Friday, August 31, 2012

SUNDAY SCHOOL: Tips for Teaching First Graders

First graders are fun!  There are things about them that will help you.  Keep in mind that kids grow and develop at different rates so not every child is in exactly the same place.

First Graders (6 year olds)...
  • Are imaginative and have lots of energy.
  • Are noisy and active and shouldn't be expected to sit still for long periods.
  • Are able to follow through with 1 or 2 directions.
  • Understand that actions have causes and effects.
  • Are learning right/wrong and fair/unfair without shades of gray.
  • May invent rules.
  • Become attached to their teachers and thrive on encouragement.
  • Can sit still and pay attention for short periods of time.
  • Can listen to stories without interruption.
  • Like to tell stories from pictures, enjoys "show and tell" and explain things.
  • Enjoy crafts, coloring, and painting and can cut and paste as they learn to control fine motor skills.
  • Enjoy simple games, songs, poems, and riddles.
  • Love to ask questions.
  • Like surprises and treats.
  • Like playing make-believe and dressing up.
  • Need friends in class and may have a "best" friend.
  • Like to be shown affection!
For Sunday School teachers of first graders this means they will enjoy hearing Bible stories; they like non-competitive games and shouldn't be expected to be quiet for long periods of time.  Try finding ways to include movement into your stories or activities and maybe have different hats, capes, or other props to help their imaginations.  If you show them pictures they'll be able to tell the story back to you and they enjoy stories and songs with actions.  They also enjoy coloring pictures and making simple crafts.  Be sure to answer their questions with simple answers and let them help pass things out and clean up before they leave.  Be sure you have simple yes/no rules.

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