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)

Featured Folder: “God Made Animals”

What a wonderful variety of animals God made for us to enjoy! Huge elephants, tiny catepillars. Animals that snort or growl, chirp or bark, buzz or mew. Animals that fly or crawl, tunnel or swim, leap or creep. They are the other living creatures that inhabit the earth that God made for us.

Theme Scripture: “God made the . . . animals.” Genesis 1:25 (ICB) Help the children remember this verse by asking them to act like lions when they say it. Then say it again, acting like monkeys. Ask them to say it again, acting like frogs. Continue as long as they are interested.

Unit Goals: By the end of this unit, the child should:
• Know that God made animals.
• Feel thankful and joyful.
• Thank God for making animals.

Bible Stories
• Creation (Genesis 1:20-25) Focus: God Made Animals.
• Adam Names the Animals (Genesis 2:18-20) Focus: God made animals and let God name them.
• God Talks to Job (Job 38:1-3; 39; 42:1-3) Focus: God made animals.
• Solomon Knows About Animals (I Kings 4:26-34; 10:22-29) Focus: We can learn about the animals God made.

Art Activities:
-Paper Plate Fish
-Lollipop Giraffe
-Thumbprint birds
-Animal Prints

Science Activities:
-Animal Discovery
-Whose Ears?
-Animal Tracks
-Fast and Slow

Cooking:
-Animal Crackers
-Animal Cookies
-Cracker Duck
-Bananapillars

Music & Movement:
-Zoo Walk
-Monkeys at the Zoo
-The Keeper at the Zoo

Games:
-The Memory Game
-Duck, Duck, Goose
-Two by Two

This folder is designed to give you the ideas you need to teach a unit about the animals Glod made. Mix and match the activities you want with the stories suggested, and enjoy!

BUY PDF DOWNLOAD of “God Made the Animals” $2.99
(sold as downloads only, print not available) Your purchase includes permission to reproduce the pages for ministry purposes at a single location, not for distribution to non-purchasers.

LEARN MORE about the Bible Learning Series

DOWNLOAD the Scope and Sequence for the whole series

Featured Folder: “Jesus Is Alive!”

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For young children, Easter is a time of joy and wonder as they see the people around them celebrate Jesus’ resurrection. It’s hard for a child to understand death, and there may be some fear associated with the concept of death. So for a young child, the story of Jesus’ death is best told gently and sensitively, quickly followed by the story of his resurrection. See page 3 for a suggestion on telling about the meaning of Jesus’ death.

Theme Scripture: “God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son.” John 3:16 (ICB) Help the children remember this verse by singing it to the tune of “Mary Had a Little Lamb.”

Unit Goals: By the end of this unit, the child should:
• Know that Jesus died for our sins and came back to life again.
• Feel happy that Jesus is alive and will live forever.
• Praise and worship God as part of celebrating his Son’s resurrection.

Bible Stories
• Jesus Rides into Jerusalem on a Donkey (Matthew 21:1-11) Focus: The people praised Jesus.
• Jesus Eats the Last Supper with the Disciples (Matthew 26:17-30, I Corinthians 11:23-26) Focus: The juice and the flat bread help us remember Jesus.
• Jesus Dies and Comes Back to Life (Matthew 27:32-28:10) Focus: Jesus was killed on a cross but came back to life.
• Jesus Meets Friends on the Road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35) Focus: The sad men were happy when they saw Jesus alive.

Art Activities:
-Palm Leaves
-Communion Cup Print
-Sponge-Painted Cross
-Foil Footprints

Science Activities:
-Looking at Leaves
-Memory Bag
-Sprouting
-Who Is It?

Cooking:
-Happy Face Biscuits
-Unleavened Bread
-Bread Stick Crosses
-Cinnamon Hearts

Music & Movement:
-See the Little Donkey
-Going to Town
-Everyone is Glad!
-Early in the Morning

Games:
-Tiptoe Praise
-What’s New? What’s Missing?
-Down the Road

This folder is designed to give you the ideas you need to teach a unit about helping. Mix and match the activities you want with the stories suggested, and enjoy!

BUY PDF DOWNLOAD of “Jesus Is Alive” $2.99
(sold as downloads only, print not available) Your purchase includes permission to reproduce the pages for ministry purposes at a single location, not for distribution to non-purchasers.

LEARN MORE about the Bible Learning Series

DOWNLOAD the Scope and Sequence for the whole series

Six Tips for Teaching Five Year-Olds

crayons-coloring400x400-159579If you have been following my series of posts about the characteristics of different ages, you may have noticed many similarities in the various preschool ages, and yet, each has unique differences that must be taken into account when teaching them. In today’s post I am going to talk about teaching five year-olds.

•  Fives don’t understand that time is a continuous flow.
While five year olds understand that events happen in succession, they still don’t understand the duration of time.  They do understand that incidents happened before they were born, but when you say, “A long time ago, there was a man named Abraham,” five year olds know only that this happened before they were alive.  And although they know that events happen one after the other, they still don’t yet mentally sequence the Bible stories told from week to week.  Therefore, as with the younger ages, it is still best, in my opinion, to teach Bible stories according to themes, rather than in Biblical order.

•  Fives want to learn.
Five year olds are explorers in God’s world, excited about learning and discovering.  They are realizing that there is a purpose for their curiosity and questions.  As they find out more about God and His world, they come to see that there is a purpose for all that God created.  Ultimately, these children should come to understand that God has a purpose for them.  Fives are perfectly suited for themes that focus on discovering God’s purpose for all He created, from the sun, sea, and land to friends and family to children themselves.

•  Fives usually try to cooperate, but are still drawn toward getting their way.
Some people call this a “golden age” of childhood, because fives are usually fairly calm, friendly, and eager to please.  However, fives are also still very self-focused.  They can be very adamant about getting their own way.

•  Fives learn by action and repetition.
Fives are less outwardly enthusiastic than fours, but fives still like to be active.  They still learn by hearing, seeing, smelling, tasting, touching and doing.  As with younger preschoolers, if fives hear words, rhymes, and songs repeated over and over again, they will repeat these words, rhymes, and songs themselves.

•  Fives are sensitive to music:  melody and rhythm.
A preschooler’s short attention span can often be held and strengthened by songs when the child seems oblivious to spoken words.  The simple melodies and rhythms repeated in childhood stay in the heart and mind for a lifetime.

•  Fives still need supervision and (sometimes) help.
Fives enjoy doing as much as possible for themselves.  However, they still need help and/or supervision as they learn.  A teacher-child ratio of one teacher for every seven to ten five-year-olds  is very important for quality care-giving.  When recruiting helpers and teachers, remember that grandparents and teenagers are often overlooked, but can be valuable members of a teaching team.

Happy Teaching!

59

 

BT13 Spread Drop_150PS- See my curriculum for teaching five year-olds :

Six Tips for Teaching Four Year-Olds

four-asian-glasses-400x400Four year-olds are my favorite age to teach. Here are six things I have learned about 4 year-olds that will help you better communicate with them:

1. Fours don’t understand the flow of time.
As with all preschool ages, they don’t string together, in time order, the Bible stories told from week to week. To them, yesterday was a long time ago. Therefore I prefer to tell simple Bible stories which support age-appropriate themes. The four year old, for the first time, realizes that he is growing and will not always be little. Fours will often come to class every week and announce their age. So themes focusing on growing: growing up knowing God is with me, growing up praying, growing up helping, and so on, are excellent choices.

2. Fours interact more cooperatively with classmates.
Unlike three year olds (who play side by side with others, yet not really together), four year olds are usually ready to play with a friend or classmate. They are learning how to cooperate. They are better able to control themselves than they were at three. However, fours are still quite focused on their own wishes, and they are usually very active and assertive in pursuing their interests. You can take advantage of these changes, encouraging children to include God in their everyday exploits, helping them learn that God is in control of life and that even growing children can choose to honor Him.

3. Fours learn by action and repetition.
Fours are active and learn by hearing, seeing, smelling, tasting, touching and doing. As with younger preschoolers, if fours hear words, rhymes, and songs repeated over and over again, they will repeat these words, rhymes, and songs themselves. So it’s a good idea to utilize a variety of sensory activities and repetition in your lessons. You can model and repeat the important themes of the lessons and guide the children into experiences that enrich their understanding of how to grow up knowing God.

4. Fours are sensitive to music: melody and rhythm.
A preschooler’s short attention span can often be held and strengthened by songs when the child seems oblivious to spoken words. The simple melodies and rhythms repeated in childhood stay in the heart and mind for a lifetime. So when possible present key truths, themes, and verses not only in spoken words, but also in song.

5. Fours are attracted to sensory experiences and action.
The attention span of a four year old may be noticeably longer than it was at three. But fours are exuberant and often have trouble sitting still and focusing on an activity. They are more likely to stick with an activity or story if it’s interesting, active, musical, colorful, tasty, and fun. Occasionally children need someone to draw their attention to these activities. Teachers may find that when they themselves engage in the desired activity and have fun doing it, the children will be drawn in naturally.

6. Fours need supervision and (sometimes) help.
Fours enjoy doing as much as possible for themselves. However, they still need help and/or supervision as they learn. A teacher-child ratio of one teacher for every six to eight four-year-olds is very important for quality care-giving. When recruiting helpers and teachers, remember that grandparents and teenagers are often overlooked, but can be valuable members of a teaching team.

Happy teaching!

59

 

PS- See my Bible Time curriculum for FOURS

Featured Bible Learning Folder: “I Help”

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Young children want to try doing grown-up things. They are eager to help. It makes them feel significant and useful. It helps them feel like an important part of the family or class. Teach young children that they can help do many things, and God is happy when we help each other.

Theme Scripture: “Help those who are weak.” I Thessalonians 5:14 (ICB) Help the children remember this verse by asking them to repeat it after you with simple hand motions. (shown on first page)

Unit Goals: By the end of this unit, the child should:
• Know that God is happy when children help.
• Want to help.
• Help in class and at home.

Bible Stories
• The Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-35) Focus: The Samaritan man helped the hurt man.
• Building the Tabernacle (Exodus 35:30-36:2) Focus: People used their different God-given skills to help build the worship house.
• Peter and John Heal a Lame Man (Acts 3:1-11) Focus: Peter and John stopped to help a lame man.
• Filing the Oil Jars (2 Kings 4:1-7) Focus: Two boys helped their mother.

Art Activities:
-Penny Banks
-Money Prints
-Bow Necklace
-Wrapping Paper

Science Activities:
-Mixing Colors
-Matching Patterns
-Sorting Coins
-Big and Little, Heavy and Light

Cooking:
-Bean Soup Mix
-Crunchy Oat Cookies
-Cinnamon Crescents
-Coin Cookies

Music & Movement:
-Give a Little
-Jonathan Gave
-One Penny, Two
-We Are Cheerful Givers

Games:
-Pass the Gift
-Who’s Got the Penny?
-What’s in My Gift Basket?
-What Do They Need?

This folder is designed to give you the ideas you need to teach a unit about helping. Mix and match the activities you want with the stories suggested, and enjoy!

BUY PDF DOWNLOAD FOR “I Help”  $2.99
(sold as downloads only, print not available) Your purchase includes permission to reproduce the pages for ministry purposes at a single location, not for distribution to non-purchasers.

LEARN MORE about the Bible Learning Series

DOWNLOAD the Scope and Sequence for the whole series

“The Hot, Hot Furnace” Re-packaged!

Bible Time Perfect Cover

We are pleased to announce that our preschool musical, The Hot, Hot Furnace, has received a new cover design and is now available for purchase. This title was the first preschool musical we published in 2000, followed in subsequent years by 9 more titles, to comprise our PLAYSONGS Musicals for Preschoolers Series. We admit that the covers of the first editions of our musicals are a little light on design value, and even though that fact has not deterred innovative teachers from using them, we recently made the commitment to redesign each cover to make our musicals even more appealing. We are working our way through the series, with this retelling of The Firey Furnace from Daniel 2:46 – 4:3 being the fifth to be redesigned.

The concept for our preschool musicals was conceived by Karyn Henley’s creative assistant at the time, Sheri Smith Bertolini. Then, in collaboration with Karyn, the series was refined and expanded, with The Hot, Hot Furnace being the first release, followed by L-O-V-E, an Easter musical, and To Bethlehem, for Christmas. Additional titles in the series were created by either Sheri, or our long time office manager, Kristi West, and all co-written with Karyn over the next 9 years to bring the total in the series to 10.

Our strength as a publisher has been our understanding of age-appropriateness, and our PLAYSONGS Musicals for Preschoolers is no exception. Age-appropriate features include:

  • Multi-sensory experiences, because preschoolers learn best by doing and using all their senses
  • Short duration for their short attention spans
  • Simple lines, songs and actions to insure that all the children can participate successfully
  • Minimal props, sets and costumes that can be created easily from materials normally found in school supplies (optional)
  • Preparation time that can be accomplished during normal class time without special rehearsals
  • Enrichment activities, to reinforce the Bible story, making it an adaptable mini-curriculum

Plus, the design of our musicals gives the greater share of the storytelling responsibility to the teacher or adult volunteer who tells or reads the story as the narrator, giving vocal cues to the children throughout the play.  The children learn short responses to these cues, so that the musical is performed in a responsive reading fashion.  Many of the cues are repeated throughout the story, which helps the children learn and remember their lines more easily.  Actions and movement enhance the children’s spoken parts.

Ideal for church and school programs, and VBS.

Bible Time Perfect CoverThe Hot, Hot, Furnace
A creative retelling of the story of three brave men from the Old Testament– Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. Includes CD with accompaniment tracks and sample performance.

View Sample Pages Online

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plm1_150CLEARANCE: Original Spiral Bound First-Edition The Hot, Hot Furnace, NEW w/CD $9.99. Four copies available

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