My kids love stories and storytelling.
As human beings, we are all natural storytellers to some extent. Storytelling is a large part of our daily lives, even when we don’t realize it. Books, movies, cartoons – even the news we watch – tell a story.
A large part of how we organize our thinking and express new ideas is wrapped up in narrative. As storytellers, we decide how to tell the story, what characters to include, when to reveal major plot points. We color our stories with metaphors and similes, dialogue, and repetitions to make them more memorable.
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Storytelling and Kids
Our kids are natural storytellers, too! Kids dash inside from playing outdoors to tell a five minute story about a one-second event – jumping off the swing for the first time. The fear, the rush of adrenaline, the burst of bravery, and then – the victorious landing! Kids already know how to build suspense, how to delay the big action of the event until the end and quickly end their story with a short denouement.
Offered breathlessly, these simple stories help kids rehearse events. By retelling the events of a story, they move knowledge about a thing or event to their memory banks – for long-term storage. Years later, they may not know every little detail, but they will be able to rehash some of the broad strokes of the story – painting a picture for the hearer.
The Story of the Birth of Jesus
Each Christmas for the past 8 years we have worked through the story of the birth of Jesus in a similar way. We have rehearsed elements of the story – the grand redemption story, the simple stable story – to remind us of the reason for the holiday season. Thus, my older kids can tell the story, not because they have read it once or twice, but because they have rehearsed it.
This year I am doing our Christmas storytelling tradition a bit differently. I am working through it inductively.
There are many ways to rehearse the story of the birth of Jesus, but this year I want to get the grand scope of it by focusing on the details with my kids. The best way to do this with my kids is by studying it inductively. I believe inductive study – the three-step process of observation, interpretation, and application – offers Bible students the opportunity to rehearse the story in a way other studies simply cannot.
What is Inductive Study?
Inductive study is a method for studying the Bible (or anything) where the student asks questions of the text to make observations. These observations, made without commentary, help us to interpret the Scriptures accurately. And with proper observation and interpretation done, we can apply the truth of Scripture to our lives. These three steps – Observation, Interpretation, and Application – are what make Inductive study special. You can read more about Inductive study here.
Inductive study is not hard to do – not at all! It is so simple our kids can do it! As parents/teachers, we can simplify the greatest story of all time simply by asking questions. When we do this, we can help our kids to tell the accurate story for themselves.
Over the next two weeks, I will be sharing our inductive study for kids series called The Story of the Birth of Jesus. Look for a new post each day to walk your kids through the Christmas story in your devotions this month. Each post will examine one portion of the Christmas story, asking questions to help you and your kids dig into the Scriptures this season.
All you need for this study is a good, accurate version of the Bible. However, I do have a study guide and a workbook available. I recommend purchasing and printing the study guide if you want to do the Bible study screen-free. The workbook is handy for older students who can do some of the work on their own. Otherwise, I like to do my study on our chalkboard table with my kids.
If your kids are too young for this family Bible study, I recommend you take a look at our Jesse Tree for young Toddlers. For kids ready for a bit more of the story, but not quite ready for “study” I recommend Egermeier’s Bible Story Book.
An Invitation for You
I would love to encourage you along the way as you study the story of Jesus’ Birth with your kids this season. Please sign up for my 12-day email series which will help you walk through this study. I will hold your hand along the way, friend.
A Song to Inspire
I humbly hope this will be a treasured time for you and your family. If you have questions along the way, please leave comments on the individual posts, so others can learn from the questions and answers!
I can’t conclude this introduction without sharing with you the song in my heart as I begin this series:
I love to tell the story;
‘Tis pleasant to repeat
What seems each time I tell it,
More wonderfully sweet.
I love to tell the story,
For some have never heard
The message of salvation
From God’s own holy Word.
I love to tell the story;
‘Twill be my theme in glory
To tell the old, old story
Of Jesus and his love.
I wish I could find an upbeat version of this song to share with you! I have sweet memories of singing it in the church where Jesus brought me to Himself. The music director sang this song (and others) with such joy. It is a joyous song and ought to be sung with fervor – in my opinion.