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How to Teach Bible Timelines to Kids

Written by Dianna Wiebe on .

Are you new to Grapevine or looking for fresh approaches to teaching timelines to your students? If you’re aiming to teach Bible timelines to kids, these three tips for teaching the Bible timeline are your perfect guide. At Grapevine, every study begins with a timeline. We will explain how to map out the major characters and events for your study, and then with each following lesson, you can take a more in-depth look at each point of interest.

What are the Goals of Teaching Bible Timelines

While many students grasp Bible stories individually, the challenge lies in understanding their interconnectedness. A timeline-centered approach empowers students with a panoramic view of the Bible, fostering a grasp of chronological events. This method shows the relationships between people and events, before students dive into specific Bible sections or learning an overview of the Bible.

The Grapevine Lesson Structure

Grapevine’s study method begins with a timeline overview for the study. Subsequent lessons includes three parts: the timeline review, the lesson, and the lesson review.

  1. The timeline review contextualizes the present lesson chronologically, while recapping the preceding two or three lessons and memory verses.
  2. The lesson itself involves reading, discussing, and drawing each scripture segment.
  3. The lesson culminates with a verbal lesson review and the introduction of the memory verse.

Tips for Teaching Timelines

  1. Visualize While You Educate

As you introduce characters or events, stick figure drawings help you to engage your students. Assign colors to specific people and events, at Grapevine we reserve the color purple for references to God the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. While children may request varied colors, this choice is at your discretion.

For instance:

  • Creation is represented by a green circle.
  • Adam and Eve are depicted as blue and red stick figures, respectively.
  1. Ask Questions While You Teach

Since the timeline is the starting point for your teachings, the first lesson is a prime opportunity to gauge your students’ biblical knowledge. This is particularly helpful if your class consists of a mix of well-informed and new-to-the-Bible students. The timeline serves as a scaffold for lessons. After explaining and illustrating, ask questions to assess your students’ knowledge of the characters and events, allowing you to tailor upcoming lessons effectively.

For example:

  • What do you know about Noah?
  • Can you name Adam’s spouse? (Following the depiction of Adam)
  1. Adapt to Varying Drawing Abilities

When instructing a multi-age group, expect varying drawing abilities. Simplify drawings for younger children, focusing on faces or key symbols. Meanwhile, engage older students in detailed representations and encourage them to enrich symbols with unique features. Advanced learners can add geographical locations beneath the timeline and dates above it.

Bonus Tip: Incorporating Dates

While dates can spark debates, they can be incorporated into teaching for older students. Resources like “Annals of World History,” “Chronology of the Old Testament,” and “Newton’s Revised History of Ancient Kingdoms” offer an engaging way to visualize the temporal sequence of Biblical events.

Teaching with timelines is an important element in teaching the Bible to your students. Like you, we believe every child deserves to understand the truth of Scripture in a fun and life-changing way.

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