Reply to "Process of designing your own curriculum"

I only want to add a couple of additional comments to this discussion from my experience.

Amy - you are right about needing to meet face to face. We have tried several different ways but right now we cover one story per meeting. We meet on a Sunday morning before church for one hour. We meet every 5 weeks (5 week rotation). We have one writer per workshop. One workshop has 2 writers who take turns.

The writers have their own workshop. It helps them to come in thinking about how to express the story in their medium. I found that inexperienced writers have a more difficult time getting focused if they don't at least know the main workshop activity (puppets, drama, video, etc) ahead of time.

Each writer becomes more experienced in their own workshop venue. We recently asked if anybody on our team wanted to switch and the answer was no. Their experience made it easier (and faster) to write up a lesson plan.

We meet to write a lesson at least 2 months in advance of the unit. We take about 3 weeks to write it, another 2 weeks for editing. We mail a lesson to the workshop leader 3 weeks in advance of the unit start. We conduct a Bible study for the workshop leaders 2 weeks in advance. At any one time there are 3 different units in some stage of the process!

Our lessons are complete and most workshop leaders follow the lesson pretty closely. We encourage the workshop leader to be creative within the material given, but not make significant changes. I can recount a situation where the workshop leader took the lesson in a completely different direction that did not teach the concepts of the story and in fact sent the wrong message. It gets tricky to guage.

That is one reason for the workshop leaders Bible study. There are several other reasons we find this an important step. You can make sure that workshop leaders remember and followup with anyone who doesn't come! It allows a time to share the plans and ask questions so everyone knows how their part of the lessons contributes to the whole unit. It is an opportunity to have an adult Bible study and make sure the adults understand the concepts (we are teaching adults too).

Keep your process flexible and open to new ideas and ways to improve. There is always something to try.

Catherine Wink


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