(Disclosure: I received a free copy of the teacher and student handbooks for the Birth of Jesus Traceables study from Grapevine Studies in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own. Affiliate links are present. Thank you for supporting this site!)
If you haven’t heard of them yet, Grapevines Studies aims to provide Scripture-focused Bible study combined with the tactile component of drawing stick figures to aid in memorization and understanding.
Grapevine recently began offering “Traceables” versions of many of their studies so the younger crowd can join in!
I had the opportunity to review their New Testament overview study last September, and my son still loves to look at his pages from that study.
Grapevine Study Format
Within their numerous studies, each study focuses on a time period, a section of the Bible, or a person. Each lesson of the Beginner and Traceable levels looks at three or four small sections of Scripture (usually 2-4 verses each section) with a stick figure drawing to illustrate each one. The lessons then end with 4-6 review questions and a memory verse.
The “Birth of Jesus” study includes 7 lessons, plus a final review section. The Traceables studies are aimed for ages 3-5. They can be completed on their own, or your preschooler can join with older siblings and trace while they draw.
Like I explained last time, we read from one of the children’s Bibles each day, and we aim for two (or at least one) Grapevine lessons each week. We review the lessons in between (and also because my son asks to look at them!), which helps my son with special needs, who particularly loves to reread and review materials.
How We Modify Grapevine Studies to Accommodate Special Needs
In my last review, I explain in detail how we modify the review questions and memory verses since my son has a severe expressive speech delay (among various other special needs). In that post, I also explain how I scaffold my help for the fine motor aspects of tracing and how we used some of the materials to create sequencing cards. Be sure to read that post if any of those suggestions would help you!
We still use those modifications when talking over the stories and characters. (My son is particularly fond of the “angel,” “Mary,” and “baby Jesus.”)
Stick Figure Stick Puppets!
I printed the images from the teacher’s handbook, and cut out each scene/character. I then taped each one on a wooden popsicle/craft stick and wrote “Lesson 1–1” for the first image, “Lesson 1-2” for the second image, etc. on the back of each craft stick so I could easily distinguish the correct order.
When we sat down for a lesson, we read the Bible verse(s) first, traced the image, then I pulled out the appropriate stick puppets. I modeled and helped my son pretend to play out each character and event. Since my son can’t talk clearly, he couldn’t repeat the main “dialogue,” but he did babble while he moved the characters around. He faced them to talk to each other, pointed them at their counterparts on the paper, and turned to show them to his sister, too.
We can also practice sequencing skills with these stick puppets. Most of the time, I give him clues to find the appropriate scene and he places each stick in the right order. In essence, it becomes a listening game and review activity combined.
We’ll keep using these stick puppets to help with both pretend play skills and reviewing the Bible study material itself! (I suggest laminating the paper before you tape it to the craft sticks for better durability, if you can.)
I wish I could figure out how to help him really understand what he’s reading, but that will hopefully come later. For now, he’s learning the characters, some of the events, and that God loves. Plus, he gets excited when I pull the Grapevine papers off the shelf. That’s a big bonus!
A Grapevine Giveaway!
Grapevine Studies is offering one copy of the Birth of Jesus Traceables (for ages 3-5) student handbook and teacher handbook to one of you! Enter this giveaway through the Rafflecopter widget below.
Terms of giveaway: This giveaway is open to US residents only and will end at the end of the day (EDT) November 18, 2013. All entrants must be 18 years old or older. Enter through the Rafflecopter widget above. Incomplete entries will be deleted. Once a winner is selected, I will contact them via email. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, I will select another winner.
Don’t want to wait until the giveaway is over to purchase a study? Grapevine is offering a coupon code valid through November! Enter the code “NovNews” at checkout for15% off any item not already on sale. Click here to visit the Grapevine Studies store.
What are you and your family currently studying in the Bible? Which Grapevine course looks most useful to you right now? Have you used the Traceables with your preschooler(s) yet?
This post is also linked up with The Homeschool Village’s Ultimate Homeschool Link-Up, Homeschool Creation’s Preschool and Kindergarten Corner, Tuesday Tots, Toddler and Preschool Moms Pinning Party, the Weekly Kids Co-op, Show and Share Saturday, and Free Homeschool Deals’ Ultimate Pinterest Party.