Teachers, are you looking for a fun and creative activity to help your younger elementary students learn the books of the Bible? Learning this important skill will help children become more proficient in searching for, and finding, Scripture verses in their own Bibles. Try this simple activity in your classroom. Supplies:
- Approximately 15-20 feet of heavy twine or clothesline rope
- 22 sheets of white (or light-colored) 11″ x 17″ paper
- Color markers
- Fold each sheet of paper in half so that it forms an 11″ x 8-1/2″ sheet.
- Cut each folded sheet into three equal sections (each section will now be about 3-5/8″ x 8-1/2″).
- Write a book of the Bible’s name on each sheet. (If students are just beginning to learn these, you could use a different colored marker for various sections: the Pentateuch, history, wisdom, major prophets, minor prophets, Gospels, epistles, etc.)
- Before class, hide the sheets in the classroom.
- Attach the ends of the rope to two sturdy objects to form a clothesline (or ask two adults to hold the ends of the rope).
Instructions: When children arrive, instruct them to search for the strips of paper hidden in the classroom. When a child finds one, have him hang it on the clothesline in the correct place. (At first, this will be an approximate location until more and more books are found and hung in order.)
Children can continue to find and hang up additional books until all are in place. Then take the opportunity to recite the books in order as a group. (Consider using a song to do this.)
Ask a child to remove one or two books from the clothesline and then try to recite the books again, inserting the missing book name where appropriate.
- For younger children, begin by using only Genesis–Ezra. In the following weeks, add more books of the Bible until they can successfully complete the entire Old Testament, then move to the New Testament.
- Encourage the children to use the table of contents in a Bible when needed. Learning to look up the books in the table of contents is another helpful skill for becoming more familiar with their Bibles.
- Consider using a stopwatch to time the game from week to week. Encourage the children to beat their previous time as they become more familiar with the books of the Bible.