Educational Tools for the Lesson Time

In considering the educational points of the lesson half hour, something depends on the tools with which one works, as well as the way in which he works.

1.  The Use of Bibles

The use of Bibles in the class is of first importance, whether used with or without the "helps" from the teacher's manual.  The lesson papers may be available, but their proper work comes before the class time, not during it.  There is a unique value in having the Bible in the hands of the students, and in training them familiar use of it.  Verse by verse the lesson should be read deliberately by students designated, and every effort made to give impressiveness to it as the Word of God.

2.  Fixing Attention

This comes with practice, and must be had at any cost, as nothing can be learned without it.  Remember, however, that the restless activity of the youthful mind is encouragement to seize upon and turn it to good account.  The teacher must learn to "catch the eye" of the mind, and to watch for signs of flagging interest.

3.  Self Help

This is the stumbling block to many teachers, whose mistaken kindness would carry the burden of thinking upon themselves rather than lay it upon the children.  It is a kindness to the student to let him do the thinking to the limit of his ability.  Let the facts of the lesson be brought out from the Bible, and then give time to the class to think out right conclusions, helping only after they have helped themselves.

4.  The Text of the Lesson

The teacher's first duty to the Bible is to make plain the text of the lesson, to get at the meaning of its words, to turn it into the student's way of speech.  The best way to do this is to carefully note beforehand each word and expression out of the range of the student, and to begin the lesson by clearing up these textual difficulties.  Doing this constantly will beget a habit on the part of the class of thinking over the matter read, which is a fine educational gain.

5.  Repeating the Truth

In every lesson there are a few great truths which should be framed by the teacher in advance in the simplest and fewest words, and then drilled upon over and over by repetition, first by the individual student, then by the entire class.  Nothing will fix in mind and heart the salient thought of the lesson, and at the same time hold the attention at work, like this going over the chief points of the lesson.  But they must be first clearly stated by the teacher.

6.  Something for Each

The most common blunder of the lesson time is allowing part of the class to do the work of thinking and learning, and failing to lay upon every student some share of the work proportioned to his ability.  The child who is given a part will respond by taking part, and will be spurred on to take larger part and to do better work.  Don't neglect to draw out the quieter or more reserved students and make them do their share of the work. (1)