Workshop Rotation-Scope & Sequence

Sunday School for K-5th graders at Central Christian Church in Waco is innovative, creative, meaninful and relevant for our children (and the teachers!)  We follow the Workshop Rotation model of Sunday school where we tap into the different ways that children learn (via all 5 senses) and create experiences around one story per 3-5 weeks so that the children will learn the story more thoroughly than if it were just a one week, stand alone lesson.

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Children built a tent to learn about the culture of being a tent dweller in Abraham and Sarah’s time.

I am often asked about how we go about picking which stories we teach each year. Since I am a planner and big-picture-thinker, our Summer Intern and I sat down in 2011 to create a six year scope and sequence for our rotation.

It started out with our intern doing the grunt work for the project (THANK YOU!). She basically went through the entire Bible and wrote down each story on a separate index card. She coded them old and new testament so that we could balance each year.

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Abraham’s descendents would number the stars. Children painted their own version of Van Gogh’s “Starry Night.”

Then, we went card by card and divided them into three stacks:

  • “A” stories were those we felt were the most important AND most appropriate stories to teach children. There are definitely important stories that are NOT appropriate for children in our opinion.
  • “B” stories were the stories that definitely needed to be taught, but maybe not within a rotation. These would be great during our weekly Children’s Worship experience that happens during our pull-out Children’s Church during the sermon portion of “big church.”
  • “C” stories were the ones referred to above…those stories that were important, but not necessarily appropriate for young children to learn (the near sacrifice of Isaac, Ehud, etc.) These are the stories that we feel would best be introduced to children once they are in the youth group or older (grades 6-12).

We took the “A” cards and sorted them into six years. Our fall semester is primarily old testament and an advent rotation and the spring is new testament and a Lent/Easter rotation. We add some fun/different units in the summer and write our own Vacation Bible School.

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Making Baby Moses in the Bullrushes Gardens. Kids took them home and the seeds grew through the blue decomesh to make it look like Moses was floating down the river.

We are in year four right now and have tweaked the lessons slightly each year. It has served, though, as a WONDERFUL and valuable guide for us. Having the peace of mind that we are exposing the children in our children’s ministry to a solid foundation of Bible stories helps us so much. Here’s the scope and sequence, if you’d like to download it and adapt it for your needs: KidCentral @ CCCWaco Workshop Rotation Scope & Sequence

In future posts, I’ll plan on sharing details about each rotation. We pull from, our “Power Xpress” curriculum, internet (thank you, Pinterest for a holding place for ideas!), and the myriad of books on my office shelves.


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Children play a review game on our GIANT duct-tape-tarp gameboard.

What else would you like to know about creating, running, preparing, or leading a workshop rotation model of Sunday School?


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