We all agree that reading scripture is an important part of spiritual growth. In the last post, we discussed ways to encourage fluent reading through choral reading activities and teacher-led reading. Below you’ll find a list of ideas and products to try in your classrooms to make scripture reading kid-friendly and stress-free.
- Teach raps or rhymes that help kids remember the books of the Bible in order. Wee Sing has a great CD with songs for Old and New Testament books. (There is also a “rap” for helping kids remember the 12 disciples’ names) Songs and rhymes are a great way for kids to learn their way around the Bible. In addition, a group song or chant is a wonderful way to regain kids’ attention or to help them transition to a new activity. (“As we move to the craft table, let’s sing the Old Testament books…”)
- Upper elementary kids, middle and high schoolers will benefit from Bible Tabs, which help them find books of the Bible more easily. You can color code these in addition to using the names of the books to allow for greater speed and accuracy. (e.g. “Please turn to Luke chapter 2…Luke is a Gospel, so it will be in the green tabs on your Bible.) Bible tabs can be made as a class activity. Post-It has tabs that could easily be used for this purpose. If you choose to do this, it’s important to remember that the tabs are small, which can frustrate kids with fine motor problems as they attempt to write on the labels. Another solution: Kids Horizontal Bible Tabs, available from Christianbook.com. These are divided into categories and also have graphics for each book of the Bible; this will make locating books easy for kids who struggle with reading.
- For some students, the visual confusion of text makes reading overwhelming and frustrating. In addition, the glare of the white page can irritate some readers. Many times, students with reading difficulties also have attention problems that interfere with fluent, focused reading. To minimize this, you can offer colored overlays or highlighter strips to help your students. These softly-colored, transparent plastic overlays highlight text to facilitate reading nad focus. In addition, removable highlighter tape can assist students with locating a specific word or verse. When trying these materials, it will be helpful to allow all students to have a turn using them; this avoids students feeling both left out or singled out!
These are just a few products that can be beneficial to students as they learn to read God’s word. I’ll bet you have ideas, too…please share them with me in the comment section, or via email: email@example.com I look forward to learning from you, too!
Do note: This post does not represent an endorsement of any product!
Coming up next: How index cards can help kids read and love God’s word!
Very nice, Katie!
As more and more kids with disabilities get access to i-Pads and laptops, do you have any thoughts about how You Version (free download) or other available Bible programs/software might be adapted for kids with reading disorders?
Good question! Technology is definitely going to help all of us to access the Bible more efficiently. I love the You Version’s adaptability~ different translations, searches, etc. There is also an audio app. for kids AND adults who want to hear God’s word read aloud. I also love the tried-and true http://www.biblegateway.com…I think these kinds of apps and sites make the Bible MUCH less intimidating, and user-friendly. And, I suspect God wants the Bible to be user friendly!!
I’m certainly not an assistive technology expert, but I’m excited to learn more about what is in store for learners with special needs. Laptops and i-Pads are going to be a real boost to education, in terms of organization, communication and easy access to help. One private school here in Northeast Ohio has an “all-tablet” middle school; homework, projects, teacher-student communication, etc. are ALL on the tablet (no more “lost homework!)
It will be interesting to see how this transfers to church in the years and decades to come. As with most things in special education, the church follows the public school, as our friend Jim Pierson says! Budgets, church culture, and church size will also play a large role in how much technology is used in Sunday School classes.
Tech-savvy parents can begin using i-Pads and computers to enhance their child’s spiritual education now, if their family budgets allow. This can be a movitivating way to get kids engaged, regardless of their learning needs.
However, I would gently remind everyone that the screen is a great tool… but it’s never a replacement for relationships. Chatting during dinner, reviewing Sunday’s lessons in the car, praying together, reading Bible stories together…sharing disappointments and achievements, serving as a family, belly laughing together…don’t miss out on these in favor of the technology!
Thanks Katie! I’ve been posting from different Church4EveryChild resources to a Yahoo! Group for our Sunday school volunteers. This is a keeper!
Caroline~ So glad this is helpful to you! Hope all is well…can’t wait to hear more about all you’re doing at your church!
Katie, Thanks for your note of warning at the end.
Also am wondering – have read so much about the over stimulation that can come with the new tech tools. Will you be addressing that at all?
Wondering what affect all the video run children’s ministries have on children with special needs.
Hi Katie –
I really loved your last idea – obviously Sam is too little to read and we don’t know what types of visual challenges he will have but I really like the idea of the highlighting of the texts – it may even help with our older children as well – looking forward to your next post!!!!
Many blessings in Christ – Nancy
Did you know they also have an American Sign Language Bible on cd-rom? I am not sure if it is just text or text with sign. I would have to check on that.