Welcome to a continuing series of tips on working with large groups of children. I hope that you will find these tips useful and be able to implement them in your dealings with large groups of kids. If you do, please leave a comment and let us know. For a complete list of posts in this series, please see the index page. So, without further introduction, here is today’s installment.
Storytelling is a vital part of teaching. There is no quicker way to lose the attention of a group of kids than to just stand up and read them a story. Stories were not meant to be just read – they were meant to be told! One tip I picked up from some of the books I’ve read on the subject is to make yourself part of the story. As you’re telling the kids a story, whether it be from the Bible or some other source, step in and out of the story and become one of the characters. Take on that character’s personality, accent and mannerisms. If you’re telling the story of Jesus walking on the water, become Peter when you get to the part of the story where he asks the Lord to allow him to walk on water. Express his amazement as he walks on water and his despair and fear as he starts to sink. As you step into and out of the story, there is no need to announce that you are doing it (as in, “if I were Peter I would say…”). If your storytelling is effective, the kids will recognize what you are doing without ever missing a beat. Stepping into the story is one of many ways you can make your storytelling more effective and engaging. It’s also one of the simplest ways.