The Sunday School curriculum we are developing is not based on a lectionary. Many lesson plans use common, traditional stories found in most lectionaries. However, our curriculum also includes other Bible stories/passages frequently mentioned by parents and ministers when asked what they want their kids to learn (e.g., Cain Murders Abel). A few less well-known stories/passages that are both meaningful and interesting to kids (e.g., Habakkuk) are also included.
For long sagas (e.g., Moses, Joseph), the stories are told from beginning to end. The Bible stories/passages are then used as a foundation for further exploration. In some cases, Bible passages are compared to one another. More often, Bible passages are used as a foundation for exploring other cultures and religious traditions.
Our curriculum will contain 12 primary units. Each primary unit will contain 8-10 lesson plans, forming a three-year curriculum for both upper elementary and middle school students.
Lesson plans for the Upper Elementary kids (ages 8-11) are designed to be completed in 45 minutes. Lesson plans for the Middle School group (ages 11-14) are designed for a full hour. Various options are provided so teachers can individualize the unit based on available supplies, the interests of their particular group, and their own teaching preferences. However, we are careful not to overload teachers with alternatives.
Jubilee! Community Church celebrates both Christmas and Easter, so the curriculum will also include three units for Advent/Christmas and three units for Lent/Easter. These units contain four lesson plans each.
Each unit stands alone and can be presented at any time. There is also a fair amount of leeway regarding the sequencing of individual lessons within a unit, but that varies from unit to unit. For example, In the Desert presents the Moses story from beginning to end. That unit requires tighter sequencing than Peace which presents various stories that are simply related to the theme.
As we currently envision it, the curriculum will contain the following units.
Primary Units (8-10 lesson plans each)
Creation (Genesis 1-2)
In the Desert (Moses story)
Dreamers (Joseph story)
Peace (various stories related to peace)
Compassion (various stories showing compassion)
Deceivers (various stories involving deception)
Prophets (Old Testament prophets)
Blessings/Gratitude (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and various stories about feeling blessed/grateful)
Women in the Bible (most major female characters of Old and New Testament)
Demons (various stories focusing on emotions we typically think are negative – anger, greed, fear, pride)
People of Great Faith (various stories focusing on the value of living your faith)
Awe/Wonder (various stories of miracles/astonishing events)
Advent/Christmas (4 lesson plans each)
Lights (Advent, Hannukah, Solstice, Jesus’ Birth/Wise Men)
Angels (Zechariah, Mary, Jesus’ Birth/Shepherds, Joseph’s dream)
Christmas Around the World/Births
Lent/Easter (4 lesson plans each)
All lessons focus on Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem and various Biblical passages/stories occurring after that. Each unit concludes with one of the Gospel version of Easter morning.
Jesus in Jerusalem Year 1
Jesus in Jerusalem Year 2
Jesus in Jerusalem Year 3