Sunday, March 2, 2014

Visual Aids - #4 Overhead Projector

There are many types of visual aids.  When teaching the lesson about Moses' concern that the Egyptians would not believe that God had not appeared to him in Exodus 4:1-9, there are at least two major visual aids that can be used in the story:  A rod that turns into a snake and a hand that is covered in leprosy.  Since real snakes are totally out of the question for me, a rubber toy snake can be laying on the children's table when they come into class.  Snakes can be tricky. Sometimes they scare children who are too young, but they fascinate those children who are about five or six years old!  This visual aid will definitely help the children remember the story and encourage them to share their experience with their parents.  That, after all, is the purpose of a visual aid: to reinforce the lesson.  As far as the hand with leprosy goes, I have arrived in class with a mixture of flour and water on one hand after it dried. With a small bowl of water close by and a towel, the hand is then washed when Moses' hand is made clean again in the lesson. Visual aids can be simple and inexpensive!

On the other hand, visual aids can be elaborate.  Not necessarily expensive, but a little time-consuming, such as the above wall-picture of Jonah. (Jonah 1:15-17)  With different shades of colored butcher paper on the wall, cut out paper fish, rolled up green paper for seaweed, and crumpled black paper for the seafloor, a giant backdrop is created on the wall which is perfect when you add Jonah falling into the water as you tell the story.  Simple? Yes! Expensive. Not so much! In order to get more value out of your efforts, leave up this wall-picture as you teach the whole book of Jonah.  The children will always remember this story, due partly to this huge visual aid.

Did you notice that something important was left out of the last paragraph?  The great fish! Perhaps you are a great artist and can create a whale by imagining it in your mind.  Perhaps not. In the latter case, you might use this wonderful machine called an Overhead Projector. Some county libraries will loan them out, or maybe you might borrow one from a public school teacher-friend for an hour or so. 

Simply, find a picture of a blackline of a whale (no color or shading) and copy it on a transparency (a clear piece of plastic that may copied on).  Place the transparency on the glass of the Overhead Projector and turn the projector on, shining the image upon a black piece of butcher paper you have taped to a wall.  (Yes, you can see the line on black paper.)  With a pencil, trace the lines that you see on the paper.  Cut it out.  You now have your story of Jonah ready for your little ones!  If you laminate the whale, you will have it for many years.  This wall-picture is a bit of trouble, but it is worth it!  You are making memories!