Are you looking for a fresh idea that keeps children engaged as you teach the Bible lesson? Look no further. The concept is the similar to the Wheel of Fortune TV show. Select the name of a Bible character, Bible place, or Bible event. DO NOT tell children the name as you teach the lesson. Tell the children THEY must figure it out as the lesson is taught. Have the children keep the name to themselves once they figure it out so that everyone has an opportunity to guess it.
Here is a video of how I presented this lesson. It was filmed in March, 2020, during the COVID-19 “self-distancing” period. I was asked to make a video so the children at our congregation might have an opportunity to “attend” Bible class on Sunday morning. I included a few songs as well as teaching the Bible lesson Watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kIUkECVpoM0&t=5s
The age and reading level of the children will determine how many letters are in the name you choose. I have done this with great success in teaching ABIMILECH to 4th and 5th graders. It is a very long lesson at about 25 minutes, but they stay fully engaged for the entire thing.
How is this done?
I’m glad you asked.
Trace or make large block letters. Mount them on paper that is a little larger than the letter. The letters I made are from standard letter size paper which measures 8 1/2 x 11 inches. They are mounted on 1/4 of a sheet of black poster board which measures 22 x 28 inches.
You can mount black letters on colored paper or white paper. You can choose white letters on black paper or colored paper. If you have lots of scrapbook paper, use some of that. Or . . . well . . . YOU be the designer. Do your own thing!. Be creative! Have fun!
Hold up one letter as you teach that part of the lesson. Then mount it on the bulletin board. Remind the children that THEY must guess the name of the person, place or event. Be careful NOT to mention the name as you teach. That is much harder than it sounds!
Embellish each letter with simple images and/or words. There is no need to get too fancy!
Continually ask if anyone knows the name as you teach the lesson. I keep reminding them NOT to say the name out loud but to keep it in their head because some children are faster than others at figuring it out.
I ALWAYS write out my lesson script in full and attach it to the back of each letter. It is a good way to remember to say everything you want to say at that point in the lesson.
ALWAYS number your visual aids! If you get them mixed up right before class, there may not be enough time to get them back in proper ou also see that there is a letter penciled in on the side of the lesson script. That helps me remember where to put it. Yes, I learned that the hard way! CLICK ON THE IMAGE BELOW TO ENLARGE IT. You will see the page numbers 7 and 11. If there are more than one of the same letter, merely label them P1 and P2 or H1 and H2.
You may download a copy of the script I use. You may also write your own based on the ages of the children you are teaching. If you are fairly inexperienced as a teacher, a general rule of thumb is to use one visual aid image for each 1 year of a child’s life. So, if you are teaching 4 year old kids, use only about 4 images. If you are teaching 8 year old kids, use no more than about 8 images. From age 9 and older, I can use as many as 20 or 25 images for one lesson. Their attention span is much, much longer in general.
My script for this lesson can be downloaded here: 1 Elijah is Fed by Ravens
In the script, you will notice a phrase that is repeated over and over, “Who is this man? What is his name?” Keep asking it as you teach to keep the children engaged.
You MUST keep a sharp eye on the children to see whether they are fully engaged or not. If they are, keep going. If you “lose” them, simply STOP THE LESSON and do something else for a few minutes. You can sing a song or recite a Bible verse or even say Bible books. Once their minds and bodies have had a quick break, go back to the Bible lesson and finish it up.
The photos below are close ups of the images and words I added to each letter. CLICK ON EACH IMAGE TO ENLARGE IT.