Tips For Engaging Children in Art in Sunday School-Part One

Not everyone can take their Sunday School classes to an art museum but that's no excuse not to integrate art into the children's spiritual development and education. Libraries and bookstores offer a larger variety than ever of books with art and the computer opens the door to an endless plethora of resources. Once you've found a resource to integrate into what you're teaching here are a view tips on how to engage the children in being active learners:

  1. Use the artwork to tell the story of God from the scriptures. Read the story from scripture then have the children look at the artwork and retell the story identifying elements from the Word.
  2. Encourage the children to identify with the story the picture is telling. For example ask them if have they ever felt like the main figure in the artwork, discuss what they would do next if they were part of the artwork's scene, or can the children mimic the postures of the characters in the art to get in touch with their feelings?
  3. Encourage playfulness and surprise. Chose an artwork that is unique in it's technique or presentation. Discuss the art methods that artist might have used. Have the children experiment with similar techniques....such as bold colors, certain components out of proportion to create emphasis, or exaggerated facial expressions.
With the American holiday of Thanksgiving approaching here is an artwork by Peter McKay that some of the above techniques could be applied to. It could be matched to a Psalm of thanksgiving such as #138.

This blog series will continue with Advent images. Stay tuned!