In our last post, we shared how encouraging the curiosity of young Bible students makes them more engaged in learning both in and outside of Bible classes. Since it’s important to keep curiosity alive if we want them to be lifelong engaged Bible students, what are some ways to keep their curiosity alive?
Here are some of our favorite ways to spark curiosity in Bible classes for kids and teens.
- Bring in unfamiliar objects. It’s relatively easy and inexpensive to find replicas of items used in Bible times. Encourage students to explore them and/or figure out how to work or use them.
- Tease new experiences and let them guess as they experience things. Experiences like grinding spices or grain with a mortar and pestle, dying fabric with natural dyes (have students guess what color dye the item will produce), weaving fabric on a simple loom, riding a donkey and cooking authentic foods can be teased ahead of time. They also provide ample opportunities for students to guess what happens next and other questions that spark curiosity.
- Play ”What’s the sound/smell/taste?”, etc. Bring in the sounds, smells or foods of Bible times. Have students guess what they are and give evidence for their guess.
- Who is the statue/carving/coin image? There aren’t a lot of people in the Bible who have an image of them made during their time because of the strict interpretation of the command against graven images. There are a couple of Israelite kings, however, whose images were created by the enemies of Israel and coins and statues of the various Roman rulers mentioned in the Bible. Bring in photos or replicas and see if students can figure out who they are.
- Ask higher level questions. Our guide to using Bloom’s Taxonomy for Bible class questions can help you pose deeper level questions that encourage student curiosity.
- Encourage students to ask ”I wonder” questions. Bible class teachers rarely allow these types of questions for fear they won’t know the answer. For curiosity to grow, questions don’t always have to have easy answers. Allow them to ask questions they may spend a lifetime searching the Bible to try and find the answers.
- Use project based learning. Encourage student projects that match their interests and encourage them to dive deeper into scripture as well as outside sources. For example, some might be interested in researching a typical day in the life of someone in the Bible and recreating it for others to enjoy. Another might want to research authentic recipes using foods mentioned in the Bible and cook them for your class to enjoy. Project based learning encourages curiosity and creativity. (For more information on project based learning, search our blog for past posts on the topic.)
- Encourage students to interview older Christians about various aspects of living the Christian life. Nothing sparks curiosity in young people more than the realization that some of those ”boring old people” at church actually have lives that are quite exciting and interesting.
- Encourage students to create polls on spiritual topics and analyze the answers. This may not interest every student, but those who are more analytical may actually find some important information church leadership needs to help the entire congregation grow spiritually.
- Tease obscure Bible stories. Want to encourage independent reading of the Bible? Tease those obscure and unusual Bible stories that are rarely, if ever, discussed in Church. Even teens will find the curiosity is more than they can bear if the story is sold well!
What ways do you spark student curiosity? Come on over to our Facebook page and share your ideas with our community. Let’s spark curiosity in all of our Bible students.