[This post is part of my Guide for High School Bible Teachers.]
We’ve already considered high school Bible class assignments which target the mind and heart. Unfortunately, I’ve had a much more difficult time coming up with assignments which target the hands—ways to encourage students to put into practice what they’ve learned. How can we really get students to do something in a classroom environment? And if they do it, how can we put a grade on it?
Nevertheless, targeting the hands is still worth a try because as James says if we only hear the word without doing it we’re deceiving ourselves (1:22). Feel free to add to my rather pathetic list of five items.
Hands: Active Work (Do it)
- Prior experience – To encourage students to reflect on and modify a particular behavior, begin class by asking how they currently perform a particular task (e.g. showing hospitality, serving the poor, granting forgiveness, etc.). After teaching on that topic, end class by asking students how their performance of that task should be affected by the lesson.
- Student lessons – To encourage students to teach the Bible, place them in groups of three to four and have them prepare a lesson to be taught to the class or another class or chapel.
- Community service – To encourage students to serve, facilitate community service events or a introduce a community service requirement (with the approval of your administrator).
- Prayer journal– To encourage students to pray, have them keep a prayer journal for a specific period of time. (I don’t recommend using this assignment for non-Christian students.)
- Application day – To encourage students to consider what actions they need to take, have an informal class where you sit on the floor or in a circle and ask the students what they learned and can put into practice from the past week/month/semester of Bible lessons.
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