How to teach sunday school

Teaching Sunday school can be rewarding and fun when you do it right, but if you just dive into it without knowing what to expect, it can be a disaster. Not to mention, it doesn’t serve the purpose. Here are some tips on how to teach Sunday school.

Before you can begin physically, you need to know in your heart what age group you are comfortable teaching. You may not be good with some, yet great with others. Do you prefer pre-school age? Teenagers? Young adults? Get a good understanding of who you can relate to and communicate the lessons with the best.

Always prepare ahead of time. There may be times you have to wing it, but a good lesson is one that is prepared and organized with no last minute surprises. Understand the lesson and be prepared to explain it on their level, not yours, and be ready to answer questions.

If your church does not have the curriculum on hand, you can go to nearly any Christian store and purchase individual lessons for this age group, or a program of lessons where one subject or theme is taught over several weeks.

Prepare activities that are in line with your lesson. Make sure these activities are age appropriate and ready for the children to work with at the time of the lesson. For example, if characters need to be drawn or cut out, you should do this before class so the students can get right to the activity.

Have all the necessary tools on hand for the children to be able to do the activities such as crayons, children’s scissors, glue, colored paper and other materials. You will lose their interest in the lesson if you have to stop and go find these items, so have them readily accessible nearby.

Have snacks prepared in advance that complement the lesson. For instance, if the story is Noah’s ark, make the snacks animal cookies and milk, or if it’s Jesus feeding the masses then make the snacks fish-shaped cookies and juice.

Dedicate time for physical activities, where the children can get up and do something to burn off any hidden energies that they might have from sitting during the lesson time. Perhaps play a hide and seek, or do some jumping jacks, but the children need to do something in order for you to keep their attention.

Set up an attendance chart with stickers or stars so that the children have a secondary goal to reach, being one full month of attendance, and then have rewards ready to give to the winners at the beginning of each new month. The rewards can be special stickers to wear on their shirts. Don't make the reward a food treat because children don't appreciate that as much as they do showing off to their parents something that they earned. Keep in mind that a Christian store will have loads of stickers to choose from.

Post pictures and art work all around the classroom so that the parents can see and comment on what is being taught. This also encourages children to be present for class and do their work when they realize that others will see it.