Bible teachers have long brought Bible stories to life with coloring pages and cartoon figures. These have proven to be great tools for making Bible lessons fun and engaging. Children’s Bible teachers can supplement these tools with other resources to help kids discover Bible stories are a real part of history. Consider incorporating information about Bible objects, artifacts, and places into your lessons.
There are multiple resources to help you locate images and information related to Bible history and background. Most public libraries have books with colorful images of Bible objects, artifacts, and places. Teachers can borrow these books for the purpose of showing their class a particular item or place. Another way to obtain useful images is to purchase new or used books to keep in the classroom. Teachers can cut certain pictures and paste them to a piece of construction paper or poster board for young children. You may discover that people in your church have visited Israel and actually have things they can bring to the classroom. Additionally, teachers can recreate Bible objects by drawing them or molding them with clay. Some church classrooms may provide the technology to show images directly from the internet to their class. Regardless of the method, Bible class teachers will find that using images and other information to teach Bible history helps students make connections between biblical events and modern ways of life.
Kids can imagine certain Bible objects if they are familiar and common in contemporary life. However, children may simply draw a blank when words have no familiarity to them. For instance, the term “threshing floor” is mentioned forty times in the Bible. Words like “hyssop” and “millstone” are used over ten times each. Oil for lamps is used eight times in the Bible. Although children might recognize the word lamp, they might wonder why a lamp would ever need oil without some clarification. Instead of rushing past the next unrecognizable Bible object, consider presenting an image of the mystery item along with some basic information. Images will foster a greater appreciation of Bible passages and their meanings.
Biblical artifacts substantiate the truth of the Bible in a concrete way. Before the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered, many skeptics questioned the reliability of Scripture. Yet today, these important artifacts have, for many, affirmed the reliability and historical accuracy of the Bible. Kids will benefit from a brief mention of Bible artifacts like the Dead Sea Scrolls, a short description of their significance, and seeing actual images of the artifacts. Including this element in regular lessons will provide material reinforcement to the whole biblical text.
Millions of Christians have visited Israel from homelands all over the world. Some of the most popular attractions are places connected with the Bible. The children you teach may never visit Israel, but they can appreciate their significance by viewing images of sites like the Sea of Galilee, Mount of Olives, and Jerusalem. Seeing that biblical places still exist even in contemporary times will help children close the gap between ancient times and the present day. You can find more resources for Biblical places here.
Images and information about Bible objects, artifacts, and places will boost learning while maintaining interest. Bible history adds another dimension for children to enjoy and reflect on. It will prepare the hearts and minds of Bible students for a lifelong relationship with Jesus Christ and His Word!
Note: This blog is the third in a series of articles about incorporating Christian history and Bible background into lessons for kids. You can also read the first article, Bringing Christian History Alive for Kids, or the second article, Bible Characteristics and Inception.
You can see a list of all of the articles Kim has written on Sunday School Zone.