Are your boys listening to the lesson? Here’s some fun ways to find out!
It’s always hard to know whether boys are listening to each lesson. But there are ways to find out – that they’ll actually enjoy!
The following activities can be used to help RAs recall facts and points concerning each mission story or testimony. Leaders can choose to use one or more of these activities for RAs to recall facts that they remember about the mission story or testimony. Vary your use of these activities.
Mission Story/Testimony Game: A game that encourages the boys to recall facts or important points of the mission story or testimony. The leader prepares a list of questions from the story. The boys are divided into two groups. One member from each group is selected to answer a question. If he answers correctly, the group receives a point. If he does not answer correctly, the member from the other group is allowed to answer the question correctly to earn a point for his group. Once a boy answers a question, he sits down and another member from his group is selected to answer the next question. You can play until all questions are answered or a predetermined score is reached.
Man On The Street Interviews: A leader uses a microphone (or a pretend microphone – pen, pencil or marker) to conduct the man on the street interviews. A boy is selected by the leader to answer one or more questions concerning the story or testimony. The boy is encouraged to speak loudly into the microphone as he answers each of the questions. The leader alternates asking the question as he speaks into the microphone then holds the microphone close to the boy so that he can respond by speaking into the microphone. The leader should get down on the same level as the boy during the interview. The leader can go around the room interviewing several boys. It is o.k. to ask the same question to each boy to get their perspective of what they thought was important about the story/testimony. Start each interview like you are meeting the boy for the first time and find out information about them (their name, their age or grade, where they go to church, being an Ambassador for Christ, etc.).
Magic Power Point Presentations: The “RA remote control” (whatever you want to use as a pretend control) can be used to change slides in a magic power point presentation. The leader points the RA remote control at a blank wall or between two trees and presses the clicker to advance the slides of the imaginary power point presentation. The leader describes each image of the story with as much detail as possible. The leader can then allow the boys to operate the RA remote control and use their imaginations to share details about the mission story. 82
Prayer Planes: At the end of the mission story or testimony, give each boy a blank sheet of paper and a pencil. Ask them to reflect upon the story and write down one or more things that they could pray about: (the missionary, the people group, specific needs, etc.) Have the boys fold the sheet of paper into a paper airplane. Make arrangements with the church leadership to allow the boys to visit the sanctuary at the end of the chapter meeting to fly their airplanes. Share with the boys that God hears the prayers that they pray. (2 Chronicles 6:19-20) Allow each boy to share what they are praying for before they sail their airplane. Allow them the opportunity to reverently fly their airplane the furthest or keep it aloft for the longest period of time as they pray about what they have written down.
Listening Skills: It is a challenge to learn listening skills since it only involves one sense. Games are a great way to help the boys to develop listening skills. Think of ways that you can use games to help your boys develop listening skills. For example: prepare a list of questions from a story in the magazines. Let the boys know that you are going to read them a story and they will have to provide some information based upon questions that you are going to ask. After the story is read, place a trash can near a wall and a piece of masking tape about ten feet from the trash can. Have the boys line up behind the masking tape line. Ask the first boy the first question. If he answers the question correctly he receives one point and has an opportunity to earn some bonus points by making a basket. If he does not answer correctly in about three seconds, the buzzer from the shot clock sounds “beep” and the boy is sent to the back of the line. For bounce points, give the boy a nerf ball and allow him the opportunity to make a basket. If he shots and makes a basket, he gets one additional point. If he bounces the ball off of the wall or the floor into the basket, he gets two additional points. If he can bounce the ball off of the floor to the wall and then into the basket, he gets three additional points. Have a score keeper record each boy’s points. The player with the most points receives a prize. Another example is to prepare all questions to be answered either true (yes) or false (no). Instruct the boys to raise their hand if they believe the answer is true (yes) or keep their hand down if they believe it is false (no). Line all of the boys up along a line. Ask the questions. Each time a boy answers correctly, he can take one step forward. The first to the finish line wins. Or play an elimination game like “In the River.” Each time the answer is true (yes), they should be in the river. If the answer is false (no) they should be on the bank. Anytime the boy answers incorrectly he is eliminated. Boys that answer all of the questions correctly they are recognized as an outstanding survivor.
Video Feedback: Got a video camera and some video editing software? Video each boy as he tells what he remembers about the mission story. Put together a short video presentation of the mission story and play it for the boys at the next chapter meeting. Consider posting these video clips on a website and allow the boys to view themselves on the web. Encourage them to invite their parents and others to view these mission stories from their chapter meeting.
Cliff Hangers: Tell a series of exciting mission stories to the boys. Be sure to stop the story at a dramatic point. Invite the boys to return next week, to hear what happens in the story. Next week, ask the boys what happened in the story the previous week. Allow them time to answer, and then give them a brief recap before you continue to story. Stop the story, when you reach another dramatic moment in the story.