F.B.I. "Faithful Bible Investigators"

An After-school Bible Club | by Emmalea Butler

Our after-school Bible club consists of children (grades 3-5) with 7-10 children per team. Each "Unit" has at least one adult leader (sometimes 2) and they also have middle school and high school students to assist the adults. 

We start with a simple snack with all of the "Agents" together in their "Units" for their opening "briefing", then the 10 teams are split into 2 rotation groups. One group of 5 Units meet in the school gymnasium for our physical activities (where this game will be played) - while the 2nd group of 5 Units works together with their Team Leader on a Bible search and memory verse in the cafeteria. 

At the end of our 2 hours, we meet in the gym as a full group again for music, a simple review, a challenge for them to take home and complete for the week, then we dismiss. The main focus for our FBI theme this year is to familiarize the children with the Bible Basics. One of those basic things is finding their way around the Bible more easily. The Bible Stack-O! game is perfect to help with the game that I wrote for the Agents to learn the books of the Bible.

Object of the Game
To familiarize teams with the books of the Bible - the proper order - and their location: Old or New Testament (OT or NT ). Familiarization is through hearing, reading and saying the Bible Books.

The more the game is played, the faster and more familiar the teams will become with the books of the Bible.

This game also enhances listening skills.

Gives equal opportunity to participate in front of peers.

Encourages self-confidence.

Materials Needed
Bible Stack-O! TM game cards (1 or 2 decks*). If the second deck of cards is not available, write the names of the Bible on small individual slips of paper to be used in drawing for the responses of the team;

One small container to hold the small slips of paper (for the drawing);

1 Master list of OT Bible Books for each Team;

1 Master list of NT Bible Books for each Team;

1 Pocket Folder per Team to hold 2 Master Lists (this will be of particular help if the game will be played regularly);

1 timer (mechanical and/or a person);

1 whistle;

1 Large container with OT sign (I have folding pop-up laundry hampers found at the Dollar Tree.);

1 Large container with NT sign.

Place Bible Stack-O! cards throughout the room prior to Teams admittance to the area. Game Leader will release all of the Team members at one time to retrieve the books of the Bible. The group will have 2 minutes to collect the books of the Bible. (Blow the whistle when time is expired.) Agents are limited to retrieving no more than 2 books (The number of books per agent may be adjusted, depending on how many participants are present.) All Team members report back to their Team Leader as quickly as possible when they have found their correct number of Bible Stack-O! cards. Give 5 minutes for the Team leader to help members to determine which books are OT and which are NT. This is easy with the Stack-O cards - so have members check their books by the master list, so they become familiar to seeing, reading, saying and hearing the pronunciation of the names of the books of the Bible. Game Leader Instructs All TEAMS stand. A Member can sit only AFTER they have played all of their Bible Stack-O! cards. When all Stack-O cards have been played - all teams will be sitting. 

From the small container with the other set of Bible Stack-O cards (or Bible books individually written on slips of paper) the Game Leader will draw the first book of the Bible at random and then calls out the name of the book to all Teams. Blow the whistle to signify the timer to start (or have a person time). See how long it takes to place all of the names of the books of the Bible in the proper containers - or try to beat a preset time of 10 minutes or less. The person who has the book that the Game Leader called out, must stand up and yell, OT or NT - and then run to the corresponding sign/container as quickly as possible. The person then drops their card into the container, goes to the Game Leader and draws out the next book from the small container. When the new book has been drawn from the container, that person calls out the name for the next person to run to the OT/NT containers. Whomever has that book, must then stand up and yell OT or NT and run to trade places with Team member that called the book. This Team member then drops their Stack-O card into the corresponding container, and then draws the card/slip to be called out. Play continues like this until all the books have been deposited in the correct containers. Blow the whistle when ALL members are seated in their teams. Keep a level of excitement going by encouraging each participant with cheers and clapping.

Level 2 - (when the teams are SO fast you need a time-filler!) Once the Bible books are divided into the correct containers:
Choose 1 Team to arrange the OT Stack-O cards in correct order.
Choose 1 Team to arrange the NT Stack-O cards in correct order.
First team to arrange their cards is the winner. They must read the books aloud and in order as a team (in unison).

Individual Level Challenge
Each Team member can be given a preprinted game paper with instructions for them to cut apart and practice putting the books of the Bible in order. Team Leaders could prepare this mini-game for their members and put in small envelopes for them to take home. Instead of giving Team members a preprinted master list of the books of the Bible, instruct the Agents to use the index in their personal Bible to help them practice.

NOTE: Give Team Leaders and members the contact to the website where Bible Stack-O! cards are available, as they may want to purchase their own set!

Copyright 2006 Emmalea Butler 

Go to the Bible Stack-O! page for more ways to play your Bible cards.

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