Tuesday, September 20, 2016

New Series: PBT Techniques #1 - Using Sources for Inspiration

Picture Books as Sources for Inspiration
This new PBT series will involve giving you some atypical methods for using picture books in ministry. I hope to stretch the possibilities in your mind and encourage you to think of your own ways to use picture books. If so, please share your ideas with us in a comment!

Traditionally picture books are incorporated into lessons, sermons, or small group discussions simply by reading them at the most opportune time given your other activities. Today’s post is about using picture books as sources for inspiration that inform your plans and support your objectives. Here’s a couple of situations:

There are times when a picture book is so rich with spiritual ideas that you can use it as a jumping off point for several programs. My husband has done this twice when writing his 8 curricula for our church’s City Kids Arts Camp. The first book he used was for very young children, but he was able to plan biblical activities for much older kids. 
In each case, I found the book and told him I thought it had potential. Then he tapped into his God-inspired, creative brain and began writing. You know the curriculum is a hit when at the end of the week, it is Bible Story Time that the children say they most enjoyed. 
These books also inspired other aspects of those 2 City Kids Arts Camps such as the logo, singing, and visual art activities. If you are interested in hearing more about these curricula, email me.

The second situation I offer is when a picture book has too much great information. This is sometimes the case in non-fiction picture books. Mining those books for ministry ideas is smart. I mentioned this method in two previous PBT posts.
In the first, I feature a non-fiction book, Tell Me Tree. Because trees are potent motifs for religious ideas, in [that post] I listed several books about trees. There are many more to discover in your local library.

The other post in which I mentioned this strategy features the picture book A Seed is Sleepy, one in a series of beautiful picture books full of fascinating information about natural objects. Other books in the series are listed [in the post here]. Today I’m glad to tell you about an addition to the series, A Beetle is Shy.
The following is a brand new picture book that would be really fun to use as a resource for designing activities when children are learning about the Body of Christ.
Picture Book: Your Pulling My Leg! 
                  400 Human-Body Sayings from Head to Toe
Author: Pat Street & Eric Brace
Illustrator: Eric Brace 
Summary & Comments: Scattered throughout this book are 400 idioms such as “a green thumb” or “winning by a nose.” Helpfully, the book is divided into body part sections.
Illustrations are fun but too small to share with groups of children. There is a board game with the same name (different publisher) that contains cards that might be fun to use.
Original Publisher & Date: Holiday House, 2016
Age & Grade Appropriateness: 7 and up, 2nd and up
Formats other than Book: None at present
Scripture Connections: We, though many, are one body in Christ (Romans 12:5); you are the body of Christ and individually members of it (1 Corinthians 12:27); the whole body, joined and held together… when each part is working properly… builds itself up in love (Ephesians 4:16); Christ is the head of the body, the church (Colossians 1:18)
Idea(s) for Application: Use this book to create some games to play with your children when teaching them about the Body of Christ.