The power of touch in teaching.

I am not a visual learner. I would like to thank all the teachers who brought visual aid to the classroom because you’re great. Really, you are.  Even a predominantly auditory learner appreciates effort that she can see.

But personally… I love to listen. Obviously, a monotone teacher bored with his own subject teaching at  3 pm (aka prime napping hour) is not exactly my favorite soundtrack. On the other hand, enthusiastic storytelling, passionate lecturer, or British/Italian-accented teachers–those I could listen to all day.

For some reason, fifteen kindergartners at Mahragan are somewhat less excited to listen to me.

After a year of teaching third grade Sunday School students, I discovered the key to encourage students–not necessarily to listen, but maybe to learn–is not to become a better storyteller. It’s simply to let them contribute to the story.

Give them something to do. To touch. To squish. To build.

clayThis is a worthy investment. It basically prevents headaches and alleviates stress.

Tonight’s touch aspect is clay. We’re learning the story of Baal and Daniel, and we’re starting off by creating idols. (Yikes, that came out worse than I thought… I mean to say… we’re starting off by proving the vanity of idol worship. Ahem. That was a close one.) Each kid will create an animal. We might very well end up with 15 snakes, because, hey, we’re in kindergarten over here.

Then we’re going to talk about what these animals can and can’t do. The big question is, just like it was for Daniel, can these animals eat? If we put food in front of them and it was gone when we came back, does that mean the animal ate it?

Enter Daniel!  Baal was made out of clay and covered with copper, and he couldn’t eat anymore than our snakes could. With God’s help, Daniel had a way to prove it…

And thus starts a (hopefully) exciting lesson. We’ll see how it goes.


4 thoughts on “The power of touch in teaching.

  1. I’m sure it was fantastic! What a great idea :)! I need to remember that the best lessons are centered on the students instead of teacher-centric…

    • It went really well until the “Now let’s find out what happened next part…”
      Ahhhhhh the wonders of clay. I should have known I’d need a new exciting thing to help them transition from the first one.

      • Enter cornflakes and a bowl of makeshift fruit (aka starbursts)? Clay was a much better idea though, I’m glad they liked it! This blog is fantastic by the way! I’ll definitely be stopping by regularly 🙂

      • You have no idea how much I wanted to transition into cornflakes. They couldn’t stop playing with the clay. Like I told L, I said “Let’s find out what Daniel did,” they said, “CLAY CLAY CLAY CLAY CLAY.” I just couldn’t pull off the cornflakes without you! (PS. You commented first! You get chocolate next time I see you :D)

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