Sunday school is one of the most important aspects of a Christian church. If you yourself are a Sunday school teacher or administrator, here are some of the important guidelines for teaching Sunday school to fourth and fifth graders:
- Remember the importance of what you are doing. It’s common enough for many churches to not give that much priority to Sunday school. However, it should be remembered that the kids who are attending Sunday school now would be the adults who will be attending services in the future, not to mention the next generation who will determine the course of the future. Sunday school is definitely the time for them to know of the basic Christian doctrines that will help build up their foundations for their lifelong walk with Christ.
- Choose the basic doctrines that you will need to teach the children. With school-age children, of course, you should start with the basics. With your Sunday school team, you should plan for the foundational doctrines that children should know about. These would include the following: the life and teachings of Jesus, the life of the prophets and the lessons we could learn from them, the major events of the Old Testament, the key instruction from the New Testament, qualities and characteristics they should adopt (forgiveness, love, compassion, kindness, etc).
- Purchase some professionally-designed lesson plans and handbooks. After all, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Sunday school lesson plans are commercially-available which specify unique games, crafts, stories, discussion points and application questions that are significant to important Bible lessons. These lesson plans are designed with particular age levels in mind. You should make sure that the lesson plans you choose are aligned with the vision and philosophy of your entire church.
- Use lots of examples that your students could relate to. As a teacher, you should do your best to be up-to-date on the trends and general interests of your students. This way, you will better be able to use terms, illustrations, examples and questions that your students will definitely be able to apply to their lives.
- Teach from example. Do know that when it comes to teaching Sunday school, you yourself are the best visual aid. No matter what lesson you teach, you should always demonstrate the qualities that you hope to develop in your students: compassion, patience, kindness, and love.
- Establish rapport with your students. Do know that during their fourth- and fifth-grade years, students are looking for adult mentors (apart from their parents) who they could really trust. Make yourself available not just as a teacher but also as a counselor, mentor, and friend to your students.
- Create activities for your students to bond. Another characteristic of these age levels is that they are keen on expanding their social networks with others of their age. You could encourage your students to form small groups with their peers, so they could discuss the day’s lesson (and how to apply it to their everyday lives) with each other.
When teaching Sunday school to fourth and fifth graders, the important thing is that you reach out to them and relate to them by meeting them where they are. You should view them not as little children anymore, but as the budding young adults that they are. Good luck, and hope this helped!