There are sixty-six books in the Bible with thirty-nine in the Old Testament and twenty-seven in the New Testament. Teaching children where and how to find a particular book, chapter and verse may seem like a challenge to parents and teachers. I envisioned a fun and useful way to do this and tried it with my Bible class this year. It turned out to be informative and caused the children to be enthusiastic about learning their Bible.
I began with the concept of a “Bible Train.” With Genesis becoming the “engine” that pulled the rest of the “train,” along my bulletin board, I added “box cars” each day according to the division that we were introducing. Stop signs separated each division. The “box cars” had the names of Bible books, showing the position of each book and the relationship they have with the book coming before and after. Once the Old Testament books were displayed we started another “train” with the book of Matthew being the “engine” to bring in the New Testament. Every morning, as a class, we would name the books we had learned thus far, recall each division, the writers of each book and say a Scripture verse from each division.
We also played games with the names of the books. One particular game was started by giving out to each student a clothespin with the name of a Bible book inscribed on it. A clothesline was stretched across the room with the divisions displayed at intervals along the line, as well as the two main divisions of Old and New Testament. Each student was given an opportunity to clip his or her clothespin at the correct position along the line and the other students were given the task of saying if that student was correct in their placement. The children immensely enjoyed this activity.
“Find the Book” was another fun activity. I placed a sheet of paper on the bulletin board which displayed all the names of the Bible books in a scattered fashion over the entire sheet. Each morning I gave one or two students colored stars and allowed them to find the book that we were studying that day. He or she would locate the book and place the star near the name. On many days, the student would ask another student to accompany them to the bulletin board to help them find the book and both students would learn where the book was and how it was spelled.
Learning Bible books and where they are located is an important lesson for all children, both at home, in Bible class and at church. Teachers and parents will find that these activities can help children learn as well as enjoy it!