In the previous post of “The Center Approach” series, we talked about the reasons that “Make It True” should be presented as a Large Group experience. As you transition to “Make It Stick,” you may choose to do the movement activity first as it, too, can be done well as a Large Group activity. And a movement activity can give the preschoolers a chance to move around and wiggle before breaking into their Small Groups and moving on to the centers.
The purpose of the “Make It Stick” portion of the lesson is to help your preschoolers understand and remember the lesson of the week. Every lesson will include activities that will review the memory verse and the Bible story as well as a section specifically targeting the five-year olds.
There are several reasons that the center approach is so great for “Make It Stick.” In these smaller groups, the Small Group Leader can repeat the “what you say” and Bottom Line often. It gives opportunity for them to let the children repeat those as well. Being physically closer allows children to be more engaged and less opportunity for them to have their attention wander.
This interaction gives the Small Group Leader opportunity to briefly retell the story at each activity and sometimes to have the children retell it. This gives them immediate feedback as to how well the children understood and processed the lesson of the day. By presenting these activities in centers, each stop will allow the Small Group Leader to reinforce the lesson with each child one more time. It’s the perfect opportunity to redirect or clarify any points that a child may have misunderstood.
Even the preschooler who tends to be shy or less verbal, can be engaged into the conversation when there are only three or four others interacting with them at the same time!
The Small Group Leaders will need to be very purposeful as they move the groups from center to center. It’s a very important processing time of the lesson. And it makes for a great flow into the next section, “Make It Real”!