Featured Folder: “Jesus is God’s Son”

One of the most familiar and popular Bible stories for most young children is the story of baby Jesus. There are stars and angels, shepherds and animals. There are wise men and gifts. There’s a husband and wife. and most important of all, there’s a very special baby. Teach young children that baby Jesus is […]

Four Ways to Teach with Intention

One of my mentors, award-winning writer Kathi Appelt, reminds me that form should serve story.  She says, “It’s easy to get lost in the exercise of form and lose intentionality.”  She encouraged me to ask:  “Is this form deliberate and appropriate for the subject?”  Intentionality means making choices deliberately, for particular reasons – which means […]

Three Reasons for Historical Context

If you have followed my blog for a while, you may have noticed that I am often emphasizing the teaching of Bible stories to elementary age kids in chronological order. Likewise, I would encourage you, when possible, to include the historical context of the stories. That is exactly what I did when I prepared my […]

Take A.I.M.

My next door neighbors were having some repair work done on their porch, so I was hearing hammering and sawing.  I looked out my kitchen window to see the neighbors’ two year old grandson watching the repairman intently. Of course, he didn’t watch long before he began asking the repairman questions. Then he picked up […]

Talking Requires Listening

It almost goes without saying that we discover the unique personality traits of our children by watching and listening to them, but sometimes we forget this in the classroom – for any of a variety of reasons. Sometimes we’re just tired. Or pressed for time. Or so intent on getting our point across that we […]

Are You Teaching the Children, or the Material?

Life really is all about relationships, and our primary responsibility with children is to give them the skills they need to establish and maintain healthy relationships with God and people, growing “in favor with God and man.” But in order to give those skills, we must live those skills. Which means that those of us […]

3 Values Behind My Curricula

I began teaching Sunday school when I was fourteen, so I’ve spent a lot of time in the classroom.  I was raised studying the Bible and continue to read it and ponder God’s teachings, and because of my classroom experience, I’ve always tried to think of how to explain God’s teachings to different age levels.  […]

Curriculum is a Map

What is curriculum? It’s a map. It tells you how to get where you want to go. It will have overall goals for your age group. Through the year, the lessons will take you toward that goal. Lessons are the points of interest you pass as you travel the route on the “map.”  Each lesson […]

Getting the Big Picture of the Bible

The Christmas of 1960, my parents gave me my first grown-up Bible, a big, black, full-text, red-letter edition King James. I was eight. I found my King James to be a strange, but intriguing book, full of begets and begots and thus-saith’s and tongue-twisting names. But it was all mine, and I read it. Yes, […]

Seven Tips for Teaching Sevens

In my last blog I talked about teaching six year olds. By the time those children turn seven they have changed a lot. Equipped with insights about this new stage you can continue to teach them with confidence and effectiveness. So let’s look at some basics about sevens: 1. Seven year olds understand the flow […]