Telling God's Story, Year One: Instructor Text and Teaching Guide
During his lifetime, Jesus introduced himself through stories, parables, and teachings. In this first year (Meeting Jesus), these will be familiar to adults with a church background. However, these stories and teachings lay the foundation for everything we need to know about Jesus. Couple that with details of his earthly life and ministry and you have the nine categories covered in this series.
- Stories Jesus Told
- Miracles Jesus Did
- Teachings of Jesus
- The Sermon on the Mount
- Jesus’ Early Life
- Jesus’ Disciples
- Opposition to Jesus
- End of Jesus’ Life
- The Rest of the Story
In addition to 4-5 weekly lessons in each of these categories, there are three supplemental lessons that focus on his trial, crucifixion, and resurrection so this important part of the story is not slighted.
Stories/parables include the persistent widow, the mustard seed, and the Pharisee/tax collector while miracles include the five loaves/two fish and Jesus walking on water.
Instructor text is 125 pgs. Activity Book is 405 pgs. Both are paperback. All scripture references are from the NIV.
Providing parents a thoughtful and thorough roadmap for teaching the Bible, this curriculum focuses on knowing Jesus. The Parents’ Guide outlines this approach and could stand on its own, but also serves as an introduction to the courses. Years 1-3 cover nine categories: Stories Jesus Told, Miracles and Teachings of Jesus, the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus’ Early Life, Jesus’ Disciples, Opposition to Jesus, End of Jesus’ Life, and the Rest of the Story. Categories repeat each year with more material and depth added. Year 4 examines what happens when Jesus leaves. From His earthly departure until the Second Coming, children study the book of Acts and NT letters.
Following the same structure, two components are necessary. The Instructor Text & Teaching Guide provides the yearly overview, and scripted text to read aloud and discuss. Parents are encouraged to read the background information and theological perspective ahead of time.
The Student Guide and Activity Book provides a coloring page and activity/project for each lesson. Activities vary. For example: crafts, games, music, cooking, and word searches. Activity pages are reproducible for families. Teacher-student interaction is important, but teacher prep is minimal.
over 2 years ago
Each day includes a reading for the parent to read through ahead of time, a Bible passage (included in the text) and an explanation of the text for the kids. It probably takes less than 10 minutes to read, but the lessons are thoughtful and spur good discussions.
The activity guide contains a coloring page for each lesson, plus assorted activities. There are usually a few options for each lesson, and they may include games, worksheets, group activities, cooking projects, service ideas memory work and art/craft projects. I highly recommend the activity guide along with the text, to help the kids really remember the lessons.
The material is solid with nothing questionable. It's all appropriate and relevant for the age level, and the parent notes include lots of interesting material--I always learn something. If the passage they're highlighting has anything questionable in it (for instance, a reference to a prostitute), the author warns the parent in advance and gives a suggestion for how to skip that part for now, or simply rephrase it in a way that doesn't change the meaning. Of course, parents are left to their own discretion--they can always read the full passage.
-I adore the approach of learning about Jesus' life, ministry and teaching, rather than tackling the super-tough Old Testament topics (my kids ask a lot of questions that are hard to answer, even for adults, about the Old Testament). The kids always "get it" right away and apply to lessons to everyday life.
-We love the story-like, conversational approach. It feels much more natural than filling out a worksheet, which I think is important for this subject matter.
-The activities are usually fun and memorable. We don't always do an activity, but when we do we enjoy it.
-It's easy enough that I never hesitate to actually do it.
-It's not really enough material for a week--we only spend one day on each lesson, although you could do more, and there are some extra lessons included. This works for us, because we also like to do our own memory work independently of this study, and sometimes we take a break around Christmas to do an advent study. But if you want more of a 4- or 5-day curriculum, this probably won't cover that unless you supplement with some of your own material.
Overall, a solid, enjoyable curriculum that builds our relationship with each other and has really fostered a love of Jesus in my kids!