At Teach One Reach One Ministries, we are constantly monitoring research and cutting edge academic sites to find ideas we believe can help you be more even more effective at reaching your Bible students. Recently, we ran across an idea (from Christine Boatman on Edutopia) that could easily be adapted for use in your Bible class.
The original idea was for a secular class, so the teacher invested the money to create several large white boards out of divided shower board. If you wanted to spend even less money, you could use poster board or on a smaller scale – clear plastic page protectors or even typing paper.
The materials aren’t as important as how you engage students in the activity. For Bible class purposes, I would probably do this activity with students after completing a unit – either on a person in the Bible, a book of the Bible or a theme in the Bible.
Divide students into very small groups (this can also be done individually once students have experienced the activity in a group). Give each group your chosen materials. Instruct them to find a way to illustrate what they are thinking about the unit of Bible lessons you have just completed.
At first, students may be puzzled with this type of activity in a Bible class setting. You can give them vague suggestions as possible options (while still encouraging creativity). Some possibilities are charts, diagrams, comic strips, Venn diagrams, evidence, pictures, articles….anything that can fit on the white board, poster board or paper you gave them.
Give students plenty of time to complete the activity – especially if they are required to synthesize multiple Bible lessons. As students are working, walk around and ask questions about what they are doing. Encourage every student in the group to participate in some way. Those not as familiar with the material may be able to create illustrations or record or organize their presentation.
At the end of the activity, have students share their creations. Students may find they are learning from peers what they missed during the actual lessons. Be sure to gently correct any misunderstandings that come to light during the presentations. Encourage students to continue thinking about the Bible stories and what God wants them to learn from them at home.
This is not an activity that should be done every lesson or even with every unit. Using it periodically though, will help many of your Bible students think a little more deeply about scripture.