One of the incredible advantages of the classical model is the ability for parents and teachers to create tools that can be used over and over again for mastery. This is true for all three phases (Equip, Empower, Expedition), but the Equip (Grammar) Phase lends itself to some of the most creative and fun tool making. Though making the tools takes work, once they are complete they serve to make classroom preparation even easier. Here's four fun tools you can make for your own Bible Quest adventures, both at home or in a classroom!
Voice Cubes for Recitation and Songs
These cubes can be either made (using cardstock or cardboard and tape), but I prefer soft photo cubes like the ones pictured on the right or dry erase cubes such as these. We simply insert fun voice options such as:
Distinctive personalities, like Elvis or Larry the Cucumber from Veggie Tales
When we need to recite or sing, we roll one of these like dice and voila! We've got a random, fun voice to use for any of our memorized content!
There are, of course, many more voices possible, and you can find a list of a few more on page 115 in the appendices in your Third Edition Bible Quest book (of either Testament or the Church Program Edition).
Floor Tiles for the Timeline Song or Books of the Bible
If you are teaching a list of items, such as the Books of the Bible or Bible Quest's Big Bible Story Song (a timeline), consider creating floor tiles, each with a single item on it. You may want to get a vinyl clear pocket holder like the one to the left or laminate the tiles to protect them, but simply having the tiles available is sufficient for your activities.
Once your set of tiles is complete, use them for any of the following fun exercises:
Help your students put the tiles in their correct order.
Play games similar to those for your Bible Quest Review Game cards, such as the Timeline Shuffle.
Mix up the order of tiles and have students hop from one tile to the next, either on their own or as the class recites the items in order.
Painted Wall Map
We had the option of decorating a room for our Bible Quest program at our church in Wichita, so projected the outline of half of the Mediterranean Sea and Asia Minor (areas that would include every post-Flood geographic location in Bible Quest) on the wall. We then recruited youth group members and volunteers to help us trace and then paint the map on the wall. Once it was complete, I marked all of the locations from the Bible Quest maps with colored squares (you can my progress part of the way through in this photo) and then, when I had everything ready, I installed nails with the broadest heads that I could find in all the locations. I adhered Bible Quest timeline seals to the tops of round magnets (from Hobby Lobby). We then had a ready-for-anything map that we could use for all kinds of large-scale, active geographic review! Large map walls are permanent and don't take up storage space (though you can really store things in front of it while using it...). Scroll down to "Ideas for Using Map Tools" for more about that, below.
Magnetic Metal Pan Maps
This fantastic tool idea is one of my favorites that came from my friend Cleoanne in our church back in Kansas. She took printed copies of our maps and glued them to baking pans (Old Testament on one side and New Testament on the other). She made magnet timeline seals like mine for the wall map (above), and then capped them with clear glass mosaic gems such as these. Obviously, metal pan maps are much more long-lasting than normal map prints, and have the added benefit of being easy to stack and store in the classroom!
Ideas for Using Map Tools
These map tools can be used to combine review of key locations with key events or people in the Bible. For both the wall map and metal pan maps students can be given magnets that display the seal that corresponds with specific locations in Bible Quest. For instance, use the pink Walls of Jerusalem icon for Esther and Xerxes' Susa (Old Testament Edition, Week 38) and the blue Patriarchs icon for Abraham's home city of Ur (Old Testament Edition, Week 7). If students are engaging with a specific location (or Biblical personality) or timeline seal for the first time, simply provide the seals to them and tell them where to place them. Once students are more familiar with the people and locations of the Bible as they relate to the timeline, use these tools for review.
You can certainly use these tools for the Geographic Understanding Exercise on page 130 in your Bible Quest book. However, for an additional challenge for more advanced students, consider asking students for specific locations of specific events, which requires them to put the proper timeline seal on the proper location. For example, the Jerusalem is the correct location to answer the questions "Where did Solomon live?" (Old Testament Edition, Week 23) and "Where was the Temple rebuilt?" (Old Testament Edition, Week 37), but the first one is correctly identified by the purple Kings icon while the second ought to be designated by the pink Walls of Jerusalem icon.