Sunday, September 2, 2012

SUNDAY SCHOOL: Tips for Teaching Fourth Graders

Fourth graders are fabulous!  Keep in mind that people don't grow and develop at the same rate so nobody will be at the same place at the same time.  Kids in fourth grade can be very competitive and critical.  Be aware that they may say hurtful things to their peers without thinking.  This is a good time to do team building activities!

Fourth Graders (9 year olds)...
  • Still can't sit still for very long.
  • May complain about physical aches and pains.
  • Are still really concrete but also curious.
  • Are beginning to see the world as a bigger place.
  • Enjoy jokes, riddles, silly songs, and/or word games.
  • Can be wounded by sarcasm.
  • May become easily overwhelmed.
  • Need lots of encouragement.
  • Enjoy language and words.
  • Enjoy partner work over groups.
  • Now learn from reading.
  • Enjoy discussions of right/wrong.
  • May say what they think without thinking first.  They enjoy commenting on what's going on.
  • Can be playful and have a good sense of humor.
For Sunday School teachers of fourth graders this means you might want to keep direct instruction time short and provide more opportunities for group work, discussion, and projects.  Use lame jokes or puns to cajole the kids into better behavior when necessary.  Let them use dramatic reading when possible.  This is a good time to bring the Bible alive by not only introducing Bible characters but also their personalities.  Fourth grade is the perfect age for the silliness of Veggie Tales.

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