The best Bible classes use a variety of learning activities over the course of several lessons. Educational games can be a great way for students to have fun while learning. They can help students review material they have already learned from the Bible. Games can provide students opportunities to practice application principles from the lesson. They can also be used to help develop godly problem solving skills in students.
If you aren’t careful though, students walk away having had fun without learning anything. Many games are designed more with the fun factor in mind than what students are hopefully learning from the game. Playing those games is great if you just want to entertain a room of young people, but hopefully you are using games to also teach them something important.
So what are some of the ways you can tell if a Bible game you are planning to use will actually add some meaningful learning time to your lesson?
- Check to see if fun and education are well balanced in the game. Too much fun and no learning may happen. Too much emphasis on content can mean students are bored instead of being engaged.
- The game requires students to remember lesson content from the Bible or process application principles in some way. Most games will do one or the other. Watch for games that seem to be shallow in content. Most likely, students will learn little while playing them.
- The game can provide fun and educational benefits for students on all levels of Bible knowledge and understanding. Think about how various students in your class might react in actual game play. If there are elements that could cause embarrassment, you can often tweak the game to make it more fun or educational for everyone.
- The game has learning objectives and a guiding question. What do you hope students learn from the game? What main question do you want them to be able to answer after they finish playing the game? Playing a game just to play a game can often mean the game doesn’t have any educational value.
- The game rules are based on a game most students have played before or are simple and easy to learn and remember. Most Bible classes have limited time for activities. You don’t want to spend most of that valuable learning time explaining and re-explaining rules before students are actually able to play the game.
Educational Bible games are a great way to help students have fun while learning. If done well, they can help students move important biblical concepts from short term to long term memory or better understand and use application principles. They are worth taking the time to make sure you are choosing the right games for your students’ needs.