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Is there a particular order our kids should use to rotate into the workshops?  

Does it matter if Video comes before Art or are the lessons designed for a fixed series (e.g., do Story before Video then Art, then Science etc).

Moderator's Note:  Small Sunday Schools with only one or two broadly graded groups can make decisions about the order of workshops, whereas in larger programs you don't have a choice because you must have three or more workshops running on the first week.

That said, most agree that younger children should do "video" first or any other workshop that tends to be a good "introduction" to the story, especially more complex stories.

Last edited by Neil MacQueen
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Hi Pastor E,


No there is no set order. You get to choose! (One of the beauties of the Rotation Model is making it fit your church!)


A church may be large enough to be running several workshops all at the same time (our church has usually 5) or, in the case of a small church, have just one workshop every week. 



What will your situation look like at your church?


-- Carol





If you have more than one classroom group of children, then they will be experiencing the various workshops in a different order.   So, sometimes, I consider the ages of the groups when I think about the order of their workshops.  For instance, if the games workshop requires some knowledge of the story in order to play the game, then I will have the younger classes go to that one later in the rotation (giving them more chances to hear the story).  Or if a video gives a particularly good overview of the story, then I might try and schedule that earlier in the rotation.  But, no matter how you do it, they will get the chance to experience the story several times/ways.



Cathy gives some really good tips. 


Another I would add is I will sometimes have the older children do an ART workshop before the younger children.  Especially if the art activity is more complicated/involved.  This gives me and the teacher doing it a better idea of where we may need to simplify or make additional adaptions for the younger children in our learning experience with doing the workshop with the older children first.



Last edited by Moderator

Good recommendations here. I'll add that often the video and/or drama provide a good overview of the story, so I typically try to schedule those early in the rotation, especially for younger children. I tend to schedule the less "concrete" workshops later -- such as cooking and science. BUT... as has been mentioned, you really can do whatever works best for you and your teachers. And we always remind our teachers to be aware of how far into the rotation they are... and to adjust as needed -- basic story usually the first/second week and then more discussion/reflection/digging deeper by the 3/4th weeks.


Blessings on your ministry! 




So many great suggestions, and of course, your question assumes you have the CHOICE of "which workshop" in your first week.   Large Rotation Sunday Schools typically have to launch all their workshops on Week 1. Whereas, small programs which may only have 1 or 2 rotating classes, can choose which workshop to put in their first week of the rotation.


For those who can choose, here are some of my personal rules of rotation thumb:


1. Start with the workshop that gives the greatest overview of the story. Video often does this. But after that, it depends on the actual lesson plan for the workshops you have. Sometimes computer or drama cover the whole story.


Some Rotation programs combine grade groups for the first week's Video. So if you only have two grade groups rotating, combine them for the first week in Video. This also allows the video space to convert into another workshop in week 2.


2. A traditional "quiz-oriented" Game Workshop often works best later in the rotation because the kids know more. However, some Game Workshops are terrific at introducing new content too. Know your lesson plan.


3. The Art Workshop tends to "reflect" more on the story, so it may not be best in the first week if a majority of the time is spent actually being artistic.


4. Drama Workshops are often great at recapping the whole story too.


5. It is generally assumed that younger children need to see the "whole story" earlier, which makes Video a good choice in their first week.


6. Some lessons/workshops are easier for the teacher to prepare and learn how to teach the first week.  For example: I think it's easier to teach younger children with drama in your first week, and then adapt it for older kids once you have a better handle how the drama will go.  Conversely, it's usually easier to teach older children with software in the first week, because they need less help.


One of "Rotation's dirty little secrets" that the first week is a "dry run" for many of our volunteers, and the second week is where they really do better.



In summary:


It really depends on your set up, and what's actually IN the lesson plan or resource you are using. Some videos don't cover the whole story, and some software does. Some art projects illustrate the whole story, and some cooking workshops walk through the entire story with food.


This is one of the great things about Rotation: the ability to adjust to your needs and ideas.



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