How you use your classroom space can add value to your Bible class for children and/or teens. While decorating can be great for creating an inviting, calming learning environment, why not make one wall a useful space for you and your students?
If you have the money and time, there is special paint you can purchase that turns a wall into a chalkboard. There are special chalkboard markers you can purchase that work better than real chalk on that kind of wall. You can also cover the wall in heavy duty paper (so markers won’t bleed through and mar the wall behind the paper). While using a whiteboard may be tempting, in most classrooms it may be accidentally erased by someone else using the room at another time or children playing in the room.
Once you have your wall ready for writing, what are some great ways to use it to add value to your Bible class? Here are some of our favorites.
- Learning Wall. Encourage your students at the end of each class to add a word, phrase or sentence about something they learned in class that day. Or take a few minutes at the beginning or end of class to have students call out things they are learning in your class about a person or topic in the Bible. You can even have them write what they already know about your next unit of Bible lessons before you start teaching it and then add new information as they learn it. Now when students stare at the wall, they are reviewing the most important information from what you are teaching them!
- Student question wall. Students may feel more comfortable writing their spiritual questions on the wall somewhat anonymously than actually voicing them in your class. Plus, it gives you time to research answers and have a question wall time where you address the questions on the wall. To be really effective at addressing student questions and doubts, don’t restrict questions to the current lesson topics, but allow them to ask any spiritual questions they may have.
- Spiritual goals/prayer requests. Students can use the wall to ask others for encouragement and prayers regarding specific spiritual goals they may be working on or prayers for other requests and needs.
- Scripture art. Write a verse or passage of scripture on the wall and encourage students to illustrate it in the minutes before or after class. Change the verses regularly so students will be exposed to new scriptures.
- Guiding question. Our Bible lessons all include a guiding question – something you want the students to reflect upon as you are teaching. They should be able to answer the question by the end of class. If you are using another curriculum, feel free to pop on over to our website and grab the guiding question we have for that Bible story (it’s free).
- Encouragement. Your students are inundated with platitudes that aren’t particularly biblical at their core, but are designed to make them feel better about themselves and their lives. Instead of empty words, write an encouraging scripture on your wall each class period. Label it “encouraging words to reflect upon or use as ‘affirmations’.”.
- Class reminders. The wall is a great place to write class rules or reminders about upcoming events or things you have asked them to do outside of class.
The great thing about walls is that they are usually big. This means you can do several of the things on the above list at the same time. Just be careful not to have too much on the wall – especially if your other walls or heavily decorated – too much can be overwhelming for some students and actually distract them from learning.
Be creative, but using that space productively can add value to your Bible class and increase student learning, understanding, remembering and usage of what you are teaching them.