What do I do with 5th and 6th graders?
I'm 18 and teaching grades 5 and 6 class in Sunday school, and am so excited for what's in store for these great kids. Do you have any advice about things I should prepare them for when they are about to enter our youth group next year? -Rachelle-
I'm glad you're working with 5th and 6th. Those kids have big hearts, and usually pretty open minds, and they're at the crossroads. Most of them (believe it or not) have started watching MTV, movies like “Jackass” at their friends' houses, and they're being exposed to violence, sex … you name it.
This is a great time to equip them about making choices- and letting them get to really know the Biblical standard as THE STANDARD for these choices. They're being told lies every day, and we've got the truth. Our job is to make them aware of the truth, and motivate them to act on it.
I like to do a series on lies vs. the truth. I did one called DON'T BUY THE LIE. We studied topics like sex, cussing & course talking, bullying, etc. Each of these studies looked at the world's perspective vs. scripture. Then we gave assignments during the week.
5th and 6th graders can memorize up a storm. You can come up with rewards programs for memorizing verses, the ten commandments, the beatitudes, etc. (I would take them on a free trip to the nearest amusement park if they memorized one verse a week through the year and be able to recite them all at the end) Give them truth to combat the false stuff they hear every day. Things like the beatitudes are FANTASTIC in combating today's lies. You can do a study of one beatitude a week, giving them assignments of trying them out during the week and coming back to report on their success and their failure.
And don't forget the power of individual attention. I love developing a staff of adult mentors who will give attention through the week to each student through phone calls, emails and nights out to ice cream or bowling. This positive adult attention is priceless!
Hope that helps.
The Source for Youth Ministry
Jonathan McKee is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Bullying Breakthrough; The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices; If I Had a Parenting Do Over; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers on TheSource4YM.com. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.