Facilitator’s Guide

There are two different guides provided here. One is designed for those who teach children. The other will assist if you desire to help adults engage with scripture through the use of Bible stories.

Option 1:
If you are a parent or teacher looking for ways to expand the content from the book Teach Your Children: Bible Stories that Build Character (Keck and Benson), refer to the section below entitled “For Use with Children.”

Option 2:
If you would like to use the book as a non-threatening tool to help adults dig more deeply into character traits (attributes of God) reflected in God’s Word, scroll to the section “For Use with Adults.” Or use it with a group of parents to provide encouragement and accountability as they teach their children and report back to the group weekly.

For Use with Children

If you are a teacher or parent, the following suggestions are provided to help children receive the most from the content of the book, Teach Your Children: Bible Stories that Build Character.

Mining the Most from the Bible Stories

Each chapter has four Bible stories which reflect a specific character trait (or attribute of God). As you read or tell one of the Bible stories, make it a practice to have a Bible visible, preferably in your hands turned to the correct reference. If the Bible is to represent the authority of God’s Word, then children need to connect the stories to the Source.

In the “TALK” section of each chapter there are three discussion questions designed to help the children learn together. In addition:

1. Ask at least one informational question, such as: Who is the main person in the story?

2. Ask at least one personal question, for example: Describe a time when you applied the character trait and a time when you did not.

3. Then ask an application question, such as: How might you apply the character trait in the future.

Helping Children Learn the Way They Learn Best

Complete at least one of the activities listed in the “THINK” section of each chapter in Teach your Children: Bible Storie that Teach Character. These suggestions take into account that children learn through their senses (seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching) as well as the fact they learn differently. Educators refer to these as learning styles. For further explanation, see Learning Styles.

Note:
As you peruse the “THINK” section of each chapter, you will see that the first suggested activity in each is basically the same. It is called “Stones of
Remembrance.” This idea is found in Scripture and is sometimes called Ebenezer from the Hebrew word “the stone of help”. In Joshua chapter 4 God tells Joshua to choose twelve men, one from each tribe, to pick up a stone from the middle of the Jordan and carry them to the camp on the other side. Then he said: “When your children ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them how God stopped the flow of water so the people could walk across on dry ground.” God wanted to remind His followers that He is powerful.

Children also need reminders that God is powerful. This is the reason for including the “stones of remembrance” activity with each character trait. Though we have suggested using actual stones, other media will work just as well. Consider the option of construction paper cut or torn into the shape of stones and kept safe for each child in his or her envelope until they have covered all twelve chapters. Who knows how God will continue to speak to their hearts as they see each “stone” with a character trait written on it.

Using Art Media to Enhance Learning

Since children learn through their senses, art media presents many opportunities to enhance learning. Here are some suggestions.

I. Tactile Activity

Make a replica of the character trait image (at the beginning of each chapter). Use either clay or play dough (bought or homemade). Here is a recipe for those of you who choose to make your own play dough.

Ingredients:
1 cup flour
2 tablespoons oil (any kind will do)
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons Cream of Tartar
1 cup warm water

Optional: To add color and aroma to the dough, use food coloring and lemon or mint extract. Or if your resources are plentiful, consider using one 3-ounce package of dry gelatin (grape, cherry, orange, blueberry, lime or lemon). Using the gelatin will add a pleasing aroma as well as vibrant color.

Directions
1. Mix all ingredients together in a small pan over medium heat, stirring continuously until it thickens into a ball.
2. Then place dough on a floured surface and wait for it to cool.
3. Once the dough is cool (20-30 minutes), knead it until it is soft and pliable.
4. Store in a recloseable plastic bag or container with a tightly-fitting lid. Keep in a cool area between uses.

II. Visual Activity

Materials needed:
paint*
paint brushes
large sheets of paper (newsprint, butcher paper, or whatever paper resources you might have available)

Allow each child to paint a large piece of paper. Use only one color per child, but allow him or her to choose from several colors. Direct the children to use either a paint brush or their fingers.Then allow time for the paint to dry. Give each child (or the teacher if the children are unfamiliar with cutting) an opportunity to cut a replica of the chapter image from their painted paper. (Some of the images used in the chapters are: an apple, five smooth stones, an extended hand, a lofty mountain, etc.) Display the children’s work on a bulletin board or on the wall.

Optional Activity: Teachers may want to prepare a black and white chapter image and let the children paint it using a color of their choice. Remember to display in a visible area where the children can see and enjoy their work.

*Recipe for Homemade Paint (to use with brushes or fingers)

Ingredients:
1 cup flour
1 tablespoon cooking oil
1 tablespoon laundry or dish detergent (to keep from staining hands and clothing)
Enough tempera paint or food coloring to make the desired color
Water as needed to achieve the desired consistency

Note: Provide discarded adult-sized shirts or tee-shirts to protect clothing.

III. Fine Motor Activity

Materials needed:

White paper (letter size or larger)
Construction paper, wall paper scraps, magazine pages, or newspaper pages
Glue

Copy an outline of the image being studied onto a piece of white paper. Let the children tear different paper pieces and then glue them over the image forming a mosaic. Display artwork on a bulletin board or around the room.

Note: Each child’s artwork is unique. The process is more important than the end product. Displaying artwork is one of the best ways to communicate to a child that you value his or her work.

Learning the Bible Verse

Each chapter has a focal Bible verse. Help the children learn the verse and its meaning by providing different interactions with it. Here are four suggestions:

1. Print out the verse for each child. Cut the verse apart between each word. Encourage the children to piece their verses together in the correct order. Then recite the verse together as a group.

2. Give each child a piece of construction paper or newsprint on which the verse is written (with the reference). Older children can write the verse for themselves. Then instruct them to line each letter with glue and gently spread sand over the letters. After the sand dries, read the verse together with each child.

3. Form teams of two or three. Assign each team a color (purple, red, yellow, green, orange, blue, brown, and so forth) by giving them a circle or a strip of paper of that color. Then provide printed copies of the verse in each of these colors. Cut between each of the words in a zig-zag pattern and place all the pieces in the center of the table. Instruct the teams to find the words in the color that matches the one assigned to them. Then let them put the words together in the correct order and repeat the verse together to the group.

4. Give each child a piece of white paper and crayons. Then read the verse and reference together as a group. Ask the children to draw a picture of something that verse “says” to them. Give each child an opportunity to share his/her picture with the group. Post their pictures on a wall or bulletin board.

 

For Use With Adults
(In a small group setting)

If you have the opportunity to work with adults, Teach Your Children: Bible Stories that Build Character provides a good resource. If the adults are parents of young children, they can then teach their children after becoming familiar with the stories themselves.

1. Introduce the story by title and biblical reference. Then ask a volunteer to read the story aloud.

2. Discuss the story. Allow time for the participants to answer several questions prepared in advance by the facilitator. Review the questions in the “Talk” section of each chapter to see if there are any you might want to ask.

3. Discuss at least one application question such as: “How does learning about _____________ (the particular character trait) apply to your life today?”

4. Then ask: “What image do you think of when you ponder this
particular trait? Why?”

5. Pray as a group. Encourage each participant to pray either aloud or silently about how to incorporate the trait into his/her life. The group facilitator will close the prayer time.

6. Conclude the small group time by emphasizing the focal verse for the chapter. Since the verse will be reviewed with each story, participants may have it memorized by the end of the chapter.

Ask one of the participants to read aloud the focal verse for the trait being studied. Prepare activities, individualizing as much as possible, to help the group members reflect on the verse each day. Some examples are:

  • Make a bookmark.
  • Write the verse on a notecard to display in a prominent place in the home.
  • Print out a recipe card with the verse at the top for those participants who like to cook.
  • If participants have Bibles, provide colored pencils for underlining the verses.

7. Pray for group members daily. Encourage them during the week with a call, text, email, or hand-written note.