We asked the curriculum writing pros over at Group Publishing what the keys are to writing outstanding kidmin lessons. Here’s what they said are four things critical aspects of writing curriculum.
1. Biblical Truth
First and foremost, writing curriculum for children’s ministry is at its essence being a steward of the Word of God. And that’s not to be taken lightly. We must “rightly handle” the Word of God. It’s critical to understand the context and meaning of the Scripture that we’re trying to teach children. This requires diligence in studying the biblical text.
2. Age Appropriateness
Once we understand the truth of the Scripture, we ask how this applies to the kids that we’re writing for. All of God’s Word applies to all of us–but indifferent ways at different points in our lives. If the text we’reteaching is about glorifying God in all we do, older kids may apply that to homework while preschoolers may apply it to cleaning their rooms. This is where we ask the “so what?” question for kids. Also, we need to ensure that whatever learning activities we create, the questions we ask, the words we use are age appropriate so kids can truly understand what God wants them to learn.
3. REAL Learning
We believe that the most effective way for kids to learn is when the lesson is Relational, Experiential, Applicable, and Learner-Based. (You can learn more about REAL Learning here.) Using REAL learning in writing curriculum makes every lesson engaging for kids and ensures that the learning will stick. We create lessons that lead to aha moments of discovery for kids. We eschew closed-ended, recall questions in favor of thought-provoking questions that lead to rich conversation.
4. Ease of Preparation
The last thing that we’re concerned about when we’re writing curriculum is that it’s easy for the teacher. We know that volunteers are busy and don have time to collect hard-to-find supplies so we keep the supplies simple. This may sound like we’re not being that creative. On the contrary, it takes a lot more creative to work within the constraints of fewer supplies than to waste creativity on a clever prop.
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