Title: Introduction to the Bible
Age: 8+ years
Liturgical Time: Any
Doctrinal Content: Suggested Bible versus for the children to find and read aloud are listed in the Work of the Child section.
Direct Aims: The direct aims of this lesson plan include that young children become familiar and comfortable finding passages in the Bible and to understand the importance and be reverent towards the Word of God. Children will also learn to reflect on the Bible versus through group discussions prompted through questions.
Indirect Aims: Indirect aims include that the children may learn to turn to the Bible to find familiar passages and as they grow, become more advanced in their understanding. By discussing reverence, the children may also learn to be more attentive during the Epistle and Gospel readings.
Materials for Lesson Plan:
Handouts (see below for links)
Bible Reading Chart
Enough Bibles for each student to keep (optional) or enough Bibles for each student to use in class.
matches, lighter, snuffer
The Lesson Plan:
Begin this lesson by gathering and standing around the prayer table that you set up in the first week of class. Light the candle and ask everyone to collect and quiet themselves in preparation for prayer. Make the sign of the cross, saying, "In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit." Using your class prayer book, recite the Trisagion prayer and the prayer before study.
Have the students sit in a circle, with everyone part of the circle. Take out a Bible, and hold it gently, reverently, and even kiss it to show physically to the students how precious and special the Bible is.
Say, "The most important book in the whole world is the Holy Bible. This is the book where we find many of God's secrets for us. These secrets are for all the people in the world, both boys and girls. We know this because this precious book, the Bible, is written in every language spoken by human beings. This book can be found in different sizes, large or small, in all colors, but it always says the same thing."
Pass out different Bibles or handouts showing Bible passages in different languages; show students various Bibles in as many different shapes and sizes, colors and languages as possible.
Continue the lesson with, "When we read from the bible in class we will light a candle, because it is the Word of God, who is speaking to us." Remind the children that in Church, whenever the Bible is read, we light a candle. Ask them to look next time in Church.
Then say, "I would like to read something from this precious book, the Bible." Continue with, "To prepare ourselves to listen to this Word, because even though I read it with my voice, it is the Word of God, I want us all to stand up. We should fix our socks and shoes, or whatever might distract us. Let's create an atmosphere of silence and listen intently. I will begin when I see that we are all ready to listen."
Before you begin reading, have one or two of the students hold lighted candles in their hands. Slowly read John 8:12 directly from the Bible. When the reading is concluded, depending on the age and level of the group, you might continue with the following questions:
- "What does Jesus say He is?" Answer: The Light.
- "The light of what?" Answer: The Light of the world.
- "What happens to those who do not follow Jesus?" Answer: They walk in darkness.
- "On the other hand, what happens to those who follow Him?" Answer: They have the light of life.
Continue the lesson with, "This is the reason we light candles; they help us think about Jesus as the light. He is the light of us all, of all the people in the world."
Pass out a Bible to each student, saying, "This is now your own bible for you to read at home. Treat it with care and keep it in a special place. Read from it every day. You may write your names in your Bible."
Have them look at the Bible—Old and New Testament. Show them how the Old and New Testaments are organized in the front and back of the Bible.
Show them that there are different books in the Bible written at different times. There are Old Testament books like such as Genesis and Exodus, and there are New Testament books such as Matthew and Mark, the Gospels.
Have them find John 8:12 on their own, explaining that when you say "8:12" that means chapter 8, verse 12 of John's Gospel.
Pass out handouts: "Bible in Various Languages" and the "Bible Reading Chart."
Have them find some different books and passages from the Bible, once they have found them have someone read the passage aloud:
1. Genesis 1:1-3
2. Isaiah 9:1-2
3. Matthew 4:4
4. 2 Timothy 3:16-17
5. 1 John 1:6-7
6. John 20:31
Notice: This lesson plan utilizes training and the general philosophy/method of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd program. Materials found in this document, however, have been created specifically to incorporate the theology and dogmatic teaching of the Orthodox Church. The author of this lesson offers special recognition to Mrs. JoAnne Padget, CGS Instructor, who provided instruction and guidance in the CGS method. The Catechesis of the Good Shepherd program requires intensive study and strongly recommends that teachers using their program enroll in and complete coursework through an authorized CGS instructor. More information about CGS is available at http://www.cgsusa.org.