Faith Foundations Curriculum Overview
by Sally Frazier
by Sally Frazier
The goal of this curriculum is two fold - to teach the Bible and to make kids want to come to Bible class. The material is presented in such a way that the students retain it. It is also fun and the kids enjoy it so much that they do not want to miss Bible class.
The lessons are taught in chronological order. Concepts and facts build on each other. Review is built into almost every lesson. 2nd and 3rd grades cover the entire Old Testament: 2nd grade covers Genesis through Judges and 3rd grade covers Joshua through Malachi, 4th grade covers the life of Jesus, 5th grade teaches Acts, and 6th grade deals with the epistles. To round out the entire elementary school curriculum, it is suggested that 1st grade go through a children's Bible story book, such as Karyn Henley's, from beginning to end to get a chronological overview of the entire Bible. This will probably be the first time the children will see that the Bible stories they have heard all of their lives happened in an order, was planned by God, and had a purpose. This would be a good background to have before going into the next five years of study.
Real Life Application
More than Bible stories and their facts are taught in this curriculum. Each lesson also has an application lesson or a 'Bible Truth.' These are drawn from the text. Students are encouraged to read the Bible for themselves. As they get older, they are also encouraged to interpret what they have read, to ask questions, and to apply the lessons to their lives.
No Cookie-Cutter Lesson Plans
Every lesson has something different, whether it is the way the lesson is presented, how it is reviewed, or the way the application is made. All lessons are interactive; some are very high energy and others are low key. There are role plays and skits, cooking, art work, centers, object lessons, and research using Bible dictionaries, commentaries and handbooks. Reviews are in the form of question and answer transparencies and a variety of games. Every 6 - 8 weeks an entire class period is devoted to one big review game, complete with prizes.
There is an emphasis on memory work. It comes in the form of verses and certain facts. For example, the students studying Acts learn the main event of each chapter. The students studying the gospels learn the chronological order of the events of Jesus' life on earth. Individual verses are learned as well as passages such as Psalms 23, 1 Corinthians 13, the fruit of the Spirit, the Lord's prayer, and more. Lists are learned like the seven days of creation, the sons of Jacob, and the judges.
Each year has a secondary focus that supports the Biblical study. The first year study emphasizes Bible facts. The books of the Bible and the divisions are learned. Students play games which will help them be able to locate scriptures quickly. Other basic Bible facts are also learned. The second year develops Bible research skills. Because Jesus' life was a life of service, the study of the gospels emphasizes service. Every 6 - 8 weeks they are involved in some type of service project. Some examples are cooking for a food bank, planting flowers around the building, helping the janitors clean part of the building, making a craft for the shut-ins of the congregation, and singing in a nursing home. Acts emphasizes missions. A missionary family supported by your congregation is studied as well as the country or state in which they are missionaries. The room is decorated to look like the mission field, the food from that area is made and eaten, games from that country are played, some words of that language are learned, the geography is studied, and a craft is made. Someone who has visited the missionaries comes and tells about the family and the work that is being accomplished. Later in the year, students become pen-pals with kids from the mission church, missionaries are invited to speak to the class, and students help with other mission projects supported by your congregation.
Preparations During the First Year
The first year is labor intensive. There are visuals, costumes, games, and transparencies to make and materials to gather. There are patterns for the visuals and games at the end of each lesson. It is suggested that each class have a volunteer do the shopping and make the items needed so that the teacher can concentrate on studying for the lesson. (Since most of the Bible is covered, there are stories with which many teachers may not be familiar - this curriculum covers a lot more than the old favorites.) The years that follow the first one get easier and easier as most of the materials are made and are on hand.
The lessons are based on the Easy-to-Read version. It is suggested that each class has a set so that every child will have a Bible to look at during the lesson. It makes it easier for the students to follow when they all have the same version. This version uses very basic vocabulary, thus leaving discussion time for what the Bible means to our lives instead of the meaning of individual words.
Quotes from Parents
'We usually don't come on Wednesday nights, but now James drags me off the couch and makes us all come because he doesn't want to miss.'
'My son used to dread going to Sunday school and never talked about what went on in class. But this year he starts telling me about what happened and what he learned as soon as he sees me after class.'
'My kids have begun asking questions about the Bible and wanting to know more since they've been exposed to this curriculum.'
'Iím so excited about Bible class now. My kids come home talking about what theyíve learned. I feel like they are really learning the Bible.'
Quotes from Teachers
'Iíve been looking for something like this my whole life!!' (a teacher of 20 years)
'Iíve learned so much teaching this. I think all the adults should go through this material, too.'