Sabbath School class members must accept some personal ownership of the lesson study. A facilitator-teacher could look ahead at the next week’s lesson and make assignments that can energize class members to study more and prepare sooner.
Here are some suggested strategies:
- Character-centered lessons. Have members choose a character in the lesson and write a monologue. This monologue assignment could work for nearly any lesson.
- Topic-centered lessons. Have some members write a persuasive argument from the point of view of the Bible character or a “devil’s advocate” argument.
- Have several people (perhaps a married couple) write a short skit about the next week’s lesson. Or a song. Or a poem. Or a psalm.
- Take a longer passage of Scripture for the next week’s lesson and encourage someone to provide vocal or instrumental music, recorded or live, to serve as a background for the oral reading of that passage. Lighting a candle, putting on the music, and reading the Scripture would enhance just about every area of the brain!
Walk Down Memory Lane
- Uncover artistic talent in the class by challenging members to draw or paint or sculpt a representation of something in next week’s lesson.
- Many class members might recall songs (old or new) that portray the theme of the upcoming lesson. Tell them to bring in the song—or just the words—and share them the next week. How rich would that be, adding music to the lesson study! Music affects a certain portion of the brain that increases memory in learning.
- Borrow some felts from a children’s Sabbath School class. Pass them out to class members, and while the story is being told or read from Scripture, have members put up the felts. Why should the Beginners have all the fun!
Focus on the Times
- Members bring in news clippings (or video news clips) that would enrich the class by considering “signs of the times” as seen in the news. What a great way to start class members linking news items to lesson principles as daily witnessing strategies.
- This activity gives people a chance to share, use their imagination, listen to others, and be creative all at the same time. It’s also a great warm-up activity when you have many visitors. All ages usually respond well. Choose items that are appropriate for meeting site and church culture. Use less items for larger classes.
Distribute small plastic baggies containing items; e.g., a Cheerio, a pretzel, a raisin, a nut, a vegetarian marshmallow, and a paperclip for each participant. Use the same number of questions as items in the bag; e.g., all six items:
- Of the six items, choose the one that most reminds you of how you feel about today’s lesson study. Set aside that one, tell your neighbor why you chose it, and then you may eat the item.
- Choose a remaining treat, and tell what that most reminds you of the week you just had.
- Choose a piece that most reminds you of how you feel about God right now, and tell why.
- Of the remaining three treats, choose one that reminds you of a prayer request you have.
- Of the remaining two, pick the one that represents how you feel about this season of your life or season of the year.
- There’s one piece left. Look at it carefully and decide how it is or is not like you. Share your thoughts.
Michael Eisner, of the Walt Disney Company, once said: “Not only did we build a better mousetrap, we built a better mouse.” Let’s take that idea to another level: Not only did we develop better classes, we developed a better Sabbath School.
© 2014 General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists