In Service - Curriculum

Volume 3: Issue 4
April 2017

As the days get longer and spring comes into bloom, it is time to begin to evaluate this program year and start planning for the next. While it is only April, it is not too soon to review curricula and program resources to determine new possibilities for the coming academic year. First, reviewing your goals and setting new ones are in order. Second, evaluate what you have done: have the resources you’ve been using helped you achieve those goals? If not, are there other materials and ideas for you to investigate? Now is the time, and this month’s In Service issue offers some suggestions, processes, and curricular resources to assist you.

Traditionally speaking, there are five types of curricular resources:
  1. Lectionary based resources, such as Living the Good News (for all ages), correspond to the Sunday readings. An advantage to such a program is that all ages are focused on what is heard in worship in the three-year revised lectionary cycle.
  2. Sequential curricula, such as Weaving God’s Promises (for children and for youth), follow a two- or three-year scope and sequence of biblical stories, beginning with the Hebrew Scriptures and continuing through Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. This type of model covers a depth of Scripture in order of “occurrence” which can be more developmentally appropriate for children. WGP was developed for the Episcopal Church, so it also includes sacramental and Episcopal traditions as part of the sessions.
  3. Montessori models, such as Godly Play®, focus on nurturing the spiritual development of the child, youth, or adult through learning the language of sacred stories, parables, liturgical action, and silence. Founded and created by Jerome Berryman, The Complete Guide to Godly Play is currently under revision, with Volume 2 being released in June 2017. Did you know that Godly Play is also available digitally?
  4. Thematic studies tend to be available for youth or adults. These Are Our Bodies: Teaching Faith & Sexuality at Church & Home, as well as Pilgrim: A Course for the Christian Journey, My Faith, My Life: A Teen’s Guide to the Episcopal Church; and the Church’s Teachings for a Changing World series, would fit in this category. 
  5. The Rotation Model (also known as WoRM) is a learning center approach in which children “rotate” each week to a different center where they study the “theme” through music, art, cooking, drama, story, computer games, etc. Think of Vacation Bible School throughout the year. And if you are planning a VBS for the summer (or anytime), check out Arts Camp and The Best VBS Workbook Ever!

What model helps you achieve your goals?


Other program resources to check out:
BuildingFaithBrickbyBrick_150 Building Faith Brick by Brick
An Imaginative Way to Explore the Bible with Children
Emily Slichter Given

Building Faith Brick by Brick offers a culturally relevant, hands-on way to explore faith stories with a broad range of ages.The author dug deep into the well of creativity and an enormous bin of little plastic building bricks to meld together a new way of teaching the stories of God to children.
9781606741924   List Price: $32.00
BookofComicPrayer_150 The Book of Comic Prayer
Using Art and Humor to Transform Youth Ministry
Heather J. Annis

The Book of Comic Prayer
takes a fresh look at prayer from an unexpected perspective: comic art, humor, and their relevance to today's image-driven youth. Part explanation, part instruction, it explores the role of prayer and faith in mainstream and underground comics, and provides resources for incorporating comics and cartooning into curricula for children and youth.

9780819232786   List Price: $18.00
LightShinesThrough_150 The Light Shines Through
Our Stories Are God's Story
Carole A. Wageman

Carole Wageman dives into Scripture and probes a variety of biblical characters and their encounters with the Holy that put their faith to the test while also reflecting on our own similar experiences with God. Each confronted the uncertainty, anxiety, and drama of facing an unknown future, much as we do in our own life events—events in which we might also be wondering where to turn and search for answers.
9780819233400   List Price: $18.00

New! Downloads from Church Publishing
Selecting Curricular Resources that are Right for Your Church
Overview Chart of Children Curricula
Overview Chart of Youth Curricula

Next Month's Issue: Healing & Wholeness

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