You open the package and begin to look at the new curriculum you purchased. You have read the questions and changed some of the wording and questions. You are ready to start when you look at the games, or the intro video. Bleck. It won’t work. You know your students won’t respond well. Perhaps, it’s a complicated game that you can’t pull off. Maybe you don’t have the working technology to show a video.
What do you do?
Let’s say the video included shows a guy holding an inflated and deflated basketball, and telling a story to explain the book of James. I watch it. I decide I can’t use the video for whatever reason. However, I would then break it down like this, making it into an object lesson:
Materials Needed: An inflated basket ball and a deflated basket ball. (You can use the video as a reference to guide you in this.)
Show the students the deflated flat basketball.
Explain: This is a basketball right?
Ask: Is it useful right now? I mean could you play a game of basketball with it right now?
Ask: So is it useless for playing a game of basketball? What would make it useful?
Show them the basketball filled with air.
Explain: This basketball can do what it supposed to do right? Can we use this one for a game of basketball?
Then I would explain the point this way:
Just like a basketball filled with air is able to play the game, the way it is supposed to, as a Follower of Christ we are supposed to do those things that Christ followers do. The world around us should know clearly who we are and what we are made for. James is a book of the Bible that is all about letting us know that we should not just be about “believing in God,” but we need to show the world through our actions, that we are living for him. That is why this book also talks so much about sin. It really is a big deal. Sin is actually the thing that keeps us from really living for Christ. But if we are really a follower of Christ, ignoring our sin, not doing anything about it, is not an option. Those who want to really follow Christ, deal with their sin. Just like a basketball is made to be filled to play the game, we need to do those things that Christ followers do.
The point? Never be afraid to look at the deeper meaning of the game or illustration and re-work it in a manner that relates to YOUR group of students.
I admit it. I am not a game person. Therefore, anytime I try to play a game for “silliness” it doesn’t work for me. I am never going to be the “coolest” youth person in the room. However, if there is an opening game, I would try to tie the meaning of the lesson to come into the story. I make it relational, and I prepare my students for the game.
Taking the same concept from above I might watch the video and then decide we are going to have a game that passes out deflated beach balls (small ones).
Create two teams.
Each team must pick a captain and a timer.
When you say “GO.” The captain must inflate the beach ball.
Once inflated, the timer starts their job, and the rest of the team must form a circle and keep the ball in the air without letting it hit the ground for 2 full minutes.
Any time the ball hits the ground they must start the time over.
Wrapping up, I would explain the same from above, but then also talk about how other people’s mistakes affect us.
Curriculum doesn’t have to be complicated. We just need to be willing to take the time separate it out and make it all our own.
How do you change games and videos to fit your needs?
Tomorrow is our final installment: How to tell the story!
Thanks for all you do,