I'm posting here an excerpt from my list of "What Every Child Should Know About the Bible." A list I'm often asked about by those who remember reading it a long time ago but can't find it! This list first appeared on my software website but has been updated and expanded here at Rotation.org with more ideas about how to "evaluate" our kids' knowledge and teaching efficacy. That article also has more notes on "what every child should know about the Bible."
Here's the excerpt:
"Core Bible Knowledge Every Kid Should Know"
Here is "Neil's List of Core Bible Knowledge Every Kid Should Know." What's yours? The point is to have one, and test for it. This list was originally known as my "Stuff I think every Sunday School kid should know."
By the third grade all regular attenders (twice a month or more) should be able to:
- Say in front of a trusted friend, parent, or teacher what they believe about Jesus and why he's important to follow and learn from.
- Tell in a simple but understandable fashion the basic story of Jesus' birth, life, death, and resurrection.
- Tell in simple but understandable fashion the basic stories of Creation and the Exodus.
- Be able to define in simple terms these words: Grace, Sin, Forgiveness, Holy, Prayer, Worship, Confession, Stewardship.
- Tell in simple but understandable fashion the parables of The Prodigal Son and The Good Samaritan.
- Tell in simple but understandable fashion at least one other New Testament story of their choice, and one from the Old Testament of their choice.
- Be able to recite the Lord's Prayer and find Psalm 23, remembering its first line or two.
- Be able to name the first two books of the Old Testament (OT) and find them quickly, and additionally name three other OT books.
- Be able to name the first four books of the New Testament (NT) and find them, and additionally name at least one other NT book.
- Be able to sing at least one verse of a Bible song or verse of a hymn/worship song of their choice.
There are other things I'd like my third-graders to do, including help in worship, serving, pray, ...but this article is trying not to turn into a book.
By the sixth grade your regular attenders should:
- Know everything on the third-grade list but with a more sophisticated understanding.
- Be able to sequence the Exodus story and know most of the Ten Commandments.
- Know what a prophet is and what a prophet does. And be able to tell you the names of two prophets and at least one story about a prophet.
- Know the basic stories of Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Saul & David.
- Know at least two Jesus miracle stories and what those stories mean. I prefer they know the story of the man let down through the roof and the feeding of the 5000.
- Know at least two additional stories from the life of Jesus, preferably the Wise Steward and Jesus' teaching on forgiveness.
- Know at least two Beatitudes and know where to find them.
- Know who Paul was and what he did to spread the Christian message.
- Relate at least one story from the life of Paul, preferably his conversion on the Road to Damascus.
- Know the names of three of Paul's letters and be able to find them relatively quickly.
- Be able to correctly locate and paraphrase, if not have memorized, the 23rd Psalm.
- Be able to point to and describe an experience in their lives that has all the hallmarks of being a "spiritual" one.