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Curriculum Components

Curriculum Components

Potter's Publishing FAITH JOURNEYS curriculum offers you, as Christian Educators, well-designed curriculum with the following components included in each unit you purchase.

  • Theological Understanding ~ Presents teachers with a theological and biblical grounding for the Bible story being taught. Many churches use this section as an adult Bible study for teachers and/or parents making valuable connections between church and home.
  • What Kids Can Know of God ~ This feature helps teachers relate adult understanding to how children might understand and make spiritual connections to their lives.
  • Concepts ~ There is one key biblical concept for each unit of curriculum.  It is a thread that weaves through all 6 workshop lessons in the unit providing for continuity.
  • Objectives ~ Learning objectives are provided in each workshop lesson.  In many units objectives are included for both primary (K-3) and intermediate (4-6). This takes the guesswork out of bridging for different levels.
  • Bible Memory ~ Bible memory verses are available as God’s resource for a child’s growing faith and spiritual life. Verses relate to the concepts/story being learned. There is one Bible memory verse for each unit.  A Bible memory verse card is located in the Appendix for teachers’ use.
  • Teacher’s Overview of Whole Unit ~ Presents teachers with an overview of the unit with a summary of each workshop. This feature aids teachers in understanding the whole unit in relation to the workshop they will teach.
  • Lessons ~ Lessons are well developed in learning content and include clear, detailed learning activities.  Lessons provide detailed dialogue for the lay teacher. They offer questioning and discussions dialogue for each lesson. Teachers should feel free to adapt these dialogues. They are meant to provide a comfort level for the novice teacher and a springboard for the more experienced teacher. Many times separate lessons are provided for Primary and Intermediate children if younger children need something simpler and/or older children need more of a challenge. Adaptation boxes are also included in the lessons to aid in teaching to different levels.
  • Spiritual Journals ~ A time is provided at the end of each workshop lesson for children to use intrapersonal skills to reflect on their experience. Spiritual Journal booklets are included in the Appendix for each unit. There are separate booklets for Primary and Intermediate Children.
  • Time Allotment ~ Workshops are based on a 45-minutes allotment.
  • Celebration Sunday ~ provides ideas to use for Celebration Sunday (the Sunday following the end of the unit)
  • Unit Themes ~ many units have a theme where children collect something in each workshop to take home.
  • Let's plan the unit ~ A complete guide to planning the unit. Includes supply list, resources to order list, volunteers needed list, appendix print list, rotation guide and more.
  • Rotation Suggestions ~ Each unit provides a suggestion for rotation of children through the workshops, based on continuity of learning for the youngest learners, who are non-readers and need to learn the basics first.
  • Resource List ~ Located in the Appendix the Resource List gives a complete list of resources needed in the unit. It includes ordering information and links to vendors.
  • Supply Planning List ~ A list used to plan and gather materials needed for each workshop.
  • Letter of Invitation to Kids ~ a special letter to be mailed or emailed to children before the unit begins.
  • Appendix ~ includes rich print teaching aids and planning tools to go with each workshop. We create them for you - saving you time and energy for teaching.
  • Computer Workshops ~ Potter's Publishing takes an integrated approach to using computers in the Workshop Rotation Model. The computer workshop should be part of the flow of learning in a unit integrating the unit's concept and objectives. Therefore, we do not recommend an isolated diet of point-and-click games. They have their place and work well when they have been chosen carefully and are part of and integrated into the whole unit. Potter's Publishing has many units with computer activities created specifically for the unit ensuring continuity of learning. For churches without computers we often provide a separate lesson adaptation.

Special Curriculum Features

 

Spiritual Journals:

Spiritual journals are the intrapersonal component of FAITH JOURNEYS curriculum. Writing in journals is a way for children to reflect on what they have experienced. As children journal, they can make valuable learning connections that improve their faith development. Journaling is an integral part of the workshop rotation model. Research has discovered that children who journal in school daily in all areas of the curriculum increase learning connections and relevancy. If we do not have children reflect on their faith, it may become the one area in their lives that has little or no relevancy. Separate Spiritual Journal booklets are included for Primary and Intermediate children in the Appendix of each unit.

Celebration Sunday:

Celebration Sunday is set aside for celebrating completing the unit with all grade levels. It is held on the Sunday following the completion of the unit. It is a flexible Sunday that can be added if time allows in the year's schedule. The purpose of Celebration Sunday is to review and synthesize the story and the concepts taught in the unit. It is also a time for children to show their finished products from the workshops, perform a workshop drama for the whole group, or enjoy cooking that was created in a workshop. Ideas for Celebration Sundays are included in the overview of the unit when suitable.

Celebration Sunday also provides an alternative time for children to write in their spiritual journals. Although spiritual journal time is provided at the end of each workshop, we understand that when lessons run over there is usually not enough time for journalizing. On Celebration Sunday 15-20 minutes could be set aside for reflective journal writing on a writing prompt that you choose from the Spiritual Journal booklets included in the Appendix of each unit.

Mission:

We are committed that children KNOW, GROW, and GO in their faith. We want children to connect their faith learning experiences to reaching out to others. We include many mission activities in the units either as a workshop that children will rotate to or as an overarching focus of a unit. We invite you to enhance or create your own mission activities for your children using our ideas as a springboard.

Unit Themes:

Many of FAITH JOURNEYS curriculum units are themed providing children with exciting and inviting enhancements. Enhancements are optional for churches with limited resources yet provide exciting possibilities for other churches. For example our unit titled This Train Is Bound for Glory includes refrigerator magnet train cars complete with Bible memory verses that children collect in each workshop, model trains set up in workshop areas, and bandanas and train whistles for the teachers. In Reaction to the Promise, Jesus' Birth, children collect character trading cards in each workshop while in the Jonah unit they collect a "catch of the day" fish. These are just a few ideas of the many you will find provided in our curriculum.

Intergenerational Activities:

Intergenerational activities provide a threefold purpose. First, intergenerational activities help involve the whole church, making the Sunday school's mission and children's learning visible to adults. Second, like Celebration Sundays, intergenerational activities provide a way for children to celebrate completing a unit. Activities often showcase children's learning and finished products from the workshops. Third, involving adults to interact with workshop learning and activities is another dimension of intergenerational activities.

Intergenerational activities can be done at any time that is feasible for your church, for example, at coffee time, or during adult education. If devoting an entire Sunday per unit for a Celebration Sunday is not feasible, an intergenerational activity is a way of accomplishing much of the same. However, make sure that you synthesize and review the unit with the children on the last Sunday of the unit during an opening time or closing time. Be flexible with your scheduling and include some Celebration Sundays and intergenerational activities throughout the year.