Where did flannel-graphs go? Do you remember being in Sunday School and getting your turn to put Jesus or the disciples on the picturesque flannel meadow? I remember loving when it was my turn to put the stuff on the board. Sure part of it was because I was a little hyperactive and it gave me something to do, but it also helped me connect with the story.
I know we have gone a little more high tech these days, we have powerpoint and apps. My question is what way are you helping kinesthetic learners? How are you helping those students who need some hands on aspect of learning?
So much of ministry these days is talking. We like to preach and teach in our church culture. A smaller slice of our teaching involves visuals. We might use a funny video or a powerpoint game, even better that dreaded photo we have of ourselves in Junior High or High school. But what do we have for those students who are tactile learners? The students who need to use their other senses for learning?
Lately, I have been trying to bring the messages of the Bible to life. I know that should always be our goal, but I am trying to do something very different. I am trying not to just talk or give a visual but to let people feel, smell and taste the Bible.
We are currently doing a series I am calling A Walk Through Exodus. We are looking at the story of Moses, and what we can learn from the 10 commandments, the ark and the tabernacle. So to bring it to life I am trying some different things. I am currently constructing models of the Ark and the Tabernacle. Students will be able to visually see what they were like, but they will also be able to touch and feel the things inside.
Now some people might think this stuff is for little kids, but I encourage you to think again. When you are learning how to do something would you rather just be told, shown or walked through while you do it? I know for me I would much rather have my hands involved.
I have a couple ideas for different contexts:
- Small to mid-sized groups: Have something students can get involved in. This might mean they act out a role in a skit, perhaps you have a piece of a model or display that each student has to put in the right spot.
- Mid-sized to large groups: Give each person something they can hold onto. When we hold something, we often feel a connection to it.
Maybe if you give your students something to hold onto or to do during your next lesson they might feel a connection with it. And hopefully, through that connection they will find a connection with Christ. Even if only a small percentage of your students learn by touch, isn’t it worth giving it a shot once in a while?
What are some hands-on lessons you have succeeded with?
Kyle Corbin has been serving youth as a volunteer or pastor for over 10 years. He is currently the youth pastor at the Bridge Church in North Vancouver B.C. You can follow his blog at: kylecorbin.blogspot.com or Twitter: @CorbinKyle