Go Teach: God’s Word to 3s-4s
Elizabeth Fermor, Go Teach Publications LTD, 2017

Price varies
3.8
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Overview

What does it say on the tin?

Toddlers resources to help you introduce God’s word to under 3s. Following a two year syllabus, this material is designed for use in creches, playgroups, nursery schools and toddler groups.

What do you get?

80 page leader guide with 16 lessons and ideas for crafts, songs and activities as well as a large A3 visual aid 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.

Who is it for?

Children aged 3-4 years old.

Cost?

£8.75 – £8.85

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 colourful, relevant and simple. Each book comes as an A4 magazine style paper print, and there is a good amount of information on each page without it being crowded.

    How clear are its aims and outcomes?

    There are two aims listed for each session; a teaching aim for leaders and a response aim for children. The aims are broad and reflect what children should learn about God from the lesson, rather than what children would learn about the characters in the stories.

    How accessible are the leader’s notes?

    Very accessible and easy to follow with some room for flexibility but not so much that leaders won’t be sure what to choose. There are notes for ‘preparing yourself’ before each session which guide leaders as to the context of the story they will teach about.

    Who could lead it?

    Children’s workers and helpers. The format is easy to follow and sessions are easy to run.

    How helpful are the participants’ resources?

    Activity books for children are colourful with simple exercises. They are relevant to the lessons and characters in the passages. Children may need help to cut out templates so this needs to be considered when deciding on number of helpers and time allocated to activities.

    How good is any digital material?

    CD-ROM contains simple PowerPoints, activities and copies of the visual aids to be projected if necessary.

    How much prep will I have to do?

    Preparation should not be too 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 and an optional teacher workshop which helps leaders consider the best way to deliver the material and bounce ideas off of one another. The leader will need to ensure they have craft materials prior to the session as well as enough activity books for children. These sessions could be run in a shorter time frame so if more suited the activity books could be missed out or crafts could be missed out if there is a lack of resources and time. Generally preparation should be very short and each session prompts the leader to look ahead to the next session at the end of it to ensure they see what they need well in advance.

    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 come up with ideas. They can then apply these ideas to their own lives. Children then interact with one another when doing drawing templates and activities.

    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. The activities tend to be relatively calm and not too noisy or hectic.

    How adaptable is it to my situation?

    The GoTeach material covers a two year syllabus for use in creches, playgroups, nursery schools and toddler groups. Sessions last approximately an hour and include a talk, activity, activity sheets and visual aids. Craft materials are easy to come by and minimal in cost, and there is a teacher’s workshop to help leaders think about the topics and best use of the resource in their context. The CD-ROM can be used for accessing visual aids and activity resources or these are all available to photocopy from the books. If there are not too many children attending, leaders may choose to buy several activity books so children can have one each to bring back each week. 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) however leaders do not have to run these sessions in order necessarily as each topic is independent. For example, in one book you may have 4 sessions on Elijah and 3 on Elisha, each person’s journey would need to be done in order but the Elisha module does not strictly have to follow after Elijah so leaders can mix it up.

    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. There is no complex application which would not be expected for ages 3-4 years anyway.

  • 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 interact with it.

    How well is the biblical material presented and used?

    Biblical material is presented via dialogue with the leader and the children can then answer questions about their own lives and apply this to how people in the Bible may have felt in their equivalent scenarios. Children learn memory verses to take home which are based on the session aim, and are encouraged to keep these in mind when they need to remember what God is like. Biblical material is used to complete written activities and crafts.

    How well does it apply biblical material to everyday life?

    Each talk includes ‘application’ notes to help the leader identify what the children should be able to apply at each point in the story and how. This helps leaders to know they are on track, and children to know more about God.

    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) inspires children to whole life discipleship by helping them learn that God loves them and made them. They then think about the fact that they can respond to this love by loving God back, being obedient and saying sorry and thank you to God.

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

    Appropriately for children aged 3-4 years old. As this resource is for the whole year, 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 he has done and the people he has spoken to. Children learn to grow in their faith in one particular session by thinking about the Bible, and the fact that the Bible is the truth. Where should they go to get answers then? The Bible.

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

    As well as walking the children through how God helps children and how he can be their friend, there are some sessions which cover God’s promises in the Bible and explain how he fulfilled them. The children learn that this is evidence that he will fulfil his promises to them so they can live for him, trusting his great plan.

    How well does it connect with real life issues?

    Appropriately for the age of the attendees, without going in to any complex issues or family circumstances. For example, when thinking about how to obey God, children are asked to think about how they might make their parents angry. Do they put their toys away?

  • How well does it encourage personal evangelism?

    Very gently for such a young age. There is a session which has a response activity to tell someone about Jesus who does not know the good news.

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

    During session 4, children are encouraged to think about how they can serve in their church when they get older and respond to the session by writing a thank you to a leader in their church.

    How well does it connect with global issues?

    When learning about Elisha, children find out that God helps those in need.

    How well does it encourage global mission?

    Indirectly through stories covered.

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