When One Teaches, Two Learn

Figuring out children's ministry one day at a time

How to Teach Your Kids the Books of the Bible in 30 Weeks: Weeks 1-4

on October 8, 2012

Bible literacy is something that I’m passionate about.  It doesn’t matter how effectively I teach on a Sunday morning if I haven’t given my kids the tools they need to make their faith their own.  Bible literacy is one of those tools.  Since the kick-off of J.A.M. Time (our kids Sunday School program) in September, I have been trying to think of creative ways to teach the books of the Bible to the kids at Fillmore.  Over the next few months, I will be posting mini-lessons that I have used to teach our kids the books of the Bible step-by-step.  Much of what you will see is a compilation of ideas from a variety of books, websites, and experiences.  Hopefully you will be able to use many of these same ideas to help your kids to achieve Bible literacy too!

First, you’ll need a chart similar to this one that I created.

You’ll also need a song about the books of the Bible.  I use “A Perfect Book” from Awana’s CD “Sing the Awana Way!”, but you can use any song that you would like

Week 1

Concept to Teach: The Bible is divided into the Old Testament and the New Testament.  Point to the labels over each section on the chart.

Building Memory:  Sing “A Perfect Book,” while pointing to the books of the Bible on the chart.

Key Verse:  Psalms 47:7*

Sword Drill:  Have a volunteer from the blue group find the Old Testament on the chart.  Have a volunteer from the green group find the pink section.  Have a volunteer from the yellow group find Psalms.  Read the verse aloud together off the poster.

*I included the verses that we are studying during J.A.M. Time, but you can substitute any verse that you’d like.

Week 2

Concept to Teach: Review the Bible breakdown: Whole Bible breaks down into the Old and New Testaments, which breaks down into books. Have the kids try to guess how many books they think are in the Bible, then explain that there are 66.  Post the number near the chart.

Building Memory:  Sing “A Perfect Book,” while pointing to the books of the Bible on the chart.

Key Verse:  Psalms 47:7

Sword Drill:  Repeat the same process as last week to find Psalms on the chart.  Then, demonstrate how to find the verse in the Bible.  Verbalize your thoughts (i.e. “When I opened the Bible, I was in Job.  I know that Psalms comes after Job, so I need to turn a few pages.).

Week 3

Building Memory:  Cover up the blue section of the chart (first five books).  Review the first five books of the Bible. Give the kids paper plates with the first five books of the Bible written on them.  Have them work in groups to arrange the books in the right order.  I created three sets of plates.  The sets that I gave to the lower elementary and upper elementary groups were the same – just the books of the Bible written on the plates.

I did something a little different from the pre-kindergarten and kindergarten group.  Most of these children are not yet reading, but they are learning their letters, so they required a bit more guidance from their leaders, but these simplified plates worked well for them.

Then, sing “A Perfect Book,” while pointing to the books of the Bible on the chart.

Concept to Teach: Books are broken down into chapters and verses.  Examine the “verse address” on the poster of the verse and explain what each piece means (Where is the chapter number?  Where is the verse number?).

Key Verse:  Psalms 47:7

Sword Drill:  Have each group work together to find Psalms.  No need to find the exact verse, just practice finding the book itself.

Week 4

Building Memory:  Sing “A Perfect Book” while pointing to the books of the Bible on the chart.  Sing it through a second time with the blue section covered.

Concept to Teach:  Chapter numbers are usually printed in large numbers and verse numbers are usually printed in small numbers in the Bible.

Key Verse:  Psalms 47:7

Sword Drill:  Have each group work together to find the key verse.  Walk the groups through these steps:  Find the book, find the chapter number (large number), then find the verse number (small number).

I also enlisted the help of our parents by listing some ways that they can reinforce what we’re learning at home in the October edition of our Fillmore Kids Newsletter.  Here are a few ideas that you can suggest to your parents:

  • Have your child sit with you and watch as you look up a verse in the Bible and explain the process to them.
  • Learn a song about the books of the Bible.  We have been using “A Perfect Book” from the Sing the AWANA Way! CD, which is available on the iTunes store.
  • Play a game with your kids.  Tape pieces of paper with the books of the Bible written on them onto blocks.  Have your child try to stack the blocks in the correct order.  Start small with just a few books of the Bible, then you can build your way up!
  • Check out Granny’s Bible Dojo (either the app or online), a way to karate chop your way to memorizing the books of the Bible!

Stay tuned for the next installment of How to Teach Your Kids the Books of the Bible in 30 Weeks!

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