I don't know if I have mentioned this, but I teach 6th Grade Sunday School every other week. This is my favorite grade to teach, and I have taught from 1st grade into high school. There is just something about 6th graders. They start thinking. I am sure they thought before, but they become more confident in who they are and begin to question a lot of things they accepted automatically as a child.
Another thing with 6th graders is they have learned many of the lessons more than a few times. By this age most of them have been in Sunday School since they were 3. Therefore, the Bible Stories and lessons are not new. They just delve a little deeper. This was brought home the first lesson of the year. We began with Genesis 1. One of the kids asked "Are we going to learn about this again."
What she was saying was she wanted to be fed with new information. Granted, the Bible stories are old, well-loved, and something we should know and learn from and sometimes live by. What this child wanted was something more to challenge her, interest her, give her something to really think about and go beyond the Bible stories that were already familiar to her. Therein lies one of the challenges of teaching 6th graders. They thirst for more and more. If I don't come through and make it interesting, they will probably be bored, tune out, and possible ask their parents if they could skip Sunday School. Which would be very, very bad.
But, how do you teach The Beginning with more depth, interest, flare? Admittedly, I didn't do very well. Oh, we read the Bible. Discussed Creation. But, as it was the first class for these 6th graders as 6th graders with me and we spent time catching up. However, I still have the challenge of keeping them engaged. And, the answer was discovered last year.
One of our lessons involved playacting. I've never seen the kids embrace an activity the way they did acting. After that, I wrote a play for each and every lesson I taught. This is fairly simple since the words are already there. You just type it out in script form. Unfortunately, this happened about 6 weeks before the year ended. I plan on doing this with all the lessons I teach. Unfortunately, my challenge for Sunday is to write a play for 10-16 students to act out, or direct. The story - Cain and Abel. Hmmm, this could be a challenge.
Do you teach Sunday School? If so, what kind of challenges have you faced? Any advice to help the children grow and keep them engaged?
For this week, I would like you to continue to pray for my mother, my sister-in-law's mother and sister, my niece, as well as a young man, who is missing his mother (she passed away four months ago). How can I pray for you this week?