If your church has a single, multiage classroom for Sunday school, you know it can come with its challenges. One challenge can be making sure each student is able to hear, read, and understand the Bible story in an age-appropriate way. A traditional Bible translation is too advanced for a five-year-old. And a story Bible may not engage a ten-year-old. The Bible is the heart of every Sunday school lesson. Which is why all kids should have access to it.
Here’s how you can help bridge the gap in your multiage Sunday school classroom to make sure all kids have access to the Bible.
Provide age-appropriate Bibles for all kids to use
It’s ok if all the kids in your class are not using the same Bible. Provide kids with the appropriate Bible for their age and reading level. If your congregation gifts Bibles, encourage kids to bring their own Bibles from home. Younger elementary students and pre-readers can use a story Bible. Older elementary students can use a traditional translation, such as an NRSV. Reading scripture out loud to the whole class from the NRSV while younger kids look at the pictures of the corresponding story in their Bible can help them better understand what they are hearing. Or read both versions out loud to the class and ask kids to talk about similarities and differences they heard.
Partner up a younger child with an older child
When it comes time to read the day’s Bible story, pair up an older kid with a younger one. They can look at the two Bibles together. The older one can read the full translation to the younger one. Or he or she can help the younger kid read the story from his or her story Bible. They can also explore the two Bible translations together, looking at the pictures and identifying characters in the story Bible, or looking at the books and verses in the traditional translation.
Invest in your multiage classroom
If you’re looking for multiage Sunday school options that incorporate age-appropriate Bible use into every lesson, take a look at the sample lessons for Sparkhouse’s new Spark All Kids and Whirl All Kids Sunday school curricula. Both feature age-appropriate Bibles specifically designed for the curriculum and integrate age-appropriate Bibles and buddy activities in every lesson.
Whatever you choose, open yourself up to working within the structure of your multiage classroom. Embrace your students’ differences, and you will see growth, learning, and fun for all kids.
Check out Spark All Kids, a comprehensive, Bible-based Sunday school where kids experience the Salvation story arc, and Whirl All Kids, a Sunday school curriculum that’s relatable to kids and relevant to life. Both curricula are currently available for preorder and release in May.