One of the things we do with our Sunday School class when the kids first enter the classroom is teach them how to find verses in the Bible. One of the big requirements for this skill is the ability to read. Well, my kids are finally ready to start learning this and are ready for this element of family discipleship.
Future Ticia here, I’m about to teach a Bible study to American Heritage Girls, and this is one of the skills I’m teaching, so I thought I would peek in and see what I was doing in our Sunday School class.
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How I taught my kids to find Bible verses at home
So, I start by calling out “time for a Sword Drill,” mainly because it amuses me. Then the kids run to find their Bibles (Picking the right children’s Bible). That’s when they earn their first M&M, if they can find and bring their Bibles. Otherwise, they use mine, and the print isn’t as big, and it’s got different pagination.
Before I call out the name of the book, they all turn to the Table of Contents, this has the double benefit of teaching the kids how to use the table of contents. Then I call out the book of the Bible, the first kid to get to the first page of the book gets an M&M. That kid cannot win the next one, this spreads out who wins each time, and ensures everyone gets a chance to win.
My special card is a “beat the timer” card, that final book they have to find it before the timer goes off in 3 minutes. I later decrease the time as they become better at it.
The truth is, you don’t find books of the Bible from a 10 minute activity one day, it’s practice over time, just like any skill.
As they become good at this skill the next step will be finding chapters in the book, then chapter and verse. Finally, the kids will answer questions about verses. To completely make up an example, “What does Peter say you should do in 3 Peter 2:17?” They’ll go to find it, and discover, “Mom! There is no 3 Peter!”
Slowly, but surely the kids will become better and better at this.
How I teach how to find Bible verses in Sunday School
It’s actually a very similar style. We spent the first 10-15 minutes of Sunday School looking up Bible verses. I gave them an M&M if they brought their Bible, and another if they brought back their prayer request card.
The same rules applied to my Sunday School students. The same kid couldn’t win the prize twice in a row, BUT if I got a large enough group of kids, around 8, I would allow two kids to win the competition.
Since kids have different skill levels I adjusted for this several different ways. Sometimes I paired a faster kid with a slower kid. The slower kid had to be the one actually touching the Bible. Other times I would give different skill level questions. For easy questions, they just had to find the book of the Bible, and for more difficult I asked them to actually answer a question from the verse.
Why learn how to find things in the Bible?
After all, you can just look it up on a smartphone, right?
Someday someone will ask them what they believe, and I want them to be able to give an answer. I want them to be able to know how the Bible goes together and physically looking through a paper Bible will help them with that.
I want them to be able to say why they believe what they believe. Because an unexamined faith is worth nothing, and I believe what I believe is worth everything, and I want my children to understand that.
More Bible lessons
- Walk like Jesus
- How to have a consistent Bible stuy
- Teach your kids how to study the Bible with SPACE
- Books of the Bible Go Fish
- Books of the Bible Cup Game
Originally published June 5, 2013