James 1:27 “Pure religion and undefiled before our God and Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.” ASV.
In a recent study of James 1:27 in class, I used this easy object lesson to visually depict staying unspotted from the world.
1 clear glass
2 clear medicine cups
red food coloring
3 cotton balls
What We Did:
I had the materials and put water in the glass ahead of time.To begin, I demonstrated that we have pure (clean) water and cotton balls.
The clean water is the world before sin. When sin entered the world, in contaminated it.
Put in a drop of red dye.
From then on, man can’t exist in the world without being “spotted” by sin.
Dip one clean cotton ball in the water. Pull it out, showing the red dye on it. (I use the second medicine cup to hold it after this).
So how can we live “unspotted from the world” as in James 1:27?
We need protection.
Lift the medicine cup with two cotton balls stuffed in the bottom (two so they will stay put when upside down).
Hold it exactly upside down, and push it into the red water. Don’t tip it so the air keeps the liquid out.
Pull the cup back out, straight up, and show the students that these cotton balls aren’t contaminated.
Why weren’t they red? Because they had protection. The air in the cup, which isn’t visible, protected them
Discuss how the Holy Spirit, our faith, the armor of God, foregiveness and other unseen elements protect us from the evil in the world.
We used dominoes to demonstrate how the Word spreads from person to person. First each student got a sticker to draw a person on. Then they attached the stickers to a domino (the black dominoes in the photo). We spread out a map-styled tablecloth, and had them place their people dominoes around the map. Then we gave them more dominoes, and told them to reach all the stickers using a domino chain.
- The word spreads faster when one person (or domino) tells two, who tells two, who tells two…
- It isn’t always easy to get to far places, but it is possible
- Working together to build the chain is a lot like how the church functions – a lot of very different people do their parts to accomplish a big goal
- Sometimes we get flustered with each other, when one person’s mistake takes down a long line of dominoes. Working in groups is always like that, and we need to develop forgiveness and love to cover those moments.
It was tough, but eventually they did it. We took video of the big payoff and posted it on the church Facebook page so they could show their families.
Q. I am looking for a craft activity for pre-schoolers relating to wearing the armor of God. I had an idea of using card-board cutouts and clothing them with tinfoil armor. Do you have any other ideas?
VeggieTales Creator Phil Vischer has begun a new DVD series called “What’s in the Bible?” to present educational information about the Bible to kids in an entertaining and memorable way. Each episode will focus on a different book, and will also feature a question about a Bible concept related to the theme of the episode. Rather than pure animation, this series uses a variety of puppet characters along with some live action and some animation to provide variety. Each episode also includes new songs, in my opinion the strength of the series.
Bible Bingo by Lucy Hammet Games is a boxed Bible Bingo set including 8.5 x 11 card stock Bingo cards, a deck of playing card sized Call Cards with information on the back regarding each image, and green tokens to mark the cards. The original artwork is classical with a touch of whimsy. Available in 6, 18 or 24 player editions (look for teachers’ editions). A good product with appeal to a wide range of ages. The images included range from Old Testament to New Testament people, places and things.
FYI: it may matter to some users that images include Christmas, Trinity, images of Jesus (with longer hair), baptism (showing immersion), angels (depicted as female with wings), a Minister in robes, and a missionary.
Age Range: the box says 3 and up. My daughter enjoyed the game at 3 years of age and has no problem matching and remembering the pictures.
Pros: There is good information on the call cards, which can be used for instruction. All the printed material is on sturdy card stock, and the box has instructions and ideas on the back.
Cons: The font is cursive, and may be challenging for new readers.
Where to Buy: Buy directly from the maker at http://www.lucybingogames.com/ from Amazon.com
Disclosure: I was provided a free (6) card set to evaluate to see if I wanted to sell them on my site. I was not asked to link to the seller, or paid to review the product; that was my idea. I only chose not to sell them myself because I don’t carry any inventory but my own.
Q. I teach Sunday School, and the age group of the children are 6 thru 8 years of age. I only have one child that is willing to read the others are not able to read. What would you recomend as a way to teach?
A. I taught a mix of readers and non-readers for years and while it means a change of style, it can be a lot of fun.
My strategy included:
a) Read selectively. I would pick the most relevant verse or two to the story, and either I would read it or I would have the willing reader read it aloud. I would stop after every half sentence or so and check to be sure everyone understood what was going on by asking questions about the verse.
b) Mix images with text. I had lots of flashcards for things I wanted the kids to remember, that included an image with each word. The pre-readers memorized the images and would at least become familiar with the word’s sound and look even if they couldn’t read.
c) Allow activity during storytime. For longer stories, I would break the story into small sections. Frequently we would get up and act out a short element of the story, or I would allow them to color a related image while I was telling the story. Or I would have dolls acting out the story and the kids take part by making sound effects or telling me what would happen next.
d) Use movement and song to reinforce memory. Having students make up hand motions to memory verses, or make their own song to describe a story helps reinforce learning when they can’t read to help them remember.
Even for kids that can read, these are good ways to reinforce learning in non-verbal learning styles. I have a whole page on the different learning styles and various ways to incorporate at http://www.sundayschoolsources.com/learning_styles.htm that may give you some more ideas to incorporate into lessons. There is more info at: http://www.sundayschoolsources.com/Teaching.htm
Q. I started teaching Sunday School about a year ago, we have a very small church, in grades 1-5 I only have 3 sometimes 4 children. We attend a church where the children sit through the entire service with their parents, and Sunday School is after fellowship time.
Any ideas on how I can get the adults to see to it their children stay for Sunday School? I give little object lessons at the beginning of the worship service and I’ll have sometimes 12 children come up for that, but still only 3 come to Sunday School.
A. First of all, thanks for your efforts in teaching the children! I have worked in mostly smaller classes and it can be very rewarding because you really get to know the kids well.
Your object lesson strategy is a great one – you are reaching the kids where they are. My thought would be to hand out something to the kids after the object lesson – maybe a worksheet that they can work on during the service. And tell them that if they come to Sunday school they get a special incentive – a prize or trading card. (I have free trading cards on the site you can print that can match the lesson). The idea is to get the kids to convince their parents to stay, not you.
Another idea would be to do a monthly or quarterly push with a specially themed class, and do an all out blast in the bulletin, object lesson, etc to advertise it. Maybe some families will get their feet wet if they don’t feel like it’s a weekly commitment. And if the kids enjoy it and want to come back – they can convince their parents to stay. They know all the tricks.
The problem is each family has their own reason for not staying and unless several families have the same obstacle you can address, your battle is uphill. It’s awesome that you’re willing to go beyond your class hour to try to reach the kids.
A visual stimulus can be a very effective teaching aid if it conveys worthy content to the children. Some examples of visual tools are: any object, symbol, illustration, or electronic aid used to clarify abstract ideas more clearly. God used many visual aid through-out the Bible and so did Jesus. Visual stimuli get results because, they appeal to our five senses and this is a very effective way to keep your students attention focused on the matter at hand. Consider using figurines, graphics or plays in your classroom teaching curriculum. Visual tools only promote learning and can never replace a well though tout lesson plan from God’s Word.
Enthusiasm- the word literally means to be inspired by God. What works best for teaching is when instructors and teachers are the living example of enthusiasm, because; if we don’t seem interested in our lesson who will be? You can sense enthusiasm for God’s word in a winning instructor and you can feel there inspiration. Enthusiasm begins and grows with good leadership in the presbytery. There is a four part formula for enthusiasm and it is as follows:
1. Inspire Curiosity
2. Spark Interest
3. Gain Knowledge- the more you know the more you grow”
4. Have Faith