Choosing curriculum

Congregations take a variety of approaches when choosing a Sunday school curriculum. Here are few ideas to help you develop a program of your own.

Ready-to-teach lessons

Jacob’s Ladder is a comprehensive lesson program for ages 5 to 12. By the end of the program students will have learned stories from throughout the Bible. Each level provides 36 lessons for one age group, including festivals. Illustrated lesson books are classroom-ready. Age-appropriate activity packages include songs, projects, videos, pictures to color and more. Lessons are based on the General Church Schools religion curriculum. 

Youth Journey Programs are based on well known Bible stories. Each set of lessons provides 6-7 weeks of lessons in 3 or 4 age levels for ages 3-14, or 3-18. Scripted lessons are ready to teach with little preparation. Each lesson offers a warm-up, reading, discussion, choice of projects, and wrap-up. Look for videos, memory verses, games, songs, experiments, pictures to color, notes for parents, and more. Topics include Creation, Exodus, Joseph, Parables and miracles of Jesus, Jacob, and Elijah.

Jump off your pastor's talk for children

Ask your pastor for the children's topic early in the week. Take time to read the story yourself. Use Sunday school lessons to reinforce ideas shared by the pastor by discussing the story and following up with a fun hands-on project. Look for project ideas at newchurchvineyard.org, on the Vineyard Educator’s Collection CD (available for purchase at newchurchbooks.com) or make up your own creative activity.

Teach the Bible in four years

Select stories from the beginning to the end of the Word every year choosing different stories each time. A curriculum like this helps children understand the history and sequence of the stories in the Bible and provides a framework in which children can understand stories they learn. A sample curriculum, Teach the Bible in Four Years (PDF) suggests one way to do this. Resources such as Bible Stories and Their Inner Meaning (available at swedenborgdigitallibrary.org) and the 6-volume Bible Study Notes (available for purchase from newchurchbooks.com) provide helpful teacher background. 

Themes in the Word

Follow themes such as parables, miracles, heaven, the Lord, etc. for 4-6 consecutive weeks. Ready-to-use resources including teacher background, lessons, projects, pictures to color and more available at newchurchvineyard.org.

Family lessons

If your program is small and your group includes children of different ages try using the Family Lessons available on the Vineyard Educator's Collection CD, available for purchase from newchurchbooks.com. Each lesson includes a talk for all ages, as well as separate projects for children of different ages. See a complete list of Family Lessons (PDF). Youth Journey Programs also provide activities for all ages.

Lessons developed by congregations

The Vineyard Educator's Collection CD, available for purchase from newchurchbooks.com, provides several curricula in digital format. Series available include Glenview Preschool Lessons (PDF), Glenview Primary Lessons (PDF), Oak Arbor Preschool Lessons (PDF) and Oak Arbor Intermediate Lessons (PDF).  These lessons offer several years’ worth of lessons for ages 3-12, including teacher background, discussions and projects.