This topic was originally posted in our "Help" forum, and moved here and re-titled. Feel free to add your own Rally or Kick Off ideas.

 


DISCUSSION:

Original Post:

For scheduling reasons, I need to start off our Fall Rotation year with a two week plan, instead of a four week rotation. I was thinking along the lines of a very short "What's in the Bible" series, ---but 2 Sundays hardly does that justice.

What have some of you done with off weeks, or beginning of year stuff? 

Original Post

In the old days, we'd do a Sunday School Open House, but I like the idea of an intergenerational kick-off rally.  The second week, you could do a giant gameshow about all the lessons you're going to be teaching.  We included some questions about those in attendance.

 

One of the most fun "rallies" I ever did was setting it up like a Football Rally. We had a ridiculous brass band, megaphones, an unlikely group of cheerleaders (one guy even wore a skirt), and introduced the "coaches" and "players" as if they were gridiron gods. Even quoted their "Bible and faith stats".  We reviewed the "schedule of upcoming games" (stories) and commented on each as if we were sports reporters.  Very tongue in cheek, and everyone loved it. 

 

 

Love the football themed kick off idea!

 

For the last several years we've had an orientation for our rising K's and their parents about 30 mins before SS begins, then during SS we've had an intergenerational Open House. Actually for the last two years this has been churchwide -- all the SS classes participated in an Open House and people were invited to visit all the classrooms and learn about the class, their topic of study and eat breakfast items that were in each room, and fill out a form listing the study topics. We also had a drawing for a kindle from all the participants who filled out their form. It's been very fun to have older adults who seldom come to the children's wing there to participate. 

 

For our Rotation SS -- we have a Scavenger Hunt -- we have parents and kids visit each room and do an activity or find an item in each room that helps to show what we do. I'll attach the document so you can get an idea of what we do. Of course it's specific to our church, but you can get the idea.

 

And as for calendaring... we have an issue this year too. We're promoting the first Sunday in August, instead of the first Sunday in September! Not sure HOW that's going to all work out, but i better figure it out SOON!

 

 

Blessings!

Jaymie

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That Neil, he would have brass bands!

 

One fall we wanted to put more focus on our prayer lives and more intentionally incorporating prayer into our weekly class meetings. We did a three week series on prayer in the Bible, but it could easily be shortened to two weeks.

 

Our first week was called "Praying in Color" and used materials from a book Praying in Color Kids’ Edition by Sybil MacBeth ISBN: 978-1-55725-595-2 Paraclete Press 2009. You can see more of her work at http://prayingincolor.com/.

 

We continued to use the "Praying in Color" template throughout the year.

 

If prayer isn't your focus, you might do two weeks on something else you'd like to emphasize, like "Bible Detective," a review of Bible skills, etc.

 

These are some great ideas! I really like the idea of a church-wide open house where everyone visits adult, youth, and children classes to see what is going on in each. Could be a way to generate more interest for adults not currently attending an adult SS class, and also just give everyone an idea what the children and youth are doing.

 

Anne, I'm very interested in hearing more about your 3 week study on prayer. Our pastor's summer sermon series is on prayer, and he has been doing some practical, hands-on kinds of things in the area of prayer, which has been amazing. This praying in color thing seems like it would fit right in, and perhaps we could do something with the kids this fall as kinda a conclusion to the summer series. I'm going to order the book, plus the kids material, but if you have formal lessons that you could post or send me, I would love to see what you did.

I LOVE praying in Color! I used it to kick off a summer Art Journaling series for kids this summer and have used it with our confirmation class in teaching kids about spiritual disciplines. I'll attach a few pictures of our art journals to give you an idea of what you can do. We've used the Praying in Color template, as Anne calls it, for several of our journal activities.

 

It's been so popular that I'm thinking of incorporating it into our journals this coming year... maybe having a specific prompt each month that encourages the kids to create a visual prayer around their story or memory verse. The photos I've attached show several kids' work with Psalm 118:24.

 

Jaymie

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Diana,

 

These lessons were developed to coordinate with a six (!) week sermon series on Paul. I haven't posted them because they feel very specific to my church and I thought I would have to revise them for more general application. I certainly hope they give you some ideas you can adapt for yours!

 

Don't hesitate to ask for more info or to e-mail me directly if I can be of more help.

 

Anne

Attachments

Thank you, Anne, for attaching those files. I'm now anxiously awaiting the delivery of the Praying in Color book and dvd, kid's edition, and am thinking about doing a 1 Sunday stand-along lesson on prayer, and if it goes well, maybe incorporating some kind of prayer journals to be used through-out the year, and continue using the praying in color method.

 

Neal and Jaymie: when you have done an all-church SS open house, what happened with the children? Did they stay with their parents and visit all classrooms also, or were they in their classrooms involved in some kind of activity as the adults visited around? I'm wondering about the 2 and 3 yr olds, and what that would look like.... And knowing what youth are like, were they very interested in visiting all the other classrooms? Or does offering a Kindle or some sort of neat door prize suddenly make it "interesting" to everyone?

Diana, 

I think how you break it down depends on how LONG you plan on spending with this "tour" of classrooms vs a "big gathering". 

 

 

I've done it a bunch of different ways. In one, we let people wander at their own pace. Each room had some kid-actors "demonstrating" how they use that workshop. Kids in the theater seats eating popcorn watching a video, at the computer, doing an art project. 

 

This is a good time to advertise your lesson plan structure in LARGE LETTERS on posterboard so that people realize you are teaching with a plan and not just eating popcorn and watching a move. Handouts help too. 

 

 

Two ideas for a kick-off:

  • When we first started rotation, we had an open house--for parents and kids and anyone else in the congregation who was curious.  It took place during our Sunday School time, so it would have lasted about 45 minutes.  Here is the link:  https://www.rotation.org/topic/...-luth-forest-park-il
  • This year, we are trying out a sort of kick-off to Sunday School, which we have never done before.  The evening before we start Sunday School (so on a Saturday evening), we are having a short event at the church.  We are starting out with some carnival games just for fun for the first 30 minutes or so.  Then we will take everyone on a short tour of our rooms (after doing this for 10 years, we finally have 2 rooms that are just ours!!! )  While everyone is on the tour, we will be hiding items for a scavenger hunt in the playground/prayer garden area.  All of the items hidden will have something to do with one of the 10 stories that we are doing this year (basket for baby Moses; fish for call of disciples, etc).  Our emcee will make those connections as they have the kids bring up the items that they have found.  We will also have a spot where families can fill out their registration info. We'll finish up with an ice cream social.

Cathy

We did an open house when we started rotation.  I had parents and children get with their shepherd.  They began in the room for week one on the schedule, then rotated through the schedule every 15 minutes.  They got to meet the teachers in the workshop, learn how the schedule worked, and it prevented  masses of people in one place at a time.  We had then entire second floor of the church, which had 6 rooms for the workshops.  It worked really well, and everyone knew what to and where to go the next week.

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