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

This week we continue our look at how to incorporate art appreciation into a Sunday School curriculum to enhance children's understanding and life application of the scriptures. Here are three more ideas:

  • Don't avoid the scary, the painful or the sad. You can create a safe, loving environment to explore these themes and their hopeful alternatives. Discuss what you see in the art and then explore alternatives through conversation, drawing or acting.
  • Use art to connect a family's story to the story of God. When looking at images of families play the "I wonder" game so children can wonder what the different characters might have been thinking or wanting to do next.This is a great one for the season of Advent when images of a family in art can be related to the stories of Jesus and his family.
  • Let the art suggest different ways to pray. For example, show a film clip (yet another form of art!) of a great dance scene and relate it to David dancing for joy for God and then create your own dance for joy. Or another Advent themed idea is to focus on waiting and watching. Look at Salvador Dali's Girl Standing at the Window as shown in this post. Ask the children if they ever stand at a window and daydream. Have the children draw the window they stand at and what it is they wait and watch for. Relate this to talking to God through the window (praying).
If you've never incorporated master works of art into your curriculum you should try it....with your enthusiasm for this experience the children will deepen their understanding of God and their relationship with one another.