Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Four Simple Ways to Spice Up Your Teaching Space, Part 3 - Runways

For the last couple of posts we've been talking about how you can take a typical stage/audience set up in your children's space and make it a little more interesting. 

Standard Set Up
One of the challenges of a typical auditorium or theater style set up is that the kids can feel separated from the action on the stage.  So far we've talked about how you can overcome that by using teaching stations and teaching in the round.

Today, we're going to jump into a variation of teaching in the round that I call runways.  A runway is simply a strip of teaching space that extends into the middle of the audience. 

Like teaching in the round, runways bring the action right into the kids' laps, which creates a whole new level of engagement.  Unlike teaching in the round, you can still use your up front stage space as well.  This allows the teacher to cover a lot of physical territory during the lesson.  It also keeps the kids on their toes because runways intrude into their space. 

As with teaching in the round, you definitely want to clearly define your runway space either by taping it off or, if you want to go really big, extend an actual raised platform out into the audience.  Either way, the effect is the same - proximity to the kids while retaining the option to use up front stage space.

Think how effectively you could tell the story of Moses parting the Red Sea if the Red Sea actually ran through the middle of the kids?  Or what if you're telling the story of the good Samaritan and use the runway to represent the road to Jericho?   Imagine doing the faith hall of fame from Hebrews like a fashion show, introducing the faith heroes as they strut down the runway. 

You can have create some really fun moments with us, or take a powerful moment absolutely through the roof.  The story of the crucifixion takes on a whole new feel when it's being told right in your midst.   

Runways give you more options, and with a little creativity, you can have a blast using them to bring the Bible to life for kids in a way they'll never forget.

Have you ever used runways?  What Bible stories did you or could you imagine telling using them in your rooms?

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