7 STEPS TO EASILY WRITING
CHILDREN'S SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSONS
HOW TO BUILD AND MANAGE A TEAM-BASED SUNDAY SCHOOL CURRICULUM
Have you ever had to whip together your own Sunday school lessons or even an entire curriculum? I am sure that you, like me, have been guilty of quickly snagging something off of the internet because it was easy.
Maybe somebody gave you a book or some crafts or some curriculum but just looking at these materials are not enough for our children's developmental needs and academic skillsets! Not only do we need to teach them their Bible story in one lesson (or maybe two), provide hands-on activities for learning biblical truths through various subjects such as math, science arts etc., and take care so they don't get bored; all while making it fun too.
This can be difficult
Some of these questions may seem familiar to you:
How DO I teach Sunday school?
What are the qualifications of a Sunday school teacher?
Do I have to write my own Bible curriculum?
(And why on earth would I do that?)
Can't I just buy a pre-made curriculum somewhere?
(Oh sure, it may cost more but isn't it worth it not to have to prepare at the last minute!?)
You are probably already aware that these are some questions that DO come up if it has been requested that you teach a kids class at your church!
It is our goal today to answer one of those big questions. Preparing your own curriculum. We are going to speak of some intangible rewards of preparing your own class ideas and Sunday school lessons through The Scripture Scout method and how your children's outlook will be improved 100%. IT IS REALLY EASY, I promise.
But head's up, this blog post is about team-teaching and how to plan for it. We have spoke about this before and that "different personalities, approaches, voices, and values keep attention, spark interest, and most definitely prevent ANY kind of boredom." And another cool thing is that if you need them, your built-in substitute Sunday school teachers (see #9 at that link), will NOT be snagging something off the internet before they come to church. Hey, you know it happens! ;-)
Instead, those built-in subs will feel empowered, and there will be a general feeling of, "OH YAY! I get to do the crafts today!" or, "Cool, no problem, I can go over the ten-minute lesson," or, "Sure, I'll just go by the office and run off some of the game sheets in this lesson," Or, "It is going to be so fun to watch the kids do that related activity today!"
After all, when each of these parts of The Scripture Scout's Sleuth for the Truth Sunday lessons truly can take about 10 minutes long at minimum, it certainly takes any stress of having to cover a class for an entire hour.
But let's talk about HOW TO BUILD AND MANAGE A TEAM-BASED SUNDAY SCHOOL CURRICULUM ... that you, yes you (and your church/team/whatever) are going to put together and create genuinely meaty but FUN Sunday school lessons. If you are reading this by yourself, call someone to read through it with you! Please print it out and chat with a few friends. But don't forget to talk with GOD first! :-) Here we go ...
HOW TO BUILD AND MANAGE A TEAM-BASED
SUNDAY SCHOOL CURRICULUM
1. SET YOUR GOALS FOR THE BIG BIG PICTURE
- Don't forget that "the push" here is to show how all the beautiful stories in the Bible have a purpose and the GOLDEN THREAD that runs through the Bible to tie them all together in Christ. Make sure that not a lesson is told without Christ being mentioned.
- It supports your goals if the outline is in chronological order.
- Stories, accounts, and narratives are progressive by nature. The longer you learn, read or listen, the more you will increasingly understand until you have a real grip of all of the information therein. This comprehension is accurate of God’s Word too. The Bible is a story, a testimony of how God deals with humanity and of His plan to redeem them. The Scripture Scout curriculum is designed to be read in a specific order, not in exactly the order we are used to seeing in our Bibles (and that's okay!).
- God’s Plan for Man is the main emphasis!
2. OUTLINE A QUARTER'S WORTH OF QUICK LESSONS WITH A TEAM.
Have in mind what you want to accomplish by the end of the year, 2 years, and/or 6 years …
- Plan the first quarter, using:
- Text covered.
- Topics covered.
- Aim, or how you want the students to apply it to their lives.
- Do this until you’ve almost completed the first quarter and can reevaluate it. This way you can make the necessary changes before you plunge into the next quarter.
3. HAVE A REVIEW MEETING WITH YOUR SUNDAY SCHOOL TEACHING TEAM.
Let everyone have a copy of the curriculum in hand. Then, together, write the dates in the margin and who will be teaching both Sunday and mid-week so that everyone will know.
A review meeting isn't always the most exciting thing to do, but you will look forward to this one -- and it is important. A regular team discussion can help you and your teaching partners stay on top of what's going well or not so great in your Sunday school class while also giving each other feedback for improvement.
4. MAKE SURE EACH SUNDAY CLASS & MIDWEEK CLASS TEACHES &/OR REINFORCES THE SAME BIBLE LESSON OR TRUTH.
- Previous weeks of Daily Bible Reading covers what will be taught Sunday A.M. in a structured situation.
- The midweek night will reinforce Sunday A.M.’s class in a fun, non-structured, active hearing, set-up.
- Helps the team’s communication between Sunday and Wednesday.
- This is where you gather all the helps you can find. You will grab any visuals that will help your main goal:
5. HAVE PRE-PREPARED NOTEBOOKS WITH EACH STUDENT'S NAME ON IT. It also gets them excited about learning if your class has time (& supplies) to decorate their own folder.
- Notebooks (it helps to have each class colour-coded) if each grade is following the same lesson themes.
- The expectations or challenges
- Prayer list
- DBR’s for next week and questions
- Sermon notes
- Memory Work for each quarter
- Record-keeping Chart
6. TEAM-TEACHING DESCRIPTIONS -
The time has never been better for collaboration in the classroom. As we have discussed, TEAM-TEACHING is a way to change stagnant classrooms into spaces that foster creativity and innovation, all while teaching kids essential skills like teamwork and problem solving.
- PRE-SESSION MONITOR (15 minutes): do the pre-session, take stats, hear any memory work, encourage telling stories about their DBR, etc. with excitement
- LEARNING TIME / LESSON INTRODUCTION MENTOR (15 minutes): welcome and introduce the lesson
- ENERGETIC WRAP-UP DIRECTOR (15 minutes): conclude with memory aids like corresponding games and/or songs
We're not talking about one teacher handing off their class to another - this model means multiple teachers work together from start to finish! HOWEVER, these descriptions might be helpful for church members who won't stay the whole time OR stay for a bit and get to another class.
My experience, though, is that they won't want to be anywhere else!
7. REWARDS IN SUNDAY SCHOOL The intangible rewards are legion here. Still, we have seen that every time a knows a tangible reward is coming too, that student is motivated to learn and develop a healthy self-confidence in their ability to grasp the Word of God.
- Points are kept weekly.
- Some kind of a “party” at the end of each quarter is appropriate so that they can celebrate and be rewarded for their hard work.
To conclude, let's take a moment to look at the remarkable rewards here. What gives this plan credibility is the number of successes in so many church congregations. There have been tremendous face-lifts in both teachers and students. The children's outlook is improved 100%, and it has motivated the adults as well.
So wait. What is the difference between Bible study and Sunday school? Knowledge of scripture and commitment level is a top priority item as this knowledge is inspired and increased. So too is a thriving love for the Lord and an inspiration to serve others excitedly. Parents have become actively involved, and many students have won their friends to Christ by inviting them to a thriving environment. And man, the teachers' attitude has improved tremendously! No longer is it tough to get someone to help with the kids. It is fantastic and fun. And any internet browsing will not be fly-by but exciting because you will be downloading stuff you already have ready!
These are just some intangible rewards of preparing your own curriculum through The Scripture Scout method and how your children's outlook will be improved 100%.
IF YOU ARE INTERSTED IN THE SLEUTH FOR THE TRUTH (team-based, DIY) CURRICULUM,
BUT STILL UNSURE ABOUT HOW IT WORKS OR WHICH WAY TO GRAB IT, THIS IS A GREAT TOOL:
Okay, you're done reading! Now, consider this video as a reward for getting inspired to implement these steps!
I couldn't resist; it is too cute. And if you've EVER taught Sunday school ... you will totally "get it" -- you probably have more examples of funny questions kids have asked in class! Please comment below and tell me some funny things you've heard!
FOR TWO FREE LESSONS OF SLEUTH FOR THE TRUTH:
Below you can find some sample Sunday school lessons
and some free printable lesson for teachers including activities for kids.