The Paper Cross

(By request, I am providing this creative storytelling device. It is found in my book 100 Ways to Teach Your Child about GodEnjoy! -Karyn)

TELL this story using a piece of plain white paper.

THERE was once wealthy man who had everything he could want. But he also had something he didn’t want. He had an empty feeling inside. So he thought about what could make him happy. He decided that if he bought a sailboat, he’d be happy.

Fold one of the top corners down, making a diagonal fold that looks like a sail. (The top of the page should line up with one side of the page.) So he bought a boat and went sailing. And he was really happy. For a little while. The empty feeling came back. He thought and thought and finally decided that if he had a new house, he’d be happy.

Fold the other top corner down to make a pointed roof. So he bought a new house. It was on a hillside. He could watch the sun set from his window. And he was really happy. For a little while. The empty feeling came back. He thought, ‘Staying at home is not good for me. I need to travel.’ So he bought an airplane.

Fold the figure in half vertically, turn it so that the fold is at the bottom, and fold down the top sections to make wings. He flew all around the world and saw so many wonderful things! He was really happy! For a little while. The empty feeling came back. He thought, “Flying around is for the birds. I need to do something unique. Something most people never get to do. I’ll take a rocket ship into space!”

Tear the wings off the airplane and open the center fold so that it looks like a rocket ship. So he took a rocket ship into outer space and saw the world very small below. He was very happy. For a while. The empty feeling came back. He looked and looked, and he finally found that there was only one thing that would make him happy.

Unfold the figure to see a cross. And how long did it last? Forever!
(Adapted from an unknown source)

Ten Tips for Ages 8 through 11

Here are 10 things to keep in mind when teaching ages eight through eleven:

1. They want to be busy doing productive things. They enjoy projects. They learn best by touching and doing and seeing visual aids. Plan your lessons to include lots of activities.

2. They like to show their skills and abilities and want to feel like a valued member of the group. Delegate tasks to them when possible. Trust them to get the job done.

3. They are becoming spiritually sensitive and are beginning to see their need for God. Plan your content to address this need.

4. They want to see how God is real and how he relates to everyday life. They want to hear adults’ testimonies about how God is working in their lives, and they want to tell about what God is doing in their own lives. Invite adults to come in and share. Provide times for the children to share, too.

5. They continue to understand the flow of time. Even if your curriculum is topically oriented, explain the historical context of the Biblical passages used.

6. They easily feel inferior if they are put down or if they feel incapable. Use encouraging words as you coach them. Choose classroom activities that are age-appropriate.

7. They have a growing understanding of symbolism. They are increasingly able to understand deeper dimensions of faith, like lordship, stewardship and peacemaking.

8. They are able to sit still longer, but are still inclined to wiggle. Trust that they are listening even if they are not sitting still.

9. They are concerned about what’s fair and just and are more consistent about discerning right from wrong. Listen to them when they want to express their observations about justice in current events or in their personal lives. Be careful not to “correct” them, but accept their observations at face value. Honor their assessments.

10. They memorize more easily. Age nine is often called the “Golden Age of Memory”. These are the perfect years to ramp up the memory work. For scripture memory ideas see my Sword Fighting book.

May God bless your relationships with the 8 through 11 year olds in your life!

Happy teaching!

59

 

Originally posted 5/8/14

© Karyn Henley. All rights reserved.

photo courtesy of pexels.com

Seven Tips for Teaching Seven-Year-Olds

In my last post 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 of time more accurately.
The second grader’s concept of historical events continues to develop into a more accurate understanding. A chronological overview of the New Testament, continuing from a first grade overview of the Old Testament, helps second graders see that the Bible is not simply a collection of stories told like Aesop’s fables, but is one whole meaningful story in itself.

2. Seven-year-olds are curious and want to discover.  They like codes.
Because of their inner desire to discover, try to include an element of discovery in each storytelling session, some sort of code, or puzzle. The children will listen to the story to discover the meaning of the codes.

3. Seven-year-olds need structure and rely on teachers.
Take time to plan and structure your sessions. Teachers play a key role in drawing children into activities as well as in guiding conversation toward an understanding of the theme of the session.

4. Seven-year-olds like to review.
Include brief reviews of previous lessons at the beginning and end of each session.  Create these yourself, or choose a curriculum that includes a review element.

5. Seven-year-olds like to be read to.
Sevens tend to be good listeners. It is a great age to read to them from the Bible, and other materials relevant to the lessons.

6.  Seven-year-olds often like to work by themselves or with a partner, but not often with a large group.
Sevens are more self-conscious so large-group activities may not be as interesting as working solo. Although they are hard workers, they can be moody and intense.

7. Most sevens write more clearly than they did when they were six.  
However, seven year olds still find it difficult to copy material from a white board.  And some, especially boys, don’t enjoy writing at all.  So it is a good idea to keep writing activities to a minimum.

Let me add more more general point about sixes and sevens: their emerging ability to comprehend the flow of time can be a huge advantage in teaching them the Bible chronologically. By giving children a broad look at biblical events in the order in which they happened, it sets the stage for future study of the Bible in its traditional out-of-sequence order. It is important for children to see the Bible as a whole story so that when they learn the books of the Bible and study the traditionally ordered Bible, they can know, for example, how the events of Jesus’ life fit together and how Paul sent letters to different churches and people as he traveled. They will begin to see how Jesus was and is at the center of God’s plan for bringing the world back to Himself.

Happy teaching,

59

Read through the Bible in One Year, 7 Minutes a Day

dbd_150_largeSeveral years ago Karyn Henley created a unique tool to help children establish Bible-reading habits for a lifetime―with an investment of just seven minutes per day, which has become a perennial best-seller: The Day by Day Kids Bible. She paraphrased the entire Bible at a second-grade reading level, deleted redundant and overly graphic passages, and set the stories in chronological order to give children (and adults) the big picture of God’s story. Features include dated Bible readings for every day of the year, two-color interior, and a full-color pictorial time line of events.

With The Day by Day Kids Bible, you can easily make 2017 the year that your family, or class, or church reads through the Bible! And to make it as easy as possible, we are reducing the price of all ebook versions to $3.99 (regularly $5.99) starting today, through January 15, 2017.

DAY BY DAY KID’S BIBLE,  for KINDLE E-readers

DAY BY DAY KID’S BIBLE, for NOOK E-readers

DAY BY DAY KID’S BIBLE, for KOBO E-readers

SINGLE PRINTED COPIES are available on Amazon.com

CASE QUANTITIES up to 60 copies, for Sunday School classes, schools and churches, are available at this page on our website.

For CASE QUANTITIES greater than 60 units, please contact us for a quote.

CLICK TO SEE SAMPLE PAGES

CLICK TO SEE SAMPLE PAGES

Ten Tips for Teaching Ages 8 – 11

Age8to11-300x300Here are 10 things to keep in mind when teaching ages eight through eleven:

1. They want to be busy doing productive things. They enjoy projects. They learn best by touching and doing and seeing visual aids. Plan your lessons to include lots of activities.

2. They like to show their skills and abilities and want to feel like a valued member of the group. Delegate tasks to them when possible. Trust them to get the job done.

3. They are becoming spiritually sensitive and are beginning to see their need for God. Plan your content to address this need.

4. They want to see how God is real and how he relates to everyday life. They want to hear adults’ testimonies about how God is working in their lives, and they want to tell about what God is doing in their own lives. Invite adults to come in and share. Provide times for the children to share, too.

5. They continue to understand the flow of time. Even if your curriculum is topically oriented, explain the historical context of the Biblical passages used.

6. They easily feel inferior if they are put down or if they feel incapable. Use encouraging words as you coach them. Choose classroom activities that are age-appropriate.

7. They have a growing understanding of symbolism. They are increasingly able to understand deeper dimensions of faith, like lordship, stewardship and peacemaking.

8. They are able to sit still longer, but are still inclined to wiggle. Trust that they are listening even if they are not sitting still.

9. They are concerned about what’s fair and just and are more consistent about discerning right from wrong. Listen to them when they want to express their observations about justice in current events or in their personal lives. Be careful not to “correct” them, but accept their observations at face value. Honor their assessments.

10. They memorize more easily. Age nine is often called the “Golden Age of Memory”. These are the perfect years to ramp up the memory work. For scripture memory ideas see my Sword Fighting book.

May God bless your relationships with the 8 through 11 year olds in your life!

Happy teaching!

59

 

 

 

(Originally posted 5/8/14. photo courtesy morguefile.com)

Four Ways to Teach with Intention

Ballet-Form2One 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 that the writer knows there are choices in the first place.  The writer knows what those choices are and purposely selects what best serves the story he or she is trying to tell.

Form vs Intentionality – Who does it serve?
It occurred to me that this principle of being deliberate and intentional, of making form serve story, is a principle that I use all the time when I write curricula. I know there are choices, and I know what the choices are. I try to choose a method of storytelling that serves the Bible story. I also try to choose activities that serve the story and the goal of the lesson.

But activities and storytelling methods should serve the students, too.  If we are serious about communicating, we not only ask, “Is this form deliberate and appropriate for the subject?” but we also ask, “Is this form deliberate and appropriate for the students?” When we work with children, “it’s easy to get lost in the exercise of form.”  In other words, it’s easy to get locked in to a particular method or schedule. It’s easy to rely on what feels most comfortable to us and say, “This is the way it’s done. Period.” It’s easy to get “set in our ways” and avoid trying anything new, even though some new type of activity or different way of telling the story might serve the story and/or the students more effectively.

That’s why:

  1. I tell teachers that their lesson plans are simply suggestions. They know their students. They are responsible for communicating in ways that will give their particular students the greatest opportunity to become involved and grow.
  2. I give teachers lots of activity choices in each lesson plan.
  3. I ask teachers, “Do you go into the classroom to teach the material or to teach children?”
  4. I say:  Make your teaching choices by taking AIM–
    Age-appropriate
    Interesting
    Meaningful.

In other words, be intentional and deliberate.  Let your form serve your story and your students.

Happy teaching!

Karyn

7 Reasons Children Misbehave

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOne topic that seems to be of universal interest among parents and teachers is that of Behavior Management. When I was teaching a class of 4 & 5 year-olds on a regular basis, it was definitely a topic I was interested in. So, let’s look at some of the “whys” of misbehavior. As I look through this list it occurs to me that most of these needs also apply to us adults. We may not misbehave because of it, but if these needs are not being met they can reflect in our personalities. Hmmm. Something to ponder.

Misbehaving usually occurs because they are choosing inappropriate ways to get their perceived needs met. They may not even be conscious of the specific need or be able to express it. Let’s take a look at a few of the basic needs that could cause negative behavior:

1. Attention – Children of all ages need to feel valued and wanted. “I need someone to listen to me.” Try to give the child attention at times when he is not exhibiting negative behavior. The most importnat moments of class time for this child are the first five minutes after he arrives. Make sure to pay attention to him as soon as he comes in.

2. Leadership – A child needs to do something significant and have his efforts acknowledged. Give the child choices as to how she will comply with your wishes. For exmaple, “Would you like to clean off the table, or the shelf?” You could also provide her with valid leadership opportunities.

3. Security – Clearly outlined boundaries help the child feel secure and learn self-control. Communicate the rules and enforce them consistently.

4. Encouragement – Everyone needs encouragement now and then-adults and kids.  Children need to know you have confidence in their abilities. They need to experience success. Express your confidence in the child’s abilities. Give him tasks you know he can do successfully.

5. Health – If a child does not feel well, they may be Hungry tired studentcranky and act out.  They may just need some rest. If you suspect a child is getting sick, let her rest away from other children. Or, ask her parents to come get her.

6. Nutrition – OK, raise your hand if you (the adult) have ever been hungry and cranky!  You probably knows how this feels.  If a child is feeling hungry or eating “junk foods,” it may reflect in her behavior. This is why it is a good idea to have snacks available.

7. Comfort – This could go hand-in-hand with the security issue.  A child may be experiencing some problems you don’t know about.  He may be afraid, angry, confused.  Any of these issues could cause a child to act out. Maintaining a stable classroom routine will comfort such a child, as well as giving time for the child to talk to you one-on-one.

What other ways have you found to constructively meet the needs of your chlldren, or to manage behavior?

59