6/29/2009 7:00 AM
A child comes bursting out of the Sunday School classroom proudly waving tissue paper flowers in one hand. “Look what I made!” the child exclaims. The parent responds with suitable admiration.
At lunch that day, with the tissue paper flowers residing in a place of honor on the table, the parent asks, “Why did you make tissue paper flowers in Sunday School today? What was the lesson about?”
“I don’t know,” is the reply, accompanied by a shoulder shrug.
Sound familiar? Children’s Sunday School has benefited from research on multiple intelligences. Kids experience Bible lessons through art, drama, games, cooking, music and a variety of other activities. There is one crucial element that is necessary for any of these activities to be an effective teaching method, and that is reflection.
When choosing curriculum, look for a closing worship or wrap-up time at the end of each lesson. Also check to see if the curriculum clearly states how each activity connects to the day’s theme. Remind your Sunday School teachers to take time for reflection throughout the lesson, as well as at the end. Throughout the lesson, reflection can be as brief as explaining to the children, “Today we are making flowers to remind us that just as God cares for flowers, God also cares for us.” (Lesson based on Matthew 6:25-33.) As the children are completing the activity, ask, “Why did we make these flowers?” At the end of class, spend a few minutes worshiping together and reviewing what you did and why.
The reasons for skipping reflection time are many. “We ran out of time.” “There were too many activities in the book for us to do them all.” “The kids don’t like to sit still.” However, the reason for taking time to reflect trumps all of these excuses. If the children don’t know why they’ve made tissue paper flowers, the activity was no more than a time filler.