Many of you have recently received your new curriculum for the coming year—or you will be getting it very soon. Whether this is your first time using CDG curriculum, or even if this is your 10th time, I have the same advice: Read through the entire Preface and Introduction! Yes, all of it, every single page. Why? Here are a few reasons:
- The preface and introduction convey the “big picture” of the study.
Knowing this ahead of time will give you a better perspective from which to prepare and teach the individual lessons. Each study has a particular focus and flow, which serves to build biblical concepts precept-by-precept. Think of the preface and introduction like the picture on the outside of a puzzle box, showing how the final picture should look when all the pieces have been joined together.
- The introduction answers the most commonly asked questions ahead of time.
If you were to simply pick up a lesson and try to teach it, you would probably have quite a few questions: How long does this lesson take to teach? Why are some questions in italics? Why are some Bible references in parentheses? Does each child need a Bible? etc.
- The introduction provides important guidance regarding classroom structure.
The curriculum was written to work best within certain requirements. While these may need to be adjusted to fit your particular situation, some requirements are more crucial than others. Knowing these will help you plan and structure the most optimum teaching situation.
- The introduction explains the format and layout of the lessons.
The lessons all have the same basic structure. The introduction explains this structure so that teachers and small group leaders can fully understand and make the best use this structure. This will help you as you prepare for each lesson.
- The introduction provides an overview of all necessary curriculum components.
More than a few times our customer service has received calls from teachers who are confused because something seems “missing” from the lesson material. They are surprised to find out that a crucial component has not been provided (e.g., a classroom poster). The introduction outlines all necessary components and suggestions for using and storing them.
- The introduction provides teachers and small group leaders with helpful goals and practical tips.
The lessons are written and designed with an underlying philosophy that we believe serves to actively engage the heart and mind of the student. The introduction will give you the basic pillars of this philosophy and the associated teaching methods employed.
Just as a personal note of how important it is to read through the introduction: This year I am going to be teaching my grandchildren The ABCs of God. I am very familiar with this curriculum because I wrote it. Yet, this week I am reading through the entire preface and introduction. Why? As a helpful reminder and overview of the purpose, flow, and structure of the study.
So, my advice: Read the Preface and Introduction! You’ll be glad you did.
(Image courtesy of zirconicusso at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.)