How to Prepare Sunday School Lessons for Kids

Photo credit: Guillermo Ossa http://www.sxc.hu/profile/memoossa

How do you prepare Sunday school lessons for kids? I know that there are a lot of teaching guides available on the market. Still, I would like to share the steps that I consider in preparing a lesson myself. It is something that you can simply do on your own plus you get to tailor the lessons more personally to the kids in your Sunday School class.

Why Teach Sunday School?

It (Children's ministry) is the goldmine of the church (Clarence H. Benson)
Successes (or failures) in children's ministry will determine who is in the congregation a generation from now.

Children are the church of tomorrow, but they are also part of the church of today. As such, it is important to get them involved in the church. 

So why should we teach Sunday School to kids?

We should teach them not just to produce learning but to lead them to Christ. 

The children should be taught the things of the Lord while they are still young so that when they are old, they will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6). Moreover, children have the capacity to believe in God and should be taught about Jesus Christ and His love. 

Because every man (including children) was born a sinner, he needs to be taught how to be saved from the penalty of sin. This ought to be the responsibility of every parent to their children. But the Sunday School teacher's goal is to support the family in this endeavor to lead a child to Christ.

Prepare Yourself

If we want our children's Sunday school class to be a positive experience both for the kids and for ourselves as teachers, we need to prepare. I cannot overemphasize the importance of preparation. Skip this step and you're sure to have a stressful and messy time with kids. They'd know if you're not prepared.

Prepare your Heart and Spirit. 

It is essential that the teacher knows and believes by heart why she is teaching the kids. You know why, right? This becomes a strong motivating factor to a teacher to help her do her best with this God-ordained task at hand. 

Prayer is also an essential part of the teacher's preparation. Pray for yourself. Pray for wisdom in preparing and teaching the lesson. Pray for the kids that they may understand and be a willing vessel to receive God's Word.

Gather your Resources

If you have a curriculum that your church provides, be sure to read beforehand all that is included in the lesson. 

If you are preparing the lesson yourself, I find these 2 material resources indispensable in teaching the kids. It would be wise to consider investing in a good Bible Picture Book and Bible Coloring Book. 

With these 2 resources, you can follow teaching the different stories in the Bible Picture Book then you can reprint copies of the coloring page as an activity to complement the lesson.

An alternative to buying these books would be to search for reprintable coloring pages online. Choose those which match the theme of your lesson. Print several copies. Nicely color a copy, which you will use as a visual aid as you teach the lesson. The rest will be for the kids to color as their hands-on activity.

If, in case, you have no access to the internet, then you can still use your creativity to draw pictures (ask someone if you can't) to serve as visual aids as you tell the stories.

Make the Lesson Plan

To make a lesson plan effective, the teacher should first make an instructional objective.

The instructional objective is a statement that describes the teacher's intent for the student. It also describes what the student will be able to do after completing the lesson.

A good objective is specific, achievable and measurable.
It should also clearly state observable expectations from the students and specify the conditions (like the time and materials needed) in achieving the objective.

In writing the objective, begin with " At the end of the session, the student would be able to ..." Then follow with an action word such as identify, compare, explain, apply, show, summarize, demonstrate, etc. 

An example of a good instructional objective is: At the end of the period of study (30 minutes), the student should be able to visit an elderly person in the church to share a gift.

A very simple lesson plan usually just includes a Bible story to tell, songs to sing, Scripture verses to memorize, and hands-on activities for the kids like coloring pages. 

However, if you wish to enrich the teaching-learning process, consider mixing different activities that are verbal, visual, simulated, or direct experiences (see more suggestions below). 

Consider also dividing the lesson plan into 3 parts: the beginning, middle and ending activities.

The beginning of the lesson plan is the opening segment and could be as brief as one minute or as long as 10 minutes. 

  • Some ways to open the session are: 
  • opening in prayer and singing a song together
  • allowing the students to read a definition of a concept
  • letting the students listen to a song, story or view a film that introduces the topic
  • the teacher and students can brainstorm a subject

Photo Credit: Flavio Takemoto http://www.sxc.hu/profile/flaivoloka

The middle of the lesson plan aims at developing the subject or lesson topic. It includes presenting the subject, exploring the subject and responding creatively.

In presenting the subject, the pupils are given basic information related to the concepts to be discussed. The teacher could either make a lecture, read or tell a story. 

The students may view a film or a puppet play or read a selection from Scripture. The students may also be asked to memorize Scripture verses.

In exploring the subject, the students are allowed to work individually or in small groups to explore the subject further. This helps encourage the participation of the kids in the class. The kids may do a filmstrip or simple dramatization of the story, discuss or have question and answer or participate in role-playing or simulation games.

In responding creatively, the students are encouraged to respond in one or more creative ways to what they have learned. Sample activities would be writing activities (letters, poems, scripts), drama activities (dance, role play, puppet play), painting or drawing activities, craft activities (collage, paper folding).

The ending of the lesson plan concludes the session so that there is a sense of completeness. Some ways to conclude the session are: 
  • letting the teacher or a student summarize what has been learned
  • letting the students complete open-ended sentences
  • the teacher and/or students close with prayer and sing a song together

Additional Preparation Tips for Teaching Preschool Sunday School





Helpful Sunday School for Kids Resources


Clubhouse Jr. magazine - Clubhouse Jr. is Focus on the Family's award-winning Christian children's magazine for kids from 4 to 8.

Bible Activities from DLTK-Bible.com - Printable templates for children's Bible activities, crafts, coloring pages, and more.

Children's Bible Lessons - Free Children's Bible Lessons including Bible stories, activities & games, Scripture memory, fun links, and children's books that teach values!

Children's Ministry Lessons Ideas from Ministry-To-Children.com - Get practical help for your children's ministry. Free teaching materials and fresh ideas for kids ministry, Sunday school, VBS, and Church Nursery.

Sunday School Lesson Planner for One Year - A planner for Sunday school teachers to use when making their lesson plans. It includes 52 pages for writing lesson plans, an index page, and a one-year attendance chart.

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