Culture is a part of teaching the Bible to kids and teens. Whether it’s the cultures in the Bible, the cultures around our world or the cultures your Bible students encounter every day, addressing culture accurately is part of helping your students develop strong spiritual foundations.
As you begin introducing your Bible students to the various cultures impacting them, you will need resources. Surprisingly, they aren’t always in many of the places you may shop, but you can find them online. Most of the resources are reasonably priced and you can find some free printable resources online as well.
Here are some of the resources you may want to find and use.
- Multicultural markers, crayons and paper. Crayola makes special packs of markers and crayons children can use to draw people with a wide variety of skin tones. Craft stores carry “nostalgia” card stock that has several shades that could be considered skin tones.
- Photos and toys that portray different types of people. Don’t just look for photos and toys depicting people with different skin tones or from different nations. People with disabilities, people of different ages and other differences should also be portrayed in some of the resources you use with students.
- Historical items from Bible times. You can find reproductions or photos of many things mentioned in the Bible. Often young Bible students have no knowledge of what those things actually are, what they look like or how they are used. You can also take students to museums to view real artifacts of these items.
- Experiences mentioned in Bible stories. Photos or reproductions of items are great, but sometimes an experience is more helpful. If your students have to carry enough water to water the camels of Abraham’s servant, they will have a better understanding and appreciation of Rebekah’s servant heart. There are a lot of other similar experiences that will also enhance student comprehension of the Bible.
- Replacement photos for those in your curriculum. If your curriculum provides photos where everyone looks alike, you don’t have to use them. Replace them with free stock photos from Pixabay.com (please follow their rules), purchase new stock photos or buy printed photos meant for classroom use.
- Student and adult books on the cultures in the Bible. Bible encyclopedias, some study Bibles, books written for kids and adults on the cultural aspects of the Bible and even some secular books about cultures found in the Bible can help you and your students learn more helpful information. If you are doing activities on modern missions, current and past missionaries, secular books, embassies for those countries, stores carrying supplies for ex-pats from certain countries (like foods, etc.) and more can all have supplies that may help you teach students about what it might be like to travel or live in another country serving others and sharing your faith.
It may cost you or your ministry some money to acquire resources that will enhance the cultural aspects of your Bible curriculum. It is worth it though to help students have a more accurate and realistic view of the world when the Bible was written and now.