Present Jesus' teachings in ways students will remember and carry with them; use memorable Bible lessons and activities. Provide teens with Bible reading aids to help them study on their own, or turn learning the Bible into an exciting game. Bond teens in important Bible lessons and activities during their religious study.
Icebreakers bond classmates and show them that they are not as different from each other as they may think. Have teen students participate in bonding activities, such as a game called "How Do Others Read Me?" Break students up into groups of four or five and have students each write on a piece of paper how they think they might be described by a friend. Each person may then share with the other why they think they might be described this way. Have students get to know each other by playing a true or false game to find out what each student has in common with the other. You may pose basic statements like, "I have an older sibling" or emotional statements like, "Sometimes I feel like I'm not good enough." Students will answer true or false and eventually realize they are more similar than different. This will show them the importance of loving and caring for one another.
Play games that will help students with their Bible study. Turn a lesson into a game of Jeopardy, by creating categories like, "Name That Apostle" or "New Testament versus Old Testament," and pose questions of different point value. Break students up into groups and have them work together to answer questions. Play a game of "Guess Who?" Write the names of different characters in the Bible on slips of paper. Fold the slips in half and place them in a bowl. Have students pick a slip and read the character to themselves. Students may take turns trying to guess who the other is by asking leading questions, such as "Did you ever visit Corinth?" If the student answered, "yes," another may guess, "Are you the apostle Paul?"
Focus teen Bible study lessons on important teachings in the Bible. Many websites offer free printouts of Bible lessons. Focus a lesson on the Beatitudes and have students look up the dictionary definition of "blessed" and try to put it in their own terms. Students may list the eight Beatitudes from the book of Matthew and study important biblical verses. Another worksheet may focus on a study aid for Bible reading, to help students keep track of their daily or weekly Bible readings. Teens can then come back to class with their study aid and discuss in groups what they read and learned.
Relate the teachings of the Bible to the real world in cultural lessons. Have students participate in a lesson where they consider the important qualities in a friend. Have students ask themselves "what is a friend?" Talk about why it is important to surround themselves with positive people. Ask students if they think their friends are a positive or negative influence and discuss important Bible verses speaking on the issue of friends and company. For example, Proverb 13:20: "He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm." Have students draw upon their favorite fictional hero either from a book, movie or TV show. Talk about the qualities that makes a good leader and why their heroes are so inspirational to them. Relate back to the different heroes of the Bible and the importance of Jesus as a leader.
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Laura Gianino works at a publishing company in New York City. Her writing has appeared on eHow, LIVESTRONG, Synonym and Global Post.
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