When it comes to Sunday School Curriculum there are a lot of choices out there. So how do you separate the good from the bad? How do you identify the best curriculum for your particular situation?
In the 10+ years I’ve been teaching, I have found a few things that are incredibly helpful in any Sunday School environment. I believe, if these 5 things are present in a curriculum, then it is worth using.
1. Worship song suggestions
Music, or group worship is a huge part of every weekend. And I can’t even tell you how many curriculums I’ve come across that don’t even mention the topic. They exclude worship completely from their curriculum.
I understand there are legal ramifications for claiming copyrighted music as your own, but what is wrong with making some suggestions of popular tunes that might work with the main idea of your lesson? NOTHING. So if a lesson plan doesn’t include music, it doesn’t work.
2. Engaging Activities
You know what teachers struggle with?
It has nothing to do with not remembering the story of Noah’s ark.
It’s finding interesting and reasonable suggestions for filling class time.
Sure, a teacher can rely on the handful of games they always fall back on, but a good curriculum should provide so many ideas for Sunday that the teacher has LOTS of options to choose from.
If your lesson plan for Sunday only includes the details of the lesson itself, you are leaving the teacher out to dry. There is so much time in class that the lesson doesn’t fill…they need other ideas desperately!
3. An activity or skit that reinforces the lesson’s key point
There should be an element in every weekend class that is fun, but that reinforces the big idea that is being talked about for that week.
If the lesson is on trust, there should be a funny skit about trusting people. If the lesson is on forgiveness, there should be an interactive object lesson on forgiving each other.
Kids learn in a variety of ways, the least of which is sitting and “soaking up” your lesson. So give them activities and object lessons that remind them of the truth you trying to drive home that week.
4. A Lesson That Is Interesting (and long enough)
There is probably no single thing that terrifies a Sunday School teacher more than to have a lesson that they know isn’t long enough. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve looked at a lesson script and thought to myself, “that’s going to take 5 minutes to teach, so what am I going to do the rest of the time I’m supposed to teach?”
Find a Sunday School curriculum that not only is full of fun activities, but that provides a solid lesson you are confident will both entertain and inform your kids for an appropriate amount of time.
5. A Curriculum You Can Edit
It’s time we all just confessed something…no matter how great the curriculum may be, we are going to tweak it and adjust it to our liking. It’s not a bad thing, it’s just the truth. So accept it and find a curriculum that understands this is going to happen.
There are so many options out there that only provide locked down PDFs of their materials, making it incredibly difficult, and almost impossible to edit. Find a solution that provides something similar to a Microsoft Word Document of the lesson. Something that you can edit to your liking.
You are going to tweak the curriculum to your liking, so find one that makes it easy for you to do so.
Finding a Sunday School curriculum that fits your needs can be daunting. But it doesn’t need to be an impossible task. Use these 5 guidelines above to find a solution that fits your church and that fits you perfectly. There is one out there, I promise.