One of the difficulties faced by Bible class teachers of children and teens is assessment. Are your students learning what you had hoped they would learn? Are they remembering it? Do they understand it on a deeper level than merely repeating a pat phrase? Are they incorporating what they are learning in their daily lives?
As a Bible class teacher in a ministry, it is not really appropriate to give formal tests or quizzes. Asking questions can help, but it only allows you to discover information about a handful of your students. Fortunately, there is an activity you can do periodically to get a better understanding of the progress of all of your students.
Grab multiple pieces of poster board and markers. Head each poster with a theme or question. Then give your students pens with the instructions to decorate each poster with their answers. To make it more fun (and to help students with certain special needs avoid embarrassment), you can allow them to draw their answers instead of writing them, give them fun fine line markers to use or create a graffiti wall in your classroom with different sections covering a theme or question.
Some students may be concerned about their answers being seen or judged by others. When this activity is done in a secular school class, students are required to sign their names. You can allow your students to adopt a nom de plume (pen name) or choose a random number to use for their entries instead of their names. (Note: You would need to keep a roster of pen names or numbers if you wish to assess students individually rather than as a group.)
What are some themes or questions you may want to post?
- What do we know about (insert name of person in the Bible story)?
- What were some godly choices made in this story?
- What are some poor choices that were made in this story?
- Why do you think God put this story in the Bible?
- What does this story tell us about people?
- What does this story teach us about God?
- What does God want us to learn from this story?
- What does God want us to do because of this story?
- What is a simple way to explain the lesson(s) from this story to people who have never heard it before?
You can do this activity after one lesson, or better yet, after a unit of study. Consider displaying the finished posters for a time so students can learn from each other. While the activity can help you assess student knowledge and understanding, it can begin to feel like a test if you do it every week. Used from time to time, however, it can help illuminate where you need to tweak your Bible lessons to be more effective.