So, I wrote not too long ago about my thoughts on teaching the books of the Bible. I wanted to start working on this particular skill sooner rather than later, so we started things off yesterday during the J.A.M. Time. Some of our kids are familiar with the books of the Bible, but others are not. In light of this, we’re beginning with a system that helps the kids to develop a sense of how the Bible works, then we’ll build into a more thorough knowledge of the order of the books (different sections, memorizing their order, etc.).
This is the display I created on the back of one of the doors in The Hub. I color coded the books of the Bible according to divisions (books of law, history, poetry, etc.), but we won’t discuss the purpose of the color-coding until we’ve covered more of the basics. This Sunday was our first time working on the books of the Bible, so we talked about the two major parts of the Bible: the Old Testament and the New Testament. Then, we started learning “A Perfect Book,” a song written to help kids learn their books of the Bible from Awana’s CD “Sing the Awana Way!”. It seems a bit fast-paced at first, but the kids caught on pretty quickly. I also pointed to the books of the Bible as we sang them for reinforcement. After the song, I explained that our verse for the month is from Psalms, a book in the Old Testament. Then, I asked a child from the lower elementary group point out where the books of the Old Testament were located on the door. Next, I had a child from the pre-kindergarten/kindergarten group to find the pink section (pink represents the books of poetry where Psalms is located). Finally, I had a child from the upper elementary group find Psalms in the pink section. I really enjoyed seeing kids of all age levels working together to find a particular book of the Bible and they seemed to get a kick out of it too!
Over the next few months, I’ll work with the kids on the following concepts (not necessarily in the order listed):
- Each book of the Bible is divided into chapters.
- Each chapter is divided into verses.
- Chapter numbers are usually printed in larger font.
- Verse numbers are usually printed in smaller font.
- There are 66 books in the Bible.
- There are 39 books in the Old Testament.
- There are 27 books in the New Testament.
- The books of the Bible can be grouped according to the kinds of information they give. The divisions I used were Books of Law, Books of History, Books of Poetry, Major Prophets, Minor Prophets, Gospels, Church History, Letters, and Prophecy.
As we cover more of these concepts, we will start to actually practice looking up verses in the Bible, especially our key verse for the month, and continue to learn “A Perfect Book” to help the kids to eventually memorize the order of the books. I’m sure there will be games or activities that we’ll do along the way to help us learn the books of the Bible, but this is our start!