Monday, October 25, 2010

Harvest Coloring Pages

Here are some coloring pages we’ve created for the harvest season. There are two separate coloring pages in this file. Each coloring page has a memory verse. There is a coloring page in the file for the New International Version and a separate page for the King James Version. If you use a different Bible version than the ones given, feel free to cut off or white out the verse and replace it with the version you prefer. 

You can make as many copies of these coloring pages as you need for your children's program.

If you're looking for even more harvest, thanksgiving, and outreach ideas, take a look at the Church Family Harvest Celebration outreach program with lots of reproducibles on CD-ROM.

Visit our Classroom Decorations store for some fun harvest and Christmas decorations to liven up your classrooms. Here are just a few samples of the large variety of bulletin board sets and trims available. Many are on sale for 30%-50% off.

Click on either image below to download the harvest coloring pages. Visit our Sunday school downloads store for more coloring pages, crafts, and puzzle downloads—many as low as $1.99 each! May God bless you as you prepare to teach children (and their families) about the harvest season and how much God loves them.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Hints and Tips for Teaching Children in Grades 3-4

We've put together some hints and tips for teachers of third and fourth graders. However, many of these ideas can be used with children of all ages. Visit our web site,, for more hints and tips for teaching the Bible to children.

Memory Verse Chain
Challenge your students to memorize as many Bible verses as they can in one month. As each child says his verse to you, add a link to a paper chain with the student's name and the memory verse reference written on it. This is something everyone can contribute to, even if it is just one link. At the end of the month, present the chain to the church and request that it be displayed in a prominent place with a sign indicating that the chain represents the Bible verses memorized by your class in one month.

Making a Difference 
Children this age are beginning to realize that their activities and beliefs can make a difference in their lives and in their world. They are anxious to use their abilities in beneficial ways. They need projects that show them they can make significant contributions at home, school, church, and play. Involve them in church workdays and service projects. Let them collect canned food for distribution to local families or food pantries before Thanksgiving.

A Get-Well Tree
Make this clever tree to cheer up a sick classmate. On a poster board, have one of your students draw a large tree with no leaves and print:
     To _____ (the name of a sick member), and
     From _____ (the name of your class).
Cut large leaves out of various colored construction paper. Have each student write of draw a get-well message on a leaf and then glue it to the tree. Have one or two of the students go with you when you deliver the get-well tree to the class member who is ill.

The Key to Student Involvement 
The key to involving elementary-age students in any activity is to capture their interest. They have an adequate supply of energy to work diligently for increased periods of time on projects that interest them. Capture their interest and challenge them. They will respond.

Good Graffiti Corner
Post a large sheet of newsprint or butcher paper in a prominent place. Inform your students that his is a "good graffiti" wall, a place where they can jot down their thoughts and feelings, messages to friends, etc. A "good graffiti" wall is a great ice breaker. It gets student involved and encourages interaction and communication. Keep the good graffiti wall up for several weeks. Some students will come early or stay late just to put something on the wall.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Relating Successfully to Preteens

Knowing as much as possible about your preteen students can be a big help in improving your teaching effectiveness. First of all,  it's important that you know the physical, mental, social, emotional, and spiritual characteristics of the age group with which you work. Knowing these facts—why kids act the way they do—can affect how, why, and what you teach. Meet with your coworkers to study these age-level characteristics.

Then accept kids where they are. Accept them because of who they are, and respect them! There's no room for "favorites" if you want to reach all the kids in your group. Every preteen has something special about himself and something unique to offer. Find out what it is, and get busy helping that young person feel special and wanted.

Challenge your students to participate. Use them as helpers and leaders. All-Stars for Jesus Bible Clubs are expressional training programs designed to involve kids and let them learn by doing. So don't always do things for them. You as the teacher should always be available and ready to help, if needed, but you should sometimes be in the background. Instead of finding the answer for them, show them where they can find it for themselves.

When your students get restless, you as the leader always need to ask "why?" Usually it's because (1) the activity is too long for the attention span of the group or (2) the activity itself is boring. If this is the case, it's your responsibility as the teacher to correct the situation. Change the activity and always have a variety of activities up your sleeve in case one doesn't work out or is over faster than you anticipated. Again, be prepared. Your preteens will seldom grow bored or restless if there's a fast-moving, variety-filled program or lesson in which they are actively involved.

Give your preteens 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. Provide your preteens with plenty of meaningful tasks, even if it would easier to do them yourself. Always thank your students and show your appreciation.

Youngsters, even preteens, are looking for role models. You have a unique opportunity and responsibility as a preteen Bible teacher to be the kind of positive, Christian example they need!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Sunday School Teachers—Architects in Children's Lives

How Sunday school teachers interact with their students has been compared to the job of counselor, advisor, peer, and coach. But the best description of a Sunday school leader or teacher is as an architect.

An architect designs buildings, planning for physical stress, making them as functional as possible, and creating them to be pleasing to the eye. But once the design is finished, the architect's role stops. He has to let other people lay the brick and pound the nails. he has to let other people live and work in the buildings whether or not he likes how they live and what they do. An architect may work on a projects for months or even years, so his job requires patience and endurance. Yet the architect is simply a planner; others will actually create the buildings and use them. Yet often the architect is blamed if something goes wrong.

In may ways, a Sunday school teacher's job is similar to the role of an architect. It takes patience and endurance. A Sunday school teacher can only influence the students with whom he or she works. The students will be the ones who decide how they will respond to the "plan" the Sunday school teacher has presented to them.

As an "architect" in helping develop the lives of your students, your responsibilities as a leader in ministry can include the following:
  • Lead weekly Bible lessons.
  • Plan and help lead parties and special activities.
  • Work closely with the students and parents in creating lessons and events that interest them and help to meet their spiritual needs.
  • Get to know each child in your group by name.
  • Visit your students in their homes. Invite them to your house or to the church for a special activity, fellowship event, or party.
  • Develop a solid relationship with each child. Be sure all children are nurtured—not just a few.
  • Have periodic prayer and sharing sessions with the pastoral staff of your church. Communicate victories and needs to them for prayer and assistance.
  • Personally pray regularly for each student individually and for your ministry in general.
  • Faithfully attend the services of your church (and bring your Bible), not only because you need the spiritual nourishment but also because you are an example to the children who are watching you.
  • Live an exemplary, Christ-honoring life before your students.
  • Recognize that everything is the Lord's work—your career, your family, trips and getaways, and even baking cookies for your Sunday school class.
  • Honor the time of others. Be responsible and plan ahead before meetings. 
  • Have respect for those in authority over you.
"Developing caring Christian relationships" best sums up the role and results of effective children's ministry. The leader who establishes and nurtures Christian relationships with students and their parents while growing in his or her own relationship with Jesus Christ, will experience great joy and effectiveness as a servant leader.