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This forum is collecting Sunday School classroom supply and resource suggestions, links, and discussions. It includes the "What's in Your Supply Closet" topic and a discussion about Bibles for kids. Lesson plans and ideas for specific Bible stories are organized by story in our Lesson Forums. You can also post your questions about lessons, supplies and resources in the Teachers Lounge.

Sunday School Supplies


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Posted by Jan FPC Napa on September 05, 2001
Age Level Insights

I came across a great book called Teaching on Target ... Age Level Insights by Dr. Robert Choun and Jane Willson Choun. It's published by Group Publishing with Children's Ministry Magazine. ISBN #0-7644-2232-4. I use it when developing lessons for our workshop leaders.

Through 16 topics(the Bible, God, Jesus, Satan, Sin & Salvation, etc.) it gives information on what kids should/can comprehend at various ages, from 2 years old through sixth grade. It also gives "teaching aims" as to what kids entering jr. high should know by that age.

I just purchased one for each of our "age group shepherds" and one for each workshop. I hope having something like this for each leader may take some of the intimidation out of the "each week teaching a different age group".

Jan H.
First Pres., Napa CA

Posted by Neil MacQueen on September 06, 2001

Jan....can you post some brief conclusions from the book here at the message board? This would not violate the copyright.
Just cite the source.

<>< Neil

Posted by Jan FPC Napa on September 08, 2001

"Teaching on Target ... Age Level Insights"; Group Publishing 2001

May the Angel of Copyright Laws protect me Smile

Mental, social, emotional, physical and spiritual characteristics and needs are given for each age group.

Some conclusions:

  • 2's and 3's:
    Literal, concete thinkers
    Sense of awe
    Ready for adult models of God's loving care

  • 4's and 5's:
    Beginning to separate reality from fantasy
    Literal, concrete thinkers
    Forming self-image
    Understand disobedience and forgiveness
    Capable of worship

  • 1st-3rd graders:
    Developing reasoning skills
    Literal, concrete thinkers
    Learning cooperation
    Developing values and lifestyle choices
    Developing questions about God and heaven

  • 4th-6th graders:
    Beginning to grasp abstract concepts
    Unsteady emotions
    Need Christlike role models
    Can understand salvation and morality

16 topics (including God, Jesus, the Trinity, Miracles, Prayer, and others) are under a section titled "What Can They Learn About ...?". The authors explain by age group what kids can/should know based on their age characteristics, and then also include other book resources for that age group and topic. As kids get older, more is added to each spiritual topic (based on how they learn and what they're capable of comprehending). For example here are some conclusions about what kids can know about JESUS:

  • 2's & 3's can know:
    Jesus is real, is their friend, and real stories about Jesus are in the Bible.
  • 4's & 5's can know:
    Jesus is God's son; Jesus was born, grew up, helped people, died and came back to life; stories about Jesus found in the Bible can show them how to be kind.
  • 1st-3rd graders can know:
    Jesus died and came back to life; Jesus could do all he did because he is God's Son; Jesus is real even though we can't see him; Jesus' told us how to live and his words were important enough to memorize
  • 4th-6th graders can know:
    Jesus was both man and God; Jesus is our hero and Lord; the historical context of when Jesus lived; Jesus knows and understands everything about me; Jesus died because he loves me

There is also a section after each topic called "Teaching Aims". It takes all the "what can they know" parts and puts them in a concise list of what kids should know by the time they're ready for junior high. By following these guidelines, I would think that children's departments would send more spiritually rounded children off to their youth departments.

This book is a good reference to use when planning and teaching lessons as it takes the guesswork out of knowing what they are truly capable of comprehending, and can help determine if you're aiming too high or too low with your lesson for a particular age group.

As I gave a book to one of our age group "shepherds" and explained the purpose, she said, "Wow! This will be great for me as a parent also to know how much I should or shouldn't expect my own daughter to know." I think sometimes parents hold back on what they tell their kids about spiritual matters: a) because they don't think kids can understand various concepts, and b) because they think it's the church's job. I also believe many parents underestimate what their kids can comprehend, especially on "scary" topics like sin, salvation, hell, etc.

This may even be a good source to develop a "test" of sorts for kids at various stages in their lives to see if we are "teaching on target".

Jan H.
First Pres., Napa, CA

Last edited by Luanne Payne
Make use of your local library

Posted by Jan FPC Napa on January 27, 2001

Purchasing books that are used for only one month of lessons seemed to me not very good stewardship (unless we'd then donate it to our church library for kids to check out). So I got on our local library's website and searched for what we needed for Feb. Lo and behold ... 2 of the 3 books I wanted were there! I put a "hold" on them, waited for them to send me a note by mail, then picked them up for our teachers to use. Check out your local library ... pardon the pun!

Exchange Volunteer adds: Also see if your library participates in an inter-library loan system. Your source for books is greatly expanded when libraries link up.

Other book suggestions moved here to consolidate info...
Posted by Cindy on October 19, 2000

I am the author of three Christian Education
resources books that will be helpful to those of you who delight in WRM!

  • BIBLE TIME WITH KIDS (Abingdon, 1997) is overflowing with innovative ideas that will bring Bible stories alive. Games, story sharing, creative dramatics, music, crafts and food will help children learn the story and what the story teaches us.
  • WORSHIP TIME WITH KIDS (Abingdon, 1998) is a cornucopia of creative worship ideas to use with kids. Music, games, creative dramatics, children's worship talks, puzzles, crafts and more make worship exciting for kids and adults!
  • BIBLE BANQUETS WITH KIDS (Abingdon, 2000) is a bounty of Biblical food feasts to enjoy with kids. Games, music, story sharing, creative dramatics, bulletin board ideas, crafts and of course food help you celebratethe Bible with kids.

All three books will provide you with years
of programming ideas. They can be ordered by calling 1-800-672-1789.

Good luck and God bless all of you.

Posted by Neil MacQueen on August 24, 2001

Augsburg Fortress has just released four new books designed for Workshop Rotation churches titled:

  • Games, Kids and Christian Education, 2001. ISBN 0806664088
  • Art, Kids and Christian Education, 2001. ISBN: 080666407X
  • Puppets, Kids and Christian Education, 2001. ISBN: 0806664096
  • Video, Kids and Christian Education, 2001. ISBN 080666410X

I've just finished looking them over and they are excellent. Full of stuff to use, diagrams, examples, and lesson ideas. They dig into WHY and how the particular medium enhances learning. Written with Rotation in mind. Perfect as the "foundation book" for each workshop to share with teachers.

**I need to also mention that I wrote the first in this series:

  • Computers, Kids and C.E. (2001, ISBN 0806641584) you can take my recommendation here with a grain of salt (but you'd be crazy not to read these books).

On behalf of the Rotation community: Thanks Augsburg. These are great resources.
<>< Neil MacQueen

Exchange Volunteer adds - other books in this series:

  • Storytelling, Kids, and Christian Education, 2002. ISBN 0806664282
  • Creative Music, Kids, and Christian Education, 2002. ISBN 0806664053
  • Science, Kids, and Christian Education, 2002. ISBN 0806664290

For more info try these: Augsburg Fortress 1-800-328-4648 or

Last edited by Luanne Payne

I used a combintation of the "Family Night Toolchest, 10 Commandments" by Jim Weidmann & Kirk Weaver, Heritage Builders (June 12 2014), 978-1940242484.


"Kid's Travel Guide to the Ten Commandments", by Carol Mader, Group Publishing (2001), 9780764422249.

to put together 13 summer weeks of rotation for families.

While I did have to tweak and mold, both books (and others in their series, I'm sure) had lots of concepts and were easy to pull ideas for games, art, cooking, science, and drama.

Last edited by Luanne Payne


Workshop Rotation: A New Model for Sunday School

By: Neil MacQueen and Melissa Armstrong-Hansche,
Westminster/John Knox, 2000, ISBN: 0664501109
Description: This book is a basic manual taking the reader step-by-step through the process of setting up and conducting the Rotation Model of church school. The basic idea is that the church school focuses for several weeks(4-5)on a single biblical story. There are a number of labs-computer, film, drama, art, etc.-and the students rotate each week from lab to lab. This is, according to the book, more fun for kids, less work for the teachers. Churches are flocking to this approach, and there is a web site to plug the book and offer additional resources.

Workshop Wonders: The Ultimate Guide to Rotation Sunday School
By: Vicki Bare & Mickie O'Donnell
Cook Communications, 2005, ISBN: 0781442087
Description: From Children's Ministries of America and one of the premier workshop rotation churches in the U.S. comes a book that explains how and why the workshop rotation movement is energizing Sunday schools across America. Learn from the experts the basics of multidimensional learning, how to create a terrific learning environment and why this model makes recruiting staff simpler than ever. Discover what's really important to starting and maintaining a successful program and how to avoid common pitfalls. An invaluable tool for experienced and start-up churches alike that's packed with wisdom gleamed from years of experience in opening the hearts of kids to the wonders of God's love!

Last edited by Luanne Payne

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