Holding their Attention: Tips and Tricks for Teachers
By Cowboy Steve
When it comes to teaching the Released Time Bible Classes we want to keep the students attention – and sometimes that can be a challenge! So what can we do? We’ve probably all heard it said how important visuals are, but sometimes you just don’t have enough pictures to keep things moving. In those times you become the visual! How? Here are some ideas:
1. Move around. Don’t stay in one spot up front. Act out (a little) part of the lesson. For example: if teaching about David and Goliath, you put on Saul’s armor or a coat that is way too big for you or have one of the students put it on and try to walk around.Then swing that sling and toss that stone (complete with sound effects – be creative!) And then be Goliath, “konked” in the head by a stone, and wobble around and fall (or almost fall) down with a crash.
2. Use different voices for different characters in the lesson. Don’t worry if you can’t do a “genuine” Jewish accent, the kids won’t care! They’ll love hearing you do little kid voices or old grandpa Noah, etc.
3. Use props, like the oversized coat, whatever the lesson needs to make it easier for the students to remember. We have stuffed life-sized fish that we put in a net and pull out when teaching about how Jesus went fishing with the disciples in Peter’s boat and caused them to catch a lot of fish. We also have a horse jawbone that we bring along when teaching about Samson using a donkey jawbone as a weapon.
4. Voice inflection – get quiet or loud, low pitch or high as needed. There’s nothing worse than a monotone speaker who drones on and on and on. We’ve gotten kids so “into” the story that when we change from quiet to loud (or done a sound effect) it made them jump or squeal.
5. Be expressive! Don’t just tell them the facts of the lesson. If you get into the story, they will too! And they’ll learn more from it as well.
6. Don’t change the facts of the lesson. In other words, study the lesson by reading it in your Bible over and over days and weeks ahead of teaching it, and then share it accurately! If you add to it or use a little artistic license when telling it to the class, be up front with that. Tell them, “The Bible doesn’t tell us what this character was thinking, doing, etc. But maybe he….” We don’t want to have them believing the Bible says something it doesn’t say because we embellished our story.
Remember, you want those kids to be right there with you in the lesson so make it exciting! But the most important thing we should all strive for is to accurately declare the truth so that those children will come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ!
Written by Steve Shertzer who serves as the Released Time Teacher at Camp Victory. To learn more about Camp Victory and their Released Time Ministry click here: http://www.campvictoryal.org