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.
One effective method for breaking up your lessons in Children’s Ministry is to use a “team teaching” technique. When the kids are forced to physically shift their focus from one individual to another, this forces them to play closer attention. Furthermore, if more than one person is capable of, and comfortable with, presenting a lesson to your large groups, it is lot easier when one person has to be gone.
Team teaching can be as simple as having one person teach the beginning of a lesson and another person teach the end. Or, one person can serve as the host doing the introduction and conclusion while the other person can do the storytelling. In you are lucky enough to have more than two people to help with your large group, you can try all kinds of different things. Position people in different parts of the room so that as you shift teaching from one person to the next, the kids have to physically shift their attention. Another technique I’ve read about but never had the opportunity to use combines a dark room and team teaching. In this approach, the room is pitch black. Various teachers are positioned around the room. As that person’s turn to speak comes up, a spotlight is shone on them. If you don’t have spotlights (like me) you can use a desk lamp or flashlight to illuminate the teachers. The point is that visually the only person the kids can see is the one teaching. This helps to further focus their attention. Done right, this technique can be very dramatic and is a great way to tell a story with a narrator and various characters.
There is an old saying, which is supported by Biblical truth, that two are better than one. This is true in life, and it’s true in teaching as well.