“Does anyone remember anything we are teaching?” That is a thought that I continually have after every Sunday. There have been times when I look out to the class and it feels as if nobody is paying attention to anything I am saying. I want so badly for our message to connect and become a […]
That is a thought that I continually have after every Sunday. There have been times when I look out to the class and it feels as if nobody is paying attention to anything I am saying. I want so badly for our message to connect and become a part of those in our class.
There has to be a better way to recap our lessons but also do it in a way that our class will enjoy it. I have long since held to the belief that if class is fun, the students will not only be more engaged, but they will retain more. I also do not want to just fill time for the sake of filling time. I feel like our class will just see through that and mentally tap out.
I decided we would try a game of tic-tac-toe but with a spin.
Option 1: Small to Medium Size Class
The first variation involved drawing a large grid on a marker board and picking up a few suction cup balls. We made the grid on the board as big as possible and numbered each square on the board. The entire class was split into two teams. Every person got the chance to take the suction cup ball and toss it up on the board. Once they tossed the ball, we would see what number on the grid it was and then ask that team a question. The questions primarily centered around the current week’s lesson, but also covered some of the previous weeks. The goal was to use the questions to help reiterate some of the main points from the series. If the team got the question correct, they could mark the spot on the board with an X or O.
Option 2: Larger Size Class
Using the same idea as above, we made a few modifications. To begin with, we have the space in our room to branch out, so that is what we did, by moving a few tables. When tossing the suction cup balls to the marker board, I noticed that some in the class were not comfortable walking up and tossing the ball. Some were not physically able. To make this game more accessible for everyone, we used painter’s tape (because I forgot the bright-colored duct tape at home) to make a grid on the ground. I bought a set of sandbag tic-tac-toe bags which was $39.99 from Amazon. This larger visual gave everyone more space to work and also made it a little easier to see as well. Since the grid is not numbered on the floor, I wrote numbers on paper, folded them, and put them in a box. One person from the team would take their turn to draw a number. I would ask the corresponding question to the number that was drawn.
Option 3: Small Class
You don’t need a marker board or a large tic-tac-toe grid on the ground. You can simply use a sheet of paper and play tic-tac-toe together using the same steps as the options above.
Playing games like this is not only a great way to get everyone involved, have fun, and recap the lesson, but it is also a great way to pull volunteers into the mix. You can assign roles to volunteers to ask questions, keep track of who is winning, set up and take down the tic-tac-toe grid, etc. If you have someone in class who does not want to play the game, invite them to take charge as a leader and help facilitate gameplay.
When you are preparing your lesson for the week, creating the questions to use takes little to no time at all. It is a good idea to have answers printed on your question sheet, especially when it comes to answers that come directly from scripture. I prefer to have the verse handy on my paper so that I can read it after the question is answered.
With our class, it took about 15, maybe 20 minutes to play one round, which worked out perfectly for our group. We have now played this game several times and each time, we find that there is more and more involvement. To mix up the questions even more, I have also pulled trivia questions in. The best part about all of this is that it is easily repeatable. Each week the questions are new and will work with any curriculum series.
Jason joins the Ability Ministry team and brings over 20 years of graphic design and marketing experience to the table. He has handled projects from local start-up businesses to publicly owned internationally based companies, including a Shark Tank company. Jason currently reside in Louisville with his wife, two daughters, and dog Pepper. In his spare time, he is a Master’s competitor in USA Weightlifting. His family attends Southeast Christian Church.