Chances are, your ministry looks different right now. You may be leading Sunday School via video calls or by posting a pre-recorded video. Or you might be sharing lessons with parents…or finding another creative way to keep your Children’s Ministry going even though you can’t meet in person.
If you’re a Dig In user, you might be asking: How do I make Dig In work for this unique situation? We’re glad you asked! We’ve modified Epic Teachings of the Bible Quarter 4, Week 9 as an example for you, and you can check out the video and download the Word document of the lesson HERE. Or watch the video lesson below.
Plus, this blog will walk you through our process of modifying the lesson step-by-step so you can do the same thing with your other Dig In lessons!
Tips for Adapting DIG IN Lessons
1. Start with One-Room.
We created a “One Room” classroom in the Dig In platform, because One Room already has modifications in it for dealing with a mix of ages—which families may have.
2. Look Through Which Blocks Work.
In this lesson, as is often the case, the craft and object lesson weren’t well-suited to do at home. The craft had too many non-household supplies, and the object lesson (which only used a clickable ball point pen) seemed like it might be hard to explain and manage without being in the room with kids.
Games can be hit or miss for adapting to this situation. We found that the Low-Energy Game (which was Telephone) would be hard to do in small families, but the High-Energy Game was well-suited to be led by someone on a video!
When thinking about what will work, consider what supplies families typically have, as well as keeping in mind single parents with just one child—your viewers may include groups of just 2 people!
We kept all the blocks that could work for this lesson, just to show you how they could work. But in reality, this lesson is probably much longer than you’d want to teach over video. In other words—there’s more content than you need!
Plus, with draggable activity blocks to build your lesson and a downloadable Word document, Dig In couldn’t be easier to modify.
3. Opening Section.
The Opening section will always work well for this format. We cut creating the classroom mural for obvious reasons, and in some programs you’ll have birthday celebrations that just may not translate to video. We also cut the offering and introducing new kids. But you can welcome families, make announcements, and have families discuss the welcome question. If you’re recording a video, just tell them to pause the video while they talk! And don’t forget to share your own answer first!
4. Core Bible Discovery.
This block is a must-keep, but sometimes it can be hard to adapt. This one started with kids asking the teacher for a sticker a prescribed number of times, and then they got the sticker. We had to think of an alternate prize—something that could be delivered digitally. So instead of a sticker, kids ask for a joke!
This is where you can ham it up for the camera if you’re pre-recording. Put your hand to your ear as if you’re listening for kids’ responses.
Throughout this lesson, including in Core Bible Discovery, we cut some questions just to keep the lesson a little shorter and simpler, and have less pausing a video while families discuss. But don’t cut all the questions! It’s important for families to process their discoveries through discussion.
The “Pray” section of this Core Bible Discovery worked great as written!
This lesson also included a snack—that’s easy enough to have parents provide. But first, there’s a gag where kids open a gift box that contains their “snack” only to find rocks instead. That’s easy to do on camera! Open the gift yourself and reveal the rocks, then have parents provide the much tastier real snack. Kids were supposed to write on the rocks and snack cups, which we cut since that wouldn’t translate well to home.
You’ll notice that we kept the basic elements of this Core Bible Discovery to keep it engaging, relational, and experiential. Resist the temptation to record a video that’s all teacher-talk or simply reading the Bible story. Let families experience and have fun together!
5. Video Blocks.
Talk-About Videos and Music Videos are two blocks that translate really well to this season! If you’re recording a video, simply share the links to these Vimeo videos via email ahead of time, or use the description or comments section of your video. Have families pause to watch the video.
For the Talk-About Video, we trimmed the questions down to one—simpler, but still gives a chance for discussion! We also trimmed the number of songs in the Music Video block down to just one, which seemed more realistic for families doing this lesson at home.
6. Deeper Bible.
Deeper Bible was another block that worked really well as is without needing many tweaks. However, it was longer and had more questions than we’d like for a video-led lesson. Logistically, attention spans may be a little shorter through this format, so we did some trimming to simplify it.
7. High-Energy Game.
This game was really easy to adapt to at-home, but still gets kids moving! The game is following commands to run different directions. So, you’ll call out the commands on the video and families can run around their living rooms!
We did make some tweaks to describe the areas to run as related to where their screen is. And we cut a part of the game where kids had to land on towels with limited space.
8. Life Application Wrap-Up.
This was another block that was easy to tweak so that families share with each other instead of the teacher. Of course, if you’re leading this via a live video call, you can take kids’ prayer requests yourself! We also made the closing prayer more generic to cover most of the requests kids would have shared with their families.
9. Sign off and Takehome Page.
With a video lesson, you’ll want a clear sign-off message. This is also a great chance to tell parents where to find the Takehome Page—which is already designed for families to do at home!
You’ll notice that Core Bible Discovery was the only block that needed significant changes, but it is the most essential block—it’s where the Bible story happens! If you don’t want to go to the effort of modifying this block, we’ve got you covered. On June 1, 2020, when we release our new Foundations of Faith Dig In program, it will include an adapted Core Bible Discovery specifically modified to work with this unusual season of ministry! Subscribe to Foundations of Faith Quarter 1 and you’ll have a COVID-ready Bible experience, plus more blocks to choose from than you’ll need!
For more general tips on using Dig In during COVID-19, CLICK HERE.