Monday, August 30, 2010

Ten Commandments Bible Lesson

Before your Sunday school or Bible club class, cut two tablet shapes from construction paper. Print five commandments from Exodus 20 on each tablet. Use the Bible version you prefer or simply write a summary of each commandment. Glue each tablet to a piece of sandpaper or a slab of stone to make them look more realistic.
Ten Commandments Bulletin Board Set 
Another option is to prepare a Ten Commandments Bulletin Board (item #CD210003)This bulletin board set is just $12.99 and can be ordered from or by calling 1-800-854-1531. Click on the bulletin board set for more information. A summary of each commandment is included, each on its own tablet. Hand one commandment to each child and let him place it on the board as you discuss it.

Ten Commandments for Kids
You may also want to use Ten Commandments for Kids Chart to help your visual learners. This chart is available for just $2.99 each (item #CD6359) at or by calling 1-800-854-1531. Click on the chart image for more information.

Show the Ten Commandment tablets to your students. Say, Moses climbed the mountain to meet with God so God could give Moses His Commandments for the Israelites. Why did God have to give them these rules? Aren’t they just common sense? Have different students (or adult or teen helpers) read each commandment from Exodus 20. Then discuss it. Have verses 1-3 read. Why did God have to tell His people to worship only Him? (because He is the only true God)

Have verses 4-6 read. Ask, Who made graven images (idols)? (countries who didn’t worship the true God) Why would God need to punish the whole family? (People imitate what their parents do; if their parents worship idols, they would tend to worship idols, too.)

Have verse 7 read. Ask, What does it mean to take God’s name in vain? (“Vain” means “not as intended” and “empty.” To misuse God’s name as a swear word is not what God’s name was intended for. It shows disrespect for God.)

Have verses 8-11 read. Ask, Does this mean that we have to do nothing on Sundays? (It means we worship God then and do not forget to take time to do so.)

Have verse 12 read. Does God mean that we have to honor and obey only biological parents or does He mean anyone who is responsible for us? (It means we obey our caregivers, whoever they are.)
Have verse 13 read. Does God mean that if we treat someone in hateful ways but don’t actually kill them, that’s okay? (No, it means we should not think or say murderous things with our eyes or words. Jesus clarified this in Matthew 5:21-26.)

Have verse 15 read. If anyone wonders why you skipped verse 14, tell them that this verse deals with what adults do, not what children usually do. Ask What is stealing? (taking anything that does not belong to you, no matter how small, without permission)

Have verse 16 read. Say, Bearing false witness means to lie, to say something that isn’t true. Is it ever right to lie? (No, you should always tell the truth, but out of love so that you don’t hurt someone.)
Have verse 17 read. Ask, Why is it wrong to wish for things you don’t have that belong to others(because it can lead to stealing and lying to get them for yourself, and God wants us to be content with what we have.)

Toss a foam ball to a student and have her give the first commandment. Have her toss the ball to another student who will give the second commandment, etc. If anyone has trouble remembering his commandment, the rest of the group can help. If necessary, refer to the Ten Commandments Tablets. Encourage your students to follow God's commands during the week. 

Ten Commandments Certificate
Give a Ten Commandments Certificate to each child who can say all Ten Commandments (with your help) after this lesson (or the following week). These certificates are available in packages of 36 for just $2.99 (item #CD201007). Click on the image for more details and to order the certificates. Visit for more classroom decorations and teaching ideas.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Using Learning Centers with Preschoolers

Effective teaching with learning centers

In your preschool Sunday school and Bible club classrooms, the place where the most in-depth and long-term learning will likely take place is in the learning centers. Learning centers are areas of your classroom that are the setting for a particular kind of activity (home living, block building, reading, looking at picture books, etc.) that teach or reinforce a biblical concept to the children.

The dramatic impact of learning centers on effectively teaching spiritual truths to twos and threes and fours and fives lies in the fact that the activities in the learning centers help to give meaning to Bible teachings through associating these teachings with everyday activities.

We can talk to the class about Jesus showing kindness to others and then pray, "Help us all to be kind this week," but many young children may not know what it means to be kind. The learning center approach is for children to work together in meaningful activities (playing with toys or blocks, pretending in the home living center, etc.) while guided by a teacher who labels and encourages acts of kindness and relates what the children are doing to what the Bible says about kindness. 

However, effective teaching in learning centers happens only through the careful guidance of the teacher or helper who guides the children's attention toward the lesson theme or biblical truth through "directed conversation." In directed conversation, the teacher uses spoken words to relate what the child is doing to the spiritual truth or biblical aim of the lesson. The teacher is not simply watching or caring for the children while they build blocks or play in the home living area; the leader actively facilitates Bible learning in light of the children's activities. (This is one of the most important roles leaders and helpers play in your preschool classroom and the reason it is crucial that there is one adult leader or helper for each learning center each week.) Directed conversation is the key ingredient in making learning centers effective in your classroom. Combining words with actions in a relaxed climate greatly increases a child's ability to respond to Bible truths and also helps the child build positive attitudes about himself and others.3

Suggested learning centers
In Honeybees for Jesus Bible Clubs, three learning centers are suggested each week, and two are suggested each week for Cubby Bears for Jesus Bible Clubs. In the Preschool Bible Foundations Downloadable Sunday School  Curriculum, two learning centers are suggested each week. The same learning centers (with different activities each week) are used for four weeks at a time. Instructions are provided in the Leader's Guides for setting up the centers, supplies needed, and ideas for directed conversation to help fulfill the lesson aim. However, there are many more learning centers that may be used effectively, in addition, in your classroom.

Well-equipped Sunday school and Bible club rooms for preschoolers should definitely include a permanent Home Living Center, God's Wonderful World Center, and Art Center, as these form the basis for the learning centers suggested in the curriculum mentioned above. Below are listed the basic furniture and supplies needed for these three centers.
   • Home Living Center: This center should include a play sink, a stove, a refrigerator, doll dishes and pans, doll beds or cradle, a doll blanket, dolls, doll clothes, a child-size rocking chair, a small table, chairs, and a play telephone. Group materials to simulate a kitchen arrangement.
   •  God's Wonderful World Center: Based on the season, this center may include sprouting seeds, rocks, fresh flowers, colorful dead leaves, blossoms, pine cones, feathers, a magnifying glass, a bird’s nest, growing plants, a goldfish in a fishbowl, and seashells. Children may also make leaf collages, water plants, plant seeds, or make a bird feeder.
  •  Art Center: This center should have low tables where the children can sit plus a heavy-washable drop cloth to provide work space. Basic art supplies include crayons, felt tip markers, glue sticks, glue, scissors, and construction paper.

 Optional learning centers
The following additional, optional centers may be provided, either permanently or temporarily, if space and finances allow. (Children feel more secure if they see the same learning centers week after week, so do not feel you must constantly change your learning centers; this is the reason each learning center in the curriculum mentioned above is used for a minimum of four weeks before being changed.)
  • Worship Center: This center should include a picture of Jesus, a picture of Jesus with children, a Bible (preferably with colorful pictures) that the children can touch and hold, and a picture of a church building. All items should be arranged attractively on a small, low table.
  • Book Nook: This center should include picture books (Christian stories or Bible stories only), a Bible, a photo album showing families together, "touch and feel" books, and places to sit comfortably.
  • Puzzle Center: This center should include simple wooden-type puzzles (no more than 12 pieces in each for your twos and threes) and low tables and chairs where the children can sit to work on their puzzles. The center may also include the wooden, three-dimensional puzzles of cars, trucks, and animal shapes. (If necessary, children can work on puzzles on the floor rather than on tables.)
  • Block Center: This center should include assorted sizes and shapes of plastic, wooden, or cardboard blocks and toy cars and trucks.

Well-equipped rooms for preschoolers will include learning centers where your little ones can learn about God, Jesus, and the Bible as they explore, play, and use their five senses. Your guidance through directed conversation will help them begin to understand basic Bible concepts as they grow in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Prayers and Action Rhymes for Preschoolers

Here are some prayers with actions and action rhymes to help your preschoolers and toddlers learn about God and talk to Him in prayer. Use the action rhymes after an active game to help them get the wiggles out before you move to a quieter activity or before your Bible story.

Sing to the tune: 
Here We Go 'Round the Mulberry Bush
Thank You, God, for all my friends,
     For all my friends, for all my friends.
Thank You, God, for all my friends,
     And Thank You, God, for Jesus.

Thank You, God, for family,
     For family, for family.
Thank You, God, for family,
     And Thank You, God, for Jesus.

Thank You, God, for food to eat,
     For food to eat, for food to eat.
Thank You, God, for food to eat,
     And Thank You, God, for Jesus.

Little children, fold your hands (fold hands)
     And bow your heads this way (bow heads).
Think of God and His great love (hug self) 
     As quietly we pray 
(whisper as you fold hands and bow heads, then lead in prayer).

Sing to the tune: Are You Sleeping
God, our Father, God, our Father,
     We thank You, We thank You
For our many blessings, For our many blessings.
     Amen, Amen.

Here are my hands (hold out hands),
     Here are my feet (touch toes).
God made my hands and my feet 
     (hold out hands, then point to toes).
I can use them to do good (spread arms wide and smile).

Where are your hands (hold out hands)?
     Where are your feet (touch toes)?
God made your hands and your feet 
     (point to another's hands, then point to their toes).
You can use them to do good (spread arms wide and smile).

God made my hands (hold out hands),
     God made my feet (touch toes).
God made your hands and your feet 
      (point to another's hands, then point to their toes).
We can use them to do good (spread arms wide and smile).

God (point up) made you (point to a friend).
     God (point up) made me (point to self).
God (point up) made everyone (spread arms wide).
     We can see (shade eyes and look around).

Nobody else (shake head) looks like you (point to a friend).
     Nobody else (shake head) looks like me (point to self).
God (point up) made you (point to a friend).
     God (point up) made me (point to self).
We are very special to God (hug self).

Monday, August 9, 2010

NEW! Reproducible Sunday School Curriculum—Easy & Affordable

With NEW Downloadable Sunday School Curriculum from Christian Ed. Publishers, Sunday school has never been this easy and affordable!

Our NEW Bible Foundations Sunday school curriculum download includes everything: Teacher's Bible lesson plans, student sheets, memory verse activities, games, and crafts for 13 weeks each quarter. And it's all reproducible. No need to purchase extra teacher books and extra student materials. Print only what you need! There's never any waste.

Our Bible lessons give you lots of options. You choose the activities that work best with your students. Your teachers will love our easy-to-follow instructions and minimal prep time. Plus all crafts are designed to use simple household supplies. Make extra copies of lesson plans for all your teachers. Print as many as you need of reproducible Student Sheets with exciting crafts, activities, and Bible story review games for class use and to extend the Bible learning at home.

We offer three age levels: Preschool: Ages 2-5Early Elementary: Grades 1, 2 & 3 and Upper Elementary: Grades 4, 5 & 6. You can have multiple classrooms for each grade level with no added cost. For example, if you have a separate class for two-year-olds, another for three-year-olds, and another class for 4-year-olds, you simply copy as many teacher guides as you need—Fall quarter on sale now for only $59.95!

Check out our three-year Scope and Sequence, FREE sample lessons and special introductory prices. Plus save $40 when you buy all four quarters with our annual subscription plan. Learn more>

All prices are based on your class size. Once you choose whether to order a quarterly or annual subscription, select under 50 students if your Grades 1-3 class size total less than 50 children. If your total is 50 or more students, pay one low price, no matter how big your classes grow.

Still have questions? Call us at 800-854-1531 or download the sample lesson to see for yourself why we believe our Sunday school curriculum downloads from Christian Ed Publishers is the best choice for your kids and for your church!

Also available...Preschool (Ages 2-5) coming August 16 and Upper Elementary (Grades 4-6) available August 23.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Relating Successfully to Children

The time you invest as a Bible teacher or helper falls into two main categories:
   1.  Time spent in prayer, preparation, and planning
   2.  Time spent with the kids during the actual Bible teaching and activities.

Some of the time spent during your Bible class will be in large group activities. It is possible to interact on a one-to-one basis in groups, however, and to make a moment important to a child.

As you get to know each child as an individual, remember that children learn in many different ways and at decidedly differing rates of progress. The All-Stars for Jesus Bible Club programs are written with these differences in mind. A variety of methods is used to present concepts or teach Bible truths. Materials are written to be age appropriate, capturing a child’s level of interest and understanding. Children who do not yet read can participate in primaries or Explorers lessons through non-reading parts provided in many meetings.

One purpose of Bible programs for children is training, and training is best accomplished through involvement. So involve your students in the planning and implementation of your Bible programs and lessons. Make taking part a really positive thing so they’ll be motivated to seek involvement and put the necessary effort into preparing. Most children love to please adults (usually!) and will do almost anything for recognition and attention. Take advantage of this characteristic to provide your students with many enriching experiences.

Give your students plenty of responsibility—not just by participating in programs, but in maintaining the appearance of the room, distributing and collecting materials and, in general, being a contributing member of the group. Give them meaningful tasks, even if it would be easier to do them yourself. Always thank them and show your appreciation.

You may be the only really positive, warm factor in an otherwise unhappy young life. Be sensitive about the things you say and do. Avoid broken promises, sarcasm, favoritism, or an impatient attitude. Your students won’t easily forget such treatment by adults. But neither will they forget the smiles, the hugs, the encouragement, and the love given to them by caring adults they can trust.

Children are looking for role models. You have the unique opportunity and responsibility as a Bible teacher or helper to be the kind of positive example they need. Your life can reflect the love of God through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.