by Clair Woodbury
It was a June Sunday at St. Andrew’s United in Edmonton. The regular teachers were finished for the year. Would our family teach a group of 20 elementary school kids ages 6 through 11 in Church School time? Our answer was yes, if we can try something new.
Scripture readings in church that Sunday included the story of the woman who anointed Jesus’ feet with her perfume, and wiped them with her hair. (Luke 7:36-50) We asked the minister to deal with that theme during his time with the children. He did, and captured their attention as usual.
Downstairs we had the children’s room transformed. The first thing they saw when they entered was the puppet theatre. After a song, simple puppets we had made from brown paper lunch bags told the story. Simon the Pharisee pontificated. The woman wept. Jesus welcomed her and used the occasion to talk about love and acceptance.
Then came the fun, actually more fun. We had four interest centres set up. A computer was loaded with bible picture crosswords ready to assemble on screen. There was a table where children could make their own puppets. Our son Robert, a part time street performer by profession, showed the kids how to make balloon figures. Our theatre featured VeggiTales singers sing-a-long. Our theme was love — love of others, love for animals, love of singing.
Some children stayed with one centre the whole time. Others moved through all four activities. It was obvious that the children had different learning styles and interests, and that the model was meeting those individual needs.
The time flew by. The best part was being able to talk to the kids as they worked. We got to know them. They were great. Hopefully they got to know us just a bit.
I’m already looking forward to the next time we’re asked to do Church School.
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