Great Resource for Teaching Bible to Older Kids and Teens

Great Resource for Teaching the bible to Older Kids and Teens - Teach One Reach OneOne of the tools you can use to help your students remember your lessons is to give them connections to material they already know and understand. Often with the Bible, this means connecting the geography and customs to modern countries and societies.

Recently, I was offered the chance to review a resource that may give you the help you need in finding and making those connections for students. The Rose Then and Now Bible Map Atlas with Biblical Background and Culture by Paul H. Wright may just be the resource you need.

The book is divided into twenty-four chapters, primarily around a person in the Bible like Jonah or Peter. (A couple of the chapters are more catch-all in nature.) The chapters contain the expected maps as well as artistic representations, photos of artifacts and photos of the actual locations or ruins of places mentioned.

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Do You Actually Like the Kids or Teens in Your Bible Class?

Do You Actually Like the Kids or Teens in Your Bible Class - Teach One Reach OneJohn Maxwell – a leadership expert – wrote “How can you lead people when you don’t like or respect them?”  (Winning With People p. 21) As you know, Teach One Reach One strongly believes every volunteer who works with children or teens is a leader. So my question for you is “Do you actually like the kids or teens you teach?”

Your students don’t all wear the same shoes.  They were created by God to be individuals. Their environments and experiences also make them different. Even identical twins are not exactly alike. Some of those differences will naturally create an emotional distance between you and some of your students.

If you have a student who misbehaves or is disrespectful or even reminds you of someone (possibly yourself) you don’t like, you may bristle every time you see him or her.

Yet to really effectively point your students to God, you absolutely must find a way to like each one of them. For some, that will be easy. For others, you may always struggle with liking them. Yet, try you absolutely must. As John Maxwell might say – they can tell if you don’t like them and they won’t want to hear what you have to say – even if you are quoting God.

If you find yourself struggling to like a student, you might want to try some of these tips to help.

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Teen Bible Classes and Socrates

Teen Bible Classes and Socrates - Teach One Reach One

Socrates Jail Cell in Athens, Greece

When I ask teens what happened in their Bible class, I often hear about how the teacher was using the “Socratic Method” to teach the class. When I probe a little more, what I find is that the teacher asked a big important faith question and then let the teens shoot out lots of answers – some biblical, many not so much or not at all. Then the teacher ends class without commenting on the validity or lack thereof in the various answers. This leaves every teen believing their answer was indeed correct.

It’s vitally important to understand this is not the Socratic Method. At all. Even if it were, this is not the way to guide teens to learning godly truths from scripture. The Socratic Method was never meant for a teacher to ask a huge, important question, let their students spout all sorts of answers, then walk away without guiding them to the correct answer. If someone has encouraged you to teach that way or if someone is teaching your child that way – please stop or say something.

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Top Tips for Handling Student Responses in Children and Teen Bible Classes

Top Tips for Handling Student Responses in Children and Teen Bible Classes - Teach One Reach OneOne of the best ways to assess what students are learning and understanding in your class is to ask them questions. It’s also a great way to move them to higher levels of comprehension. Perhaps most importantly, their answers allow you to adjust your lesson in real time so students don’t walk away from your class confused or frustrated.

For your students though, your questions can cause them anxiety, fear and even dread. So what can you do to help them feel at ease, but still get the information you want from them? The key to successful questioning is not only in the questions you ask, but also in the way you respond to their answers – especially incorrect answers.

Here are some important tips to remember as you respond to student answers to your questions:

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The Power of “Why” In Bible Classes For Kids and Teens

The Power of "Why?" in Bible Classes for Kids and Teens - Teach One Reach OneTeach One Reach One spends a lot of time training Bible class teachers to ask students questions on a variety of levels. These varying questions will help young people process the Bible and form faith foundations in increasingly more complex ways. If you haven’t seem them before, you might want to read our free handouts on Bloom’s Taxonomy for Bible Classes and Asking Better Questions In Bible Classes.

Perhaps one of the most important questions you can ask your students is “Why?”. It is a crucial question for assessing whether your students are not just learning the facts, but understanding why they are important. It can help you discover whether or not your students understand why God wants them to do something. It can even reveal a bit of their hearts and minds, if you ask it in non-threatening ways.

Want to conduct a little teacher experiment? I will warn you, this is only for the brave and may very well break your heart. Ask your students the following why questions. Their responses will give you a hint as to how much of a faith foundation their parents, their church and Bible class teachers like you have helped them build so far.

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