Help children with special needs learn Bible lessons
Children with special needs often need Bible concepts repeated, shorter sentences, and a focus on key ideas to learn. In this blog post, we’ll talk about ways to use language and activities to help children with special needs learn Bible lessons.
Why do I need to change what I’m doing?
You don’t need to change. Think of it as adapting or adjusting. If you are sweating at home, you change the temperature on your thermostat. It doesn’t take long, it’s not a big deal, and the cooler temperature will make you comfortable.
For children with moderate-to-severe disabilities, oral language can be hard. Too many words can make them tune out. Repeating concepts and using shorter sentences helps them understand – and learn – more.
How do I do change my language?
Before the lesson, think about what you want the child to know. In this blog post, we’ll talk about The Prodigal Son. For a child with moderate-to-severe disabilities, is it more important for them to know that the older brother was jealous or that God loves us? While you’re telling the story, insert “God loves us” into the pauses.
- The prodigal son didn’t have any more money. God still loved him.
- The older brother was jealous. God still loved him.
- The father welcomed the prodigal son home. God loved them. God loves you.
In other words, tell the story – just throw in the key idea often for children with moderate-to-severe disabilities. Because language is hard, hearing the same thing many times helps them learn. Also, many children with moderate-to-severe disabilities have trouble with short-term memory. Repeating the key idea helps get the key idea into their brains.
Here are the Downloadable Files for The Prodigal Son Game
Repeat concepts in meaningful ways
With the Feed the Pig game, it’s easy to reinforce the story meaning in a fun way. Download, save, and print the above files.
The Level 1 questions give information with the answer included. That way, children can hear and repeat the answer. This helps them be successful, a critical component of learning.
The Level 2 questions just have the question. Use these with children who have good language skills or teen buddies. It’s more fun to play the game when everyone takes a turn! And what makes it even more fun? Using a pig sound when the pig “eats” the card!
Children with moderate-to-severe disabilities often have difficulty understanding and using language. Help them have fun and be successful by repeating shorter sentences. They will learn more, and you will help children with special needs learn Bible lessons!
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