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How to Teach Basic Bible Skills to Help Kids Find Answers

by Avery Foley on June 24, 2019

Scripture reading is such an essential part of Sunday school. If we want children to be looking to God’s Word for the answers, we’ve got to be showing them how to do that by teaching Bible skills. Bible knowledge is vital, but if they don’t understand the Bible as a book (Bible skills), they’ll have a hard time finding answers in the Bible.

Here are some tips for how to get the most out of the Scripture passage portion of the lessons:

  • Use a real Bible.
    Showing your print Bible puts the emphasis on God’s Word—not on the curriculum. Students should see you actually looking passages up and reading them from your Bible, and they should be doing it too.
  • State the genre.
    The Bible is made up of several different styles of literature, such as historical narrative, poetry, prophecy, wisdom, or the epistles. When you are turning to a passage, describe the book (e.g., “our next passage comes from Psalms, a book of poetry”). Giving the students some background information on the author and the historical context can also be helpful (that information can be found on our Books of the Bible cards).
  • Use maps.
    Many of the cities and places in the ancient Middle East mentioned in the Bible don’t exist today. Use Bible maps and even pictures of the area as it looks today to help students visualize where you are reading about.
  • Sword drills.
    Having children look up the verses in their own Bibles helps them read the words for themselves and gives them familiarity with the arrangement of the biblical books. Sword drills (where everyone competes to see who can find the reference first) are a fun way of helping children learn their Bibles.
  • Act it out.
    Store some basic costumes and props in your classroom and have the children act out the biblical account. This works well for narratives with lots of actions but, obviously, not as well for Psalms or epistles (though if you get really creative, you could make those work too!). This adds an element of fun and excitement.
  • Dramatic reading.
    Don’t just read the words on the page in monotone—God’s Word is exciting! Communicate the emotion in God’s Word with your voice. That will not only hold the children’s interest but will also help them connect with the Bible.
  • Have the students read.
    Ask a student to look the passage up in their Bible and have them read it out loud. This can be an excellent way to encourage children to participate. It’s also a great way for children who may have trouble sitting still or paying attention to connect with the lesson to feel like your helpers.
  • Bookmark passages.
    If you’re rushed on time, look up the passages in advance and bookmark them so you, or a student, can flip to them quickly. You can also summarize longer passages, instead of reading them word for word, to save some time. But make sure you’re summarizing out of the Bible to keep the emphasis where it should be.
  • Answer questions using the Bible.
    When possible, answer their questions by directing them to passages of Scripture, even looking up and reading those passages when appropriate. This encourages them to turn to God’s Word for answers.

The focus of Answers Bible Curriculum is the Bible, and it being our authority in all areas. That’s why we use the Bible—and lots of it—in all our lessons. So, get into God’s Word with the kids!

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