Pirates – Land Where It All Began (Elementary)
NewSpring Church, 2015

£0.00 (Approx)
3.2
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Overview

What does it say on the tin?

We’re pirates setting sail to the land where it all began—Israel! Many years ago, God chose a special land and a special people to make His most special treasure—Jesus—evident to all who searches for it. This special place is as real today as it was back then! As we search for treasure along this journey, we will discover that the good news about Jesus is the best treasure of all—a treasure that we can store in our very own hearts! This series has a Christmas focus on week 3.

What do you get?

All session outlines, notes, graphics, music and media for the 8 week series. Available at: https://newspringnetwork.com/resources/kids/pirates-elementary1

Who is it for?

Children aged 4-11 years old (Also available for children aged 3-4 years)

Cost?

FREE, just requires a subscription.

Review

  • What is the overall quality of material presentation?

    Easy to read, appealing layout, lots of different subheadings which can be incorporated or not.

    How clear are its aims and outcomes?

    Not explicitly stated in each session, however, there is a ‘Need to Know' focus on each session.

    How accessible are the leader's notes?

    Accessible once initial outline material is read through, as there are quite a few files which need to be pieced together. ‘Filler guide' helps small group leaders during transition times of the session to keep kids focussed and controlled.

    Who could lead it?

    Experienced children's leaders to lead the set up and larger group section. Small group leaders can take on small group sections and could have less experience. Leader's cards are provided with each lesson.

    How helpful are the participants' resources?

    Very good. Relevant to learning, interesting to complete and age appropriate. Facilitate the sessions well - e.g colouring sheets, memory verse cards and maps.

    How good is any digital material?

    Digital material includes songs, sound clips, dramas and other audio files. These are good, however in some cases leaders may opt to act out the scene themselves, in order to engage their audiences best. The songs are pop-like music and are unique to the course. Leaders may choose to do their own songs.

    How much prep will I have to do?

    Preparation is quite extensive, and there are checklists to ensure you have done/acquired all you need for each session. If doing sessions properly, this series could get quite pricey, and this is evident from the optional shopping list included.

    Is there website support? Links?

    Website support comes in the form of downloading all relevant documents from: https://newspringnetwork.com/resources/kids/pirates-elementary1 The Activity Station suggestions page outlines potential games/craft ideas and hyperlinks these to various websites where they can be found too.

  • How well does it encourage interaction with the group?

    Activity time is brilliant for interaction and allows a range of different types of play to be chosen from, e.g. creative play, active play etc. Interaction is done both in large group sections (where the stage play involves children) and in small groups where children learn through competitive games, baking, Bible stories and crafts.

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

    This is done really well. The styles vary across the different small group age ranges, e.g. children with special needs have a more tactile and visual approach to learning. Bible material is delivered so that children help complete the story, and there are a range of activities to choose from in order to help your group learn best - visual, tactile and auditory.

    How adaptable is it to my situation?

    Sessions require quite a lot of preparation as they are designed for an hour long duration, perhaps best as a holiday club or for a church with lots of resources and support. Outline is given for what needs to be purchased for the stage setting for large group times. Series runs for 7 weeks - and is intended for the Christmas season. If lots of children are in your church, you will need adequate and adequate leader to child ratio which is defined in the notes. Read and Learn Bible/ Kid's Bible's needed.

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

    Most effectively done in the ‘Make it Matter' section where children apply what they have learnt to an activity or group game.

  • How much of the material is Bible-based?

    7 minutes out of the hour session are spent explicitly on a Bible story. Children then spend 6 minutes on the ‘Make it Matter' section applying the verse. The rest of the session focuses on the main lesson more indirectly.

    How well is the biblical material presented and used?

    Biblical material is presented in a range of ways depending on the age group. In large group time it is presented by dramas and interaction. In small groups, it will be read to the group and they will have to respond in some way, for example, stopping during Abraham's story to find on their maps where each part of the story took place. Children then use the material to complete colouring sheets, answer questions from leaders and to respond to the ‘Make it Matter' activities.

    How well does it apply biblical material to everyday life?

    Does so in teaching children to apply basic principles of Christianity: God knows what I need, God has a purpose for me, God gave me Jesus, Jesus is who I need to follow, Jesus forgives, Jesus helps me and it also explains to children why Jesus is good news.

    Is there a particular theological perspective?

    No, open, prayer is included in each session.

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

    Gently by teaching children about God and his love for us through Jesus. For example, children learn that Jesus forgives by looking at the story of the woman at the well.

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

    Again gently as children the children are young and still learning who Jesus is. They learn that Jesus is the one they need to follow, and are introduced to the importance of his death for us in the final session.

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

    First session tells the children how God had a plan for Abraham and a purpose. The children learn that they are special too, and that God wants to bless them.

    How well does it connect with real life issues?

    Not a huge focus, mostly encourages children to begin trusting Jesus.

  • How well does it encourage personal evangelism?

    Not a focus as children are encouraged to grow their own faith first.

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

    The final session helps children to understand that Jesus is good news for all, so we should not be shy about sharing this. Children are given the opportunity to invite friends next time they come to church.

    How well does it connect with global issues?

    Not a focus.

    How well does it encourage global mission?

    Not a focus, although indirectly mentioned by the use of Jesus' mission to earth.

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