Near the end of 2011, I was blessed to discover Grapevine Bible Studies: Stick Figuring Through the Bible. I had been looking for a way to teach the Bible to my children (ages 2 and 4) that would be factual but also hold their attention, and when I saw that the Grapevine Bible Studies had you drawing along (aka “stick figuring”) with the lessons, I thought it was a great idea and worth a try!
We started out by completing the Creation lessons out of the Beginner Old Testament Part 1 last fall, and over the month of December we completed most of the Beginner Birth of Jesus lessons.
While even the Beginner lessons are listed for ages 5-7, I found that with help and occasionally modifying as needed (we break most single lessons into two lessons to fit their shorter attention spans), my children could do the lessons AND they were learning a lot. I was really surprised at just how much they were learning! I also liked the fact that there was virtually no prep needed outside of having the basic materials ready — teacher’s manual, student pages, markers, colored pencils, and a Bible. The lessons are really laid out well, and it’s easy to know exactly what to do. I was also really impressed with Dianna from Grapevine, and how responsive she was to my questions via email and the Grapevine Facebook page.
Overall I was very impressed with the company and with the Bible Study materials. So, when an opportunity to join the Grapevine Blog Team opened up, I jumped at the chance to be able to review more of their materials AND share them with YOU! I really can’t recommend them enough!
Recommended for ages 7 and up
Book description from the Grapevine website:
Walk with Joseph as he goes from a prince in Canaan to slavery in Egypt and then to the courts of Pharaoh. Your students will enjoy this engaging Bible study!
Follow Joseph as he travels from the tents of Jacob to the house of Potiphar and eventually becomes second in command to Pharaoh. Watch to see how Joseph reacts to slavery and false accusations. See how God uses difficult circumstances in Joseph’s life to prepare him to save thousands of people, including those who mistreated him. Joseph’s story is one of betrayal, forgiveness, and restoration. Take a look at this fascinating Bible story today!
This is the first book we’ve done that wasn’t the “Beginner” (ages 5-7) level, but rather listed as “Multi-level” (ages 7 and up). One of the biggest differences I noticed was that the Multi-level book begins with a timeline which is an overview of all the lessons; in this case, the timeline is of Joseph’s life from birth until his death. For the timeline lesson, you basically draw all the stick figures you’ll draw in all the lessons combined on a timeline and learn very basic information about each drawing. Then, in the future lessons, you’ll draw the same drawings again and talk about each in richer detail, while also reading the accompanying Bible verses.
While I really liked the timeline, it did take us 3 separate lessons to complete all the drawings. L&L were able to do about 6-9 drawings at a time before they needed a break, and there were 23 drawings included in the timeline of Joseph’s life. We typically do 1-3 Grapevine lessons per week as a family, in the evenings when DH is home from work, so this particular timeline was completed over a 2 week period.
|Our completed timeline of Joseph’s life|
Basically the “teacher” draws the stick figure from the teacher’s manual up on the board, and then the student copies the drawing onto their student page.
Luke drew all his own drawings, with only occasional help.
Lilah helped draw her stick figures, occasionally attempted them on her own, or watched as we drew them in front of her.
We did lots of reviewing of the stick figures over the 3 lessons, and by the end, L&L were able to tell the story of Joseph’s life from beginning to end by themselves.
Even though we’ve only completed the timeline so far, I am really impressed with the amount of information L&L have learned about Joseph’s life, and for their ages, I think perhaps just the timeline overview alone is “enough” at this point. I plan to go back and review the timeline with them from time to time — it really is amazing how they can look at their own drawings and tell you all about them — and then we can always go more in-depth with the individual lessons as they are ready for them.
Here are the student pages that go with the first lesson after the timeline to give you an idea of what they look like:
And here is an example to show what was drawn as the model, and what L&L drew on their student pages:
|Model on the cork board|
|Luke’s page in his binder|
|Lilah’s page in her binder|
General Grapevine Bible Study Tips and Tricks:
- In the past, we did our drawing on a whiteboard downstairs, but have since moved to a cozier nook upstairs where there is no whiteboard. Instead, there is a cork board there, so we just printed the timeline pages, pinned them to the cork board, and drew the stick figures on with markers. It worked well, and is a good alternative if you don’t have a whiteboard!
- Because L&L are young and need lots of help with the drawings, DH and I take turns leading the lesson, while the other devotes most of their attention to the youngest child. Then we both help the oldest as needed, though he doesn’t need much help usually. So if your children are young and you have the option of having two adults present, it really is helpful for one to be in charge of teaching the lesson and the other to be in charge of helping the children with their drawings so they don’t become frustrated. I’m sure one could do it alone, but two has proven to be much more helpful in our own situation. I also like the fact this truly makes it a FAMILY Bible study.
- I prefer the eBook format for the books, though you can buy the actual books if you prefer. I like that I can download the books and they are ready for me to use right away. We usually pull up the teacher file (PDF) on the laptop to look at during the lesson (doesn’t waste any paper or ink this way!), and print out the student sheets which we put into a binder for the kids.
- We have found that sitting on the floor and letting the kids use their lap desks (around $5-6/each from Michael’s craft store works well).
- The person teaching the lesson needs markers in 8 colors and the kids need colored pencils in 8 colors. We put these supplies into (recycled) cups that we keep handy just for these lessons.
- If your children are young, there are some sample lessons on the website you can try first to see if they’d be a good fit for you. I suggest starting with the Beginner lessons, or if you have a range of ages, the Multi-Level lessons.
Dianna at Grapevine has graciously allowed me the chance to share with you a discount code that will give you 20% off any item not already discounted in the Grapevine store! The coupon code is Joe44 to be used at checkout.
Multi-Level Joseph Teacher & Student eBook Giveaway:
I am also excited to announce that Dianna is allowing me to host a giveaway for Multi-level Joseph teacher and student eBook downloads to one lucky reader! The giveaway will begin today and run for 2 weeks. The winner will be chosen randomly via Rafflecopter within 48 hours of the end of the giveaway. The winner will be posted here and contacted via email. Please add inlieuofpreschool (at) gmail (dot) com to your email contacts so that if you win, my email will not go into your spam folder!
The only mandatory entry is an “Easy Entry” — just click enter! If you have time, there are lots of ways to earn extra entries…some of which you can come back and do daily! Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclosure: The book reviewed in this post was given to me for free by the author. I only accept and review products on my blog that interest me, my family, and that I think would truly interest and benefit you, my readers. All posts on this blog reflect my personal opinions and are not swayed by compensation and/or free products.
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