Capturing the attention of our children during Sunday School may prove to be more challenging than we’d like to admit. Many children have already heard the Bible stories, so it’s easy for them to ‘tune out’ quickly. What can we do to grab hold of and keep their attention?
Teaching with creativity is a great way to reel in those kids who are about to let their minds wander off in a different direction. There are many creative methods for us to choose from. Let’s look at Creative Language Use.
Here is an example from one of the Acts lessons.
Throughout the lesson the children are taught the phrases that summarize the key parts of the story. By adding motions to the phrases, different learning styles are utilized, and as they memorize the phrases, the kids will be more likely to remember the story itself.
So how can you use this creative teaching method as you prepare to tell a story?
First, divide your story into segments. Make sure that each segment contains an important event from the story.
After that, come up with two phrases or sentences that point out key elements of the story. Try to make rhythmic rhyming phrases. Count the syllables in each phrase to check your rhythm. For example:
“They were beaten but were glad (7), even if it hurt so bad (7).”
“Go stand in the temple and tell everyone (11) about God’s love and what Jesus has done (11).”
You can also keep them shorter, like this:
“We disobey (4), God far away (3). Be born again (4), Be God’s friend (3).” (From He Loves Me, lesson 4)
Finally, come up with simple, clear, interesting motions that flow with the rhythm of your lines. Practice them to make sure that they will work with the story and with your children.
As you tell the story, teach the children the phrases and motions as they come up in the story. After you teach them a set of phrases, repeat the entire set from the beginning of the story and add your new lines at the end. Then continue to tell the story until you finish telling the next key event. Teach the children the next set of phrases, repeat from the top, and continue your story again. This may seem repetitive, but many children will enjoy the challenge and at the end of the lesson they will have memorized all the key elements of the story in a fun way. The children will remember the story and they will be able to use the rhymes to tell someone else the story as well! Have fun!