Each lesson of Answers Bible Curriculum (ABC) concludes with a discussion and question portion to get students talking about, digesting, and remembering what they’ve learned that morning. But sometimes getting children, especially older children, and adults to contribute to the discussion can feel like pulling teeth.
Here are some tips for helping include everyone during discussion time:
- Don’t be afraid to start the discussion first. It may help take the pressure to “think fast” off the students. Offer a possible answer or personal example from your own life to start the discussion and to give students time to think of a response.
- Split into groups. For adults and teenagers, create an atmosphere in which students can respond to each other rather than just student-to-teacher interactions. This may help quieter individuals open up.
- Be considerate. While the goal is to encourage all students to participate, be mindful that some students may be shy or uncomfortable sharing at first. Others may simply be more introspective. Be considerate of these students.
- Make it random. For children’s classes, consider writing students’ names on a craft stick or strips of paper (or seasonal items like gift bows or plastic eggs). Ask a question; then draw a name and have that student answer. You may award a small prize or treat when someone answers correctly. This technique is especially helpful if the same students tend to answer questions each week.
- Toss the object. Consider bringing in an object, such as a beach ball or beanbag, and toss it to different students to answer a question given in the lesson.
- Ask them what’s wrong. To encourage discussion, ask what is wrong with an incorrect statement and see if they can correct it using verses you read or points you discussed.
- Get out your Bible. Be prepared to reread verses or help students find the answers in their Bibles. It’s always wonderful when you can direct students to the physical pages of their Bible.
Even if certain students are not comfortable participating in discussion, just remember, they are listening and probably absorbing more than you think. Continue to pray for them, as you do all your students, and look for ways to have one-on-one conversations with them to build trust and a relationship.
Learn more about Answers Bible Curriculum at AnswersBibleCurriculum.com.