The multiage Sunday school classroom is an opportunity for educators to marry fun, faith-based education with leadership. The success of your classroom depends largely on the emphasis you place on making your lessons inclusive of all your students.
Multiage classrooms, undoubtedly, can be a challenge to operate with such a large age gap between the youngest and oldest children. But you can use that age gap to your advantage and create a classroom filled with learning opportunities. These tips can help you lead your Sunday school program to success.
Focus on the middle of the pack
It's challenging to try to teach content that will make sense for both younger and older children. So instead of focusing on one age group, teach in a way that appeals the most to every age in your classroom.
How? By teaching to the middle of your group. If ages in your class range from five to 12, for example, try to teach in a way that would make sense to an eight- or nine-year-old. You'll create better opportunities for most kids in your class to understand your lesson when you find a middle ground.
Create age-appropriate follow-up activities
In a multiage Sunday school program, your planned follow-up activities could have a bigger impact on your students than the lesson itself. These activities give each student the opportunity to understand and apply the information they’ve learned in age-appropriate ways.
Younger kids can benefit from simple worksheets, crafts, coloring pages, rhymes, and songs that coincide with the lesson. Older kids can handle extra reading materials, worksheets, and passage analyses that relate to your theme.
Use a curriculum designed for leadership
The best thing about a multiage Sunday school program is that it gives older children an incredible opportunity to get involved in leadership roles in the classroom and in the church. Empower your older students by pairing them up with their younger “buddies” to act as role models and tutors. Let them help young children find Bible passages, read them stories, and model the behavior you'd like to see in your classroom.
A curriculum designed specifically to support a multiage classroom is crucial to your success. Sparkhouse develops faith-based curricula and resources that help teachers provide lessons and follow-up activities for the multiage Sunday school classroom. Also included: intentional faith content that gets older kids involved in helping their younger peers.
By letting go of some of the responsibility of your classroom and giving the reigns to your oldest students, you allow space for the children's ministry efforts of your church to grow.
A multiage Sunday school classroom takes a completely different approach than traditional Sunday school programs with split age groups. However, with the right curriculum, teaching strategies, follow-up activities, and mind-set, your multiage program can be a quick success for all involved—including you!