Editor's Note:

You are welcome to add to this discussion about Rotation in a small church - "one class".


You should also read the article "Rotation in Small Churches"


You may also find the article about "shared space" very helpful with tips about converting your one room into various types of workshops each week. 


This topic has been edited for brevity and readability.



Member Krista A posted:


We have been doing Rotation Sunday school for 4 years. Due to small numbers, -about 10 children preschool to fourth grade. I am interested in tips on how to do Rotation in ONE room or with ONE class.

Original Post


You can do a rotation-type Sunday School with a small group, one class, in one room or two. Depends on your room availability and class sizes.

If each unit is 3 or 4 weeks long, do one week in art, one in games, one in drama or puppets, etc.


You could do a 3 week rotation, with the fourth week being celebration, review, and/or mission/service.


I hope that helps.

We do rotation "one room schoolhouse" style.

We have one classroom, with one teacher, with students gr.1 -5 all learning together. We don't have enough kids to have separate classes.

The best way I have found to do this is to plan for the oldest age you have and then gear down the activity for the others. For example, read the story out of an appropriate Bible for 4th graders, but have on hand Bible story posters or pictures for the young ones to color while you read. If the activity is art for that Sunday, you could have different tables set with different activities for older and younger, or just give the younger ones more assistance.

I have found that the younger ones really are capable of doing so much more than we think if given a little help. They are very creative and enjoy being with the older kids. Older kids can be used as helpers with younger ones, and paired up for some things.

I'm not sure how having pre-schoolers in the mix will go, I haven't included them that young. You may need a helper who can be extra hands with the pre-schoolers.

When you go through the archive of lessons, check the activities for each age group. Many use the same activities, so no problem.

My biggest advice is don't worry about going "over the heads" of the younger ones when you read and discuss. They will pick up a lot!!

We do one-room style in our new church, where we only have about 10 regular attendees.


After trying it with age groupings, we realized that not enough children were showing up regularly to have a dynamic, exciting lesson. So now we have preschool (age 3) up through fifth grade all together.


We have art one week, games one week, and some sort of storytelling/drama/video one week. That way we have hands-on, kinesthetic, and visual/auditory learning styles covered. We also are doing a service/mission project a few times per year through Sunday School.


Our church just had its first anniversary and there are still some Christian Ed. things to be worked out, but it's been a pretty smooth process. Since I have experience as a Sun. School director, it hasn't been too rough-more a matter of how to work rotation with such a small number of kids and still have it be dynamic and exciting.


We have two small groups each with a shepherd - Pre-2nd, and 3-5gr.


12 kids total. For some activities, we combine both groups together.


If the workshop may be more challenging, we'll divide the groups.


At times, we'll have both groups in one room but working on different art projects, etc.


Or the older group will rehearse and perform a puppet, or drama show for the younger group.


It takes flexibility but it works!

For one-room style, the shepherds are key. You will need shepherds for the "littles"-maybe preschool-Kindergarten, the "middles"-1st-2nd, and the "big kids", grades 3-5. In this case, the shepherd is the one who can tie up the lesson at the end and/or work with the children, at their levels, to ensure they understand why they are making sheep-shaped cookies, or painting a rainbowWink

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