Friday, February 12, 2010

Make a Joyful Noise!

Young children learn best through interactive play. As a resource to teachers and parents, Make a Joyful Noise! offers ideas for Music, Movement, and Creative Play to Teach Bible Stories. Written by Kathy Wolf and Heather P. Robbins, it coordinates songs, action poems, movement activities and creative dramatics with Bible lessons.

The beginning of the book provides tips for teachers and parents and a list of key traits by ages (3-, 4-, and 5-year-olds). The stories covered are:
  • Creation
  • Noah
  • Joseph
  • Moses (as a baby, as a leader, and then collecting the Ten Commandments)
  • Joshua and Jericho
  • David and Goliath
  • Daniel in the Lions' Den
  • Esther
  • Jonah
  • Jesus' birth (This unit includes separate sections for Mary's journey, the Nativity, the shepherds and the wise men.)
  • Jesus lost in the temple
  • Jesus' Baptism
  • Fishing on the Sea of Galilee
  • Feeding the Crowd
  • Parables of Jesus (How Big Is a Mustard Seed?; The Good Samaritan; Build Your House Upon a Rock; Saving the Lost Sheep)
  • Let the Little children Come to Me
  • Zacchaeus
  • Jesus Enters Jerusalem (Palm Sunday)
  • Peter Denies Jesus
  • Jesus Is Risen!
Each unit (2-5 pages) includes Bible references, a summary of the story and several interactive ideas. Illustrations by Annie Galvin Teich fill the pages with color. The simple drawings feature happy children of diverse ethnic backgrounds. Some offer visual guidance for movements or sign language.

Several bonus songs are included at the back of the book after the last unit.

What I Like: This book is very attractive, much more on the inside than one might think judging by the cover, and it's provides many great ideas! I like that most of the songs are to familiar tunes. Those that aren't familiar are available on the companion CD (sold separately). I like that more than one idea is offered for every story and that the templates and patterns are included in the back of the book.

What I Dislike: While the subtitle says this book will "teach Bible stories" it actually offers very little teaching from the Bible. For example, the authors tell the story of Noah in one short paragraph, but then fill six pages with songs and activities. This book offers excellent illustrative activities, but little Biblical training. Parents and teachers will need additional sources that focus on the actual Bible stories.

Also, for this price, some of the ideas are very simplistic. For example, one idea is to "put on nautical music and have children swim like fish in the sea." I wonder what teachers couldn't have thought of that without paying $22 for a book. While you don't really need the CD, I could justify the price better if it were included.

Overall Rating: Good.

Age Appeal: 3-8 (Preschool - Grade 1)

Publisher Info: New Day Publishing, 2007; ISBN: 0978905687; Paperback; $21.99

Buy it Now at for $14.99!

OR Buy it at for $21.99.

You can purchase the companion CD from for $9.99 or from for $12.99.

Special Info: Parents should note that Jesus is pictured in several illustrations. Also, the page on Jesus' baptism includes immersion, but focuses more on infant baptism. It encourages children to discuss what happens when a baby is baptized: "What did the baby wear? Who held the baby? How did the baby become a member of the church family? What sign was made on the child's head with holy water?"

Bookmark and Share

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You might need to look at the cover page of the book again. The illustration was not by Annie Teich but by Jennifer Tipton Cappoen.

Annie and Kathy are the publishers of the book. Also Kathy as wekk as Heather are the writers.

thank you,