Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Extra Helps #15 - Learning With Maps

As we begin the missionary journeys of Paul, the students will occasionally be drawing maps. It is helpful to know where Paul went on his journeys, so we become familiar with the towns and cities, areas and provinces in which he traveled. It is interesting to follow his footprints as he preached through the land. Some say that by studying maps, it helps the lands become a little more real in the students' minds. True or not, it cannot hurt studying where those of old lived their lives, how they preached about Jesus Christ, and learn how and where the church grew as the Word spread.

There are different ways to teach students through map-making. Here are just a few to consider:
  • Large Bible maps may be hoisted up on stands or applied to the walls and displayed in the Bible classroom. This can create great interest in young minds. Perhaps you have an overhead projector (see March 2014 - Visual Aids - #4 Overhead Projector on this blog) and are able to trace or draw large maps on butcher paper, chalking the different areas with colorful chalk, and laminating the maps so they will be protected for a long time. Having one of these extra large hand-drawn maps stapled on the classroom wall is quite impressive. One can tell that the Bible is being taught in that particular classroom, students are eager to learn where they will travel during the next lesson, and there is much to be learned. Small footprints can be pinned or taped to the map and can be connected to other cities as lessons are studied each week. When Paul boards a ship and travels to the next country, a small cut-out ship could be added to the Mediterranean Sea, showing which way Paul traveled. Or, pieces of yarn may be attached with pins, noting the cities where Paul preached.
  • Students may draw their own maps for that day's lesson and add the map to a special personal folder, accumulating the maps of Paul's four missionary journeys. There is no need for the maps to be perfectly drawn. An illusion is all that is necessary. Details such as cities, names of seas, etc. may be added.
  • The students may draw one map of the areas from Italy to Egypt to Palestine and staple the map to a bulletin board that has been prepared in advance. As the students study a particular chapter in the book of Acts, simply add the cities or areas mentioned in that chapter. Continue until the books of Acts has been completely studied. The maps should look extremely detailed.
Whatever your chosen method is of studying the missionary journeys, adding maps can only complete a thorough study. Where interest is nurtured, students learn.