Bible Telling Workbooks & DVDs
We easily recognize the value of stories in relaying our personal or family history but how often do we stop to recognize that the majority portion - about 75% - of the Bible is stories? We're accustomed to teaching our children the Bible stories, but do we realize that we should also be teaching them to tell the stories? Missionaries will often spend months, maybe years telling stories from the Bible before ever presenting the gospel. They recognize the power of the narrative "hook." We should as well, whether it's in discipling our own children or teaching them to disciple others.
The Bible Telling series teaches you to tell Bible stories without memorizing them. Different from the listening, discussing, or analyzing approach of most Bible courses, this one focuses on learning in order to tell them to others. Clustering and Storyboarding are the keys to learning the story well. The process seems surprisingly simple - read, cluster, listen, storyboard, listen again, tell, review, and then tell some more. Practice will help you become comfortable with the process.
Start by reading the scriptures and filling in the blanks of a written narrative. A scripture crossword helps you become familiar with the facts of the story. Then the student is encouraged to "cluster" the main events of the story into three groups, the idea being to become very familiar with these clusters so that you internalize the basic structure of the story. Workpages for each story include space to "storyboard" - summarize your clusters into words or pictures. The student is constantly reminded to think about what they learn about God from the story; what they learn about people from the story; to identify their favorite part of the story; to boil the story down into a proverb (a succinct statement of the central truth); and to find a tie to the previous story. Other activities for each story might include constructing a banner or bumper sticker, mapwork, acting the story out or writing a ballad. NT worktexts include a section on history and customs for each story. The "main event," of course, is putting the story into your own words and telling it to someone else - or better yet, a number of someone elses. Everything leading up to the telling is designed to help you "own" the story - to make it truly yours.
Although the general process is the same, the OT and NT materials are packaged differently. The OT course provides four worktexts (about 120 pgs each) which walk the student through the story-telling process with activities and quizzes. Each workbook covers nine stories and is accompanied by an audio CD which provides the author's version of those nine stories. A supplemental, instructional DVD gives both wonderful visual examples of several of the beginning stories as well as an instructional "walk-through" on the process of creating a storyboard. There is no answer key for the OT worktexts. The NT material provides twelve much smaller (about 30 pgs, stapled) unit worktexts that each cover three stories each plus quizzes and review. There is a pull-out Unit Test in the center of each and four answer keys each covering three units. These are sold as a 13 book set. Supplemental NT material includes a set of three DVDs which provide stories and storyboarding instruction for each of the first three units plus ideas for getting started and for "owning" the entire process. There is also an audio CD which includes those same stories in audio form.
I love the premise of this program - training our children to be tellers of Bible stories. While the stories covered are what you would expect to find in elementary level Bible courses, the storytelling aspect of this program makes it useful for middle school or even high school students. At those levels, it would probably be considered an interesting application of the "speech" category. These skills would be useful for older students in ministry and missions work as well as in training their own children. Theoretically, the consumable worktexts could be used as stand-alones, but the audio and DVD companions add not only illustrative information but also further techniques for effective story-telling. ~ Janice