Friday, February 3, 2012

Bible Story Transition Ideas

Helping young children transition from active times to more quiet parts of your lesson can be a challenge. You can create activities specially designed to give them a chance to calm down and turn on their listening ears. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Give children a warning when moving from one activity to another. A couple of minutes before you want them to finish what they are doing, say, "This is your two-minute warning. We will start putting away the toys (or crayons) in two minutes." As adults, we get frustrated when someone interrupts what we're doing. Children often have the same frustration when we stop their activity abruptly instead of giving them time to finish what they're doing.
  • If you want your students to move from an active to a quiet activity, provide a transition activity to help them calm down and get the wiggles out. This can be an action rhyme, "The Wiggle Song," a march around the room (getting slower and quieter each time around), or an action song such as "Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes" (getting faster and faster; then getting slower with each round until everyone ends by sitting down).
  • Do a fun action rhyme before the Bible story time, to help your students calm down and begin to focus their attention on you, the teacher. 
Here's a rhyme you can try with your class to help with the transition to your Bible story. Before doing the rhyme together, hold your open Bible and explain that the Bible is God's Word and it is true. Show your students how to hold their hands together, palms up, to look like an open Bible. Now lead them in this rhyme (younger children will either say the words with you or do the motions but probably won't be able to do both, which is fine).

I open my Bible (hold hands open like a book)
    And listen to God (hold hands to ear).
He tells me what I should do (point up).
    I know that He loves me (hug self)
He hears when I pray (hold hands folded as in prayer)
    And all of His stories are true (nod head)

I also know that Jesus loves me
    (point up, then hug self)
And watches over me every day
   (shade eyes and look side to side).
I like my Bible (hold hands open like a book)
   It's special to me (fold hands over heart)—
Like a friend I see every day (point to eyes).

So now I'll be quiet
    (put finger to lips and sit down)
My hands will be still (fold hands).
    I'll hear what God has to say.
(Hold one hand to ear and point up.)

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