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Workshop Rotation: A New Model for Sunday School (Strategies & Resources) [Paperback]

By Melissa Armstrong-Hansche (Author) & Neil MacQueen (Author)
Our Price $ 17.00  
Retail Value $ 20.00  
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Item Number 153721  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   94
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9" Width: 6" Height: 0.21"
Weight:   0.32 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Dec 1, 2013
Publisher   Westminster John Knox Press
ISBN  0664501109  
EAN  9780664501105  

Availability  67 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 28, 2016 07:48.
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Item Description...
Churches Everywhere are flocking to the workshop rotation model of church school, which has breathed new life into sunday school programs wherever it has been tried. This book is a basic manual for this creative approach written by the educators who originated it, that provides a step by step guide through the process of setting up and conduction the rotation model in any church. The basic idea is that the church school focuses for several weeks on a single biblical story. There are a number of lab style workshops computer, film, drama, art, etc. and students rotate each week from workshop to workshop. Astounding results have been reported in churches across the country: children have more fun while learning more and retaining more about the Bible; parents become more involved as workshop leaders; Sunday school membership and attendance increase dramatically; and entire congregations are reinvigorated.

Publishers Description

The "Workshop Rotation Model" of church school has breathed new life into Sunday school programs wherever it has been tried. This book is a basic manual for this creative new approach, written by the educators who invented it, providing a step-by-step guide through the process of setting up and conducting the model in any church school.

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More About Melissa Armstrong-Hansche & Neil MacQueen

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Melissa Armstrong-Hansche is Director of Children's Ministries at the Presbyterian Church of Barrington in Barrington, Illinois.

Melissa Armstrong-Hansche has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Strategies & Resources

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Product Categories
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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Can the WoRM Add New Life to a Boring Sunday School?  Jun 5, 2000
Summary: A must-have book for all relgious education professionals or volunteer leaders. This easy-to-read and affordable book presents a creative new "from the grass-roots" model for Sunday School which is being adopted by many churches acrosst the country.

While I'm sure having Dennis Rodman show up on a Sunday morning would add some color to any Sunday School program, in this case "WoRM" refers not to the outrageous Chicago Bulls rebounder but to the "Workshop Rotation Model." When the co-authors of Workshop Rotation: a New Model for Sunday School found themselves as new colleagues on the staff of a Presbyterian church in Illinois, they realized something needed to change in the children's Sunday School. They were confronted with sagging attendance, low teacher morale, difficulty recruiting new volunteers, a budget straining to afford costly curriculum which was of limited use, and a building that looked depressing even on a bright sunny day. Many church education leaders can relate to their dilemma. Armstrong-Hansche and MacQueen's solution was to reinvent the entire structure of the program. The result was what now goes by the term of "the workshop rotation model," or more simply, "rotation." Word of the new enthusiasm for learning and burgeoning attendance at their church spread, and WoRM is now used in many churches across the country.

In WoRM, the school year is divided into six or seven "rotations" of approximately five weeks each. The age-level classrooms in the education building are transformed into "workshops." Sample workshops include drama, audiovisual, art, Bible times, computer skills. One and only one Bible story is the focus for each rotation. Each class spends one week in each workshop, rotating to a different one each week. By the end of the rotation, they have encountered and internalized the story in several different ways. Workshop leaders are recruited specifically for their skills in a particular area and are only obligated to teach for one or two rotations. They only need prepare one basic lesson plan for the five weeks, simply modifying it slightly for the different ages. Each workshop space is creatively decorated in a way that promotes its theme. Heavy wooden Sunday school furniture and bare walls disappear in lieu of canvas backdrops and art stools. Armstrong-Hansche and MacQueen freely admit that their model bears some resemblance to what has been done in limited ways for years as part of intergenerational learning events or Vacation Bible School. Their contribution was to devise a coherent way for their entire Sunday School program to function on the workshop model all year long.

After their first year using Workshop Rotation, not only had the children's enthusiasm skyrocketed, but so had their volunteers. They had people walking up to them at coffee hour asking if they couldn't please teach Sunday School! Most importantly, they found that the level of biblical literacy among the students had increased dramatically. Encountering the same story for several weeks in a row enabled students to explore it much more deeply. The variety of learning styles incorporated in the workshops ensured that each student experienced the story in multiple ways and internalized it. Even those students who only had 50% attendance due to joint custody arrangements or traveling soccer leagues were learning and wrestling with the stories.

In this short (91 pp) book, the authors outline the basic structure and advantages to the rotation model. They give enough information that you can understand their vision and begin to ponder if or how it might be helpful for your parish. More detailed resources are listed at the back of the book. One of those resources is a website,, which includes scores of free lesson ideas written by the authors and by educators in other churches which have adopted the model. The website would be a great first stop for learning more about "Rotation." Even if you are not inclined to entirely restructure your Sunday School along WoRM lines, I would encourage all parish CE Committee chairs or parish education staff to at least read this book and check out the website. The book is easy to read, and at the very least will give you some wonderful ideas for the next time you want to use "activity centers" at a parish event, although it will probably give you far more than that.


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