the pattern below this artice but not in the photo.
What visual clues do you see about events and people in Isaac’s life? (Click image to enlarge.)
- His name is written on his headpiece.
- On his arm is the name of his wife, Rebecca.
- On his feet are his sons in order of birth from left to right.
- Notice the eyes! He is remembering a significant event in his life as he looks down at his robe. It was when his father nearly offered him as a burnt offering. Thankfully God provided a ram instead. It is lying on the altar instead of him. Whew! Close call!
Observe Jacob below. What do you see about his life? (Click image to enlarge.)
- The sleeves contain the names of each wife and their handmaids.
- The feet have the number of his sons.
- Jacob’s name is on the trunk of his family “tree”
- The first initial of the wife or concubine is on each branch in white.
- Each fruit represents a son born to that wife or concubine.
- He is looking to the right and waving to his 12 sons who are displayed on the teaching wall. (No image available.)
HOW TO MAKE IT
- You will find a pattern in the documents below this article. You may enlarge it if you need to in order to suit your needs and your classroom size.
- I made these about 20 years ago from white Pellon and colored them with Marks A Lot permanent markers. A few years ago a sweet sister in Christ mounted them on black felt since they were starting to tear.
- They may also be made from felt, poster board or paper.
- Put good effort into making your visual aids properly the first time. They can last for many years. You may never have to remake them again.
This concept may be adapted for any age group or any subject matter as:
- A powerful way to maintain a chronological point of view.
- A built in review each time the class meets.
- A visually appealing and even fun part of Bible class.
How might YOU adapt this to teach Peter, Paul, Jonah, Daniel and more?
So, there you have it, a way to incorporate Teaching Walls into your Bible class.
Let us know of your experience with Teaching Walls in the comments section below!
Also, please share your adaptations!
Now, off you go. And remember to use Perk Up Your Bible Classes through Teaching Walls!
by Kathy Petrillo
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