When it comes to teaching kids the Bible, it’s hard go wrong with drama. The use of drama, even a simple role play, can open up new perspectives when a more traditional approach might have become routine for the children. But where to start? The good news is, there’s no shortage of resources and many of them are free and available immediately on the Internet. Here are some great places to get the ball rolling…
Start with the Basics
Kids Sunday School Place and Sunday School Network both offer free samples of skits. You can find everything from Bible stories to modern scenarios that focus on such topics as kindness, responsibility and service. Both sites also have ideas for games, crafts, object lessons and storytelling. Dig around a bit and you can find links to partner sites that offer even more skits and plays. Both the Kids Sunday School Place and Sunday School Network have paid premium memberships where you can unlock many more resources.
The Next Level
Would you like to go deeper – perhaps put on a full-length play or musical? Check out Christian Publishers, formerly known as Contemporary Drama Service, which was founded in 1967. Here you will find hundreds of Easter and Christmas dramas, children’s musicals, dinner theater scripts and many other dramatic resources.
How about something a little “out of the box?” Getting children involved in a clown or puppet ministry taps into their natural love of these media. Creative Ministry Solutions is a Christian company that was founded in 1974 by Dale and Liz VonSeggen. Originally known as One Way Street, the VonSeggens offer resources in puppetry, mime, clowning, ventriloquism and other creative arts. Check out their printed and recorded puppet scripts, how-to books, curriculum, and music, too. The company’s most popular line of original music is the Righteous Pop Music series (RPM) that parodies popular tunes, changing the lyrics to Christian themes. Creative Ministry Solutions also tours the country with workshops so you can get hands-on training.
One of my most treasured resources is a book entitled “Drama Through the Church Year,” written by Judy Gattis Smith (Meriwether Publishing, 1984). It is out-of-print, but you might be able to find a used or digital copy on the internet. Smith uses a liturgical calendar to map out an entire year of drama in your church. She starts in September with dramatic activities for children. The next month focuses on youth play and drama games. Other resources include parades, choral readings, all-church revues, drama games and one-act plays.
Finally, do a search on “Christian Drama” and you will find a plethora of resources, many of which are free. After reading some of these skits, you might want to take a shot at writing your own. Start with a one-page script using simple themes and words, and go from there. Classroom drama doesn’t have to be confined to plays, either. As we have seen, drama takes on many forms and expressions. It is a powerful force that can uncover hidden truths and touch deep feelings.
No wonder Jesus used parables to teach the people!
Note: If you’ve written drama pieces that you would like to share with readers on Sunday School Zone, please drop us a line. We’d love to make your work available to our large audience!