Students can’t apply what they don’t remember. They can’t apply what they don’t understand. It is imperative that you are clear and engaging when teaching children. This takes time and creativity.
“These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates” (Deuteronomy 6:6–8).
The word teach in the above passage means to “put into.” There are two pictures here. The first picture is that of a scribe who takes a stone tablet and carefully carves his words into it so that they create an indelible impression. The second picture is of doing this repeatedly over time to make the marks deeper and deeper.
This is how we should view the week-after-week and year-after-year teaching of Scripture. We are to teach children in such a way that they will not be able to forget God’s Word. This involves creative, engaging presentation and repetition. We are to teach children faithfully whenever we have the opportunity.
Using audiovisuals is an effective way to burn the lesson into the minds of your students. You can’t use all of these in a single day, but if you incorporate two or three per week, your students’ learning will increase dramatically.
In essence, this is nothing more than visual aids. Use object lessons, props, costumes, and pictures. Decorate the room to fit the Bible lesson. Flannelgraph pieces, pictures, and props give students something to look at while you are teaching. If you have a series of pictures or props, pull them out one at a time. Children will look forward to what is coming next.
Utilize various sounds as you teach. Lower your voice to a whisper at some points, or raise it very loudly at others. Incorporate sound effects such as splashing waves, trumpet sounds, or shuffling feet. Music is another effective tool. Use songs to reinforce the ideas you are presenting. Use chants, or have students repeat rhythmic phrases.
In part 2, I’ll provide you with more tips to help you teach lessons that kids will remember.
This post is excerpted from the teacher training material published by Generations of Grace as part of their line of Sunday School curriculum. © 2006