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 2018-2019 and photos from some ouf our workshops:
- Sept – In the beginning . . . the story of Creation
- Oct – Adam, Eve, and . . . God!
- Nov – Noah’s Ark
- Dec – Christmas – The Wise Men
- Jan – Joseph’s Coat of Many Colours
- Feb – Joseph in Egypt
- Mar – Easter – Mary Anoints Jesus & Palm Sunday
- April – Paul’s Conversion
- May – Paul’s Travels
- June – Sunday School Anniversary
Some highlights from 2018
Sunday School Anniversary – June 10th, 2018
This year’s theme: The Fruit of the Spirit
Galatians 5 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
After a short opening everyone was sent off to rotate through four-11 minute workshops: movie, computer, games, and drama/music. Workshops were lead by Sunday School children and a teacher. After which we all joined for our closing, wherein all the groups performed a skit and song based on one of the fruits of the spirits (from the drama/music workshop). The skits began by Rachel’s cheerful CLAPBOARD – “ACTION!” a most difinite crowd pleaser.
Fruit of the Spirit Ice Cube
In each workshop the participants received a “Fruit” gift. This was the “Fruit” gift given out in the drama/movie workshop to participants.
By Pastor John Stevens of Zion Lutheran Church, Oregon City, Oregon, in his YouTube “Dollar Store Sermon Series” found at this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3fbr7YkIXU.
You place your Ice Cube in the freezer until it freezes, then later you place it into a warm drink, the ice cools it down by spreading how it feels outward and changes everything else around it.
When we talk about the Fruit of the spirit: love, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control … these wonderful things are kinda like this ice cube, when it gets put into a drink it changes everything around it.
God uses us to change the people around us. The fruit of the spirit helps us change other people, as it changes us. You and me, get to be God’s fruit in the world.
We, similar to the fruit ice cube, get to be that kind of change. When we reach out and share God’s love, his fruit, we spread those feelings (those fruits) and in doing so we can change people’s lives.
Fruit of the Spirit Ice Cube Prayer
Use the fruit ice cube as a reminder every time you go into your freezer –
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for your love and grace. I ask the Holy Spirit’s guidance to increase all God’s “fruit” in me. [Maybe you’ve been impatient, lost your temper, or been unkind to someone recently] – I ask your forgiveness for those times I’ve not shown God’s love to myself or others and ask for the Holy Spirit’s guidance to help me grow (name whichever of God’s fruit your in need of), so I can be the person who shows your love “fruit” to others. I receive your help today with a thankful heart.
In Jesus’ Name I pray.
This was followed by a lovely array of tasty treats and fellowship.
Thanks from all the children and teachers for your attendance and support, it is greatly appreciated. It shows the children they are an important part of the church family and you value what they have to offer!
Special thanks to all who made the day possible: the teachers and children who lead the workshops, the Sunday School leaders who provided the food, and for the extra hands on Saturday to set-up and those who helped clean-up afterwards!
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