Pre-teens (6th and 7th grade)
We have found that this age group (6th and 7th grade) is at a developmental stage where they do not want to be associated with the little kids. Anything that is good for first graders CANNOT be good for them. It doesn't matter how interesting your activity is, if the little kids are also doing it, you will get eyes rolling, yawns and less than enthusiastic behavior.
This age group has special needs. They need us to acknowledge their 'maturity'. We have addressed this need by developing a SS program especially for them. Not every church can do this, but the message is to make significant adjustments that show you recognize their different status.
I really recommend this resource for those serious about preteen ministry:
"Dynamic Preteen Ministry: The Essential Guide to Build a No-Miss Ministry with Kids" by Gordon and Becki West, Group Publishing, 9780764420849. (Out of print - try on-line)
Exchange Volunteer adds this link to the curriculum developed by Catherine's church for this age group: http://www.kirkofkildaire.org/...essons/contents.html