Suit Up! (Elementary)
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It’s time to Suit Up with all of God’s armor, so that we will have the power to stand against the enemy’s lies and tricks. In Large Group, we’ll join a superhero named The Clock and his/her best friend, Sid, on a summer vacation to Epic World where they will learn how to use God’s armor to defeat the evil villain, Acro Phobia. In small group, we’ll have fun as we learn how to use this armor in our everyday lives.
All session outlines, notes, graphics, music and media for the 8 week series. Available at: https://newspringnetwork.com/resources/kids/suit-up-elementary
Children aged 4-11 years old (Also available for children aged 3-4 years)
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Easy to read, appealing layout, lots of different colourful subheadings which can be incorporated or not.
Not explicitly stated in each session, however, there is a ‘Need to Know' focus on each session which is on the leaders notes.
Accessible once initial outline material is read through, as there are quite a few files which need to be pieced together.
Experienced children's leaders to lead the set up and larger group sections. Small group leaders can take on small group sections and could have less experience. Leader's cards are provided with each lesson.
Very good. Relevant to learning and theme, interesting to complete and age appropriate. Facilitate the sessions well - e.g colouring sheets and comic strips.
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.
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. As the session layout includes activity time, large group learning and small group learning, all these sections must be accommodated for properly by thorough prior preparation.
Website support comes in the form of downloading all relevant documents from: https://newspringnetwork.com/resources/kids/suit-up-elementary The Activity Station suggestions page outlines potential games/craft ideas and hyperlinks these to various websites where they can be found too.
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, Bible stories and crafts.
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. As this series is designed for when the older age group are about to move in to a youth group, there is more of a cross over with a youth group approach in that leaders can choose to have discussion time rather than playing a game.
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 8 weeks - and is intended for use as children approach the end of one school year and go in to the next. If lots of children are in your church, you will need an adequate leader to child ratio which is defined in the notes. Read and Learn Bible/ Kid's Bible's needed. There are extra games and repeated small group activities to give the structure some familiarity.
Most effectively done in the ‘Make it Matter' section where children apply what they have learnt to an activity or group game. Older children have the option of application through discussion.
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.
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, colouring a comic strip as each part is read out. It is also presented to small groups with the use of aids such as drawing on plates, doing actions to specific words and being presented with story cards. Children use the material to complete colouring sheets, answer questions from leaders and to respond to the ‘Make it Matter' activities.
Does so in teaching children about the armour of God and how they can use it: belt of truth, godliness, good news boots, shield of faith, helmet of salvation and sword of the spirit. Children learn what these metaphors mean, and how they can apply them to their everyday lives.
No, open, prayer is included in each session, and the final 8th session solely focuses on the importance of prayer in all we do.
By teaching about the armour of God, children learn all the important practical principles to apply to their christian lives. The armour of God allows them to cover themselves in God's truth, in order to face the battle between good and evil, which is explained in the second session by studying The Fall.
How well does it encourage and enable people to grow in their faith? Children learn about God's faithfulness to Gideon, and His mission of sending His son to save humanity. They learn about the power of Jesus and are encouraged to follow him. Children also learn about people in the Bible who were angry at God or did not trust Him, they are asked to consider if they have ever had the same doubts or questions, for example ‘Do you ever feel that God is not with you?'
Children learn God's armour helps them not to be afraid to do the right thing. They learn that God sent Jesus to save them in session 4 and that this means He loves us, and has a plan for us.
Connects with real life issues during Bible story time, by asking what the children think about the situation, and asking how they think they might react or feel if they were the ones in the story.
Children are encouraged to grow their own faith, then they are told in session four that the Great Commission was for all people, so we should tell everyone about it. They are taught in the eighth session the importance of prayer, and that before journeying out for God, we need to pray to Him first.
Not a focus.
Not a direct focus.
Mentions importance of Jesus being for everyone, and that we can go and tell people about Him but we need to pray first.