For the past 20 years my church has used the rotation model for our elementary Sunday school curriculum. It was revolutionary when we first changed to the model of teaching one Bible story for several weeks through different workshops like art, music, cooking, science, and games. Spending intentional time on each story creates space for children to learn deeply with different forms of engagement. Some kids like the hands-on classes the best, such as art and cooking, while others like to make music that connects to the story, and still others love the fun of playing games based on the story.
In planning for the rotation model over several years, we have found it is important to create a scope and sequence outline of the Bible stories that we cover. If a child is going to come across a story once, or possibly twice, it needs to be intentionally chosen as a story that guides their faith formation. We include a wide list of Old and New Testament stories and people for children to encounter, including many stories about Jesus and his life.
Every few years we select a group of Old Testament and New Testament stories and put them in a plan for teaching. It is a lot of fun to sit down with the Spark Story Bible and the Spark Rotation curriculum and divide out which stories will be for each year in collaboration with the children’s ministry committee. The conversation around formative stories and characters is always enjoyable.
The first year might look like this: in the fall our stories will be Baby Moses, Jesus Feeds the 5000, and Advent. In the spring we teach A Storm: Jesus Calms the Sea, Esther, Holy Week and Easter, and Ruth. Some years we have only Old Testament stories in the fall and New Testament stories in the spring. A comprehensive list of Bible stories makes up our sequence. We revisit the list every few years to add a story or swap out a story that may have been covered at Vacation Bible School or a church choir musical.
For our congregation rotation model has been a mainstay of our children’s ministry and education. It is also a vibrant way to build on stories of faith through thoughtful planning. The scope and sequence is a great way to plan out a wide array of Bible stories for children to experience in their elementary years.