How to create a learning unit for your Bible class

Building a Bible Learning Unit


Part 1 – Reasons for Planning a Unit 


"I love teaching my class. But there are somenights when I am desperate for ideas on what to teach the next morning.” If onlyteacher had a unit planned, she wouldn't be always trying to thinkwhat to teach next.


A learning unit (or teaching unit) is a series of related lessons or Sunday school activities that a teacher plans to use over several classes.This unit centers on a bible character, a series of related stories, or a biblical theme.


Planning a learning unit takes work and forethought, but it is well worth the effort.A teacher may want to include learning units in his/her strategy for the following reasons.


1.Planning ahead is actually easier than not planning


The teacher who uses units of learning to plan several weeks or months of lessons knows in advance what he/she needs to prepare for each week.Without a long-term plan, a teacher sometimes spends more time on Saturday night brainstorming for an appropriate topic instead of actually preparing the lesson itself.A pre-planned course of action saves the teacher the frustration of deciding what comes next.


2.Topics are varied and comprehensive


The teacher who creates a learning unit will teach a wider variety of subjects than a teacher who selects topics at random.He/she doesn’t fall into the trap of repeating a small number of favorite themes many times.Teaching “the whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27) requires a systematic plan.  While in the process of making a chart of 10 weeks of lesson plans, the teacher may notice that he/she has selected “Salvation is Free” as a theme for 6 of the 10 weeks. Although, it is true that salvationisfree and should be emphasized, the teacher may wish to cover other topics.So the planning chart helps identify redundancies or gaps over the course of a semester.Planning a learning unit is one good way to ensure that students are getting a wide scope of Biblical knowledge.


3. Learning is reinforced through review


The teacher who is teaching a unit is more likely to review previous week’s material.While referring to the theme’s timeline, map, chart or bulletin board, the teacher can easily show a logical or chronological sequence as the lessons progress.Students should anticipate what they will be learning in the coming weeks as well as remember what they covered in previous sessions.


4. Cooperation is developed between teachers


Creativity sometimes runs dry after weeks or months of teaching. spite of this burn-out phenomenon, teachers without plans may find it difficult to share a class.By creating a learning unit, two or more teachers may easily share the load of teaching and still maintain a consistent theme or approach.


Part 2 - The Elements of a Building a Bible Learning unit


Fortunately, the process of creating a learning unit is common sense: choose a biblical theme, identify its components, and select verses and activities that relate to the theme.

Two examples of units...

God is… (according to Exodus)


Suggested verse 

Story from Exodus

God is mercy

Titus 3:5

Joseph pardons his brothers.

God is knowable

Isaiah 55:6

Moses meets God at the burning bush.

God is love

Galatians 2:20

The Passover Lamb provided a way of escape.

God is unique

Isaiah 45:22

God demonstrated his superiority through the 10 plagues.

God is powerful

Exodus 14:13

God showed his power in the Red Sea escape.

God is holy

Genesis 18:25

God shows his will through the 10 commandments.

God is forgiving

Nehemiah 9:17 

God provided forgiveness of sins through the sacrifices of the tabernacle.

God is consistent

Isaiah 53:1

The people rejected the spies report about the promised land.  They were not permitted to enter in.

God is trustworthy.

John 3:14

God promised a solution for sin through a serpent of bronze.

God is all-knowing

Proverbs 15:3

Achan was discovered in his sin at Jericho.




Salvation is like…





Bible Example

The Gift of God

Salvation is a gift of God provided at no cost to us. 

Romans 6:23

Parable of the Two Debtors

A pardon

Salvation is forgiveness of Sins.

Nehemiah 9:17

Man carried by four friends.

Eternal Life

Salvation prepares a person for eternity.

John 3:16

Rich man and Lazarus

A New Birth

Salvation gives a person the ability to live in heaven as part of the family of God.

John 3:7

Nichodemus confused

The Water of Life

Salvation satisfies a spiritual thirst that no other thing in the world can provide.

Revelation 22:17

Woman at the well


Salvation cost God a great price in order to rescue a sinner.

Galatians 3:13



Salvation mends the condition of being alienated as enemies of God.

Romans 5: 10

Paul is saved


7 important Sunday school lessons for teens
1.    Daniel -  The simple diet decisions of a young man helped him become the greatest of the prophets.
2.    Joseph – Who maintained sexual purity out of respect for God and became the ruler of an empire.
3.    Mary – A young maiden was going about her own business when God noticed her and chose her for a miraculous task.
4.    Absalom – An anxious young man takes "reform" to the level of rebellion and pays for his mistake with his life.
5.    Ruth – A young woman learns to trust God even in matters of romance.
6.    Timothy – Paul writes an inspiring letter to a young man who needs to be inspired to fan the flame of his God-given gifts.
7.    Samuel – A young boy survives the evil influences of the older guys to become so respected that “none of his words fell to the ground”.


More Examples of Learning Units for Sunday School

Animals of the Bible– Noah, Balaam, Jonah, Elijah etc.

Parables of Jesus–, Fisher, Lost Son, Vineyard Tenants, Two Builders etc.

Stories from the exile– Daniel’s lions, Fiery Furnace, Jerusalem’s Wall, Dreamsthe Future etc.

Heaven– Its requirements, features, inhabitants, location, duration, construction etc.

Seven people from John’s gospel who were saved

The top 10 villains of scripture

TheHebrews 11Hall of Fame

Jerusalem, the key city of the Bible In Abraham’s Day, David’s Kingdom,the Temple, Calvary - the cross outside the city wall, Historical Battles, Jerusalem in Prophecy

Journeys of Paul

Examining the Lord’s Suffering– the supper, prayer, betrayal, the trials, the people at the cross, resurrection, propitiation, the Psalms of suffering

How we got our Bible– inspiration, prophecy, early forms of writing, preservation of the scripture, the reformation in Europe, translation

The Family Tree– Stories from Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph

Missionaries of the Bible– Jonah, Stephen, Paul, Peter, Two Witnesses, 70 disciples, the Great Commission

Walk through Romans –Chapters 1 to 6 and the doctrines of the gospel

Exploring the Gospels –The authors, synoptic parallel studies, their audience etc.


New Testament books with only one chapter


Part 3 – Put it on the wall


To give your unit a “Title Page”, create something large for your classroom wall that tells students and visitors to your room what the current theme is.In addition to announcing a subject a bulletin board should be a teaching aid used in the lesson such as a map of the places you are talking about, or a timeline of the stories, a family tree of all the characters in your lessons or simply a picture of each lesson. 


At the very least, copy your lesson chart on the white board or a poster to let the students know what you have taught and where you are taking them.




Learning units are standard procedure in most educational settings, but in the case of Sunday school or youth group Bible class the planning approach is sometimes done randomly.By creating (or borrowing) a unit of related lessons, your students will benefit from better planning and you, as a teacher, will avoid the frustration of dreaming up what you might teach tomorrow.