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This post contains several ideas from a previous thread on the subject of "Other Times and Places to Use the WoRM" other than Sunday School, originally discussed by members Lisa M. Neil MacQueen, and Valerie.

You are welcome to share your experience using Rotation or "rotation-like" learning outside of Sunday morning.


 

 The answer is YES, Rotation and Workshop concepts work in other locations, times, and age groups other than the usual Sunday School time and venue.  

VBS, Wednesday Night Fellowship, Afterschool Programs

"Rotating" through various media based stations or lessons has long been used in preschool, and public school curriculums. 

One of Howard Gardner's disciples, Bernice McCarthy, developed an entire format for public school based on multiple-intelligence infused lessons. She called it the 4-Mat system.  

In many ways, NON-SUNDAY "Rotation or "rotation-al" models have it easier than Sunday morning because they often have MORE TIME to do their lessons, or more freedom to move their learning around the building because they are not hemmed in by Sunday morning.

These non-Sunday morning Rotation programs also have the freedom to include mealtimes, games, children's worship around their workshop experiences.


 

Perhaps the MOST POPULAR PLACE to use the Workshop Rotation Model is as a Vacation Bible School.

In fact, when the WoRM was first created in 1990, some folks called it "the VBS Model" because it was so similar to certain VBS curriculums.  

Church leaders would create four or five workshops around a subject and rotate their VBS classes into them during the week. A popular lesson set at Rotation.org, 2001: A Sheep Odyssey (Psalm 23), was originally written as a VBS.

Where rotation churches run into trouble with VBS' is that existing VBS curriculums are TOO SIMILAR to what the kids are used to doing in their Rotation Sunday School. So they have to look for something different.

Children's Fellowship is also another popular place to use the Workshop Rotation Model.

The church where Neil MacQueen (Rotation.org founder) landed after creating the WoRM in Chicago, used the WoRM for it's Wednesday Night learning model two years before adopting it for their Sunday morning model as well.  

Following dinner and a game, students split into a Computer Lab, Art Workshop, and either Drama or Bible Skills and Games workshop, before reconvening together as a group for closing Music and Worship (workshop).   

After School programs have adopted elements of the Rotation Model to structure their learning times and pace through stories.  

Some begin with a snack, followed by a 30 minutes of homework tutoring, a brief game, and then 40 minutes of Bible education. For the Bible education, Monday may be "Video Day," Tuesday may be "Art Workshop Day," and so on.  If you have more than one group afterschool, Monday might be Video Day for all, and then Tuesday might have two or three workshops, which students begin rotating through. Friday might be a "Big Game or Gameshow Wrap-up" for the story they are studying.

YOUTH Events, Adult, Intergenerational...

"Workshop" learning and "Rotating" are not age-specific. Many churches have had their youth and adults occasionally using a workshop or rotating through "workshops" or stations for a night.

Last edited by Neil MacQueen
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In one of my past church positions,* we used the Rotation Model to teach the lesson portion of our Wednesday Night "Logos" program.

We rotated between Bible Games, Video, Music, and Art as our workshops and did two each Wednesday night: one for the younger kids and one for the older kids.  

It was easy, and was a great way to recruit parents in advance. I'd hand them a video or art project a week or two in advance, along some written notes and suggestions, and ask them to prepare a 20 to 30 minute lesson on it. I also taught some of the lessons. We didn't have the "workshop" rooms (yet), so we just used the fellowship hall space and classrooms as needed.

Sometimes the fellowship game became the Bible Game (workshop).  We also had a worship time with music, prayer, and quick message. We sometimes did that worship time as one of the workshops by adding more of a lesson component to the worship time (drama/skits, for example).

 Sneaky sneaky  
When the idea of using Rotation was brought up to the Sunday School people, many of them were already familiar with it as "the way we taught on Wednesday nights." When the Sunday School jumped on board, we converted their rooms to workshops. Also installed a computer lab  and kept on using the new workshops on Wednesday night as well as Sunday morning. Kids didn't grow tired of it.

*re: "position"
I was the volunteer Parish Associate" in that church who at the time only helped with Wed Night. When Sunday morning converted to Rotation and as our numbers grew on both Sun and Wed, the church decided to hire a part-time Christian educator!  (I was full-time into my software ministry in those days.)  That educator became a fan of Rotation and is still a member of Rotation.org today 

Last edited by Neil MacQueen

I used rotation model in summer church camp for a few years. Again, it was nice to have more time for some workshops!

As with vbs, we had five stories that we covered in the course of a week. We used some of the Bible Skills and games ideas for the morning small group Bible study time that the children did with their cabin leaders.  Then they had a choice of drama or art (or a nature activity that did not tie into the story) for the rest of the morning. Sometimes in the afternoon we were able to use a large group game that also tied into the day's Bible story. Because we had more time for the drama workshop, we were actually able to create some sort of performance piece every day to share with the other campers in the evening gathering and worship time.

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