Teaching Kids to Use the Bible (in their own way)

October 22nd, 2012

Everyone has the capacity to learn, but each of us learns in many different ways. As we grow, we develop preferred ways of learning that are the most comfortable and the most effective for us. A new eight-session children’s study, Learning to Use My Bible, includes activities in each session that appeal to the learning styles of seven different kinds of learners.

The Verbal Learner

This child enjoys using language, both written and spoken. Some of this learner’s favorite activities include:

  • Reading, writing, and telling stories
  • Writing poems and litanies
  • Completing sentences
  • Memorizing names, dates, Bible verses, and trivia.

This learner becomes frustrated without verbal stimulation.

Example: Echo Story

Have the children repeat each phrase in a retelling of a Bible story like the day of Pentecost. Verbal learners will enjoy saying the story aloud, which will help them internalize and memorize the story.

The Social Learner

This child enjoys learning best on a team. Some of this learner’s favorite activities include:

  • Interview, discussion, and dialogue
  • Asking and answering questions
  • Cooperative learning games
  • Brainstorming ideas
  • Working together in small groups
  • Parties and celebrations
  • Service projects

This learner is stifled by long periods of silent study.

Example: Target Practice

This game has students dividing into two teams and tossing a small bean bag or other object onto a four-ringed target on the floor, with labels: Law, History, Gospels, Letters. Teams take turns tossing the object at the target. Whatever band the object lands on, the team has to name a book of the Bible from that category. If correct, the team gets the number of points indicated on that ring of the circle.

The Independent Learner

This child enjoys private time to think. Some of this learner’s favorite activities include:

  • Prayer, meditation, and reflection
  • Focusing on inner feelings
  • Working independently
  • Identifying with the characters in a story
  • Journaling
  • Research projects

This learner generally avoids group activities.

Example: A Child Listens to God

Like many activity stations in Learning to Use My Bible, this task involves reading and writing/crafting that can be done independently, but also invites the students to imagine how the child Samuel would have felt the night God called his name.

The Visual Learner

This child sees information in terms of colors, pictures, and symbols. Some of this learner’s favorite activities include:

  • Drawing and art activities
  • Designing and building models
  • Watching videos
  • Mazes
  • Maps, charts, posters, and timelines
  • Learning about symbols

This learner is easily discouraged by too much printed material and writing.

Example: Draw a Bible verse.

Many passages of Scripture (Genesis 1 and Psalm 119, to name just a few) use very expressive imagery. Give the children a few verses to choose from and invite them to draw a picture of the verse.

The Physical Learner

This child prefers to learn by manipulating objects. The physical learner’s favorite activities include:

  • Physical activities and games
  • Crafts
  • Motions with songs, stories, and prayers
  • Dancing
  • Marching and waving streamers
  • Role-playing and drama
  • Pantomime
  • Finger plays (for younger children)

Too much sitting for too long can cause this learner to tune out.

Example: Learn to Sign a Bible Verse

Choose a simple verse and teach the children the American Sign Language to sign the verse. Psalm 119:105 only requires five basic signs.

The Musical Learner

This child enjoys being surrounded by sound when learning. This learner’s favorite activities include:

  • Singing, humming, and listening to music
  • Writing songs
  • Making and playing musical instruments
  • Learning Bible verses set to music or rhythm
  • Listening to and learning story songs
  • Rapping
  • Writing new words to familiar tunes
  • Learning hymns

This learner is bored with lectures and long periods of seat work.

Example: Bible Books with a Beat

Have the children find the contents page in their Bibles. Sit in a circle on the floor and have the children tap a steady beat on their thighs. As the kids continue to tap their thighs, say the names of the books of the Old Testament. Begin with Genesis. Say the name and have the children repeat the name after you. Some of the more difficult names (such as Deuteronomy) will take some practice. For the first session, just continue through Estehr; you will add additional books as the study progresses.

The Logical Learner

This child is logical and precise, a lover of detail. The logical learner’s favorite activities include:

  • Number and word puzzles
  • Experiments
  • Working with numbers and math
  • Problem-solving
  • Exploring patterns and relationships
  • Step-by-step explanations

This learner finds it difficult to function in arenas of confusion and needs well-defined goals.

Example: Coded Messages

Bible verses with some words replaced by symbols representing each letter present a fun challenge for logical learners. A key at the bottom of the page helps students decode the message to complete the Bible verse.


How do we teach all of God’s children? You reach them by teaching in as many learning styles as possible. The variety of styles plus the repetition of learning reinforce the session so that children see, hear, and think God’s message in their daily lives. Learning to Use My Bible provides activities that incorporate all of these learning styles. As you select activities, remember that teachers have a preferred learning style as well. They tend to select activities that reflect this. Step outside your own comfort zone once in a while.

comments powered by Disqus