The following tips are generic in scope. Whether you are a parent teacher
or classroom teacher, we believe you will find these tips very helpful.
Either consciously or unconsciously, most Bible teachers touch on four areas as they prepare to
teach: spiritual, emotional, physical, and intellectual.
God can prepare you to teach, but you can take action which will align your spirit for His work. Before
teaching the Bible, as a minimum you should:
1. Pray specifically for God’s heart to be
revealed in your lesson. James 3:1 carries a sobering caution for all teachers. As much as possible, allow your
tongue to be under His control.
2. Read the Bible book at least one time in
your favorite translation with the script nearby. Col. 3:10 encourages us, "Let the word of Christ dwell in you
richly." We suggest
you memorize the key verses related to your lesson. (See our "Learning the Word for Life" booklets.) Pray for insights. Pray
that God would give you His heart for each child. Use the wide margin on the scripts to record ideas that come
to you as you read/study.
EMOTIONALLY. Teaching God’s word is always
best done when we are emotionally healthy.
1. By preparing yourself
spiritually you are laying the groundwork for your emotional preparedness. Make sure you have taken care of any
disagreements or conflicts between you and your children before you begin.
2. Solomon said, "A wise teacher makes learning a joy" (Prov.
15:2-Living Bible). Recognize, with all your preparation, that the class is HIS. Relax and enjoy learning and
teaching the word of God. It is His word and His work. Your enthusiasm will be contagious, and you will find that
very serious truths can be shared and received in an atmosphere of joy.
PHYSICALLY.Preparing your materials
teaching space will enhance children’s experiences with The Picture Smart Bible. Have your children help
you get ready.
1. Copy a Student
Sheet for each child and
2. Have enough pencils and colored pencils for each
3. Each person will want a
4. You’ll need the
script and any reference
material you want to refer
5. You may want to remove
maps, diagrams, and timelines from
the Bible and place them in a notebook so you can more easily refer to them and show them to
6. We recommend you honor the
word of God and your children’s work by protecting their drawings in plastic sleeves within three-ring binders or in pocket
folders. Individual notebooks will encourage personal responsibility. If, over time, they complete all the books,
they’ll end up with their very own Picture-Smart Bible. In addition, when grandparents or others come to visit,
your children can show their illustrations and pass on what they’ve learned.
7. Sitting at tables or desks works best. If that’s not possible, make sure students have notebooks
or something they can use to support the student sheet while they draw.
8. If you’re going to teach to
a large number of people, you’ll want to copy the student sheet onto a transparency and have an overhead projector and screen available.
INTELLECTUALLY. Here are a few practical
things you can do to enhance your teaching.
1. Study the scripts
. Especially if
you’re unfamiliar with the book of the Bible you’re teaching, you’ll want to read through the script more than
once. Also, because there is no substitute for independent Bible study, if you have adequate time, review
commentaries and related Scriptures. Ask God to align your presentation to His will.
2. Learn to properly
spell and pronounce the Bible
names. As you know, some are a real challenge! Make notes in your script to help
3. Estimate where you’ll divide the book being taught based on the length of class
time. The time required to present a lesson from The
Picture-Smart Bible will vary according to the length of the book, children’s age or maturity level, class size,
and the objectives (overview or in-depth study). The lessons are easily divided into multiple class sessions as
4. Decide whether to have a child draw the illustrations while you’re
teaching. This takes more advance practice/planning, but does increase student involvement and can
help your teaching run more smoothly. This might be a great motivator for your oldest child. He or she will also
learn the book even more thoroughly by going through the script in advance.
5. You may want to mark the verses in your Bible that you’ll
want to read while teaching. While doing so, you can decide whether to have children read some of the passages
rather than you.
You may want to color a student sheet or master sheet in
advance, as a part of your preparation. Not only will this increase your confidence as a teacher, but showing it to
children may encourage them to do their best.
7. Decide if you’ll
invite neighbors or other family
members to sit in on the lesson. The Picture-Smart Bible is an excellent tool for evangelism. It will
cause truths to come alive and those who have believed the Bible is irrelevant or too hard for them to
understand will discover that’s not true.
E. DURING THE
1. Start with
prayer because of the promise in
Proverbs 3:6 -- "In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths."
2. Especially if you’re teaching
a larger group of children, you may want to have children pick a buddy before beginning your
first class. They can help each other and if children miss a class, their buddy can help them complete the
drawing rather than it taking your time.
as you teach. It’s your
best guideline for each element on the page.
4. In most lessons you will find
that the teacher draws first and
then reads the comments related to the drawing. This helps children better understand the truth being taught as
they draw after you, while you read the script.
5. Since mistakes are
inevitable, you may want everyone to use regular
pencils at first. Plus, you may not want especially younger children distracted by deciding which color to use
while you’re teaching. Coloring can be done later. Some parents have their children color while discussing the
"Application for Life" questions at the end of each lesson. We highly recommend that all children, regardless of
age, add color to their illustrations.
6. If some of the younger children have trouble following the
dotted lines or filling in the words, you may want to give them the Master Drawing, which is complete. They can
color as you cover each concept. Another good option for younger children is to write in the words on the Student
Sheet before you make copies.
7. Stay connected to the
Bible by having
everyone open their Bibles to the
passage being studied. Take turns reading, answer questions, and do extra study of verses if the interest is there.
Key verses can be used as devotional studies or memory assignments. (See the "Learning the Word for Life!"
8. Occasionally have students
talk about how the Bible lessons are impacting their everyday lives. You can also give contemporary applications or
examples from your own life which illustrate the lesson you have taught or are about to
9. Hopefully your study will
result in good discussions with
your children, based on the Application for Life
questions and questions you think to ask.However, don’t get bogged down
with too many details. If you do, the study will lose its value as a survey. Sometimes it’s most effective to have
discussions on trips in the car, at bedtime, or around the dinner table.
10. Review is always good, but we
recommend you keep it light. Some creative parents have developed games and puzzles using The Picture-Smart
Bible Master Drawings.
11. Depending on the age of
your children, you may want them to read parts of the Bible book prior to surveying it through The Picture-Smart
Bible. Even the whole book can be read first. You may choose, instead, to assign the reading of the book as
homework after completing the
drawing. You may want to incorporate other activities which will require special homework. For example, each lesson
has at least one key verse (often in the "Starburst") which we encourage students to memorize. (See "Learning the Word for Life!" - Book I
12. You can use The Question and Answer
Packet to check children’s
understanding and retention. This packet is recommended for middle school children and above.