When I get out of bed each morning, the first thing I do is open the curtains, make the bed (as long as hubby is not still in it), get dressed, make coffee for hubby and breakfast for both of us. I don’t think about doing things in a particular order. They just happen. Have you seen patterns develop in your life over time? How do patterns apply to teaching kids’ Bible classes? That is what we will discuss in this article.

If you have been teaching for a while, you may notice some patterns in how you move through a Bible class. Think about what you do each and every time. See if you can identify patterns. Write them down and make an intentional effort to repeat them. Those patterns become plans.

When we teach, we must have a plan, a pattern, an organized idea of how we will present God’s holy words to children. We have all heard the phrase “failing to plan is planning to fail”. This is never more true than in teaching the Bible to children.

I am going to show you how I plan and organize my lessons. This developed after teaching for several years. I began to notice that I did pretty much the same thing in the same order in almost every class session. Once those patterns were identified, I applied that template to all of my lessons. It made planning so much easier.

Keep in mind that there is NOT a one-size-fits-all lesson plan for all ages. Your lesson plan may differ based on the age group you teach, how many children are in the class and so much more. What I will show you in this article is just one way to plan a lesson.

Date this will be taught: This is helpful if you are planning several different classes at once or if you are planning VBS with several different lessons. This gives you a time frame to complete your planning.

Lesson Topic: Who or what is this lesson about?

Scripture References: Include all scriptures related to this Bible lesson.

Main Idea to retain and incorporate into real life: This is a simple sentence or two that sums up the spiritual lesson you want the children to learn. Focus on ONE main idea! It is better to retain ONE concept well than two or three concepts poorly or not at all.

Materials Needed: Having a list of everything you need ahead of time means you will have all supplies you need BEFORE class begins. You should be paying attention to the children as they arrive in your class instead of running all around the church building trying to make copies, gather scissors, paper and more at the last minute. 

Pre-Class Activities: THESE TAKE THE CHILD FROM WHERE HE IS TO WHERE HE NEEDS TO BE FOR THE CLASS SESSION. These can help the children settle down and get ready for class. These are activities children can do BEFORE the official start time of the class. Our class time is limited, so this extends the time children can be engaged in learning. This is also the perfect time to interact with the children and establish rapport. You can do many different activities.

    • Provide individual or small group learning centers. These are my favorite activities to do before class starts.
    • Play games
    • Let children look at short Bible story books
    • Read short Bible story books to the children
    • Review the previous class’s Bible lesson – Children, especially young children, LOVE repetition!
    • Sing together
    • Talk together
    • Pray together
    • Etc. – the list of possibilities is endless

Lesson Readiness – Prepare the child to receive new lesson material. Help them get ready to learn something new.

  • Much of lesson readiness is simply reviewing previous material. We want the child to recall what has already been taught since it relates to the new lesson. This is especially good for children who were absent.
  • There are activities you can also do that grab the attention of the kids. These activities stimulate excitement and curiosity as to what is to come. You have them “on the hook.” This concept is covered in more detail here: http://comefillyourcup.com/2019/01/30/perk-up-kids-bible-class-with-an-egg-separator/
  • MissionBibleClass.org has many simple ideas that may be used here. Follow the steps below on her website to see her Lesson Readiness ideas.
    • “How to Plan a Class” 
    • “Step by Step Instructions” 
    • Scroll down the page until you get to “Introducing the Story” 

Bible Lesson – Write down WHAT you will teach HOW you will teach it.

  • You should always have a skeleton outline or brief summary of the lesson written down. I always include a FULL outline in this part of my lesson plan.
  • Emphasize that this is FROM THE BIBLE! It is truth and not fiction.
  • Describe the method you will use to tell the story. Will you show pictures, use flipcharts, dioramas, draw as you tell, puppets, dramatic story telling or many other ideas?

Lesson Follow-Up Ideas – This is where you will reinforce the Bible story AND the personal application in the child’s life. Include any other activities that bring fuller meaning to the scripture or make application to the lives of the children.. Focus on how to solidify learning by repeating facts or even the story itself through the following ideas. Remember this is list is far from exhaustive.

  • Games for review
  • Songs
  • Memory Verses
  • Applications
  • Worksheets
  • Acting out the Bible lesson with or without costumes
  • Crafts or coloring pages to take home
  • Prayer
  • Etc.

Identify patterns in your teaching style. Put those patterns into a plan. Put the plan into action as you teach the holy scriptures to children in your care effectively.

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