It is time to begin a new quarter. We've spent the last two years studying from the Old Testament. This morning we begin with the New Testament. Ever since last January, I have been teaching the same class (Sunday AM and Wednesday PM). I get to teach them again. There will be 6 regular students and some semi-regular visitors in this class. We will be using the stations that we did 3 year ago. This should be easier than last time because most of the hard work is done. If you weren't reading this blog back then, you can follow this link to see what it's all about -- Lesson Plans on the Life of Christ.
The last time I taught this, we were trying out a new schedule. We had been using the Amplified Bible Curriculum, which is great in many ways, but we felt it could spend more time on the life of Christ than just one quarter. So, we spread out the life of Christ over 2 quarter and then studied Acts for 2 quarters inserting epistles as they were written. This left a few weeks at the end of the last quarter to spend some time on other epistles and on Revelation. It worked out very well, so this time, all of the classes are going to follow this schedule.
Our first lesson is on the announcement of John's birth. One of the advantages of teaching the same kids over and over is that I know exactly what was emphasized in their study of the Old Testament. We spent a lot of time reviewing the whole Bible story, learning about the promises to Abraham and when they were fulfilled and looking forward to the last promise being fulfilled. For the past few weeks we've been doing a lot of review of our memory work and reviewing the Old Testament. Wednesday night I stressed that between the OT and the NT there was a "famine of words" just as God had said there would be. There was 400 years of silence. Imagine the surprise and fear Zacharias must have felt when, as an old man all alone in the temple, an angel appeared to him.
Review: We are in a new classroom that is set up quite differently from any classroom these kids have ever been in. They are going to be excited and inquisitive. We will start class with a review of the Old Testament (brief version).
Lesson: We'll move right into the lesson of the day. I want to make sure we spend enough time on the Bible lesson and still have some time at the end to introduce the different stations, their project folders, and go over the rules of the class.
Introduce Stations: Here's a picture of the set-up. This is half of the room. There are a total of 8 stations in all. Each station is on a different subject and has folder games and activities to help them learn the material independently. Click on the picture to see pictures of the posters.
The 8 stations are:
New Testament Books -- this is their chance to really memorize the books of the NT. There are folder activities that have them looking up passages in each book of the NT as well.
Maps and Timelines -- They will be familiarizing themselves with the map of Jesus' time and a timeline of his life.
12 Apostles -- the apostles will be memorized and they will read a passage from the Bible and write down what they learned about that apostle. There are also folder activities to help reinforce the apostles' names and what it took to become an apostle.
Life of Christ Lesson Review -- This station will have a new folder activity added each week. These activities are specifically about the lesson.
The other 4 stations are passages to memorize from the Sermon On The Mount. They include
Salt and Light
The Lord's Prayer
Wise Man/Foolish Man
Each of these stations have folder activities. The students will be required to do all of the activities at a station and be able to either write from memory or copy the passage/list their memorizing before they can recite it to me. After they recite the passage/list, there is a sticker to place on the back of their project folder.
Project Folder: Each student will have his own project folder. He will carry this around from station to station, working in it as he goes. There is an activity that reinforces what they are learning at each station (except lesson review). By the end of the year, they will have 4 project folders (one for each quarter) that will be a great momento and resource of what they learned at Bible class. Today, I will pass them out and walk them through some of the activities. These project folders stay in the classroom.
Bible Reading: We have a Bible reading that the families are supposed to be doing at home each week. In addition, the students will receive bookmark that has a Bible reading schedule that they are expected to do on their own. It starts out fairly slow. We will be reading through the gospel over the next 6 months. Then, we speed it up at the end of the year to cover the rest of the NT. If they choose to go along with this reading, they will have read the complete NT on their own (or with a parent's help). Each week, if they did the reading, they get to put a sticker on the back of their project folder.
Memory Take Home: They each will take home a hand out that has all the memory work we are working on in class. We are doing our memory work from NKJV so I typed it all out so there would not be any conflict if they didn't have that version at home. This also keeps the family aware of what is expected of their child.