How to Use Kinesthetic Activities

Creative lesson studies are more than just fun and crafts. Active learning does take place. This is an overview of the process and how learning and activities are integrated. It comes from one of my diary entries about the Creative Chris­tians class that I coordinate for the Palmetto (Florida) church.

9:40—Roll Call
Lou (the teacher) calls roll.

Elaine tells fellow class members about her week.

Shirley reports the answer to her prayer request from last week.

Larry shares a special prayer request from a friend at work.

Wanda is absent, so Elaine volunteers to contact her, and everyone makes a note to pray for Wanda during the week.

Vicky reports on the situation at her job that class members are praying about.

Dennis reminds the class of needs at the church school and asks us to include the other parents of schoolchildren in their prayers.

Buddy asks for special prayer for his kids.

Cherry volunteers to lead the class in praying for each member by name.

10:00—Activity and Discussion Begin

The activity. Lou introduces the craft project for the day, a hands-on-object lesson to illustrate graphically today’s theme.

Some members use favorite creative modes. Clay sculpture is the mode of expression that Dennis usu­ally chooses. He interprets his creation at the end of class, usually a nutshell version of the lesson’s main idea.

Greeting cards and poster materials are favorite projects with some members.

Wanda usually contributes a new poster for the bulletin board in the fellowship hall.

Shirley brings computer graphics or photos to make one-of-a-kind greeting cards to send to missing members or to give to those who are the special focus of the lesson, such as grieving parents or new parents.

Some members start right away with the lesson activity.

Some members watch other class members begin their projects. This helps them decide which project to do.

Other members just doodle or continue watching other members develop their creations.

The discussion ebbs and flows. Lou starts the lesson discussion with icebreakers. Then he waits for the class to warm up. We go to the Word. Dennis volunteers an opinion. Larry offers a different perspective. Cherry thinks there might be a third way to look at this issue. Lou asks Vicky to read the scrip­tural passage. She does and adds her comments. Shirley reads from her new Bible translation.

Then class members share their creative expres­sions. Elaine contributes a musical illustration. Lou scraps the illustration he was going to use because he likes Elaine’s better. He moves into the thought ques­tions.

Silence is welcome. Some members think qui­etly, and others think while their hands move in the medium of their choice.

The discussion flows again. Buddy opens up with a thought he has been working out. Lou nods and follows with another question along the same line.

This time Vicky addresses it.

Cherry and Elaine both chime in their agreement with her remarks.

Larry wants to be convinced, so he rereads the scriptural reference in a different version.

Dennis continues sculpting with the new clay-working tool Lou brought to class.

10:35—First Bell
The class is heavily into discussing the thought and application questions. Lou looks at his watch and exclaims, “I can’t believe it!” He begins to wind down the discussion and begins his closing re­marks.  “I’m going to plan one of those ex­tended Sabbath School study sessions we’ve been thinking about,” he declares.

10:40—Last Bell
Dennis is into explaining his intricate clay model. Then members ask to see Shirley’s gorgeous greeting card.

Closure. Lou quickly makes final remarks and then offers the closing prayer. 

A few members wrap up their private discussions.

Some members pack up the incomplete projects that they will work on at home this afternoon or next week in class.

“Happy Sabbath” resounds around the room as members depart.


Helene Hubbard
©2006 General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists