One of our basic principles at Teach One Reach One Ministries is that there is no perfect Bible class curriculum. That doesn’t necessarily mean you to have to throw away what you are using and buy something else or create your own. Often there are ways to adapt what you currently have to help your Bible students learn better, remember more and begin using what they learn in their daily lives.
One of the areas where many Bible curricula have weaknesses is the activity ideas they provide. There are 5 signs the activity for any given Bible lesson needs to be changed or replaced.
- The activity isn’t hands-on, meaningful or memorable. Some activities are just too boring. A great activity will extend learning in some way. If your Bible students are too bored to really engage with the activity in meaningful ways, it’s just a time filler and waster. (It’s important to note that activities like coloring sheets and work sheets are not considered hands-on even though students are using their hands.)
- The activity is lots of fun, but has no substance. Popping balloons for five minutes is a lot of fun, but attaching a “biblical truth” as a sentence after all the balloons are popped teaches them nothing. If there is very little if any substantial learning, remembering, etc. happening while students are having fun….it’s a time filler/waster activity.
- The activity is repetitive. Did your students absolutely love an activity and learn a lot from doing it? That’s great, but use it too often and it will become boring. Plus if one or more students really didn’t enjoy it, they will begin to dread attending class. Varying the types of activities you use keeps things fresh and interesting.
- The activity doesn’t match the interests and abilities of your students. Bible class curricula is written for the “average” student, which means if you have students who are not the average person for whom that particular curricula was written, it may not meet their educational needs. I have had groups of students over the years where the activity provided would have been too easy, too difficult or didn’t match their personalities or interests. While you will have variety even within your class, using activities that won’t work for the majority definitely won’t work for your class as a whole.
- The activity promotes incorrect theology. Churches are often totally unaware their children’s Bible classes are often promoting theology that they would consider unbiblical. When you consider using an activity, think carefully about the messages the activity is teaching or reinforcing. Do those ideas match what is in the Bible? If not, the activity needs to be changed or replaced.
Need ideas for replacement activities? Our free Bible curriculum covers over two hundred Bible stories and includes hundreds of free activity ideas for Bible classes and faith based tutoring. Feel free to use our activity ideas with any Bible curriculum you may be using! Adapting activities takes a little extra time, but it can help make activity time a better learning experience for your Bible students.