Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Curriculum Review - Bridge Curriculum - Spark from Augsburg Fortress!

SparkSpark is a Bridge Sunday School curriculum from Augsburg Fortress. Spark features solid resources with a strong focus on teaching God's Word - Augsburg says they want to "get kids excited about the stories in the Bible!" One feature I really love is it's unified scope and sequence! Allow me to share with you some information about Spark!
Strengths -
  • Biblically Sound
  • Each Bible lesson is taught from the Spark Bible - older children find the lesson in the Bible
  • Variety of interactive options included for each lesson to engage children in thinking about the point of the Bible lesson
  • Unified Scope and Sequence
  • Focus on involving children in a "Live-it"-type project each week!
  • Option in the Elementary materials for a Class Service Project - love this!
  • Take Home papers are focused on getting children to think about what they learned all week and involves parents in talking with their children. IF parents commit to using these with their children they are well worth the investment!
  • Reproducible resources are available
Would like to see - 
  • Stronger focus on involving the children during the teaching of the Bible lesson in a drama-type activity - not just as an activity after the lesson is taught.
  • Quarterly service projects to "Put Feet to Their Faith" - the Elementary ages talked about doing something to serve the younger kids, but I'd like to see this as part of each quarter for every age level.
  • Optional second service
Sparks curriculum is written with the goal of intentionally engaging children so they are able to learn and live God's Word for changed lives. If you are looking for a Bridge curriculum with a strong focus on being solidly grounded in God's Word, this curriculum is well worth taking a look at to see if it may be a good "fit" for your ministry! Augsburg Fortress says, "Spark is a faith formation program that gets children ages 2 through grade 6 excited about God’s Word. Spark lessons bring to life 150 stories from the Old and New Testament through games, art, music, and science, to accommodate all the different ways kids learn. And Spark’s online resources–activity ideas, preparation videos, and more–make lesson planning fun and easy for teachers."

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