August 31st, 2015 – For a few years now, I’ve been working on a children’s curriculum that can be used in the Urantia community or in a church setting. I call the curriculum “Stories of Jesus: Lessons for Children”. For each lesson, I prepare a one-page handout that includes a coloring picture, story summary, reading reference, and discussion questions. I plan to make them available with either a Urantia Book reference or a New Testament reference.
Each lesson is designed to take about one-half hour with a small group of children. I suggest that teachers read through the handout at least one day in advance and prayerfully contemplate the story and questions. Other than that, preparation is delightfully minimal.
I’ve laid out five years of lessons at 34 lessons per school year. The autumn lessons, September through November, center on the first phase of Jesus’ ministry when he presents himself primarily as the Son of Man. You can see a full list of lessons at Through the Year with The Urantia Book.
One of my goals is to provide potential teachers with an easy way to teach small groups of children. I believe many people would do a great job teaching children, but they hesitate because the preparation seems daunting. When someone volunteers to teach in religious education, they are typically presented with a thick binder of materials to wade through. The binder is filled with detailed lesson plans—lessons that are often excellent—but it is too much information for most people to absorb efficiently. I’ve tried to simplify things.
Each of my lessons is laid out in the same way and the procedure is the same:
1—Talk about the picture. What’s happening?
2—Tell the story. Older children may read the summary and reference.
3—Ask the “Apply to your life” questions and discuss
4—Pass out crayons for coloring the picture
A snack and supervised free play could be added to fill out a full hour. Some teachers might choose to sing songs, play a game, do a craft or other activity to provide more structure to the remaining time.
I hope that “Stories of Jesus: Lessons for Children” will give people a stable platform from which to apply their own creativity in teaching children.