Helping Children Understand Heaven Final Project Addressing A Particular Concern From Scripture
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Helping Children Understand Heaven Final Project Addressing A Particular Concern From Scripture

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This is a class I taught for second graders to provoke them to ask questions regarding heaven. I followed it up with part two where I shared the answers with their help investigating the Bible.

This is a class I taught for second graders to provoke them to ask questions regarding heaven. I followed it up with part two where I shared the answers with their help investigating the Bible.

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Helping Children Understand Heaven Final Project Addressing A Particular Concern From Scripture Helping Children Understand Heaven Final Project Addressing A Particular Concern From Scripture Presentation Transcript

  • HELPING CHILDREN UNDERSTAND HEAVEN by Lisa Anderson-Umana B.S. Penn State University Master’s in Educational Studies, Wheaton College Graduate School FINAL ASSIGNMENT FOR INSTRUCTIONAL DESIGN FOR CRITICAL THINKING Submitted to the faculty in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in Educational Studies at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School Deerfield, Illinois October 2007
  • CONTENTS TEACHING AGENDA: HELPING CHILDREN UNDERSTAND HEAVEN . . . . . . . . 1 EVALUATION OF CHILDREN’S CLASS ON HEAVEN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 APPENDIX 1. COLLECTION OF PICTURE/SCRIPTURE CARDS USING DURING CLASS TAUGHT ON HEAVEN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 2. TEACHING AGENDA WORKSHOP: PROMOTING A FULLER UNDERSTANDING OF WHAT YOU ARE TEACHING ON THE BASIS OF LEARNING STYLES. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 REFERNCE LIST . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 iii
  • LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS Figure Page 1. Card containing Picture and verse: 2 Peter 3:13 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 2. Card containing Picture and verse: Psalm 139:13-16 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 3. Card containing Picture and verse: Romans 10:9-10 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 4. Card containing Picture and verse: Hebrews 9:27 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 5. Card containing Picture and verse: Matthew 15:31-41, 46 (only with children eleven years and older) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 6. Card containing Picture and verse: 2 Corinthians 5:10 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 7. Card containing question marks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 8. Popsicle stick entitled HEAVEN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 9. Popsicle stick entitled HELL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 iv
  • TEACHING AGENDA: HELPING CHILDREN UNDERSTAND HEAVEN ES 9225 Instructional Design for Critical Thinking Assignment: “Inventing an Instructional Activity” AGE RANGE OF STUDENTS: NUMBER OF CLASSTIME LEARNERS: STUDENTS: Aprox. 45 min. 6-8 yrs. (second grade) For the majority Spanish is their mother tongue, and 20 English is something they speak only at school. EDUCATIONAL PURPOSE: To begin to teach children about heaven. Bible class is one of the many classes they have in their First class of what might be several more. weekly schedule and it’s taught by their grade teacher. This is the first class of what may become several LEARNING GOALS: (AS THE LORD BLESSES THIS CLASS, IN FAITH, I classes about heaven. SEE THE CHILDREN… When they were in Kindergarten, they received a class Asking questions about heaven, demonstrating curiosity about what heaven will be like. about heaven but most likely it’s not a subject Wondering out loud to each other about heaven, to their teacher frequently discussed in their home. and parents in the days following class. Many of the children are Catholic but their family has Realizing that the choices they make today will impact their enrolled them in an Evangelical School due to the eternity. quality of the education and Christian values. It’s uncertain as to how many of the children have conscientiously made a personal commitment to Christ. TEACHERS: DEVELOPMENTAL ISSUES: PHYSICAL Special guest teacher SETTING Seven-eight year olds are still at a concrete operations level of cognitive who is a parent to one thinking, so heaven is being explained with concrete objects in order to try and Classroom with of the students. bridge the gap between the abstract concept of heaven and the choices they tables and chairs, make in their day to day living. an open hallway and door. Special attention will be made to explain the concepts for all three learning styles: audio, visual and kinesthetic. Time- Group Duration / size Educational Activity Notes / Materials Responsible PROCESS 1. Reflection questions: If you could take a trip anywhere, where would you go? What would you do to prepare to go? 2. Lay out the strings to graphically show our life timeline. 3. Discuss how we get to heaven and what it will be like. 4. Allow time for wondering and questions. 1
  • 2 PRE-SESSION PREPARATIONS Lisa Move the desks to one side of the room so that there’s as much space as possible to lay out the “timeline” (strings). Questions previously written on the board or Flipchart #1: If you could take a trip anywhere, where would you go? What would you do to prepare to go? Ask teacher for kids to wear nametags during class so I can call on them by name. Tape my strings on the board just like their strings will be laid on their desk or a sample on the floor. Prepare one bag for each student and teacher with one short string three inches long, two five foot long strings, six cards with verses and pictures. See Appendix 1 for photocopy ready illustrations for all the needed materials. Have on hand the reference books, Randy Alcorn and Bruce Wilkinson. . ARRIVAL AT CLASS Wait until the teacher gives me the word and introduces me to the class. Smile and make the children feel safe with you. Introduction LEARNING GOAL The children will see the connection between preparing for a trip and preparing for heaven. During the Session 10 min. Large If you could take a trip anywhere, where would you go? (Disneyland, Introduction taken group China, Japan, Roatan Islands, etc.) Point to that question on the board. from Heaven for kids What would you do to prepare to go? (you might read about those places, (2006, 3). look them up on the internet to see pictures of them, your parents would Lisa plan where you will stay, what you’ll do, etc.). Finding out in advance about Disneyland or Roatan helps us get excited and look forward to going there. Visual aid: Scripture Someone may have said: Heaven, which is your opportunity to introduce on card with picture the theme. If not, you talk about your own anticipation of going to heaven. of sky You will have some props or toys in hand to help you understand what heaven will be like. Hand out the sandwich bags with the props. Point to the chair Have the children pull out the card with the picture/verse about heaven. you’ve set up as a Read together: The Bible says, “We are looking forward to the new timeout chair. heavens and new earth he has promised, a world filled with God’s righteousness” (2 Peter 3:13). But we won’t look forward to that place Props: one section of unless we know something about its attractions before we get there. string six inches long, I’m going to tell you a true story. You will need to brush off the wings of with a knot on each your imagination that the Lord gave you. I want you to listen and end, two sections of participate. But you will have to pay close attention and immediately obey string five feet long all my instructions. If you decide not to follow my instructions, we have a each,, six cards with place for you to sit and watch us until you decide you are ready to play verses and pictures. with us. Can someone repeat for me the instructions so far? Pull out the short string from your bag. We’re going to pretend that this is your life. It has a beginning and an end, just like your life. You can have the children lay or tape the strings to their desk so they are in a controlled area and space or you can ask some volunteers to help you tape one set of strings to the classroom floor as you describe the following journey.
  • 3 Our journey starts with our birth LEARNING GOAL The children “scratch the surface” of conceiving of their life like a timeline. During the session 20 min. Large We are going to pretend that this is your life on earth. It has a beginning Picture cards: group (look at the knot at one end). God brings you into this world; you are born. But then your body gets old and dies. (Look at the knot on the other end.) Ps. 139 and Baby.jpg Do you know some people think that’s it? That is all there is to life. That is Lisa a lie from the devil. God says in his word that we will live forever. What happens when we die? Your physical body gets old and dies and gets buried in the ground. But your Spirit lives forever. God gives you a new body. We don’t need to be Hebrews 9:27 and afraid of dying. Dying is like passing through a door. One moment we are Casket.jpg on this side of the door and the next moment we are on the other side of the door. Let’s try it (depending on your classroom setup you can take the kids outside the door and have them walk into together and then back to their seats. Now let’s go through the door onto the other side. We will close the door and now will pretend the classroom is eternity. You have in your bag a short string, around six inches long like this. How does your life start? Let’s read the card with the baby picture on it. Place the figure of the baby at one end of the string and extend your string across your desk. Then, let’s read the next card together, the one with the casket. Place that Visual aid: My strings at the other end of the string. Next to that goes the door. Remember, what are taped on the board does that door mean? just like their strings What happens after we die? Only one of two things can happen now. Pull out your remaining two will be laid on the strings that are wrapped around the popsicle sticks. Watch me as I extend floor. them all the way across the desk and they drape down on the other side. Pretend they’ll go on forever and ever, infinity. One popsicle stick reads heaven and the other one reads hell (point to visual aid on board). How do you know which way you will go? Which string will you follow? It all depends on what you believed when you were living on earth. Verse on card: Rom Remember that short string that represents your life on earth. 10:9-10 and Bible.jpg Let’s read the card with the Bible on it and verse. Romans 10:9-10 ”That if you confess with your mouth, quot;Jesus is Lord,quot; and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your Hell.jpg (I don’t know heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you if it would be too confess and are saved.” strong to show an Everything you believe and do today matters forever. image to young If during your life on earth, meaning now, you confessed with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believed in your heart the God raised him from the children, but for dead, you are saved and will spend eternity in heaven. young people I If, when you were on earth, you did not believe in your heart that Jesus is would) Lord and God raised him from the dead, then sadly, you will live forever in a place where there is nothing good, only bad, it’s called Hell and it’s a very real place. Where will you spend your eternity? As the children sit at their desks, looking at their strings. Let them think about that question. Let them share their answers. How can you know where you will spend eternity?
  • 4 What will heaven be like? LEARNING GOAL The children will begin to wonder out loud what heaven will be like. They will display curiosity and ask questions regarding what heaven will be like. During the session 15 min. Large What will heaven be like? group What questions do you have about heaven? Wonder out loud with me. The purpose of this moment is not so much to answer all their questions, Lisa but to get them to ask the questions, to wonder about heaven, to think about it, since heaven plays such an important role in the Scriptures as does Taken from having it become part of your daily thinking and perspective. Wilkinson, Bruce. Do you know that one of the very important things that will happen in 2002. A life God heaven is that there will be an awards ceremony? Have you ever seen the Olympics when they give the athlete their awards? rewards. (Wilkinson, 2002) Have any of you ever received an award? Picture and Verse on Let us look at the card with the Bible verse of 2 Corinthians 5:10 “For we card: 2 Cor 5:10 must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.” Remember how I said: Everything you believe and do today matters forever. Well, “we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. . . . Each of us shall give account of himself” Romans 14:10, 12. What that means is that our good works on earth matter! For those good things that we have done for God and for others will earn us a reward in heaven, a prize. But, on the other hand, those wrong things that we have done and not confessed that are mean, hateful and hurtful will cause us to lose our rewards. Remember, you get to heaven by what you believe and you are rewarded according to what you do. What kind of questions does this make you ask? The last card you have has a question mark on it. Your teacher will write down your questions and in the next class on heaven we will help you to find out the answers to those questions.
  • EVALUATION OF CHILDREN’S CLASS ON HEAVEN Oh, the questions children ask… . Will people sin in heaven? Will there be T.V.? Will there be war in heaven? Will the streets really be made of gold? Will we bleed in heaven if we cut ourselves? Where will the animals live? Will animals talk What will our body be like? there? What is heaven made of? Will we sleep in heaven? Will we be kids when we are in heaven? Are we going to wear clothes in heaven? Can we go to the moon from heaven? Will people from the Bible be in heaven? Are we going to celebrate birthdays in heaven? Will my pet be in heaven? Will we cry? Will there be church in heaven? Will we eat in heaven? What will we eat? Will there be games in heaven? Will there be cars in heaven? What will my house be like in heaven? This is just a sample of the questions asked by the more than sixty second grade students I taught this class to. In order for the children to have the courage and curiosity to ask questions about heaven, I taught them about heaven attending to the three dominant learning styles: audio, visual and kinesthetic. This hands-on activity plus telling the story about our God-given wings of imagination my mother used to use to preface all her creative drama classes created a stimulating environment within which to ask questions. 5
  • 6 The first time I taught this class I made the mistake of inviting all the children to stretch out their long strings representing heaven and hell across the floor. This led to confusion and some bickering as they argued over whose string was whose. Thus my decision to use shorter strings and have the students just lay them across their own desk as we discussed the meaning of each picture card/verse. Then, the students placed the cards on the appropriate string. I have taught this class three times, each time improving the mechanics but never ceasing to marvel at how wonderful God’s plan for heaven is and how children love to wonder about it. I will do a follow up class designed to prompt and guide the children to answer their own questions. I plan on combining all three sections, sixty children total, and assigning the three classrooms teachers a role in guiding the children to seek God’s Word for the answers. Randy Alcorn’s book (2006) will provide vital guidance. Heaven is a very abstract concept, but through this class, I perceive that children are beginning to grasp what heaven is about and will therefore give themselves permission to talk and anticipate heaven as they discuss their discoveries with their friends and family members. Not one to waste a good class, I used this class on teaching children about heaven to illustrate how to attend to each learning style. I taught this workshop during the Association of Christian School International’s Convention in Tegucigalpa, Honduras Sept. 29, 2007. Over twenty English- speaking teachers attended this workshop. I have taken the liberty to include my teaching agenda for this class in Appendix 2. 6
  • APPENDIX 1 COLLECTION OF PICTURE/SCRIPTURE CARDS USING DURING CLASS TAUGHT ON HEAVEN The following nine pages are designed to be photocopied in such a way that each student will have a small bag containing one of each of these nine items. 1. Card containing Picture and verse: 2 Peter 3:13 2. Card containing Picture and verse: Psalm 139:13-16 3. Card containing Picture and verse: Romans 10:9-10 4. Card containing Picture and verse: Hebrews 9:27 5. Card containing Picture and verse: Matthew 15:31-41, 46 (only with children eleven years and older) 6. Card containing Picture and verse: 2 Corinthians 5:10 7. Card containing question marks 8. Popsicle stick entitled HEAVEN 9. Popsicle stick entitled HELL 7
  • 8 Figure 1 Card containing Picture and verse: 2 Peter 3:13 8
  • 9 Figure 2 Card containing Picture and verse: Psalm 139:13-16 9
  • 10 Figure 3 Card containing Picture and verse: Romans 10:9-10 10
  • Figure 4 Card containing Picture and verse: Hebrews 9:27 11 11
  • 12 Figure 5 Card containing Picture and verse: Matthew 15:31-41, 46 (only with children eleven years and older) 12
  • Figure 6 Card containing Picture and verse: 2 Corinthians 5:10 13 13
  • 14 Figure 7 Card containing question marks 14
  • 15 Figure 8 Popsicle stick entitled HEAVEN 15
  • 16 Figure 9 Popsicle stick entitled HELL 16
  • APPENDIX 2 TEACHING AGENDAWORKSHOP: PROMOTING A FULLER UNDERSTANDING OF WHAT YOU ARE TEACHING ON THE BASIS OF LEARNING STYLES Honduran Convention of the Association of Christian Schools International Sept. 28-29, 2007 AGE RANGE OF STUDENTS: NUMBER OF CLASSTIME LEARNERS: STUDENTS: Aprox. 50 min. Teachers Adult teachers engaged full time in teaching 20-50 at private Christian schools. EDUCATIONAL PURPOSE: To teach teachers to attend to all three learning styles, audio, visual and kinesthetic learners. LEARNING GOALS: (AS THE LORD BLESSES THIS CLASS, IN FAITH, I SEE THE TEACHERS… Appreciating God’s diversity in having created three main types of learning styles. Struggling with how to teach their subject matter so as to explain it for auditive, visual and kinesthetic learners. Realizing the inadequacy of teaching only for one or two styles, usually their own. TEACHER: DEVELOPMENTAL ISSUES: PHYSICAL Workshop teacher SETTING Seven-eight year olds are still at a concrete operations level of cognitive thinking, so heaven is being explained with concrete objects in order to try and Classroom with bridge the gap between the abstract concept of heaven and the choices they tables and chairs. make in their day to day living. Special attention will be made to explain the concepts for all three learning styles: audio, visual and kinesthetic. Time- Group Duration / size Educational Activity Notes / Materials Responsible PROCESS 1. Opening reflection questions 2. Demonstration and timing of teaching a brief portion of the children’s class on heaven only for auditive learners. 3. Demonstration and timing of teaching a brief portion of the children’s class on heaven only for audio and visual learners. 4. Demonstration and timing of teaching a brief portion of the children’s class on heaven for all three learning styles. 5. Brief attempts at teaching to meet the needs of all three learning styles 6. Conclusions 17
  • 18 PRE-SESSION PREPARATIONS Lisa Questions previously written on the board or Flipchart #1: How do people learn? Flipchart #2: What did you observe in my teaching? How did it make you feel? Flipchart #3: What did you observe in my teaching? What felt different in my teaching this time? Flipchart #4: What did you observe in my teaching? What difference did it make for me to get you physically engaged? How did your own understanding of heaven vary after each demonstration? Flipchart #5: What’s the hardest part of teaching this way? What would be the fruit of your efforts if you taught this way? Flipchart #6: In light of this class, what will you do differently the next time you teach? Stopwatch Whiteboard markers and eraser Bag of props: Each object will be in its own paper bag: One tennis ball, a jump rope, wooden letters, wooden numbers, flash cards, a Bible verse on a 4x6 card (Mark 9:41) Introduction to the class LEARNING GOAL To awaken in the teachers a desire to address the needs of each learning style as they teach. During the Session 5 min. Large Opening reflection question: How do people learn? group Give folks the opportunity to answer. Observe who answers and try to gauge Lisa their depth of understanding on this subject. There is a large body of research that has been done on the learning cycle, both for children and adults. What we are going to explore today is a very small piece of the pie, there’s an entire bakery available, which to me as a teacher who loves to teach is like eating your favorite pastry! The backdrop of what we’re going to explore together today comes from a David Kolb’s (1985) research on Experiential Learning. The concepts of the three major learning styles (audio, visual and kinesthetic) form a part of how we learn. To show you what I mean by these three learning styles, I’m going to do three demonstrations of teaching a portion of a class I taught to children on heaven. I would like you to observe the differences between them. Demonstration of teaching just for auditive learners LEARNING GOAL The teachers will experience for themselves the inadequacy of teaching just to one style of learner. During the Session 5 min. Large Teach a portion of the children’s class on heaven just speaking. Read the group scriptures from the Bible. Give someone in the class a stopwatch to time you. Ask him or her to make note on a piece of paper how long each demonstration took. After all three Lisa demonstrations, you’ll write the times on the board. Reflection questions: What did you observe in my teaching? What did you feel? Demonstration of teaching just for auditive and visual learners
  • 19 LEARNING GOAL The teachers will question the adequacy of teaching to just two styles of learners. During the Session 5 min. Large Teach the same portion of the children’s class on heaven but Visual aid: Draw the timeline on group this time both speaking and visualizing. the board. Lisa Draw on the board the timeline. Give them the scripture on handouts and read them together. Give someone in the class a stopwatch to time you. When you are done, ask the person to go to the board and write the time down. Reflection questions: What did you observe in my teaching? What felt different in my teaching this time? Demonstration of teaching just for auditive and visual and kinesthetic learners LEARNING GOAL The teachers will experience for themselves a greater level of comprehension of the subject matter because all three learning styles were attended to. During the Session Large Teach the same portion of the children’s class on heaven both Visual aid: group speaking and visualizing and engaging them in the activity 15 min. with props. Tape the strings on the board to Do a portion of the class on heaven like you did it with the serve as a visual reference to children. what they’re doing. Lisa Hand each student a bag of props and exit the classroom. Give them the scripture on handouts and read them together. Give someone in the class a stopwatch to time you. Write the times of each demonstration on the board. Reflection questions: What did you observe in my teaching? What difference did it make for me to get you physically engaged? How did your own understanding of heaven vary after each demonstration? Attempts at teaching for all three learning styles LEARNING GOAL The teachers will try their hand at briefly teaching so as to meet the needs of all three learning styles. During the Session Individual Try it! I need several volunteers who are willing to give this a Prop bag practices try (choose three). 15 min. Put your hand into the prop bag and pull out an object. Each object will be in its own You have sixty seconds to prepare a three minute class based paper bag: One tennis ball, a Lisa on the object you’ve chosen. Remember: Explain it to us so jump rope, wooden letters, all three types of learners understands. wooden numbers, flash cards, a Use a stopwatch to give each of them equally three minutes. Bible verse on a 4x6 card (Mark Reflection questions: 9:41) What’s the hardest part of teaching this way?
  • 20 What would be the fruit of your efforts if you taught this way? Reflection time on how to teach your subject mattes for all three learning styles LEARNING GOAL The teachers will struggle with how to teach their own subject matter to meet the needs of all three learning styles, which will in turn deepen their comprehension of the content. During the Session 5 min. Individual Individual learning task: Visual aid: writing and In light of this class, what will you do differently the next conclusion time you teach? Write the learning task on the Write down one thing that you as a teacher can do differently board for each individual to Lisa in order to meet the needs of all three learning styles and work on. deepen your students’ grasp of your subject matter. Provide paper in the handouts I don’t know if that question is worth it: Reflection question: I for people to journal their n light of this class, what insights have you gained as to how answers. people learn?
  • REFERENCES Alcorn, Randy. 2006. Heaven for kids. Carol Stream, Ill.: Tyndale House Publishers. Kolb, David. 1984. Experiential Learning: Experience as the source of learning and development. Englewoods Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall. Wilkinson, Bruce. 2002. A life God rewards: Why everything you do today matters forever. Sisters, Oreg.: Multnomah Publishers, Inc.