Imagine being able to spend several sequential weeks in Sunday school, studying the same Bible story, each week focusing on a different (and fun) way of learning that story?

The repetition cements actual learning and lets your child dive in deeper!

And why shouldn’t it be that way? Having to prepare a creative lesson each week for a new Bible passage can be exhausting for volunteer teachers! And what if your child missed the week that taught that important concept? Horrors!

Enter, the Workshop Rotation Model™ of Sunday school.

Photography workshop in progress
Photography workshop on Jesus in the Temple as a child.
Kids pose for photos that tell the story.

What is the Workshop Rotation Model?

In a nutshell: Teach major Bible stories and concepts through kid-friendly multimedia “workshops” such as Art, Cooking, Drama, Games, Puppets, Video, Photography, and Science. Kids don’t get bored because each workshop uses a different style of learning. Teach the same Bible story in all of the workshops over the course of three, four or five weeks, rotating the kids to a different workshop each week.

A cooking workshop in progress
Making barley biscuits for the story of Ruth
The same Bible story?

Yep, the same Bible story. You’ll hear us call each Bible story a “Rotation.” (It is, after all, the Workshop Rotation Model). Spending several weeks on the same story is repetition that kids need; they have a chance to develop a lasting memory of the story. And, once they’ve got the story down pat, they can work on developing a true understanding of its content and apply it to their lives.

For example: in our Rotation on the story of Joseph in Egypt

  • By week three the kids know the story details, so we can dig into questions such as: How did Joseph manage to endure so many troubles? (Betrayed by his brothers, separated from his family, then he went to jail…) Yet Joseph didn’t seem to loose faith in God? How do I react when I face difficult times? I wonder, how can I be like Joseph?
  • Then by week four, we’re saying: Look at what Pharaoh said about Joseph after Joseph had told Pharaoh what his dreams meant and what he should do: “Can we find anyone else like this man so obviously filled with the spirit of God?” (Genesis 41:38) What would it take for someone to say that about me? How can I make the right choice to become such a person? (Digging a little bit deeper than just about a boy with a fancy coat and jealous brothers!)
Puppets are used to tell a story.
Easy to operate puppets are used to re-tell a story.
Why rotate to a different classroom

Each week classes rotate into a new and unique workshop, however, teachers stay-put in the workshop of their strength and their liking! By repeating their lesson each week to a new group, they can adapt and improve their lesson during the “Rotation.” The Art Workshop can store all of the art supplies. The video equipment can be parked in the Video Workshop. Game supplies are in the Games Workshop. Are you seeing the multiple advantages?

The story of Ruth: Preschoolers make wheat creations
A preschooler creates with wheat, for the story of Ruth
Who (what ages) can do this?

In most churches, Kindergarten through fifth or sixth grades physically move (rotate!) to a different workshop each week. Preschoolers can also participate, maybe not moving around, but having the workshops come to them. And perhaps your older students will want to continue using the Rotation Model.

Real fish are used to create 'fish prints'
Real fish (no longer living of course) are used to create fish prints for the story of the Feeding of the 5000+.

The logo for the website Rotation.orgLearn more about the Workshop Rotation Model at

I hang out at the site as “CreativeCarol.” There are lots of free lesson plans to teach using the Rotation Model or use them for traditional Sunday school. Be sure to check out the extra value in signing up as a Supporting Member.


Photo credits…
Copyright photos are from my archives.

3 thoughts on “What happens when your programming looks innovative?

  1. Oh! I just commented on your other post and then followed this link, and it turns out you are a member of the church in which I was baptized! We moved away from Ann Arbor when I was 2, and the Methodists in the South were different, so my parents became Unitarians…. I went back to visit Ann Arbor and FUMC as an adult and kind of wish I’d been raised there. This program sounds great!

    1. ‘Becca: What a small world! Does the church you attend use the Rotation Model for teaching Sunday’s school? (Point them in the direction of if they aren’t.) It is a great program! The kids really learn about the Bible.

Join the discussion!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s