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Incorporating the Bible into Language Arts Curriculum

For our Christian homeschoolers, incorporating the Bible into curriculum is often very important.  Apart from moral and spiritual guidance, the Bible is a great piece of literature from which one can make many great comprehension, spelling, and other language arts exercises.  Here, we have compiled some of the ways that you could use the Bible in your language arts curriculum, incorporating the philosophies of AVKO. 

For many of the following lesson ideas, Bible Gateway is a great online resource as a concordance and host of several full translations of the Bible.

Reading for Comprehension:
(See also: Readings for Comprehension, Proverbs Exercises)

  • Lesson: Parallel Translations
    • How: Take a verse or passage and read it in two or more translations (King James, New King James, New International Version, etc.).  Focus on synonyms and how subtle or drastic the change in meaning can be.  This is especially striking if you use more than two versions of each passage.
    • Teaches: This will teach synonyms and vocabulary as well as reinforcing the idea of proper word choice to get across an intended meaning.
  • Lesson: Parables
    • How: Read the various parables of the Gospels one at a time and analyze them for the literal and figurative meanings. 
    • Teaches: This will reinforce the idea of multiple layers of meaning -- that which is said and that which is referred or alluded to.  These stories are great for assessing the level of comprehension that your students have achieved in what they are reading. 
  • Lesson: Proverbs
    • How: Read a proverb and analyze what it means.  Or, write a paragraph about how it applies to (your) life.  E.g. Proverbs 26:23 (NIV): "Like a coating of glaze over earthenware are fervent lips with an evil heart" or Proverbs 27:14 (NIV): "If a man loudly blesses his neighbor early in the morning, it will be taken as a curse."
    • Resource: Top Verses website has top proverbs with multiple translations at the click of a mouse.
    • Teaches: Reinforces literal versus figurative meaning as well as teaching metaphor and simile.
  • Lesson: Word Search
    • How: Search the Word for words in the day's word family being studied.  Use a concordance to look up the day's words and see how it is used in context.  These could be used as the sentence context for when the words are given in the spelling tests for those mentioned in the Bible.
    • Teaches: Reinforces vocabulary by giving a naturalistic context(s) for the words. 
  • Lesson: Dictation
    • How: Dictate the chosen verse or passage and have your student write it out or type it.  You could choose to do a passage that has a word from the word family you are working on (see "Word Search" above) and have it be the main focus of the sentence, or focus on the entire sentence.
    • Teaches: Reinforces the word family's spelling; reinforces the translation of spoken English to written English; reinforces punctuation rules as the punctuation will have to be inferred and placed correctly.

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