Active learning involves children’s minds interacting with the subject matter; they are thinking—discovering, imagining, questioning, organizing, analyzing, evaluating, drawing conclusions, and applying the material.
If we just sit children down and tell them what to believe, they may not be comprehending, agreeing with, or internalizing the truth—and the same may be true if we ask them to act out a Bible story or retell a story or recite a Bible verse.
We want them to be able to look at a text in the Bible…carefully observe and rightly interpret the text; make real application of that truth to their own lives, and eventually respond in faith to that truth—embrace it, own it, live by it…and be willing to die for it.
When children are little, we must tell them much of what they need to learn—they are little sponges soaking up everything, but by fifth grade, when they can begin to think logically, we need to be dialoguing with children—asking questions and expecting answers.
By leading children and youth logically through a series of questions designed to lead them to correct conclusions, we are encouraging them to discover what God actually says in His Word—our questions should teach them to observe, interpret, and apply the truth.
The mind then becomes a conduit for the truth to reach the heart. In this way we are moving them from not only discovering truth, but then to respond to that truth in their lives.
(from the seminar: "A Vision for Encouraging Faith in the Next Generation")