In previous posts, we shared the “clothesline” activity for helping children learn the books of the Bible. Here are some fun, additional activities to expand your repertoire.
To complete most of these activities, you will need to make a “Books of the Bible” set of boxes or signs.
For a box set, collect 66 cereal or gift boxes—one for each book. Wrap each box in white paper, and write a book name on its spine. For a sign set, print each book name on the bottom half of an 8.5” by 11” sheet of cardstock. Fold the sheets in half to make tent cards to set on a table or hang on a clothesline in the classroom.
Whether you make boxes or signs, also make a set of cards for the books. Print one name on each card to match the boxes/signs. These cards will be especially important if you ask non-readers to search for certain books, as they will work to match the names letter-by-letter.
- Bible Songs: There are a number of good books of the Bible songs for children. Choose one of these songs and teach it to your classroom. Make a poster of the books of the Bible so you can point to each book as you sing its name. Not only will this help keep the children together and reinforce the order, but it will also help to familiarize them with the spelling of each name.
- Recite in Rhythm: Have the teacher start a rhythm, in which the children then join (e.g., slap the knees twice, clap twice). At some point in the rhythm (for example, after the second hand clap), have the children say a book of the Bible, starting with Genesis or Matthew. Have them progress with other book names in order.
- Echo the Books: Have a teacher lead in reciting the books, pausing after each name so the children can echo. As the children learn the order, the teacher can say more books between echoes, until the children recite the books without the help of the teacher.
- Act Out the Books: For each book of the Bible, come up with a hand motion. Teach the children the names of the books and the hand motions. (Note: the children might enjoy helping you figure out the hand motions.)
- Hide-and-Seek Scramble: Before the children come into the classroom, hide your Books of the Bible Boxes or Signs around the classroom. As each child enters the room, hand him a slip of paper with one book of the Bible written on it. This is the book he is in charge of finding. As children find the books, they should bring them to the front of the room and start putting them in order. Have an adult leader there to help them put the books in order. If necessary, assign children to find more than one book. The game is done when all the books have been found and put in the correct order. (Note:if you don’t have time to do a whole testament, consider focusing on just part of the Bible.)
- Books Scramble: Before the children come to the classroom, select a number of books to unscramble. Set them up, in a scrambled order, either on a table or clothesline. Seat the children and, one at a time, let them come to the front to change the position of one book until all the books are in the correct order.