In my many years of teaching in the church setting, I have found that there are a few things that can be done to engage the children and have lessons remembered.
Engage the children
Ask them questions….
…. that require more than a yes/no answer.
… that make them think a little.
…. connecting the lesson with their personal lives.
Have them look up Scripture references in the Bible and read them (as they are able)
Use them in small skits to act out parts of the lesson
Share Your Life (as appropriate)
You were once their age. How did you handle the situations you are talking about? Sharing about experiences you had as a child shows them that you made mistakes like they do. Children enjoy hearing stories about your life whether as a child, or what happened last week. They will often ask you to repeat a story that they connect with several times.
Put the Book Down
Share from your experience, from your knowledge, your understanding of God’s Word.
We all have the “script” from the curriculum, but if we read it word for word from the curriculum, it can, in some instances, tell the student that you don;t know, or haven’t experienced what you’re trying to teach. Study, prepare and try to teach with minimal notes. It will grab the attention of the children and show that you know and understand what you are teaching.
Use Familiar Items from Their Life
I started playing Minecraft because a lot of the children were playing it and were familiar with it. Whenever I get a chance, I use Minecraft in the lesson, either a verbal reference, a screenshot, or in a more elaborate way. Just hearing the word Minecraft, or seeing an image grabs their attention.
If God is a part of your life, then share it with your students. Relate to them where they are, with what they are familiar with in their daily routine.
What are ways that you use to engage the children and help the lesson “stick”?