When One Teaches, Two Learn

Figuring out children's ministry one day at a time

Memorize the Books of the New Testament in Less than 10 Minutes!

A few weeks ago, I saw this video by Steve Demme on how to memorize the books of the New Testament in less than 10 minutes. I thought his approach was great, so decided to adapt it for our kids here at Fillmore!  I’ve written out the story as I plan to tell it to the kids, but you can adapt it to suit your church and ministry however you see fit.  Be sure to use the visuals, though, because they’re what the kids will remember!

Note:  I plan to recruit a few of the older kids to act out parts of the story with me to make an even deeper connection and make things even easier on me!

My Very Strange Day

I want to tell you about a very strange day I had not too long ago.  My story begins right here at church one Sunday morning.  Church is a place where we come to learn more about Jesus.  We know that we can read about Jesus’ life and ministry in the books of the Gospel: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.  Most of you already know those four, so they’re pretty easy to remember.

After the church service, I noticed an ax leaning against the wall.  It seemed kind of out-of-place, but I got to thinking that this ax can remind me of the book of Acts, which comes after Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

Axe

I turned around and suddenly bumped into [insert child’s name] who was drinking an RC Cola.  And I got to thinking, “Hmm, R.C.C. That reminds me of the next few books in the New Testament: Romans, 1 Corinthians, and 2 Corinthians!”

Royal Crown Cola

Next, I walked up to the children’s church room and saw the strangest thing.  There in the corner of the room stood Goliath eating potato chips!  This day was getting stranger by the minute, but Goliath got me thinking. Goliath eats potato chips…That can help me remember the next few books of the New Testament: Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians!

Goliath Eats Potato Chips

 

On the other side of the room, I saw [insert children’s names] playing these tambourines and cheering.  [Insert children’s names] are usually pretty goofy, so this wasn’t all that strange 😉  Their cheer actually helped me remember the next few books of the New Testament, though.  They were cheering, “Thess!  Thess!  Tim, Tim, Ti!”  Their cheer helps me to remember 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, and Titus.

Thess Thess Tim Tim Ti

 

Behind these cheerleaders, I saw two guys names Philemon and James.  I could tell that those were their names because of the name tags they were wearing.  Now, Philemon and James were fighting, which I don’t like to see at church, but it turns out that these two boys helped me remember the next three books of the Bible.  Do you want to know how I remember which book comes first in the New Testament: Philemon or James?  I can always remember that Philemon comes first because Philemon, he bruised James. Philemon, Hebrews, and James!

Philemon and James

 

At this point, I was so exhausted from my very unusual and very confusing day that I was ready for bed.  So, I put on my PJs.  But, even my PJs can help me remember the books of the New Testament!  After Philemon, Hebrews, and James, comes 1 Peter, 2 Peter, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, and Jude.

PJs

Now all that’s left is that last book of the New Testament: Revelations.  And that’s it!  You’ve memorized the books of the New Testament!

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How to Teach Your Kids the Books of the Bible in 30 Weeks: Weeks 5-8

If you have been following along at When One Teaches Two Learn, you will remember that last month I started a series on teaching kids the books of the bible in thirty weeks.  It has been wonderful to see our kids taking on the challenge of not only memorizing books of the Bible but learning to look verses up in the Bible!  As I mentioned in the first post of this series, 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!

Though it certainly isn’t mandatory, it would be helpful to have a books of the Bible chart.  I made the chart pictured below or you could buy a poster version online.

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 5

Building Memory:  Cover up the first half of the purple section of the chart (Joshua through 2 Samuel).  Review these books with the children, then sing “A Perfect Book,” while pointing to the books of the Bible on the chart.  Afterward, give each group a set of popsicle sticks with the books of the Bible written on them.  Have them work in their groups to arrange the books in the right order. I created three sets of popsicle sticks.  The sets that I gave to the lower elementary and upper elementary groups were the same – the books of the Bible written on popsicle sticks.

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.  I used the same method as I had for the paper plates, but this time, because we were working with two different sections of the books of the Bible (The Pentatuch and the first half of the books of history) I also color coded the sticks so they match what was on the chart.

Key Verse:  1 Peter 2:17*

Sword Drill:  Have a volunteer from the lower elementary group find the New Testament on the chart.  Have a volunteer from the pre-K/K group find the light blue section.  Have a volunteer from the upper elementary group find 1 Peter.  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 6

Building Memory:  Sing “A Perfect Book,” while pointing to the books of the Bible on the chart.  Leave the blue section and the first half of the purple section covered.  If the kids are feeling a little uncertain of the books that are covered, review them briefly before singing.

Key Verse:  1 Peter 2:17

Sword Drill:  Repeat the same process as last week to find 1 Peter 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.).  Read the verse aloud together off the poster.

Week 7

Building Memory:  Cover up the second half of the purple section of the chart (Genesis through Esther).  Review those books of the Bible. Give the kids the popsicle stick sets, with sticks added for the second half of the purple section..  Have them work in groups to arrange the books in the right order.  Then, sing “A Perfect Book,” while pointing to the books of the Bible on the chart.

Key Verse:  1 Peter 2:17

Sword Drill:  Have each group work together to find 1 Peter in a Bible.  No need to find the exact verse, just practice finding the book itself.  Then, read the verse aloud together off the poster.

Week 8

Building Memory:  Sing “A Perfect Book” while pointing to the books of the Bible on the chart.  Remember to keep the entire blue and purple section covered!

Concept to Teach:  Review with the children that chapter numbers are usually printed in large numbers and verse numbers are usually printed in small numbers in the Bible.  This will come in handy when they do their sword drill!

Key Verse:  1 Peter 2:17

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).  Then, read the verse aloud together.

This is what our chart looks like now.  The kids are really doing well!  One column down, two more to go!

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

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

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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Teaching Books of the Bible: Part 3

Alright, folks.  Learning the books of the Bible has just gone to a whole new level!

Source: http://www.insideoutstudios.net/

In this online game (or app if you have a smart phone!), Granny helps kids learn their books of the Bible by karate chopping boards in the correct order.  How cool is that?!

Source: http://www.christianiphoneapps.com

She’ll start you off easy by giving you some of the books in order, but then as you proceed to the next training round she will mix up the order and you’ll have to pay close attention!

Source: http://itunes.apple.com

Pretty sweet, huh?  She has the books of the Bible divided up into sections, so you work through one section at a time.  You even earn coins for Granny’s curio cupboard for each level you successfully complete!

Source: http://www.facebook.com/grannysbibledojo

If you’re trying to help your kids to learn the books of the Bible, have them try out the app or play online at http://www.impresskids.com/resources/games/grannys_bible_dojo/.  And, as Granny says, “Have fun, Sweetie!”

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Teaching Books of the Bible: Part 2

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!

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Teaching Books of the Bible: Part 1

I mentioned yesterday that I believe that learning the books of the Bible is a key first step in teaching children how to find passages on their own.  I learned my books of the Bible using songs – probably Donut Man songs or something like that – but I have been trying to brainstorm a variety of ways to teach this particular skill.  I remember growing up that my mom had a set of cassette tapes (old school, I know) that had a different book of the Bible on each spine.  They were even color coded according to section (Books of Poetry, Major Prophets, Minor Prophets, etc.).  She would mix them up and allow her students to rearrange the books into the correct order.  I’ve tried doing something similar with the books of the Bible written on the lips of cups that are then stacked in order and have even recently found these coloring sheets at Kids Bible Worksheets.com (You can access the full set at http://www.kidsbibleworksheets.com/books-of-the-bible-coloring-page.htm)

http://www.kidsbibleworksheets.com/genesis-bible-coloring-page.htm

http://www.kidsbibleworksheets.com/1-peter-bible-coloring-page.htm

I was thinking that the kids could work on coloring these as we learn different sections of the books of the Bible and then we could hang them up on the wall.  Still toying with that idea, though.  What are your thoughts?  Have you taught the books of the Bible before?  Any creative ideas to offer?

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