Some curriculum development companies plan for only a small, repetitive cycle of Bible lessons in their curriculum packages–one or two years worth. After completing this cycle, the teacher returns to the beginning of the curriculum cycle and presents his/her new students with the first quarter of material from the original curriculum package.
One curriculum package I used repeated its program every two years. My class of primary-age students included grades 1-3. Unfortunately, a couple of third-grade children recognized the materials we were using from one of their previous years of Sunday School. I had no idea these children had already been through these curriculum materials previously and there was not enough time to order in the new curriculum before the quarter started. I found myself in an extremely awkward situation.
To solve this challenge I used the same Bible story and scripture passages but tried to approach it from new angles and bring in new facts. I also added new songs, new discussion questions, and craft activities to bring some new freshness to the material for the students who had been through it before.
Why do we limit our teaching materials to short cycles when there is an unlimited supply of topics from God’s word that we can present to our classes? What about the classes that have students from several grade levels all in one class? We should encourage our students to learn more from God’s word instead of sticking them in a short, repetitive cycle of lessons and giving them limited coverage.