In the first few moments of a lesson, you can hold or lose the class’ attention, depending on how you begin your lesson. Here are some ideas for attention-holding introductions:
- Tell a story or a parable which will introduce the topic
- Ask a really thought-provoking question for the class to think about during the lesson Better still, write it on the board before class begins. At the end of the lesson, ask it again & have the class answer it
- Ask the question the week before the lesson and have the class look for the answer as they prepare for the lesson. Make sure to discuss it in class
- Before class, put something on the board that relates to the lesson, such as a picture, a quote, or a scripture, or display an object, or play a short video or audio-clip. Use it for an introductory discussion
Story-telling is the ultimate weapon. It is the most powerful means of communicating a message. People are moved by emotion, not facts. Stories are persuasive. They influence our attitudes, fears, hopes and values. Entering the world of a story radically alters the way information is processed. The more people are absorbed in a story, the more the story changes them. Stories can have a moulding power.
The purpose of working in groups is to allow everyone in class to participate. Group work also helps the class to cover more material during the lesson. Groups can consist of 3 to 8 people.
- All groups can have the same questions to discuss, and afterwards, each group reports to the class on a different aspect of the question
- Each group is given a different set of questions. Allow sufficient time for the groups to report on their discussion so that all the questions are discussed
- Assign the class, as they prepare for the next lesson, to bring one written question about the study material to class the next week. Collect them at the beginning of the lesson and read them out one at a time, allowing the class to answer each. Encourage using the scriptures when answering questions
- When assigning the study material for the next lesson, give class members 2 or 3 in-depth questions to think about as they prepare for the class. Invite them to come prepared to share their insights about the material. Be sure to discuss them during the lesson
- The week before a lesson, give each person a worksheet to complete as they study the material for the lesson. Have them bring it to the next lesson and discuss it in class:
1.Write a brief summary of the chapter
2.Which verse did you like best?
4.What life lessons are in this chapter?
5.How do we apply them?
6.What did you learn about Jesus?
- Focus all lessons on Christ
- Always teach from the scriptures. When class members ask questions, direct the class to find the answers in the scriptires
- Teach with a prayer in your heart, asking the Lord to help you teach what your class needs to hear
- Let class members answer questions asked by the class, instead of answering them yourself
- When asking a question, allow the class time to think. Don't be afraid of silence. If no one volunteers an answer, call on someone by name (not the shy person)
- Use questions which don't have a right or wrong answer
- Summarise the important points at the end of the lesson
- Focus lessons on how to live the principles discussed, and end each lesson with an invitation to do something specific about that principle, eg after a lesson on gratitude, invite the class to list 3 things at the end of each day which they are thankful for, every day that week
- Bear testimony of the principles you are teaching