CBA students love to talk about chapel.
At CBA, we want to make sure that our children can connect to Bible stories at their level. During Early Childhoold chapel, students get to move and sing joyously, and teachers have objects, pictures, and people portraying the story–anything that can communicate the story in a memorable way. This makes Bible lessons simpler to grasp. See videos and photos below of how our Time Machine has brought Moses, who bears a striking resemblance to Mr. Johnson, Joshua and Caleb (among others) to visit the 3-5 yo chapel, held in the Sanctuary once a week. Occasionally, our kindergarteners help us act out the stories in chapel. You can watch videos of the 20 mo class and the 2-year-olds listening to the story of Moses, “the Baby in the Basket,” and singing together in the 2 yo classroom, which is a more intimate setting for our youngest ones.
In Early Childhood, we go through the main stories of the Bible in 4 years, and then we begin again. If a child has a fantastic memory (which has happened with some of our kids!) and he or she remembers some of the stories in their 2 yo class, he or she will get new stories in the 3s, 4s, and 5s. This year we are back to Bible Year 1. This is why you may be hearing a lot about the stories of the patriarchs, and now the stories of Moses and Joshua. Some stories, like those special celebrations in the Christian calendar such as Christmas and Holy Week, are repeated every year. We present all Bible stories at age-appropriate levels.
We use the Bible and the Gospel Project as guides. When it comes to the Scriptures, we follow the advice of Wycliffe Bible Translators and Bible Society (two Christian organizations that have been around for almost 100 years), which recommend presenting the Bible in the language most familiar to the audience, which is why Chapel is mostly in English. However, the stories are also presented in the classrooms in Spanish using Google Slides, which can be printed and read as books or can be presented on-screen. These are the only times in class when teachers show a brief video in English. This helps ensure that the children will absorb the more sophisticated ideas and vocabulary that are used in Bible stories. You can see an example here. The translation for most of this presentation is here. Most of these presentations have been written by Maestra Margarita or other members of our staff. They make sure that the language is as simple as possible and also, that it uses cognates (words that sound alike and mean the same thing in both languages). This ensures that our children are understanding the story even better in Spanish. Unfortunately, many books in Spanish tend to have a vocabulary that a non-native speaker might not frequently come across.
Our rules for videos in EC, by the way, are as follows:
-Videos must aid in the learning of concepts or vocabulary
-Max video length is 5 minutes, and only up to 7 minutes of videos during circle time
-Teachers are encouraged to discontinue using song videos once the children have learned the song; in other words, when they get to the point where the class can sing the video a capella or with instruments
Here is a list of the songs that we have sung in chapel so far this year.