CBS 4 Kids
Chronological Bible Storying for Kids
Bible storying is a proven method of learning the story of God from Genesis through Revelation in a chronological sequence so that the story of God is understood from the very youngest child. Bible storying is based not only on teaching the stories but also by teaching children how to tell the stories to others. The first set of 12 stories (left column) provides a beginning set of 12 stories for 4&5 year olds, and each subsequent column story set fills in more and more of the gaps between each of the first 12 and continues expanding the sequence of stories up through the older elementary age children. The sequential story series begins with the Bible as a special book to us from God and ends with the return of Christ. Each age level story set of 12 stories expands on an age and learning ability basis and fills in more and more of the gaps of the first twelve stories. By the time a child is 12-13 years old they will have not only learned the cores stories of God’s Word, and each child will be able to tell the stories and teach others God’s plan for mankind.
Children need to know The Story: Children not only need to know the stories of the Bible, they need to know the Story of the Bible. While the Bible contains many stories, there is the larger story of God that is told from Genesis to Revelation and continues being told today as children, youth and adults discover Jesus as their own Savior. In order for children as well as adults to fully understand what the Bible is telling us about God, they need to understand how each story is important in the total story of God. The Bible includes hundreds and hundreds of accounts and stories about God. It is not necessary for children to know all the stories at one time, but it is important that that children understand the “big picture” of the Bible, or the overall story of God that begins in Genesis and has continued up through today.
Bible storying for children provides an outline for each age group that is a beginning for teaching children the story of God. This approach begins with the broadest picture possible and then as children learn the first broader set of stories, additional stories are added in between the prior stories to teach children more of God’s story. The intent of chronological Bible teaching is to provide children with the essentials of the story of God, not a complete or comprehensive curriculum. This also addresses a teaching approach that is commensurate with the child’s age and level of understanding, processing and reasoning, so that the core story of God is firmly integrated into their thinking and knowledge processes.
The uniqueness of the chronological storying approach for children lies in the method of teaching, reviewing and adding core Bible stories at each age level so that the child gains a solid knowledge and foundation on which other stories are later added. The incorporation of story visuals and life application activities add a dimension with the storying quilt that reinforces the retention of the core stories.
Teaching from the age level columns: In this approach, twelve more essential chronological stories are suggested for children ages 4 & 5. For teaching the next age level, 6 & 7 year olds, the stories are first taught from left to right only up to that age indicated, then from left to right in the second horizontal column down, then the third horizontal down, etc. Additional stories in the chronological teaching sequence can be selectively taught from other story columns to the right always keeping in mind age and developmental levels of appropriateness. Not all stories in the complete schedule are appropriate for children in all age levels for teaching.
A schedule for teaching: In the first column of core stories for the four to five year olds, those stories might be told over three months, one story per week, or one story per month during the year. However in each telling session there also needs to be opportunity to review previous stories from that bank of stories and have different children select a story and retell it, again using a different telling method than was used in the first or other prior telling. In approximately one year the oldest children can have a full teaching of the Bible chronology and essential doctrine while the youngest child would have a basic chronology taught in twelve stories.
Adding additional stories: In addition to the age level core stories, the teacher can supplement with any additional Bible stories and lesson topics, always keeping in mind that all stories are not necessarily appropriate for all age levels. For 8 & 9 year olds the lessons up to that column bank are taught with appropriate methods to the child's age level, again working from left to right only up to the age level, then going down the chart to the next horizontal row, left to right, down a row, left to right, etc.
This provides twelve basic stories to the four and five year olds, twenty-four stories for children ages six and seven, thirty-six stories for children eight and nine, forty-eight stories for children ages ten and eleven and sixty stories for children ages twelve and thirteen. At each progressive age group more and more of the gaps are filled in of the chronologically taught story of God.
Selecting age appropriate stories: It is very important in the development of a teaching curriculum that the levels of understanding of the children are fully considered especially in the areas of concrete and abstract reasoning and processing. There are some Bible stories that a 4 or 5 year old may not be ready to handle especially stories involving violence, death or abstract concepts.
The key of children retelling stories: It is important to remember that in this system of teaching, stories are not just told once, but continually retold with opportunities for the children to retell stories using any one of several varieties of telling methods each time a story is retold. This approach keeps the stories fresh and captivating as they are told. As children are taught and given opportunity themselves to retell stories, they are gaining the skills to become tellers themselves of God’s story. This approach is doing exactly what Jesus commanded, “Go and make disciples, teaching them…”
Bible Storying for home churches and home schooling: Bible Storying for Kids material can be used as part of home church and home school teaching for children. This can be easily accomplished and can save a church or parents many dollars in other published curricula.
An advantage to using Bible storying as the Bible teaching part of a home church home schooling is this material provides the children with the foundation of a chronological approach to understanding the story of God.
The CBS4Kids teaching program can use this material as the main Bible teaching program. Hands on activities can easily be obtained and included. Numerous supplemental materials are available via the Internet for Bible story crafts and other learning activities. For home churches having children in a learning setting in a separate room from the adults during the adult Bible teaching time is workable and doable and provides children with a structured Bible learning program.