Our kids have been using Bible notebooking pages, in the form of a year-long journal, for years. This tool has helped them grow and develop, and has created a permanent record of the time they’ve spent in the Bible as well.
You, too, can use Bible notebooking pages as an important part of your plan to teach the Bible. Bible notebooking pages are a great way for kids to record observations and thoughts about what they’ve learned from their Bible reading that day.Bible notebooking pages are a great way for kids to record observations and thoughts about what they've learned from their Bible reading that day.
How to Use Bible Notebooking Pages to Teach the Bible
Notebooking is a time-tested tool that develops and strengthens:
- Higher thinking skills
- Research skills
- Pre-writing skills
Bible Notebooking Pages in the Elementary Years
Be Patient with Your Young Notebooker
We started using Bible notebooking pages when our boys were in first grade. I would not attempt to notebook with a preschooler or a kindergartener, no matter how precocious the child is.
With young children, you will want to start using Bible notebooking pages with lots of patience. Remember that they are just learning about the Bible, and they are also just learning to write. Forming letters is probably still a chore for them as they work to remember how each letter looks and they work with developing fine motor skills.
Not only will your young students be working hard to physically write sentences, they may struggle to compose a proper sentence. This is completely normal!
Use Engaging Bible Notebooking Pages
You’ll want to use fun, engaging Bible notebooking pages with lots of room for drawings and interesting looking writing spaces. Make sure your Bible notebooking pages also have appropriate writing lines for your young notebooker so they can properly form letters and sentences.
Keep Your Notebooking Expectations Reasonable
It’s important that your notebooking expectations be reasonable. As your children learn to use Bible notebooking pages, they may struggle a bit.
I suggest you read a small section of the Bible to your children, then discuss what they’ve read (or what you read aloud to them). Allow them to use their Bible notebooking pages, a favorite pen or pencil, and some colored pencils. They can draw a picture to represent something they learned that day, and write a sentence or three about their reading. You may actually need to compose the sentence for them as they learn to notebook.
For instance, if you read the story of David fighting Goliath, your children may notebook: “David killed Goliath. David trusted God.”
That’s perfect! Praise their efforts with specific things they did well, and end your notebooking efforts for the day. They’ve worked hard!
Encourage Your Notebooker to Expand Their Skills
As your children continue notebooking through the Bible, you’ll want to encourage them to think more about what they’ve read, to write more, to compose their own sentences, and to really have fun using their Bible notebooking pages.
Bible notebooking in the elementary grades makes learning fun, memorable, and your kids will progress quickly in their cognitive and developmental writing abilities.Bible notebooking in the elementary grades makes learning fun, memorable, and your kids will progress quickly in their cognitive and developmental writing abilities.
How Bible Notebooking Worked for Us in the Elementary Years
As the boys developed in their notebooking skills, I would read aloud an entire section of material while they worked with their colored pencils, then allow them time to narrate what they’d learned in their notebooks. They each developed their own writing voice as they worked. They would read their work back to me and we’d discuss what they’d said.
In the beginning, my boys frequently asked for spelling help. I helped them when they asked, however, I rarely corrected their spelling. I did always remind them to use their best handwriting. There were days when their writing was pretty messy. However, I really believed that if they had the space to develop cognitively, the developmental practice of handwriting would follow. Switching to cursive helped their handwriting a lot, and I believe that the muscle development and memory that came from the process of handwriting also really helped. I’m glad I bit my tongue, friend.
Bible Notebooking Pages with Teens
Encourage Critical Thinking
As your teens work on Bible notebooking, encourage them to do more than just retell a Bible story. Ask them to think deeply about what the story means in the overarching themes of the Bible. They’ll want to record important ideas and arguments they’ve read in their additional research. Push them to write about how they were affected by what they read, or how they’ll change now that they know what God says about an issue.
Expect Complete Thoughts
While Bible notebooking pages can be filled out with just a sentence or two, a list, or some killer illustrations in the elementary grades, middle and high school students should be able to record complete thoughts with full sentences that make paragraphs. Encourage your teens to do everything as unto the Lord… even notetaking. Now, that doesn’t mean every page will be full. One of my boys writes tiny little letters. It does mean that your teens should do their best and be reasonably complete in their notebooking efforts.
Use the Bible Notebooking Pages for Larger Projects
Your teens can use their Bible notebooking pages for larger projects like term papers, short essays, and group projects. Their notes will help them remember what they’ve read and processed, and will also help them compile information for more complete and polished work.Your teens can use their Bible notebooking pages for larger projects like term papers, short essays, and group projects.
Bible Road Trip™ Notebooking Journals
Bible Road Trip™ is a three year Bible survey curriculum for preschool to high school. Coordinating Bible Road Trip™ Notebooking Journals are a tool that intensifies your child’s learning.
Each week of the Bible Road Trip™ Curriculum includes notebooking assignments for Lower Grammar (grades 1-3) and up. The Notebooking Journals provide a structured, beautiful way for children to create lasting notebooks about what they’ve learned each week on their journey through the Bible.
Each Structured Notebooking Journal has Room for:
- Copying the weekly memory verse
- Taking notes about each book of the Bible studied
- Several pages of notes about the weekly lessons
- A page to list prayer concerns for the country or people group studied that week.
The Notebooking Journal contains many beautiful full-color artworks from artistic masters of eras past — such as Van Gogh, Michelangelo, and Rembrandt, as well as photographs of the weekly country shared by photographers around the world via the Creative Commons license.
Out of respect for varying beliefs regarding iconography, every effort was made to select artwork that was not only modest, but also did not include representations of Christ, the Father, the Holy Spirit, angels, demons, Christophanies or Theophanies.
Leveled Learning Tools:
The structured Bible Road Trip™ Notebooking Journals are available at three levels:
- Lower Grammar (Grades 1-3)
- Upper Grammar (Grades 4-6)
- Dialectic (Grades 7-9)
- High School Students can keep their own journals, or they can use the Dialectic level.
- Each Notebooking Journal has line widths and writing space appropriate for your students in the leveled grades.
Bible Road Trip™ offers a family/household copyright. That means that you may use the curriculum you purchase or download for free to serve your entire household. You can also purchase a classroom copyright. If you have a small classroom, please contact me individually for customized pricing.
Free Bible Road Trip™ Year One Curriculum Pack
Subscribe to Thinking Kids below to receive your free Bible Road Trip™ Year One Curriculum Pack.
- The Bible Road Trip™ Parent / Teacher Guide
- The Bible Road Trip™ Suggested Schedule
- Bible Road Trip™ Year One Curriculum–The first three weeks
- Bible Road Trip™ Year One Notebooking Journals–All three levels, the first three weeks
- Bible Road Trip™ Year One Bible Memory Cards–All five levels, both ESV and KJV, the first three weeks
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