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)

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

Featured Folder: “God Made Land, Sea and Sky”

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A young child’s interests center around things that are familiar to him. Exploring God’s creation uses the child’s natural curiosity about his world to help him learn more about God. Teach the children that God made the land, sea, and sky.

Theme Scripture: “in the begining, God made the sky and the earth.” Genesis 1:1 (ICB) Help the children remember this vers by asking them to repeat it after with simple hand motions. (shown on first page)

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

Bible Stories
• Creation (Genesis 1:1-10) Focus: God made the land, sea, and sky
• Lot Chooses Land (Genesis 13:5-18) Focus: God made the different kinds of land from which Lot chose.
• The Sun Stands Still (Joshua 10:6-14) Focus: God made the sun, and it obeys him.
• Catching Lots of Fish (Luke 5:1-11) Focus: God made the lake where Jesus’ friends caught fish.

Art Activities:
-Soap Flake Sea
-Watercolor Sky with Cotton Ball Clouds
-Play Dough Mountains
-Beach Picture

Science Activities:
-Where Do They Go?
-Digging
-Making Waves
-Cloud Shapes

Cooking:
-Cloud Crackers
-Mountain Rolls
-Cloud Gelatin
-Dirt Pudding

Music & Movement:
-In the Beginning
-God Made Land
-March Across the Land

Games:
-Over Land, Over Sea
-Catch a Falling Star
-I Spy

This folder is designed to give you the ideas you need to teach a unit about God’s creation of land, sea, and sky. Mix and match the activities you want with the stories suggested, and enjoy!

BUY PDF DOWNLOAD FOR “God Made Land, Sea and Sky”  $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 God’s Son”

BLS07 page 1

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 God’s gift to us. He is God’s own Son.

Unit Goals:

By the end of this unit, the child should:

  • Know that God sent his Son, Jesus, to the earth as a baby.
  • Feel happy and thankful. Feel loving toward baby Jesus.
  • Thank god for sending baby Jesus

Bible Stories:

  • Gabriel Comes to Mary (Luke 1:26-38)
  • No Room at the Inn (Luke 2:1-7)
  • Angels and Shepherds (Luke 2:8-20)
  • Wise Men Visit Jesus (Matthew 2:1-2)

A Verse to Remember:

“God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son.” John 3:16 (ICB)

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

BUY THE DOWNLOAD FOR “Jesus Is God’s Son” $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: “God Made All Kinds of Friends”

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Very young children are usually interested in playing on their own, even though they may enjoy having other people in close proximity. When they are about four years old, they start engaging in associative play. They begin playing with other children and start cooperation more in their play. Teach the children that God planned for us to have all kinds of friends. We thank God for the friends he gives us.

Theme Scripture: “A friend loves you all the time.” Pro. 17:17

Unit Goals: By the end of this unit the child should:
-Know that God gives him friends and wants him to be a good friend.
-Feel thankful.
-Thank God for Friends

Bible Stories:
-Zacchaeus (Luke 19:1-10)
-Jesus Chooses Disciples (Matt. 4:18-22; 9:9 10:2-4; John 1:43-49)
Peter and Cornelius (Acts 10)
Paul and Barnabas (Acts 9:26, 27; 13:2-4)

Art Activities:
-Friendship Necklace
-Autograph Book
-Handshake Picture
-Friendship Balloons

Science Activities:
-Measuring
-Big and Little Friends
-Eyes and Hair
-Thumbprints

Cooking:
-Double Thumbprint Cookies
-Muffins for a Friend
-Breadstick People
-Cooperation Cookies

Music & Movement:
-Shake a Hand
-Pass the Candle
-All Fall Down

Games:
-Simple Red Rover
-Who Is My Friend?
-Rowboats

BUY THE DOWNLOAD FOR “God Made All Kinds of Friends” $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

 

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