Do you remember the popular clothing line, Garanimals®? This innovative children’s clothing company designed their clothes in a way that would help children learn to dress themselves with shirts and pants that match. With a variety of matching tops and bottoms in a set, children could pick from their wardrobe without parents worrying that they would end up mixing stripes and plaid. The mix-and-match approach to clothing is, in my opinion, an awesome idea.
But what if you could use the Garanimals® approach with Sunday School?
No, I’m not talking about playing dress up. Instead, taking a Garanimals® approach to Sunday School means mixing and matching your curriculum. If you use Growing in Christ curriculum from Concordia Publishing House, you know that you’ve got a relatively traditional Sunday School approach on your hands. It focuses in on the Bible passages and explores them in depth. Students will undoubtedly hear, learn, and discuss God’s Word.
On the other hand, if you use Cross Explorations, you’ve chosen a very interactive approach that takes on a VBS vibe for Sunday School. This curriculum starts with a whole group engaging activity, dives into God's Word in smaller groups, and then continues with activities, crafts, games, and so forth.
Maybe one of these curricula fits your church perfectly, and that’s great! However, the beauty of both Growing in Christ and Cross Explorations is that there are several ways to mix-and-match.
Mix By Level
Growing in Christ and Cross Explorations student and teaching materials can be purchased by level. Maybe you have a lot of very energetic early elementary students, and you think you’d like to use Cross Explorations with them. But you would love to use a more traditional approach with your upper elementary through high school kids. You can use Cross Explorations for your younger students and Growing in Christ for the upper elementary, middle school, and high school students. Both programs follow the same Bible account scope and sequence, allowing you to meet the needs of your students while keeping your Sunday School ministry aligned as a whole.
Let’s say you really prefer to have Growing in Christ as your Sunday School curriculum. You enjoy the simplicity and format of the lessons. However, you would like more variety in activities or projects that you could do. Cross Exploration’s Express Activities & More CD includes games, group activities, science demonstrations, service projects, snacks, and craft activities. While Cross Explorations comes in a kit, it can also be purchased piece-by-piece. In other words, you can purchase the “Activities & More” CD as a supplement to your Growing in Christ curriculum.
However you decide to create and personalize your Sunday School, remember to mix it up! If you feel like you’re stuck in the same old routine, move locations or switch between whole group and small groups. This also gives new opportunities for games and activities, depending on what your space lends itself to. If you feel like you need something more, include a service day, where you and your students can do some meaningful work to help others. Engage students by throwing in a skit to help the Bible account hit home. Using a variety of activities and settings can help to appeal to different learning styles for students. However you decide to plan your Sunday School lessons, don’t be afraid to take a Garanimals® approach. A mix-and-match Sunday School could be the best way to help your students learn.
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