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Praise Factory

 

The Praise Factory is a six year, multi-age children’s systematic theology curriculum for elementary school children. It is comprised of 104 key biblical truths -- called "Big Ideas"-- divided into 16 units, common to a systematic theology. These biblical truths expand the children’s understanding of the same 12 big questions and answers used in the two preschool curriculums and add four additional big questions and answers. Within each 3-week Big Idea, there is an Old Testament, New Testament and Church History/Missions story presented. Each week’s curriculum includes 8 different activities to reinforce the Big Idea concept and story.

Special Kindergarten Format

Why a Special Format for Kindergarteners?

Kindergarteners undergo a huge transition as they first enter the structured environment of elementary school. They are learning to cooperate with others and bend their personal preferences to that of a group in new ways. Some kindergarteners are developmentally more ready for these changes than others. It is a worthy task to help the children make these transitions, even if it means less "teaching" happens. These developmental habits are the foundation on which teaching occurs. Do not be frustrated or discouraged if you spend time working on them. They will help bear more fruit later.

Many kindergarteners do just fine with only doing one activity per small group session. Many do fine with the drama group, as written and discussed earlier in this Introduction. But, some just need more change and more movement that this format allows. Some need more structure than the Drama group activity provides. To this end, I have added this kindergarten format for use during small group time. There are a number of differences of note in this format.

Act-It-Out Activity instead of the Regular Drama Group

Instead of having each child assume a separate part as in the regular Drama Group, the Act-It-Out Activity has all the children act out the same actions as the teacher narrates the story. The teacher prepares for this group using the Act-It-Out Sheet. It is simply the Beginning, Middle, End section from the Plan-a-Play story guide used in the regular Drama group. The teacher chooses key actions or sound effects for everyone to do as he reads/tells the story (using the Beginning, Middle, End). This activity is very enjoyable for the children, while accommodating and encouraging their sometimes fledgling ability to keep on task as a group.

see the Act-It-Out Activity for Big Idea #1 pdf

Multiple Activities in One Small Group Session instead of Just One

Instead of doing just one activity per small group time, two groups of two activities (called Group 1 and Group 2) suggested. The teacher will alternate between Group 1 and Group 2 activities with his children. Typically, a group will spend most of their time on the first of the two suggested activities. Sometimes the children will be so interested in the first activity you do not even get to the second one. This is fine. The point is to be engaging the children in the key concepts of the curriculum; and, to be sensitive to attention span. It is NOT the main point to get through all of both activities each session. It is for these reasons that you would do best to alternate your starting activity so that within a month the children will experience each activity. In a typical month of teaching, a kindergarten teacher would do Group 1 activities one week, then Group 2 activities the next week. The week afterwards, the teacher would return to Group 1 activities, but start with the second activity instead of the first one. In the fourth week, he would do the Group 2 activities, starting with the second of the activities. Below shows Group 1 and Group 2 Activities and how you might use them over a typical four week month. If you have two groups of kindergarteners, you would have one group of kindergartners do Group 1 Activities and the other do Group 2 Activities the first week, then switch Activity Groups every other week.

see the Kindergarten format for Big Idea 1, Week 1 pdf

Other Changes to Note

You may also note that the Hymns group and Crafts group have been omitted. We have chosen for the children to learn the Scripture Verse over the Hymn; avoid the craft because some children may not be as developmentally able to perform all of the steps without adult help. Of course you should feel free to use any of these activities as you desire for your children.

You will also note that only some of the full range of Praise Factory games are used in the Kindergarten format. These are games that are deemed most appropriate for them, in terms of reading ability, gross motor skill required and the amount of movement used. Of course feel free to adapt any of the other Praise Factory games for use with the children, as you desire.

Kindergarten Resources

The lesson plans for the special kindergarten format are found immediately following the regular format lesson plans for each week of a Big Idea. The Act-It-Out Sheet is found on the page following the Plan-a-Play Story Guide.