These hints and tips were written to help you with your 3rd and 4th graders, but can also apply to other age levels. More hints and tips can be found on our website.
Seven Learning StylesWe learn things in seven different ways. Are you providing activities for children that use all seven learning styles? For children who are WORD-oriented, provide reading, writing, and story activities. For children who are LOGIC-oriented, provide brainteasers, puzzles, and strategy games. For children who are ART-oriented, provide crafts, maps, and visuals. For children who are MUSIC-oriented, sing songs and play instruments and rhythm games. For children who are PHYSICAL-oriented, provide plenty of play time, sports activities, and active games. For children who are SOCIAL-oriented, provide sharing time, relationship activities, and parties. And for children who are INDIVIDUAL-oriented, provide personal activities like diaries and independent study projects. By using all seven learning styles, you will be helping every one of your students to succeed.
Sing a Song of SymbolsHelp your children make a rebus of their favorite song. (A rebus is a form of writing that substitutes pictures and symbols for key words.) Look for key words in the song that can be illustrated. Print the rest of the words on a poster board, leaving space for the key word pictures and symbols. Add illustrations drawn by the children and sing the illustrated song vigorously.
Get the most out of your Bible storiesBefore you read or tell the Bible story, brainstorm ideas regarding the topic of the story with your children. Ask them to write down their feelings regarding the topic or to remember a time in their life when they were faced with similar circumstances. Then read the Bible story to them. After you have read the story, ask your students open-ended questions to prompt discussion about the story itself. Conclude the story time by bringing the children back into the present by asking them to relate modern-day examples of the Bible story's lesson.
Make the most of memorizationWhat is the goal of Scripture memorization? Are you looking for perfect recitation or are you looking of a connection between the verse and the child's behavior? After a child recites a verse to you, ask her to tell you what it means in her own words, or ask for an example of this verse in daily life.
Seldom is heard an encouraging wordElementary school age is an age of teasing, criticism, and nicknames. Your students need positive feedback to balance the barrage of negativism they receive. Make an effort to compliment each of them about something in each class session. Provide plenty of opportunities for them to enhance their self-concepts.
To help the children find the books of the Bible, let them try doing a little exploration. Ask, Which book do you think you will find if you open your Bible in half? (Psalms) Try it. What if you open the back half of your Bible in half? (Matthew) What if you open the front half of your Bible in half? (I Samuel) Continue opening your Bible in eighths, then sixteenths, as the children guess which book of the Bible they will find at that point.
Bounce this idea aroundThink of your words as tennis balls. Every idea or lesson point is one ball. When you teach using the lecture method, you are tossing several balls to the children and expecting them to catch and hold on to all of them. (How many balls do you think the children can handle before they start dropping some of them?) When you teach using a question/answer method, you toss out a ball (your question) and ask a child to hold it and then toss back a ball of his own (a stab at an answer). Is your teaching a singles match between you and one other child or do you see that everyone gets a chance to handle the ball? When you use group discussion, you toss out a ball and ask a child to toss it to another child, then to another and to another. How many balls can your children juggle at one time? By thinking of your words as tennis balls, you can visualize what you are expecting the children to do with the concepts you toss their way.
A mile of nickelsOne way to increase interest in your missions offering would be to have all offerings given in nickels. Tape the nickels side by side on a heavy gift wrap ribbon approximately _ to _ inches wide. As you complete one roll of ribbon, safety pin another roll to it. For every foot of nickels you collect, you will have 70 cents; for every yard, you will have $2.10. If your ribbon stretches to the mile mark, you will have collected $3,696.00 and your ribbon will weigh approximately 925 pounds!
More hints and tips can be found on our website.