Teaching Little Ones
Stephanie Carmichael, Matthias Media USA, 2006

£32.00 (Approx)
3.4
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Overview

What does it say on the tin?

What better time to start teaching children than when they are young? Paul reminds Timothy that he had the privilege of knowing the holy Scriptures ‘from infancy’ (2 Timothy 3:14-15).

Teaching Littles Ones is a six-year syllabus of Sunday School lessons for young children by Stephanie Carmichael, author of Their God is so Big.

On each CD-ROM there’s virtually everything you’ll need for one year (that’s 40 weeks) of lessons – including lesson plans, story scripts, action rhymes, prayers, activities and craft ideas. You won’t have to worry about recurring licence fees or buying workbooks – once you have bought this CD, your church can use the lessons year after year. The material is provided in Adobe PDF format so you can distribute individual lessons to teachers via email, allowing them to prepare in advance and print off only the sheets they need.

What do you get and how?

A CD-ROM containing material for a year’s worth of Sunday School sessions. Material is split in to units on the CD-ROM and has each session within a unit in PDF format. Available to buy from www.thegoodbook.co.uk.

Who is it for?

Children aged 2-3years, 3-5 years and 5-8 years.

1 First Steps (2-3 year olds)
2 Learning about God (3-5 year olds)
3 Introducing the Bible (3-5 year olds)
4 Promises (5-8 year olds)
5 Kingship (5-8 year olds)
6 Salvation (5-8 year olds)

Cost?

£32.00 each

Review

  • What is the overall quality of material presentation?

    Very good. Easy to follow PDF files with a clear format and useful pre-session guidance and practical tips.

    How clear are its aims and outcomes?

    Explicitly stated as “Lesson aim” and the objective is stated in each session as “Main message”.

    How accessible are the leader's notes?

    Very accessible. Easy to read and interpret, with simple vocabulary to aid teaching children too.

    Who could lead it?

    Any adult passionate about teaching young people about the Christian faith.

    How helpful are the participants' resources?

    Activity sheets and story cards (for youngest age group) facilitate getting the “main message” across well. Take home booklets are relevant and age appropriate.

    How good is any digital material?

    CD-ROM based PDF files of sessions are easy to navigate and work on PCs and Macs. Songs taken from the CD ‘A VERY VERY VERY BIG GOD' are simple and easy for children to pick up.

    How much prep will I have to do?

    Once familiar with the layout and all the initial introduction and guidance files have been read, preparing each lesson should be simple and quick. This should still be well in advance, as the 'Activity Materials' file outlines extra materials for activities which will need to be gathered. With larger groups, extra leaders will be needed, but preparation time is still very short and straight forward. Some visual aids will also need to be made before sessions too.

    Is there website support? Links?

    N/A

    Is it dated?

    No, although some churches may feel the need to adapt material as the simplicity of the session layouts and equipment may seem old fashioned. Churches may also want to choose their own worship CD in time.

  • How well does it encourage interaction with the group?

    Children mostly interact with one another during the activity sections in the material for ages 2-3 years old and 3-5 years old. 5-8 year olds are more encouraged to engage in discussion around the topics, as well as interact during activities.

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

    Each session for all ages offers a selection of activities (approx. 4) which incorporate different styles of learning which leaders can choose from. Stories from the Bible tend to be told to the children as modern day alternatives or like a story being read out instead of direct Bible passages being read out. This makes teaching easier to interpret for the children and allows for them to get involved with the story too. Learning and delivery styles cover listening, talking and doing.

    How adaptable is it to my situation?

    Each DVD contains a year's worth of material which can be used as a full year's material, or for half a year, or termly. The lessons on the DVD are grouped both individually and as units, so that if they need to be shared with other members in different groupings this is easy. The lessons can be done on a Sunday or during midweek groups. The wide range of activities also accommodate for children of different schooling levels. Materials are cheap and easy to collect. The worship CD would need to be purchased separately, or the leaders may choose to select their own worship. The introductory information also gives practical advice on time keeping, being sensitive to the children's home situations and much more.

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

    More of an emphasis on this in the older age CD material. Children may apply material together on activity sheets and in the 'What about us?' sections of the lessons for 5-8 year olds. Group application is less focussed on in the younger age ranges.

  • How much of the material is Bible-based?

    10% for 2-5 year olds — Little direct Bible inclusion - some lessons may focus on a Christian quality e.g. thanking God, but fail to include Biblical references in the teaching part; a passage may simply be listed for the leader's benefit. Other times the story for younger audiences will be taught to them as a contemporary translation. 25% for 5-8 year olds - In most sessions, the Bible passage will be portrayed to the children in it's original telling, but with easier vocabulary.

    How well is the biblical material presented and used?

    Material is presented both directly, for example by reading it out to the children, and indirectly, for example via metaphors or contemporary scenarios. The lesson objective is then reinforced by activities which are relevant to the aims. Ages 5-8 years consider how the teaching is relevant to them, while 2-5 year olds use action rhymes and memory verses.

    How well does it apply biblical material to everyday life?

    For younger audiences, gently encourages them to live as Jesus taught, for example, to love our friends. For older ages, they can consider how the Bible is relevant for them in the 'What about us?' sections.

    Is there a particular theological perspective?

    No, open. Material covers the fundamental principles of the Christian belief. No specific liturgical citations noted.

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

    Lots of separate sessions on topics which are key for living a Christian life as God intended. This is throughout resources for ages 2-3 years, 3-5 years and 5-8 years. Children learn that we should live a certain way because God loves us and made us so he knows best how we should live to make us happy and whole. Children learn basic concepts such as forgiving, as well as practical discipleship guidance on how to pray and much more.

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

    Children are encouraged to grow in their faith by learning about key concepts and characters in the Bible. They learn how to live as a Christian practically too, for example by the inclusion of prayer and worship.

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

    The CD on God's promises for 5-8 year olds covers this brilliantly. The children are presented with many influential Bible characters who God made promises to and followed through with these promises. Stretching faith is done gently in order to meet their faith with sensitivity and by making no assumptions about where they are at in their relationship with God.

    How well does it connect with real life issues?

    Achieved more explicitly with older children, ages 5-8 years, in the 'What about us?' section. Children can apply what they have learnt to how it influences their life choices and relationships with others. Real life issues which the material relates to are age appropriate. For example, it explores how to act with our friends at school and family at home.

  • How well does it encourage personal evangelism?

    Not a huge focus. Some mention of Jesus' disciples and the fact that we should tell others the good news of Jesus coming to earth for us. Lots of focus on old testament stories and characters. Lots of teaching on what Jesus means for us today - but in the sense of suggesting how we should live as Christians rather than preaching to others.

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

    Not a huge focus.

    How well does it connect with global issues?

    Teaches that the Christian God is for everyone, for all nations and countries. Small mention of praying for our neighbours far and wide. Encourages children to steward our world.

    How well does it encourage global mission?

    Indirectly suggested by teaching about disciples in material for ages 5-8 year olds. No huge emphasis on global mission for ages 2-5year olds.

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