Go Teach: God’s Word to 5-7s
Gill de Boer, Go Teach Publications LTD, 2017

Price varies
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Overview

What does it say on the tin?

For teaching children in the early years of schooling. Each book contains the material to teach 16 Bible lessons.

For each lesson it provides:

  • Clearly stated teaching and response aims
  • Thorough notes for the teacher’s preparation
  • A clear, easy-to-use lesson outline
  • A verse to learn to summarise the teaching
  • Suggested follow-up activities

Each book contains copiable resources which are also available on the Visual Aids CD.

Book Ten

  1. Elijah Fed by ravens
  2. Elijah Mount Carmel
  3. Elijah Horeb
  4. Elijah Elisha
  5. Paul Ephesus
  6. Paul Eutychus
  7. Paul Jerusalem
  8. Paul Storm
  9. Paul Onesimus
  10. Elisha Widow’s oil
  11. Elisha Blind army
  12. Elisha Lepers
  13. Jonah Running away
  14. Jonah Nineveh
  15. Christmas Wise men
  16. Christmas Escape to Egypt

What do you get?

80 page leader guide with 16 lessons and ideas for crafts, songs and activities as to support each lesson. For a complete set, leaders will need to buy the accompanying visual aids guide (with free CD-ROM) and children’s activity sheets.

Each book in the series has a corresponding visual aids guide which costs £7.25 – £7.30, and activities book which costs £2.70 – £2.75.

NB Cost varies depending on which book in the series is bought. The free CD-ROM which comes with the visual aids guide contains templates and images for all ages.

Who is it for?

Children’s groups aged 5-7 years old.

Cost?

£8.75 – £8.85 per book of 16 lesson plans.

Review

  • What is the overall quality of material presentation?

    Good. The talks are clearly laid out and have helpful headings as well as tips for the next sessions and preparation notes for leaders. Activities and crafts are separate to the talk layout, but numbered according to which talk they run alongside. The visual aids and the CD-ROM are for all ages so can be used with the same series for a different aged group. Each book comes as a colourful, A4 magazine style paper print, which is light to carry and easy to navigate.

    How clear are its aims and outcomes?

    Each session lists two aims; a teaching aim for leaders and a response aim for children. The aims are broad and reflect what children should learn about God or how to get closer to him from the stories, rather than what they should learn about the characters covered in the Bible teaching section.

    How accessible are the leader’s notes?

    Very accessible and easy to follow for the ‘teaching the children’ section, as the instructions lay out what to say and do in chronological order. The activities are listed separately and there are a few to choose from so leaders aren’t overwhelmed with choices and can choose with ease. There are notes for ‘preparing yourself’ before each session which guide leaders as to the context of the story. A standard full session layout is left up to the imagination of the leaders; for example, completion of activity books could be done whenever most suitable in any given context.

    Who could lead it?

    Experienced as well as training children’s workers and helpers. The format is easy to follow and sessions are easy to run and prepare for.

    How helpful are the participants’ resources?

    Activity books for children are colourful and contain simple exercises relevant to the passage being taught. For this reason, they should be completed after the ‘teaching the children’ section so participants can apply what they have learned. The activities in the activity book are suitable for the age range and children should be able to complete them with minimal support.

    How good is any digital material?

    CD-ROM contains simple PowerPoints, activities and copies of the visual aids to be projected if necessary. The activities from the teachers’ book are in black and white while the visual aids are in colour and black and white. The CD-ROM contains content for ages 2-11 years old so if using this resource for ages other than 5-7s (reviewed here), one visual aids’ book should have all the extra content needed (per series).

    How much prep will I have to do?

    Preparation should not be time-consuming for these sessions. There is one A4 page for leaders to go through prior to running a session for their own contextual knowledge. There is also an optional teacher workshop (per book) which helps leaders consider the best way to deliver the material in their context. The leader will need to ensure they have craft materials prior to the session as well as enough activity books for children, and any other miscellaneous props mentioned. These sessions can last 20 minutes - 1 hour depending on how many activities leaders include, with most activities suggested for each session running on the same theme.

    Is there website support? Links?

    No explicit links listed.

  • How well does it encourage interaction with the group?

    Children interact mostly with the leader or teacher during the talk as they answer questions and may help with the Bible story telling. The children then interact with one another when completing their activity books and doing activities listed for the session (these may be crafts or games). Some weeks, the children need to come prepared to share how they have completed the response activity from the week before with the group.

    How well does it cater for a variety of both learning and delivery styles?

    Most learning is done through dialogue with the teacher and drawing on the templates and making crafts. Activities are low cost, relatively tidy and quite simple.

    How adaptable is it to my situation?

    The material covers a two year syllabus for use in church contexts, ideally during church services. The material could also be used for after school sessions or in school lunch periods. Sessions last approximately twenty minutes to an hour (although this is not explicitly stated) and include a talk, activity (or two), activity sheets and visual aids. Craft materials are primarily scissors, pens and sellotape, with templates provided. Any other resources mentioned are easy to access and minimal in cost. The CD-ROM can be used for accessing visual aids and activity resources for all ages and are also all available to photocopy from the books. Leaders can choose whether or not to buy one activity book per participant so children can have one each to bring back each week; if finances are limited the activities can be photocopied. There are instructions on how to do the talks but not an overall session format so leaders can choose the running order themselves. The issues are released with Christian festivals in mind (for example the autumn edition includes the birth of Jesus at Christmas time) however leaders do not have to run these sessions in order necessarily as each topic is independent. The syllabus can be run alongside the all-age teaching in church or as its own syllabus in church or after school groups.

    How well does it encourage people to work together in applying the material?

    Children work together by answering questions in the talk and completing activities on the activity sheets. They apply learning by ‘response activities’ listed at the end of the sessions and there is also application guidance for the leader listed throughout the talk to ensure the leader knows what the children should be interpreting from the story.

  • How much of the material is Bible-based?

    Twenty minutes of each session should be spent on teaching the children the story and getting them to engage with it. This includes simple interactive activities and learning a verse.

    How well is the biblical material presented and used?

    Biblical material is presented via dialogue with the leader and some acting as well as other interactive techniques. It is then used to apply to activity sheets, games, crafts and response activities. Response activities are either done at the end of the teaching session, or are to be done by children in their home or community between sessions.

    How well does it apply biblical material to everyday life?

    The topic for each teaching is introduced by a starting activity. This activity aims to link the story to the children’s lives. For example, in one session, children act out an everyday situation where they hear something important they need to do something about or tell someone about. They then learn about when someone heard Paul was in danger and what they did to help him. Throughout the talk, the leader is then given ‘application’ guidance so they know what the children should learn and can ask them questions to check they are on track with application of the teaching.

    Is there a particular theological perspective?

    No this resource is open to all denominations and includes no specific liturgical references or practices.

  • How well does it inspire people towards whole-life discipleship?

    This particular volume (book 10) for ages 5 - 7 years old, inspires children to whole life discipleship by teaching them about God, teaching them some practical tools to know him better (for example praying) and by gently introducing them to what it means to serve him. Session 4 challenges children to think of a way in the week to work for God.

    How well does it encourage and enable people to grow in their faith?

    As this resource is a two year syllabus intended for use in churches, the assumption could be that most children know of God and the Christian faith. This means it doesn’t just focus on the popular Bible stories but teaches children about less well known people in the Bible too so they can see the extent of the work God has done and the people he has spoken to. Children grow in faith by responding to the message they learn in a practical way, and by applying the learning to activities.

    How well does it stretch faith and vision of God and his purposes?

    For each Bible story taught, children learn the full journey and not just the happy ending. This is important as they are given realistic journeys of God’s provision throughout difficult times and learn the start and finish. They learn that God always does as he says he will do but that he has a greater purpose at times when things seem to be going wrong.

    How well does it connect with real life issues?

    Gently by looking at who they are and how they should be if they are living with God in their lives. For example, they learn about forgiveness and saying sorry if they have done something wrong and this is linked to when they may do something wrong at home. It does not delve in to complex issues children may have at home or in school.

  • How well does it encourage personal evangelism?

    By challenging children to invite others to Sunday school in week 4, and week 12.

    How well does it encourage local or network-based community involvement?

    Children complete response activities in weeks 4, 7, 8 which involve being active in their community.

    How well does it connect with global issues?

    Gently for the age group, children learn to respond to issues practically. For example, in session 10 they are challenged to pray and raise money for a charity which helps others.

    How well does it encourage global mission?

    Not a focus.

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