Easy Template for Building a Lesson – Took

This is the last section of the template for building a lesson. In this part of the lesson a response is required of your students.

“The goal is transformed lives – change. Therefore, creative Bible teachers helps students respond by leading them to see God’s will and by helping them decide and plan to do it.” (Creative Bible Teaching, Lawrence Richards)

childrens-ministry-Jesus-followerIn the look section of the lesson, you discuss as a group how to apply the truth of Scripture to our lives. In the took section you want each student to take away one practical idea for implementing the truth during the upcoming week. The took section is practical and personal. Students may have different ideas for implementing what they have learned – and that’s good!

Hook, book, look, took is a great tool for teachers. It is an easy, memorable way of understanding how a lesson is put together or putting together a lesson yourself.

“Breaking down the process of creative Bible teaching into four parts simplifies lesson planning.” (Creative Bible Teaching, Lawrence Richards)

So, take out your Sunday School material and grab the next lesson. Use this tool (HBLT) to understand how the lesson is put together. Find the hook – what will you use to grab your students attention? Highlight the book – what is the Scripture passage being used and how are you going to help your students discover and understand the truth in that passage? Circle the look – what are the implications of that passage to the lives of your students? How can that passage be applied to the everyday lives of your class? Finally, took. What are your students going to do about what they have learned?

Easy Template for Building a Lesson – Look

Hook/Book/Look/Took – This is an easy template for building a Sunday School lesson. We have already looked at hook and book. There are quick links to those posts at the bottom of this article. Now it’s time to talk about “Look.”

This section of the lesson is about implications.

“The next step the teacher must plan for in the lesson preparation process involves guiding the class to discover and grasp the relationship of the truth just studied to daily living.” (Creative Bible Teaching, Lawrence Richards)

This is what most people call application. It is important to note that the look part is group application. The last part of the lesson preparation, called took, is the personal application each student takes away from the class.

The Book section is primarily “head” stuff. The lesson is not over until you build a bridge for kids between the theoretical and the practical. Now, you are teaching to reach the heart. I can’t stress enough how important this is. We are teaching for change/transformation. For that to happen we need to help the kids see how the Bible applies to them personally. We need to help them answer the question, “What difference does this make in my life?”

The Bible Must be Applied as God Intended

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17

In the look section of the lesson, help the kids see how the Scripture you have studied is useful. Is there a teaching they can follow? Maybe there is a rebuke or a correction your class can learn and follow. How does this passage train your class to be righteous?

The application is about making the truth usable. By the time the kids leave the classroom, they should know how to act on the truth they have heard.  And that is the took part of the lesson.

In upcoming posts, I will teach you how to prepare the application part of your lesson.

Easy Template for Building a Lesson Series:

Easy Template for Building a Lesson – Book

biblical literacyRichard Lawrence in his book, Creative Bible Teaching came up with an easy template for building a lesson. He called it hook, book, look, took (HBLT). It’s easy to remember and contains all the elements for a great Bible lesson. In this post, I am going to talk about the book part of building a lesson.

The hook is done; you have grabbed your class’s attention. Now it’s time to dive into the Bible.

This is the heart of the lesson. This is where we get into God’s Word and discover what it is saying and what it means. As a teacher, it is your job to help your students discover and understand Biblical truth.

Whether you are using a curriculum or writing your own lessons, always remember that the Word is central.

“For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”  Hebrews 4:12

Sunday School isn’t just about teaching kids Biblical truth. Information is important. Kids need to learn about God, that the Bible is true, that Jesus is the Son of God sent to save us from our sins. But we don’t want to stop there.  The ultimate goal is transformation. Sunday School is about making disciples. Disciples of Jesus are transformed people. Disciples of Jesus are people being transformed into the image of Jesus. A successful Sunday School class is one that reaches both the head and the heart of a student. The most effective way to reach the heart is through the faithful teaching of the Word of God.

“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15

So, when you are building the book part of your lesson, look carefully at the lesson as printed (if you are using a curriculum) and study the Bible passages it is built on to ensure that the lesson is teaching what the Bible teaches.

I will talk more about preparing this part of the lesson in an upcoming post.

Faithful teaching of the Word of God will lead into the third part of this lesson building approach which is the look. What are the implications for the students of what has been taught?

Check out the rest of the series here:

Easy Template for Building a Lesson Series

Easy Template for Building a Lesson – Hook

It’s Sunday morning. You are in your classroom waiting for your students to arrive. You are excited about what’s to come. You’ve prepared your lesson, you’ve prayed, you’ve grown yourself through your study of God’s Word. You are ready to teach.

You’re class starts to arrive. Emma is excited because last night she had a sleep over and 2 of her friends have come to church with her.  Jeremy is mad because his mom made him leave his PS2 in the car. Mark slept in and didn’t eat breakfast and he is so hungry right now. Maddy is trying to figure out what to do if that bully starts bugging her again tomorrow.
To be an effective teacher, your first job is to grab your class’s attention. You need to find a way to get everyone thinking about the theme.

“We must entice them away from their private thoughts to share in this time of learning.” (Creative Bible Teaching, Lawrence Richards)

A hook is so important because it provides a transition for students.

What are the qualities of a good hook?

Lawrence Richards gives 4:

A Good Hook Gets the Attention of Your Class

Your students are all thinking of different things. A good hook will get their attention. A good hook must therefore be interesting. In his book, “Learning to Teach/Teaching to Learn,” C. Doug Bryan said,

“To what is initially interesting, we give our attention; to what we give our continual attention may become interesting to us.”

If we want a class that is engaged and having fun, we need to grab their attention. A word of warning: be careful that you don’t hook their attention on to something trivial or you will lose them. Kids will focus on the wrong thing. So, be careful in your hook to grab their attention and focus it on the central truth in your lesson.

A Good Hook Surfaces a Need

Right from the beginning, you need to show the students that what is about to happen in that classroom matters to them.

“When students sense that the class is related to their needs, they are far more likely to participate in the activities of the class and in the learning process.” (Creative Bible Teaching, Lawrence Richards)

A Good Hook Sets a Goal

With a good hook, students will discover why they should listen to your lesson. Let the class know the direction. This is where you reveal the central theme, the one thing you want your students to learn.

A Good Hook Should Lead Naturally into the Bible Study

A good hook is not distracting to the students. Instead, it should get them excited about what the Bible has to say.

It is also important to keep the hook short. It is a quick, attention-getting transition into the heart of the lesson. Get your students interested and then get into God’s Word.

“A good hook is one of the secrets of effective Bible teaching. When you capture interest, set a goal, and lead your students into the Word, you have a good start on a creative class.” (Creative Bible Teaching, Lawrence Richards)

Once you have hooked your students, it’s time to dig into the Bible. That’s the next stop in our series – Book.

Here’s a list of the complete series.

Easy Template for Building a Lesson Series:

Easy Template for Building a Lesson Series

Does this scenario sound familiar? It’s Saturday night. You’ve had a busy week and you are only now getting to your Sunday School lesson. As you look over the curriculum, it looks like an unsorted pile of Bible verses and life lessons and you need to turn it into something coherent for the kids in your class tomorrow morning. If you fail in this task, you’ll have a bunch of blank faces staring back at you. So where do you start? How do you quickly gain some structure? What’s an easy template to build a lesson around?

Lawrence O. Richards in his book Creative Bible Teaching presents an approach to structuring a Sunday School lesson that has been used by hundreds of children’s ministry volunteers since he first wrote about it in 1970.

“We call it the HBLT approach. That stands for Hook, Book, Look, Took. Don’t worry, we already know it’s a bit corny, but that’s why you will never forget it! It is an easy-to-remember approach to lesson preparation that, when followed, opens up the student to learning Biblical truth and to making meaningful application of the truth in his or her life.” (Creative Bible Teaching, Lawrence Richards)

In this series, I am going to expand on each of the 4 elements in this approach and give practical tips and ideas for using this method of planning a lesson.

Easy Template for Building a Lesson Series