When does Sunday School take place?
Children attend the church service with parents until after children’s story, after which they go downstairs, accompanied by the Sunday School teacher(s).
We find this gives the children a chance to participate in worship, form a relationship with the Pastor, and feel a part of our church family.
As we have a small, but wonderful group of children, we are currently staying together as a single multi-age group (ages 4-12) and we find this has worked well for us and the children.
What do we use for curriculum?
Back in 2000, we learned about the Rotation Model and it inspired us to change….
- We redesigned our classrooms into bright, creative, kid-pleasing rooms (workshops).
- Children rotate to a new workshop each week for four weeks, the “rotation” period.
- During the four-week period, only one Bible story is taught. The entire rotation – every workshop, every week. This allows the teachers to explore the story in more depth each week as the children become more familiar. No one is bored and the information is retained.
- This program allows us to help each child by making sure we cover the learning style they, as an individual, can learn best from (multi-intelligence).
Our lessons are either written by Luanne Payne or gleaned from www.rotation.org where a lesson may be used in its entirety or adapted by Luanne for our space and resources. Here’s an excellent article explaining The Rotation Model.
Please join us for a “whale” of a time!
Infatable Whale – nothing more memorable than being inside a big fish to hear Jonah’s story!
Children rotate each week to a different workshop. We generally do four different workshops per rotation period (bible story). It varies month to month which workshops we do, but generally each month we will do a video and computer workshop (if good material is available) and two others, trying to mix it up each month. Workshops decided upon will be based on the best material, idea or lesson, we find or have used in the past.
Here is an overview of the different workshops:
– in this workshop, students explore the Bible story further through creative art projects they will want to take home and share. Example (pictured) in Abraham’s near-sacrifice of Isaac the lesson played off of an archaeological insight about the story related to the practice of setting up “sacred witness stones” — as a way of remembering our role as witnesses to God. Students created “witness stones” from Crayola Model Magic Clay — it’s ART, not paper and glue crafts!
– in this workshop, we have four computer stations with an extensive array of over 60 different Christian software titles. Students learn about the bible story we are studying and what it means to them today through interactive stories, games, quizzes. Or they may draw, write, or create a slideshow of the story with narration and sound effects (see God’s Story Table below).
– in this workshop, students use their sense of smell and taste for memory retention. We may simply retell the story using food, or we may cook the story. Pictured are Baby Noah in a basket. We’ve done Mary Anoints Jesus Ice Cream Sundaes, edible toast sandals for Ruth’s journey after we’d gleaned and then ground our wheat with a millstone. Chopping and cooking Jacob’s stew and making peace pitas….it’s the yummiest workshop!
– in this workshop, we participate in the bible story. We use a variety of methods, such as drama (acting it out, freeze or shadow) or blacklights (pictured), or puppets. We may dance, sing, or play instruments (boomwhackers, bells, rhythm sticks, tambourines, etc.). There’s always lots of action!
– in this workshop we’ll explore or review the Bible story through games or quizzes, some examples are: Bible Jeopardy, Bible Bowling, action games (catch the flying quail), parachute (Red Sea Crossing), matching and sequencing games, or pictured – The Last Supper life-size board game).
God’s Story Table Workshop
– in this creative workshop, children re-create Bible scenes using an assortment of props and then photograph those same scenes to retell the story. Just like a “movie crew” the students swap positions after each scene from scene setter to background or lightening technician, to the cameraman. We have collected quite an array of miniature props, Playmobil® to Lego®-sized of people, animals, buildings, and accessories so we can recreate any bible story!
Bonus Feature: We can use these same photos in the computer workshop, where the children can upload them into “Kid Pix Deluxe 3” add narration and sound effects then create a slideshow (movie) of the bible story.
Below is our first “God’s Story Table” video from our David & Goliath workshop in 2009. This particular video was created using Windows Movie Maker by Luanne. Music background used is “I Give You Everything” written and performed by David Delgado (iTunes). Used with David Delgado’s permission.
– in this workshop, students visit our own little movie theater where they see and hear the bible story unfold before their eyes. Questions and discussion take place throughout the video. We might also sing-along to a music video or answer on-screen quizzes about the Bible story. Wouldn’t be the movies of course without popcorn & juice!
Bible Stories we will be covering 2017-2018:
- Sept – Abraham & Isaac: God Will Provide
- Oct – Elijah: Widow of Zarephath, Still Small Voice, and Chariot of Fire (Elisha and the Mantle).
- Nov – Prepping for White Gift Service
- Dec – Christmas Story
- Jan – Jesus The Boy in the Temple
- Feb – Miracle: Faith Through the Roof
- Mar – Easter – Mary Magdalene: Meeting Jesus at the Empty Tomb
- April – Miracle: Peter Sinks, Jesus Saves!
- May – The Fruit of the Spirit
- Summer – Bongo Loves the Bible! (Books of the Bible)
Some highlights from 2018
Peter Sinks – Jesus Saves! – April 2018
In this “hands-in” lesson, after hearing a storyteller’s version of the Bible story, students gathered around “The Sea of Galilee” to re-enact the story with an extra focus on the meaning of the waves and boat in the story, and watch their fears sink.
Pictured below is our “Sea of Galilee” (a storage container half-full of water), storytellling figures on sticks, and our paper boats.
Students filled their “boat” container with heavy cream, then shake, rattle and rolled their boat –through a variety of teacher-led exercises, until it produced butter (our results pictured below). This “object lesson” focused their attention on the metaphor of the boat as a place where we share the experience and challenges of believing, and what it means to be a disciple according to Jesus. (Oddly enough, it doesn’t mean we have a lot of faith!) The result of these faith activities is a tasty message that needs to be spread!
The “Shaking” Activity included listening and rockin’ along to the wonderful song by Finding Favour called “Shake the World.” In the Reflection activity we spread some of our butter on Communion bread.
Faith Through the Roof – February 2018
God’s Story Table Workshop
After hearing the story the students recreated the scene on God’s Story Table, while we discussed the story and it’s meaning, using a wooden bible time house and Playmobil®.
We then moved out to the hallway and gathered around a very large bucket of Lego® and the children proceeded to each build their own scene of “Faith Through the Roof”!
For More Information:
Sunday School Coordinator