Boring is (not) my middle name

Sleeping student

I’ve been there, trust me, I’ve been there.

The well thought out lesson, great Biblical content, and some nice power point slides. You are ready to teach God’s Word!

Except Sunday comes around and, well, you know how this goes. Some kids look asleep, others look like they cannot stop moving, and the same two kids answer all the questions.

Which begs the question, “How do I teach these kids effectively?”

One of the things we do not take into account when we teach is learning styles. All preteens are not created equal; they all learn differently. If you work your way around the learning cycle you will effectively be catering to every preteen’s learning style and keeping them engaged. Here are the four segments of the learning cycle (with examples from the story of David and Goliath).

The Imaginative Learner (Hook)

The Imaginative Learners can help the whole class establish the “why” of the lesson. Why study this subject? Why is it important? They can draw on past knowledge and experiences and share with their peers why everyone should pay attention to this subject. This part grab’s their attention!

Imaginative Learners ask the question: Why do I need to know this?

Example: Show pictures of armor and gear from the Bible. Bring in a slingshot and 5 stones.

The Analytic Learner (Book)

This learner will excel in learning information in Scripture that brings content to feelings. The teacher in this quadrant needs to add new facts to what is already known. Analytic Learners ask the “what” question.

Analytic Learners ask the question: What do I need to know?

Example: Telling the entire story via a live skit.

The Common Sense Learner (Look)

These students pick up on the practical side of the problem. Common Sense Learners do not feel that it is enough to know the content about the subject. They must find how to put what they know into practice, make it usable. They answer the “how”.

Common Sense Learners ask the question: How do I use what I know?

Example: (say) Trust God with what He asks you to do like David did!

The Dynamic Learners (Took)

This last portion asks students to add a part of themselves to what they’ve learned, to find creative ways for the whole class to take the lesson home with them. They enlarge the concept and add creative ideas.

Dynamic Learners ask the question: What can this become?

Example: In small groups, have students explain when they are afraid to follow God and talk through it as a group.

When you structure your lessons from now on, try structuring them in such a way that you cover each of these learning styles.

Want to know more? Read the book Learning Styles by Marlene LeFever or google “Gardner’s multiple intelligences.”

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