The Workshop Rotation Model was first developed in the Chicago area in the early '90s by a number of Presbyterian churches seeking to solve their chronic Sunday School problems: boring curriculum, boring classrooms, boring teaching methods, bored kids, apathetic parents, and low bible literacy. These churches wanted to teach bible stories in a creative manner every week without the crushing burden of having to find and prepare new material each week. They were trying to find a way out of the curriculum"quest for the Holy Grail" that always seemed to come up short. They also wanted to overhaul their classrooms on the cheap to make them the kid-friendly places they needed to be to attract kids back to the classroom. Out of those experiments came the Workshop Rotation Model. The Workshop-Rotation Model reorganizes the way you teach, not what you teach. Born are creative kid friendly workshops: The Drama Room, The Art Room, The A-V Workshop, Bible Skills and Games Room, the Computer Lab, the Puppet Workshop (and there are more and you can call them anything you want).

Kids rotate by class into a different workshop each week for a four, five or six week period. During that period of time, the story they learn is the same in each workshop.  Kids love repetition and need it to remember their lessons. Because each of the workshops teaches through a different style of learning, the kids don't get bored.  Instead, this multiple-intelligences approach enhances the learning process.

Here's the final key: The workshop teachers stay put. They don't rotate with the kids (though many churches have  class shepherds who do stay with kids). Teachers teach in the workshop of their strength and the lesson stays the same for several weeks in a row. This means they plan less and get better as the weeks go by. By the second or third week, they don't even need the lesson outline in their hand.

Lesson plans for the Workshop Rotation Model are simple and the teacher adjusts them making them better each week. The real difference between this model and the traditional classroom model is that each workshop takes its time teaching the story through one mode. No more frenetic six part lesson plans with barely enough time to get everything done. No more 5 minute crafts either. Instead, you'll be using real art projects that take quality time and contemplation. Of course, each lesson includes bible study and discussion.

Because most teachers will naturally adjust the age appropriateness of their lesson plan on their own, you don't need to come up with separate lesson plans for each class. Just a few age appropriate notes and adjustments will do. And because most of those using the model believe in sharing their materials and great ideas, we glean from each other's materials and those from our resource centers, instead of buying new curriculum every quarter.

For more information about Workshop Rotation visit the Workshop website

First Presbyterian Church
904 Fayetteville Road
Rockingham, N.C.  28379

Copyright 1999-2002

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