Activity and Game Ideas to Teach the Books of the Bible

April 28, 2012

Teacher Training

In my post Teaching Bible Skills – Finding Books of the Bible, I said that I would give you some ideas for activities and games that will encourage kids to learn the books of the Bible and become familiar with the order of books in the Bible.

Here are some of my favorite activity and game ideas:

1. Games With Popsicle Sticks

Write the books of the Bible on popsicle sticks, one on each.

Pile them on the table and tell your class that they have 1 minute to find as many New Testament (or Old Testament) books as they can.

Separate New Testament from Old Testament and have your class put the popsicle sticks in order.

Have a relay. Pile the popsicle sticks on the floor and line the kids up on the other side of the room. Have them race to put the popsicle sticks in order; or find just New (or Old) Testament books and then put them in order. You can also have them looking for boos from certain sections – Pentateuch, History, Epistles, Poetry. Depending on the skill level of your class, you can let the kids use their Bible’s table of contents.

Hide & Seek – let a couple of kids hide some popsicle sticks around the classroom and then have the rest of the class find and put in order.

2. Bible Bingo

This is a fun activity that kids love!

For younger kids (Gr. 1-3)

Print enough copies of the blank Bible Bingo template (pictured at the right) for your class and fill each in with books from the Bible ahead of time. (Make sure each child’s game sheet a little different). You can focus on Old Testament or New Testament or the whole Bible. Make a master copy so that you don’t have to fill in new templates each time you want to play. You can also print a filled-in Bible Bingo template. You can play with bingo dabbers, highlighters, or markers.

Pass out to your class and explain how to play. Tell them that you will call out a book of the Bible – if you are focusing on a certain part of the Bible, make that clear at the beginning. If they have that book on their bingo sheet, highlight it. When they have 5 in a row, tell them to call bingo.

Use your Bible when you play this game. Even if you don’t need to refer to the table of contents, it is good for the kids to see you with the Bible. It helps them make the connection that these book titles (some are unusual and strange) are books from the Bible.

For older kids (Gr. 4-6)

Print enough copies of the blank Bible Bingo template for your class. Gather bingo dabbers, highlighters, or markers.

Pass out the Bible Bingo sheets to your class and explain how to play. Tell them to use their Bible’s table of contents and fill in the bingo sheet. Let them know if you are focusing on Old Testament or New Testament. Tell them that you will call out a book of the Bible. If they have that book on their bingo sheet, highlight it. When they have 5 in a row, tell them to call bingo.

Use your Bible when you play this game. Even if you don’t need to refer to the table of contents, it is good for the kids to see you with the Bible. It helps them make the connection that these book titles (some are unusual and strange) are books from the Bible.

Variation

Here is a Bible Bingo game that adds in the challenge of knowing the divisions of the books. Print enough copies of the blank or filled-in Bible Bingo template for your class. Also print a copy of the Bible Bingo Leader Strips. You may want to print these on card stock and/or laminate them so they last longer.

Pass out Bible Bingo game sheets to your class. Put the leader strips in a basket or just in a pile on the table. Tell the kids that you will choose and read a strip. They can highlight a match on their Bible Bingo sheet. Explain, “If I say ‘Gospels & Acts,’ they you need to look for Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and Acts. Those are the books in the Gospels and Acts part of the Bible.”

For a younger class or in order to play a shorter game, you may make a rule that kids can highlight any matches on their sheet to the clue you called out. For an older class or to play a longer game, you may make the rule that kids can only highlight one match to the clue you called out. This rules allows the kids to use some strategy during the game.

So, for example, if you are playing by the first rule, if you call ‘Minor Prophets’ kids can highlight any of the Minor Prophets on their Bible Bingo sheet – Malachi, Haggai, Jonah, etc. If you are playing by the second set of rules, they would have to chose one of those options.

This is a fun way to get kids interacting with the books of the Bible and putting them in context by using the divisions as well.

 

3. Old & New Testament Game

Attach the Old & New Testament signs (print in color or print in black and white) to opposite walls of your classroom or play area. Have the children stand in the middle. Call out a book of the Bible and have the children run to the sign of the testament they think it’s in. This game can be played for points or not; if you want to make it a little more competitive for older kids, you could make it an elimination game if they get it wrong.

Using index cards, print one book of the Bible on each card. Put them in a pile on the floor in the middle of the play area. Attach the Old & New Testament signs to opposite walls of your classroom or play area. Tell the kids, when you say “go” they should grab a card and take it to its correct location. All kids play at once. The goal is to see how fast the class can divide the cards into their correct testaments.

4. Books of the Bible Poster Game

Print off a copy of the books of the Bible strips onto cardstock. Laminate if desired. Cut out and add magnets, tape, sticky tac, paper clips or Velcro to the back of each book. Using a poster board, title it “Books of the Bible.” Add sub-titles, “Old Testament” and “New Testament.” Add numbers 1-66, separating the Old and New Testaments. For a variation, make a poster for Old Testament and a poster for New Testament. For an added challenge add the divisions of the Bible. An option would be to make two identical sets of whichever variation you are using for team play.

Attach the poster to the wall or put it flat on the floor. Lay the books of the Bible strips on the floor. Line the kids up. On go, the player picks up a book and races to the poster and places it wherever they believe it goes. The player returns to the start line and tags off the next player. They take their turn, playing as before. In addition, if a player believes a book placed previously is incorrect, he or she may change it. Play continues until all the books are placed correctly.

Playing in teams and racing to be the first team to place all the answers correctly increases the fun!

Note: You can adjust this game to the skill level of your class. Put some books on the poster ahead of time to give the kids a jumpstart. If you want to give your class a serious challenge, leave the poster blank.

For more ideas visit the books of the Bible free resources page.

 

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About Janelle

I am passionate about Jesus and kids and the people who work with kids in the church. I want to help empower children’s ministry volunteers – especially those who work in small and rural churches.

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