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SSTN # 47 - June 6, 2006

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> Is SSTN helping you? Then please help SSTN! <

1) Visual Teachings?
2) Talkative Teens
3) Games & Small Group Challenge
4) Children Day?

Summer Classes ... Bible-4-Life Curriculum

5) Songs for Father's Day
6) Wednesday night program
7) Games & Small Group Challenge
8) Encouraging Attendance
9) Low Attendance in Summer

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1) Visual Teachings?

Hi there
If anyone has any new teachings that you use illustrations for visual
teachings please send them to me.  My students are older 10-14 I have used
the christian crafters teachings which have been a blessing...looking for
some new one.  please forward to me

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2) Talkative Teens
I in regards to the Sunday School Teacher and her talkative teens, I have
some suggestions that work for my class.
When students are repeat offenders, I:
a.  Separate them if they cannot contain themselves. 
b.  I give pop-quizes and the students are able to see how well they are
listening during the lesson. 
c.  I give the students an opportunity to show their leadership skills by
teaching the lesson.
d.  Offer hands-on activities.
e.  Role playing, etc. 
When the students are productive, there is little room for distraction
amongst their peers during the class.
Tranquil Teacher in the Dairyland

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3) Games & Small Group Challenge

Having taught a multi-age group in a very small church with unpredictable
attendance for 3 years now, I understand the problem.  I, too, find that
games are not an easy thing to do with few children.  That's why I don't
usually use them.  (If I do, I always have an alternative planned if
attendance is low). 
Crafts, on the other hand, are almost always a good thing to do with only
a few kids.  You can find crafts that suit almost any lesson plan on the
internet.  If only one kid shows up, you can make the craft more elaborate
or make extras for them to give away.  You can talk about the lesson or
issues that are important to the child while you are crafting.  I spent
almost a year with only 1 special-needs child in my class and it helped
her immensely!
Other alternatives:  acting out the story with puppets, creating/doing
puzzles, writing stories or poems, singing, building a story scene,
creating a dance...  Think how you might communicate this story to your
child or grandchild.
Don't think it's negative if you plan small!  Think of it as tailoring the
lessons to suit the children's needs.  Try preparing your lesson for only
a few, but making provisions for more.  God will bless your work! 
Regards, Nancy in Texas

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4) Children Day?

Hi Everyone
  I read all your suggestions everyday and get great ideas from all of
you. Thanks a bunch.
 I'am looking for ideas for children's day as i'm in charge of the
children to do the service or part of it in our church.I teach 2nd thru
5th graders in my church. I will have some of them as greeters and taking
up the offering but I'am needing help for something during the worship
service not to long but so they can be part of it. I appreciate any
  I love this web sight keep up the great work you all are doing for our
churches and the Lord.
A Friend if Christ
Cathy from N.Y. state

--from SSTN: make sure you check the archives too.

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Summer Classes ... Bible-4-Life Curriculum

Check it out at:


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5) Songs for Father's Day

A Special Friend
(to the tune of "B-I-N-G-O")

I have a very special friend,
And Daddy is his name-o,
D-a-d-d-y, D-a-d-d-y, D-a-d-d-y,
and Daddy is his name-o!

He always loves and cares for me,
And Daddy is his name-o,
D-a-d-d-y, D-a-d-d-y, D-a-d-d-y,
and Daddy is his name-o!

Happy Father's Day
(to the tune of "Happy Birthday")

Happy Father's Day to you!
Happy Father's Day to you!
Happy Father's Day, dear Daddy!
Happy Father's Day to you!

I Love You
(to the tune of "London Bridge")

Daddy, Daddy, I love you!
I love you!
I love you!
Daddy, Daddy, I love you!
Yes, I do!

You Are Special
(to the tune of "Are You Sleeping?")

You are special, you are special,
Every day, every day!
Now on Father's Day
Oh my dearest Daddy,
I will say,
"I love you!"

Rhonda DuCoty

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6) Wednesday night program

This is to Beth in regards to starting a Wednesday night program.  I
recently started teaching a class on Wednesday nights.  Right now I am
using left over materials I have gathered from other Sunday school
teachers.  I read the kids a story and we do memory verse activities and
have snacks.  It is very relaxed.  Sometimes we will find an outside
activity that we can do while I teach a short message, planting
flowers and talking about how our faith grows for example.  I usually play
a contemporary Christian song for them and they seem to enjoy that also. 
We have been collecting money and we will be walking to an ice cream shop
on one of our upcoming classes.  There are lots of things you can do that
costly nearly nothing.  It really helps if you have someone you can put
your head together with to come up with ideas.  Hope this is helpful.
Good luck and God bless,

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7) Games & Small Group Challenge

Dear Hollie,
    I run Sunday School for two services each Sunday morning.  At 9:15. we
have 50 kids, and you're right - it's easier preparing for all of them! 
At 11am, there are sometimes 2 kids, mine, and often only 1 or 2 more ages
18 mos - 10 years.  It's a huge age spread - so it sounds like we have
things in common.
    The way I start is with a bible story, something written for little
kids, that I can fill in details more for the older ones later.  Then the
internet has all kinds of colouring pages and activity sheets and on-paper
games that go with the stories for kids of various ages.  That way, they
can be done independently - for older kids, or together if more kids show
up.  The younger ones like the colouring sheets to match the story.  I
like colouring sheets where you also add on glued-on elements - like
feathers on to birds, or sand onto beach scenes, or plastic food wrap over
blue crayoned areas for water. (You get the idea)
    Another time you do a birthday party, maybe do cupcakes - freeze any
that are unused and bring them out the next time.  Kids can decorate their
cakes themselves.
    Group curriculum has these great game balls that you blow up - just
like a beach ball.  They have questions on them to ask kids after any
story you tell.  The kids, no matter how many, will like the throwing,
rolling or ball play then you can talk together about the answers - they
really help the kids remember the story as they answer questions. They
have a couple different kinds.
    Other games are hard as they are meant for larger groups.  But start
with a story, add paper games, then chalkboard games about the story -
like Pictionary where they draw so you can guess word, or hangman with a
word from the story.  A simple craft the older one might help a younger
one with.  Base everything around that story.  The repetition helps them
remember and it makes it really easy to plan.  Start at the beginning of a
child's bible in September and keep going!
    For the summer, post a plan of activities for the whole summer - add
in attractive options like "Ice cream day" and tell a "cool" story,
"freezies day" with a "n-ice" story, balloon day, outside day, etc.  Get
the kids excited about coming and maybe that will carry over into the
Fall.  You can be serious about teaching, but don't make the mistake of
making the classses serious.

Blessings, Amy in Niagara Falls, Canada  amy@standrewsunited.net

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8) Encouraging Attendance

In response to Hollie who had questions regarding sporadic attendance in
her class for ages 3 – 8, I have found that a wonderful way to encourage
attendance is to stage plays for the parents periodically throughout the
year.  Letters home to the parents which detail the rehearsal schedule and
performance date often achieve “miraculous” results.  The plays don’t have
to be elaborate – just a few props and a song or two.  Your age group is
actually a blessing in that regard, because there are lots of plays out
there with a handful of speaking parts.  The younger set can always fill
in as crowd members or animals or angels.

Hope this helps,


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9) Low Attendance in Summer

Due to our small number, we do not hold VBS, instead, we
hold a monthly "Kids Night Out" at the church, one evening a month in
July and August.  We send out flyers to other children in the community so
we sometimes have more in attendance for these nights than we normally
at Sunday school.  We have a special theme for each month.  The children
have dinner together (and dessert!) first.  This summer we are having a
Talent Show in July, and we are asking the adult members of the
congregation to take part as well.  I am hoping this will become an annual
event.  Also last August we did an Art Night, which came just before our
local town-wide celebration.  Because there is an Art Show held during
this weekend celebration, I was able to help the children prepare an entry
for the children's category of the Art Show.  One of the children won a
prize for his entry.  I had a book of masterpieces of religious art to
share with the children.  I had bookmarked the pages where the paintings
depicted stories the children already knew.  (However they also got
hysterical over pictures that had nudity - oops.)  Other themes I have
used include "God's Beautiful Earth" and a Ten Commandment theme.  I
wanted to share this as it seems to be a good alternative for small
churchs to the larger undertaking of holding VBS.  Thanks for keeping me
included in your mailing list. 
God Bless -
Jennifer Barrett -
Congregational United Church of Christ - Lacon, Illinois.

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