Thursday, April 4, 2013

CONFIRMATION: Take it Outside the Classroom

Looking for new ways to get kids involved in confirmation topics outside the classroom? In regular education it's called a flipped classroom and it's when information is gathered outside of class to be discussed at a future time. These ideas can also be applied to middle and high school Bible studies. You know your curriculum better than anybody else and what issues you discuss but I'll give you a few examples of how each idea might work with a few different topics. Remember that these are activities that should take place PRIOR to the class session. The goal is to help students prepare.
  • Watch the news. Have discussions of world issues relating to the church, character, life choices, etc. While many of the news outlets seem to report the same stories, you might want to have them watch a specific network at a specific time.
  • Watch a specific movie. If you need some video suggestions you can find a few here by using the search box and searching: video. Whenever you have them watch a video you should provide a viewing guide so they don't miss a particular point.
  • Watch a specific TV Show. If you want to talk about bullying behavior and inappropriate humor, watch late night TV or an episode of Everybody Loves Raymond.  Also have them watch a show that supports Christianity. Can they find them? Choose an episode of a show that contradicts what the church teaches but seems okay. No big deal, right?
  • Read a BLOG.  Everybody blogs these days. If there's a blog in particular that you find would support or challenge their thoughts have them read it and talk to their parents about it before they come to class to talk to you. They can be blogs about Christianity, atheism, beliefs of different denominations or world views. How does this fit with what you believe?
  • Find examples in a magazine. Magazines are full of inappropriate messages and are often in support of lifestyles that go against Christianity. Let the kids discover how many they can find in one magazine. 
Nearly everything in our world points away from Christianity. Challenge them to find some things that support it.  Be sure that when you assign these things that you give them direction.  They need to know what they're looking for or when you start discussing they will not have noticed what you hoped they would. Remember... they're 12 and 13. Things that may seem obvious to you are not obvious to them. I've got more but I'll save them for later.  Stay tuned!

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