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The Importance of Good Reviews

Raised-handAll too often instructors (myself included) say something like, “Okay, before we get started on our material today, I want to do a quick review.” The instructor then proceeds to lecture, talking faster than the listeners are able to follow. That often ends up giving the impression that the review really isn’t that important—that it’s throwaway material.

If you want to refine your review of the previous lesson, why not incorporate a learning activity? 

Here are some examples:

Last week we studied Colossians 1:1-14. Reread those verses and write two questions: one about the background of Colossians and the other about the basic content of the first 14 verses. Then we’ll see how well our councilmen can answer your questions!

Here is an example of a review I used to reintroduce a lesson we didn’t finish in the previous class:

Read Isaiah 9:1–10:4 on your own. Write down two ways God confronts his people and two ways he comforts them.

Using fill-in-the-blank questions is another way to conduct an active review:

To review what we learned in our last class (Daniel 9:1-24), fill in the blanks below. Daniel 9 takes place during the first year of King Darius (Cyrus?). Daniel had probably just survived the ____________________________ and was about ______ years old.

After reading from the prophet ________________, Daniel realized that ________________________ was about to end.

(Since we had already gone over these points several times in the course of our Daniel Bible study, I was confident that the students would be able to fill in most of the blanks on their own.)

If the review is done well, it helps class members grasp the meaning of what was taught during the previous session—and remember it. Those are important goals for our Bible studies.

Thanks for following this latest series in Teach the Word. Some are especially gifted at incorporating the kinds of techniques I’ve advocated in this series. But for most of us, it takes a lot of work to write a good Bible study. Perhaps we could share ideas and studies that could at least serve as starting points for our individual Bible study crafting. Shoot me an email and I’d be happy to share—and happy to receive—the Bible studies you have worked hard to craft!

Daniel Habben