Teaching Pictures are a powerful tool to use in any classroom, or even at your home. There are many styles of artwork to choose from when considering a teaching picture. The style of art you choose to display is up to you, and could be chosen based on your style of teaching, the environment you are using it in, or even just personal preference. Here are a few things to remember when using teaching pictures in your classroom.
- None of the figures being displayed are the actual people we are teaching about. These are drawings, not photographs. No matter the style of art, these are only an artist’s representation of what a real person looked like. Each artist will draw the same person differently. We can teach our kids to focus on the setting of the image, and not what the people look like, since honestly, none of us knows exactly what any of those people really looked like. (I secretly think we will all be quite shocked one day!)
- Focus on the setting. When we use a teaching picture it should do just that, teach. The art that is chosen for a particular story will serve the purpose of reinforcing the concept or lesson being taught. Use the teaching picture to elicit responses from boys and girls that go beyond the people, to discover what the picture itself is teaching. What does the setting teach about the Bible story? What are the people doing that lead us to learn more about God/Jesus?
- The artwork will convey what you help the girls and boys in your group experience through it. Many times I hear leaders criticizing one style of art while praising another style. In reality, kids today are in a very media driven society and are inundated hourly with photographs and real time video. It may take some work on your part to make sure when kids walk away from your group experience they know that the images of the people and stories in the Bible are as much a reality as the photo they saw this morning posted on their favorite social network.
At the end of the day, the teaching picture is a powerful tool. Teaching pictures can open a child’s imagination and transport them to a place in history. Use the pictures to help those learners connect with a Bible truth, and let that truth dwell in their hearts.
Let us hear some of your stories about your favorite teaching pictures and how you used them to open God’s Word in a new way.
Tim Pollard is passionate about helping kids dig deep into Scripture, which he pursues through his daily work as leader of the Explore the Bible: Kids team. Tim lives with his wife and daughters in Mount Juliet, TN.