Posts tagged lesson plan
Making Bible Stories Come Alive

When I’m teaching at a Christian school my number one goal each year is to help my students to fall in love with Jesus. Sure, I want them to meet and exceed government standards, and become confident and capable citizens... but top priority is to see my students live and thrive in their relationship with Christ.

I think that one of the most important ways to do this is through a knowledge of the 'stories' in the Bible.  All of the Bible is God's love letter to us, His children, and ultimately paints an amazing picture of grace and redemption.

I can remember my first year teaching.  I casually said something along the lines of...

"Wow! It is really raining outside!  This must be what Noah felt like on the Ark."

Only 2/3 of my class understood what I was talking about.  

Two-thirds of my class of third-graders in a Christian school.

I investigated further.  At least seven of my precious little kiddos were unfamiliar with the story of Noah's Ark.  Or Joseph and the Coat of Many Colors.  Or Jonah and the Whale.  Or Daniel in the Lion's Den.   You get the idea.

I learned an important lesson that day - we cannot assume that all of our students in Christian schools (or Sunday School) have basic Biblical background knowledge.  

I got to work right away making Bible plans to help fill in some of these 'gaps' for my precious kiddos. Together, we worked through many of the ‘big’ stories in the Bible.

We created books to go along with each story...

Like this one about the  Garden of Eden!

We learned the important details of each story and started to memorize verses... (Noah's Ark)

We learned new story-specific vocabulary...

We made crafts...

For the first time all of my students knew The Creation Story!

Overall we really deepened our knowledge of God's word. 

Through our Bible Story Small Group it was amazing to watch some of my students learn these stories for the first time, and watch others make deeper connections with stories they already knew and loved.

All of my Bible Story units are designed to be useful for a K-5 classroom in Christian School, homeschool, or Sunday School classroom.  These following units are currently available: 

1.The Creation Story

2.The Garden of Eden - Adam and Eve

3.Noah's Ark

4.Jonah and the Whale

5.The Easter Story (grades 2 and up)

6.The Nativity Story

7. Jesus Feeds the 5,000

How does your class, Sunday School class, or children, like to study the Bible?  What inspires you to learn more about Jesus? Share your best ideas in the comments below!

Mother's Day in the Classroom

I remember my first Mother's Day as a brand new teacher.  I was in a lower-income school and I can remember eagerly planning a super-crafty project, with glue and glitter and a beautiful card titled “Why I love my Mom” (or something of the like). 

I waltzed in before Mother’s Day, and gathered up the kids to introduce the project, expecting them to be as excited as I was.

However, instead of unbridled excitement, I was met with questions and comments like:

“What about my Stepmom, can I make something for her?”

“I only have a Foster mom, what do I do?”

“I live with my auntie.”

“I don’t have a mom, she died last year.”

What a sobering moment.

Needless to say, that was a pretty big disaster.

In my rush to prepare a “cute and fun” craft project, I had completely forgotten to plan for all of the reasons why Mother’s Day can be such a hard day for so many students.

But I let it be a “teachable moment” for myself. I learned from my mistake, and made sure to think through possible difficult situations before I planned another lesson.

This year, we are doing Mother’s Day Flip Books

(Dad’s are getting the same thing in June!)

Our easy Mother's Day Flip Books

We are drawing our Mom, writing adjectives to describe her, filling in the blanks about her favourite things (fingers crossed that it ends up being something cute or memorable!) and writing her a short letter.

But this project won’t just be for Moms.

In an effort to avoid one of my worst “flops” ever, I’ve made it specifically for Stepmom’s…

And another version that is great for any special friend.

I know that some of my little ones don’t have a Mom, but they do have a mentor, an aunt, or even a family friend who would love to receive something on Mother’s Day.

How do you make sure that you are accounting for all types of families on days like Mothers or Father’s Day?

Do you do anything special in your classroom to honour different types of men and women?

I’d love to hear your ideas!

- Rachel

Mother's Day in the Classroom
Smoothie Day!

I love events.   I'm not the biggest fan of class parties (the chips/pop/free-for-all type of parties) but oh my stars do I love an all-class event.  After the first month or two of school, once I am sure that I trust my class, and I know the dynamics of the kiddos in the room, I love planning big things.  

All class theme day around a book where we are in character?  Sure!

Set up lemonade stands around the school to practice entrepreneurship? No problem!

Drape bedsheets from the ceiling and turn the entire room into a blanket fort for buddy reading?  Done! 

Create a neighbourhood-wide scavenger hunt themed around things we have studied during the year? Yes, yes! 

In Health and Career Education we have been studying healthy eating and food groups.  As we wrapped this unit, it was time to celebrate in a fun way.  My kids have been begging for a "Mrs. P style Party", and I was happy to do it!  Together, we planned Smoothie Day, an in-class afternoon to make delicious smoothies, and celebrate healthy eating choices.  

I sent home  flyers for each parent a few days in advance.  I'm pretty fortunate that most parents in my class are able to bring something small in if we do a class event.  (Although I don't usually ask for too much throughout the year). I'm pretty specific to ask for fruit/veggies that are cut up already, because it makes the process go much quicker, and I don't have a ton of space to do a lot of chopping/peeling at the back of the room.    

On Smoothie Day, each student brought in their contributions.  I have a small bar fridge behind my desk (thanks to the hubby last year!), and I packed it full of the perishable goods.  Then we waited until the afternoon.  I quickly crammed in all of the academic subjects, so that way we could end our day with Smoothie making.  

We started the activity by brainstorming all of the food groups, and reminding ourselves why it was important to eat many different kinds of food groups.  

i.e. Why shouldn't we just have a smoothie of just strawberries and bananas?  Why is it important to also eat dairy and vegetables as well?

  (Note: this is where I really sell them on how GREAT smoothies are for eating sneaky vegetables!  So many of my kiddos are amazed about how they can't even taste the spinach/carrots/cucumber that is in their smoothie, and go right home and ask for it!)

Then comes the good part... making smoothies!  I have two blenders in the classroom, one for me, and one for my Educational Assistant.  We each took a group of three students, and guided them through creating a smoothie "recipe".  Our only instruction was that it had to have fruit, dairy, and vegetables in it.  Then they were off!  It was so great to watch them gather ingredients as they decided what they thought would taste best, and be best for their bodies.  

hile sipping their finished creations, I sent them back to their desks to write out everything that went into their smoothies.  This way, they had something to take home to their families to show how to recreate the smoothie they enjoyed in class.  (24/25 loved it, vegetables an all!)

I've gathered all of my resources Smoothie Day together, and you can grab them HERE.  The best part, it's totally free!  I hope you and your class love celebrating healthy eating as much as we did.  

Leave a comment and let me know how it goes!  Happy blending :) 

- Rachel