Bible Teaching Methods: Methodology for Sunday School & Other Bible Teachers

This Month's Bible Teaching Method:


Fingers and hands are used to act out a truth or story.

In Choosing Teaching Methodology consider your group factors:

Click on a factor or scroll down.

Teacher Training Worksheet Based on These Group Factors:
Tips for Choosing & Using Methods

Group size
This method can be done one-on-one or with a group of any size.

Resources needed
No materials are needed other than God-given fingers and hands.

Objective targeted
Fingerplays may help reinforce Bible truth and doctrine. They may be a good tool to increase memorization of a Bible verse or song. Telling a story with fingerplays helps make the acquisition of knowledge fun.

Use modeled
Fingerplays have been a common practice with young children through nursery rhymes such as "Pat-a-cake."

Proximity of others
As children get excited they may get noisier but using fingerplays shouldn't be too disruptive for nearby classes. If accompanied by singing, the volume will get louder.

Finances needed
No costs are involved in the use of this method unless you wish to purchase a book for yourself with ideas for fingerplays. Click below for some books: (Links go to one of our affiliate stores.)

Age level
Fingerplays are best used with babies, toddlers, and preschoolers who love and need repetition and movement. They can, however, be used effectively on occasion with older ages including adults. You can use this method frequently with young children.

This method is expressional though usually rote.

Time required
The greatest amount of time will be needed to help students learn the fingerplays. Actual use will tend to be short, particularly with younger children, due to their limited attention spans. You can, however, come back to the same fingerplay often with young children.

Openness of group
Young children find fingerplays to be very enjoyable. Older students may initially be skeptical but once they get going, usually enjoy an opportunity to get involved through movement and rhythm.

Room size
This method can be done right where students are and requires no extra space as they are only moving their fingers and hands.

Skills needed

Do's and Don'ts for Using Fingerplays

  • Do discern the biblical or doctrinal soundness of the fingerplay and do not merely choose it because it is "cute" or fun.
  • Don't get so caught up in the motions that you forget the big picture meaning behind it.
    • Start with an understanding of the big picture.
    • Then focus in on learning the smallest amount you can without losing meaning.
    • Develop the relationship between what comes before and what comes after each section.
  • Do allow older children to make up their own fingerplays for a Bible verse, song, or story which will help them to think through the content.
  • Don't use fingerplays merely as time-fillers but rather to fit a purpose. Choose fingerplays that correlate with the lesson theme and hence reinforce or advance students' learning.
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Add more variety and skill to your teaching! This resource includes helps and resources for 57 different Bible teaching methods.

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(Last updated 11/01/18)