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What Kids Must Know About the Bible at Each Age

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Our teachers complained that kids in our program didn’t seem to know the Bible well. Here’s what we determined kids must know about the Bible at each age.

All the department heads and I studied child development principles in The Christian Educators Handbook on Teaching by Kenneth Gangel and Howard Hendricks. Then the department heads brainstormed ideas for what kids should know in five different areas for grades 1 through 6. Then the department heads met with their teachers once a week for four weeks to brainstorm ideas in each area. After our goals were complete, we asked Christian educators outside our church to critique the plan. Here’s our sample plan:

Bible Facts:

  • Grade 1-The Bible is God’s Word to us. It tells us right from wrong.
  • Grade 2-There are 66 books in the Bible.
  • Grade 3-The division of Bible books, such as poetry, law, and minor and major prophets.
  • Grade 4-The Bible is inspired by God and written by different authors.
  • Grade 5-The authors of the Pentateuch and New Testament books.
  • Grade 6-The authors of the Old Testament books.

Characteristics of God:

  • Grade 1-God is Creator; Jesus is God’s Son; the Holy Spirit is God’s Spirit.
  • Grade 2-God is love; Jesus is Savior; and the Holy Spirit convicts us of sin.
  • Grade 3-God is all-knowing, all-powerful, all-present, and never-changing; Jesus is God who was born and lived on earth; the Holy Spirit reveals God’s will to us.
  • Grade 4-The concept of the Trinity: God is Father, Jesus is Son, and the Holy Spirit lives within believers.
  • Grade 5-God judges our sins; Jesus is our mediator; and the Holy Spirit teaches, empowers, and gives peace to believers.
  • Grade 6-The different names of God; Jesus seeks a personal relationship with us; and the Holy Spirit guides the believer and reveals God’s will.

 

Bible Memorization:

  • Grade 1-John 3:16-17; the names of the four Gospels; and the books of the Pentateuch.
  • Grade 2-The 12 disciples’ names; Isaiah 53:6; the books of the New Testament.
  • Grade 3-The Ten Commandments; Psalm 23; the books of the Old Testament.
  • Grade 4-Matthew 28:19-20; the “Roman Road“; and 1 John 1:9.
  • Grade 5-The Lord’s Prayer; Psalm 1; Matthew 22:37-40.
  • Grade 6-The Beatitudes; Ephesians 6:13-17; Galatians 5:22-23.

Life Application:

All Grades — Follow weekly lessons and learn about life, church, family, relationships.

Grades 5 and 6 will deal with drugs, alcohol, and puberty.

Biblical Doctrine:

All Grades — God and Jesus are perfect and holy; we are all sinners; the blood sacrifice is the remission for our sins — Jesus was the sacrifice; the concept of heaven and hell; the goal to be Christ-like; and church ordinances.

Russell Ray
Norman, Oklahoma

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About Author

Christine Yount Jones

Christine has more than 28 years of children’s ministry experience. She is the Executive Editor of Children’s Ministry Magazine, has authored many books and articles on children’s ministry, and serves as co-director of the KidMin Conference. She’s led teams in the development of leading innovative resources, including Buzz Instant Sunday School curriculum, Grapple Preteen Curriculum, and the new Dig-In Sunday School curriculum. Follow Christine on Twitter @ChristineYJones

4 Comments

  1. I would encourage you to consider also teaching introductory world view comparison for 5th and 6th graders. At that age, they are hearing plenty of contradictory information in the public schools. Many children come from un-churched homes. How will we address the things they are learning and prove to them that the Bible is true? I have found there is an important balance in teaching the Bible and also addressing what they are learning from the world.

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