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About Stories on the Way: Lesson Plans for Small Sunday Schools

May 27, 2010

Sunday School is important. Sunday School teaches our children the stories of our faith, makes them and their families feel welcomed and valued, and keeps our congregations focused on the future.

Sunday School is also difficult. Low numbers, irregular attendance, overworked volunteers, and expensive, unwieldy curricula make giving up all too easy. Stories on the Way: Lesson Plans for Small Sunday Schools aims to provide an alternative by making simple, flexible, multi-age lesson plans available at no cost.

Drawing on the rotation Sunday school model, Stories on the Way, teaches the same story with different perspectives and activities for a number of weeks.

Good for Children

This approach is good pedagogy – children need repetition for optimum learning and using different learning strategies each week respects the fact that different people learn best through different activities. Did the art activity not captivate one of the children? Perhaps the drama activity or the physical game that will be used the next week will work better.

The method itself teaches children about the richness of the Bible and the stories that shape our tradition. Best of all, even if a child misses a week or two, they will not miss out on the story entirely!

Good for Teachers

Stories on the Way is ideal for team teaching. Teachers could sign up for one story cycle (generally two to four weeks) or for the particular week with the learning activity that most appeals to them.

Stories on the Way is also simple. Lesson plans focus on the story and use only one activity each week, making planning and leading the lesson is easier than with more elaborate curricula. The lesson plans are also designed to require minimum advance preparation, reducing pressure on teachers’ schedules and making quick teacher substitutions possible.

Good for Small Sunday Schools

Stories on the Way has the flexibility needed by small Sunday Schools. Since it is not based on the lectionary, lesson plans can be prepared for one week and saved for another if it turns out that there are no kids in church that day. And, while Stories on the Way suggests an order and is designed to correspond with liturgical seasons, it does not assume an accumulation of knowledge over the year. Each lesson can stand on its own. In fact, if your church offers Sunday school only once or twice a month, you can easily choose to use only one or two lesson plans from each story. Stories on the Way could also be used to fill in a gap in your regular schedule or to provide an activity for children during a parish meeting or event.

In the weeks to come, lesson plans, tip sheets, and, quite possibly, calls for help will be posted to this site. Please come back often and please offer your feedback. I hope you will consider using Stories on the Way for your Sunday School.

Stories on the Way: Lesson Plans for Small Sunday Schools is sponsored by the Anglican Diocese of Montreal and St. Barnabas Anglican Church in St. Lambert, Quebec. It, and this blog, are written by Rhonda Waters. All material on this site is licensed under a Creative Commons License.  You are free to use, distribute, and adapt Stories on the Way for non-commercial purposes only.

One Comment leave one →
  1. John Simons permalink
    May 27, 2010 4:12 pm

    Great launch, Rhonda. I look forward to seeing your site developed.

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