Friday, November 13, 2015

Focusing on the Birth of Jesus with Multi-Level Bible Lessons from GrapeVine Studies {A TOS Review}

Grapevine Studies Review

I love finding new ways to make the Bible come alive for the children. GrapeVine Studies has been on my radar for a while. Their curriculum intrigued me, and I have wanted to try out this fun idea of drawing stick figures to teach the children Bible stories, so I was thrilled when we were chosen to review Birth of Jesus: Multi-level

Birth of Jesus is one of GrapeVine's topical studies. You can choose between Beginner or Multi-level, both of which can also add on the Traceable book for younger students. The Beginner level is geared for children ages 5-7 and the Multi-level is for children 7 and up. The add-on Traceable level is geared for children ages 3-6. I decided to choose the Multi-level because I figured the Beginner level would be too easy for Tabitha and possible Amelia. As we were able to get the Traceable book, both Hannah and Harold (ages 5 and 3 respectively) were able to join in, making this study perfect for all the different ages in our family. 

We received a PDF download of the Multi-level Student book and Traceable level Student book along with the Teacher book. I was able to view the children's books on the computer; however, this was done primarily to print out their pages, they didn't work at the computer.  I did choose to read the teacher book straight from my tablet, to keep the cost of printer ink down.  In order to use the curriculum we also needed to have a Bible, a Bible Dictionary, a dry erase board/chalkboard and 8 colored dry erase markers/chalk (for the teacher) and colored pencils (for the children).  A computer or tablet is needed to view the curriculum and a printer is necessary to print out (at least) the students' pages. I chose to store the pages in my folder.  When we are done with the study I have plans to "bind" it in a pocket folder with fasteners, but there is no specific way that it needs to be stored. 
The study is actually divided into three parts. 

The first part is the Time Line, which is meant to be completed first so the children have a framework within which to understand the lessons.

The Time Line pages are laid out horizontally so there is room to fit a few picture on each page. For these simple beginning lessons the parent is to read a short, one to three sentence summary about each section. The parent then draws the required pictures on the dry erase board and asks the child to also draw the pictures. 

The second is the Lessons,  There are 4 lessons, each of which is meant to take about a week to complete. The lessons are:
  • The Announcement
  • The Birth of Jesus
  • The Proclamation
  • The Wise Men and Herod
A Daily Schedule is suggested in the informational pages.

Each week, except week 1, there is a Timeline Review section on the first day. Days 2 and 3 are the days when the child is to use the student sheets while the parent teaches the lesson.  Each part has Bible verses to read. Teacher notes in green give the parent words/ideas of what to discuss about the passage. The lesson is specifically laid out on each page, showing which parts are to be completed each day. 

On the bottom of the second lesson page there are review questions.  On Day 4 the child(ren) are to draw their favorite part from the week's lesson and write out (or recite) their memory verse. I expect the older children to write out the verse, though the younger children are not ready for that yet.  

The third part is the Final Review.

When all of the lessons are complete, the children work on the Final Review, which includes questions to be answered and a final timeline to be figured out. 

There is also a map in the back of the book to be used in certain lessons to help the children connect where the story is taking place.

This study was focused on the "events surrounding the nativity of Jesus."  We began by learning how many generations there were between Adam and Jesus. We read about Gabriel coming to Mary and the conversation that took place. We learn about Elizabeth, Joseph, the Shepherds, the Angels, Caesar Augustus, Simeon, Anna, the Wise Men, Herod, moving all the way through Jesus moving with his family to Egypt and back.

It seems like there is so much information to learn, but the stick figure drawings help the children to focus on the main points of each lesson. Just the other day, Amelia started drawing figures on the board and quizzing me to make sure I knew which part of the story she was illustrating.

This picture shows the shepherd coming to worship baby Jesus.

I love the multi-sensory aspect of GrapeVine Studies. The children listen to the Bible verses, watch me draw the pictures, and then draw the pictures themselves. They also have to recite the Bible verse and can even take turns reading the lesson verses. They are learning a lot of details that we hadn't gone into before and they are "sticking." They will also get to keep their pages in a folder book along with their completed timeline that I plan to tape together.
It has been great to have the Traceable pages for the younger children, though Harold hasn't been too interested in doing this work. Hannah has enjoyed being able to follow along. 

We are all enjoying GrapeVine Studies, and I highly recommend it as a hands-on, multi-sensory Bible study for multiple ages. 

I can't wait to try out some more of their topical studies. Here is a look at what they offer:

This will help you understand the levels a bit.
You can check out some samples as well.

You can find GrapeVine Studies on Facebook, TwitterPinterest, and Google+.

Don't forget to click on the banner below to see what my fellow Crew Mates thought of the studies they used from GrapeVine Studies.

Grapevine Studies Review

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