Archive | Bible

Mindfulness in Bible Classes for Kids and Teens

Mindfulness in Bible Classes for Kids and Teens - Teach One Reach OneIf you keep up with trends in society or education, you may have heard about “mindfulness”. For those of you who were kids during the 70’s, you may have associated it with meditation or yoga and many proponents do suggest them as a way to practice mindfulness. As a Bible class teacher though, you may wonder whether disciplines often associated with religions like Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism have a place in Bible classes for kids and teens.

Thankfully, modern researchers have included Christian disciplines in some of their research. Studies show prayer, reflecting on scripture and fasting (which usually incorporates highly focused prayer and scripture reflection), produce the same benefits as meditation and yoga. (Meditation is actually also a Christian discipline. See Psalm 1:2, Philippians 4:8 and others for more details.)

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Teaching Children’s Bible Classes Like Your Hair Is On Fire

Teaching Children's Bible Classes Like Your Hair Is On Fire - Teach One Reach One

I tab great ideas in books. This one came away with plenty.

The focus of Teach One Reach One is helping volunteers in churches, ministries and on the mission field enhance what they are doing as they teach the Bible to children and teens (granted sometimes with a little secular education added in faith based tutoring programs). Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of great outside resources I can suggest for you to read that I believe are really going to take your teaching to the next level.

Most of the best books on education are written for the secular educator. With a little tweaking though, they can often give you lots of great tips for your Bible class as well.

Teach Like Your Hair is On Fire by Rafe Esquith is a classic in education circles. There is a reason books become classics. In non-fiction circles, it is usually because a lot of people have found them helpful. This book is no exception.

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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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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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