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Ando’s storytelling wins over the Scripture kids

by on September 23, 2011
‘the nets started to tear apart!’

This term Christian and I minded a Yr 4-6 Scripture class at Canterbury Public. I was reluctant to take it on because in my experience Scripture classes are so often boring. We just did it as a favour.

We decided if we were going to do it, we’d try something alternative.

We taught the class together. Our approach was to teach the kids the story telling techniques the team’s been learning from Christian this year, which we use regularly in our Gatherings. We took a couple of stories from Luke 5 –  the big catch of fish, and Jesus healing the leper – and taught the kids to perform them dramatically.

They worked in groups, in pairs, singly, they watched each other perform, they watched us perform, they talked about the stories, they asked questions, they answered questions. Christian revved them up with regular performances, demonstrating how good a story can be to watch and hear. We both moved around the groups, giving feedback and ‘workshopping’ the stories with them. Each week we had students perform for the class as they were ready (and sometimes a bit before!)

We noticed a few things through the term. First, we had no discipline issues all term. That seemed odd.

Second, the kids we knew had behavioural issues (ok, the ratty boys) were just as engaged as anyone, often more so. They started to take it all very seriously!

Third, more kids seemed to turn up each week. Yesterday, the last lesson of the term, every child on our roll came. It was a crowded room!

Also, our preparation time for the classes was minimal. No pictures, no craft, no songs, no worksheets – our materials were stories and students, that’s it.

Lastly, and perhaps most unusual of all, we enjoyed the classes. Wasn’t expecting that! It was a buzz to see the kids engaging with these stories of Jesus. It wasn’t boring!

Now we’re wondering whether to volunteer to keep the class for term 4. The kids say they want to learn more stories. On the other hand, we’re pretty busy with other stuff – make that very busy –  and every hour of the week is precious for mission around here. Decisions!

From → General

9 Comments
  1. totally take it on!!! if the kids are that engaged they may bring their families to church…/

  2. Ane-Claire permalink

    Thanks for sharring this feel good story!
    Yep, Keep going…. & may I suggest praying for more time 🙂

    • Thanks Ane-Claire. What did you mean about more time?

  3. Sophie Febery permalink

    Did you do the same stories every week? ie two stories for the whole term? It would be great if you could take a video of yourselves / the kids doing stories to show us what it looks like! (worksheet / songs Scripture teacher here!)
    Soph

    • Yeah, we had about 6-7 lessons with them, each one 30 minutes. It wasn’t always the same kids as last week, so continuity was difficult. We hoped to do 3 or 4 stories, but two was all we managed. Probably each kid had about one hour with each story. We were cool with that – they got to know those two pretty well.

      The video is a good idea, we’ll work on it.

      BTW don’t hear me dissing worksheets and songs. They can be great. Elise also minded a class this term, she took a more conventional approach, and the kids seem to have responded well for her too. We just didn’t feel confident with that style, and really my point was, we got away with doing little prep!

  4. Yay! Bible stories FTW!

    • Thanks Megan for introducing us to FTW. Which I take it is a term of approval. We’re a bit behind the times here in Canterbury. Folks around here use wtf but we haven’t caught on to ftw yet. 🙂 Give us five years!

      • Ha! I think it might be a teeny bopper acronymn, but my sister (26) uses it ironically, and i think it’s cute (because she’s my sister!). Anyway, it seemed to fit.

  5. Chris Webb permalink

    Seeing as it seems a lot of people become followers of Jesus in their earlier years perhaps Scripture is a very strategic way to use a few of your hours in Canterbury!

    Sounds tops!

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