Thursday, December 9, 2010

Bridge and Large Group/Small Group Curriculum

If you want to select the most effective curriculum for your ministry, you need to understand the different types of curriculum along with their strengths and challenges. Yesterday we looked at Traditional and Non-Traditional curriculum - today we will look at Bridge and Large Group/Small Group curriculum.

  • Bridge curriculum.  This curriculum “blends” features of both traditional and non-traditional curriculum and makes an excellent curriculum for churches that have utilized traditional curriculum in the past and want to move to a more effective tool, but think the “jump” to non-traditional curriculum is too difficult for their church to make. 
    • Strength of Bridge Curriculum –
      • Allows volunteers to begin to use more active teaching with their kids to involve them in the lesson.
    • Biggest Challenge of Bridge Curriculum –
      • Some volunteers will stick to the traditional teaching model they know with the teaching time and student books rather than try the learning centers.
    • Example of Bridge Curriculum –
      • GodPrints by NeXgen/Cook Communications
      • Gospel Light  by Gospel Light Publishing
    • Top Pick of Bridge Curriculum –
      • GodPrints is a topical curriculum and emphasizes when kids live God’s Word, then others will see “God’s Print” in their lives and focuses on experiencing, remembering, understanding and living God’s Word.  I really like the weekly food crafts in the preschool curriculum!
      • Gospel Light is a quality curriculum with a wealth of learning center options in each lesson.  Gospel Light updates their curriculum regularly to keep it as effective as possible.  Gospel Light uses a set, through the Bible scope and sequence.
  • Large Group/Small Group Curriculum Resources.  Large Group/Small Group curriculum provides the option of combining ages or keeping them separate – depending on the needs of your church.  Children come together for a large group time of singing and having the Bible lesson presented in an engaging manner – maybe a skit, maybe a DVD presentation or maybe another type of creative presentation.  After the large group time, children break into small groups with an adult – their shepherd – where they talk through the point of the Bible lesson, how they can live it in their everyday lives, pray for each other and develop relationships with the others in their small group. 
    • Strengths of Large Group/Small Group Curriculum –
      • Allows you to utilize your volunteers according to their gifting – those who are teachers/drama-type people in large group time and those who like to get to know kids/help kids get to know each other and God as shepherds.
      • Allows you to help kids develop sound relationships in a small group setting.
    • Biggest Challenge of Large Group/Small Group Curriculum –
      • Convincing your church to give it a try!
    • Examples of Large Group/Small Group Curriculum –
    • Top Pick of Large Group/Small Group Curriculum –
      • I honestly think you can’t go wrong with any of these curriculum resources, but my favorites are kidz Connection and Promiseland
Tomorrow we will look at the final type of curriculum - the Rotation model and some questions to ask when evaluating the curriculum you currently are utilizing and how to know if it is time to make a change.

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