I’m a fan of active learning in the classroom, and as I teach my LIFE Group each week, I have a “secret weapon” ready to use at a moment’s notice. What do you think it is? I’ll give you a hint: it’s inexpensive, available at any office supply store, super flat, portable, lightweight, and it appeals to visual, relational, physical, reflective, verbal, and logical learners. Give up?
If you lead a Bible study group, make a small financial investment in a pad of Post-It wall-size notes. There are many great benefits of using a wall-size Post-It pad in the place you teach, whether it’s on a church campus or in your living room:
- Create community. Divide your group into smaller groups of 3-4 people and give each group a sheet of Post-It paper. By asking them to record thoughts or respond to an assignment you give them using the wall-size Post-It, you help people build community as they talk, discuss, share, and complete the exercise.
- Generate discussion. Very close to #1 above are the conversations that will take place in smaller sub-groups. People need a chance to talk, because many of us process our thoughts as we talk. Using a wall-size Post-It to generate discussion is smart teaching on your part.
- Initiate active learning. Using giant Post-It notes also helps appeal to several kinds of learners (visual, reflective, physical, relational, logical, and verbal). It’s hard to believe, but one Post-It can appeal to 6 different kinds of learners…that’s 6 of 7 kinds of learners with one simple tool!
- Change of scenery. As you break up your group members into smaller sub-groups, give each group a sheet of Post-It paper and send them to different locations to work on their assignment. A change of venue can be exciting, fun, and stimulating. If you’re on a church campus and there are empty classrooms close to yours, send a few groups down the hall, then call for them to reconnect in your room at a designated time. If you meet in a home, send some people to the dining room, game room, or home office to work on their assignments.
- Create an affordable “white board” where none exists. If you are in a home environment for Bible study, it’s great to create a disposable “white board” – and Post-Its help you do just that. The paper won’t bleed through, and a living room-based study group can have something that is visually interesting on which to record thoughts, outline a Bible passage, and more.
I wouldn’t be caught dead without my trusty pad of giant wall-size Post-It notes. I’ve always got a pad in the corner of my classroom. By making this small investment, I can engage people in active study and appeal to six of the seven kinds of learners. Not bad for a sticky sheet of paper!