How to (still be able to use) Play & Learn Children's Bible CD
in a Windows 7-only Lab

 
a lesson tip from Neil @ Sunday Software

This page also has a Jesus Stills the Storm Lesson Plan for Play & Learn and Kid Pix CDs

You may have come to this page looking for my Kid Pix & Play & Learn lesson plan, if so, scroll down.

Or, you may have come to this page because you have a Windows 7 installed computer and wish that Play & Learn Children's Bible CD would work on it!  Unfortunately, Play & Learn doesn't work on W7

There are no great alternatives to Play & Learn CD when it comes to scope and quality for preschoolers and non-readers. (Charlie Church Mouse preschool CD has only 6 stories).

What's a teacher to do?

The solution is actually an "old computer lab trick" learned from the days when many computer labs had little software to choose from and too few computers (or when one of our computers didn't work!).  Instead of deploying the CD to all your computers (which you can't do because it won't run on Windows 7), you simply gather all the preschoolers around ONE screen on an older PC, and run Play & Learn Children's Bible CD --as if you were reading a book and showing the pictures to the class. Your big monitor can easily be plugged into an older borrowed/brought-in laptop, or hooked up to an LCD projector.

This kind of "gather around" group participation is very familiar to Preschooler-K/1. They won't balk at it like older kids might. See my lesson example below for doing this, and then following up the "story time" with a Kid Pix drawing project.

Following the "showing of the story", the lesson plan below has the kids discussing and illustrating a scene in the story.

Of Course... this approach requires that you have at least ONE Windows 98/Me/Vista desktop or laptop. A nice big monitor is great for this, but it works EVEN BETTER if you have an LCD projector plugged in to that computer --so the story appears 5 feet high on the wall.  When it comes to visuals, bigger is usually better.

For more of my teaching tips about STRETCHING your Older Kids Software "DOWN" to Younger Kids, go to www.sundaysoftware.com/adapting-down.htm.  Many of us have long used our older kids software with our younger children, just gotta help them through it.
 

REALITY CHECK:

The number of older desktops and laptops available to the average church are TOO NUMEROUS to require an argument. Frankly, if you can't find an older computer to run a program like Play & Learn for your preschoolers, you're not trying very hard. In fact, I'd venture to say that half the people reading this article have just such a computer to donate because they don't use it anymore. And indeed, MANY of our customers have older computers they hold onto, even as they have upgraded the majority of their equipment to Windows 7.

Adding an LCD projector to the equation might also seem EXTRAVAGANT, --if this were not 2011.  LCD projectors are the equivalent of the old film projectors every church used to own, so I will not argue the necessity of a projector in the modern church either!  LCD projectors are now also quite a lot cheaper than the old film projectors were. Back in the 1970's, a film projector cost over $500. Today, 40 years later, a MODEST LCD projector can be purchased for under $300.

Indeed, many members own them for projecting movies at home, or their businesses own them and can loan them.

Now on with the lesson plan concept!

A lesson plan for Play & Learn Children's Bible and Kid Pix

This concept works well with any story and group of non-readers.

"Jesus Stops the Storm" is the story on Play and Learn CD in this example lesson.

"Jesus Stops the Storm" is the story on Play and Learn CD in this example lesson. This concept works well with any story and group of non-readers. This lesson is good for kids up through grade 2.

See my notes at the end of this post about doing this with older kids.

1. Gather the kids around your computer/projector screen and ask them, "What is the scariest thing they ever saw or did." After a few answers, introduce them to the idea that even adults get scared, even the disciples of Jesus. Ask the kids, "Have you ever been scared in a storm?" Tell them that the Disciples got scared one day, and segway into the story....

2. Show them the story of "Jesus Stops the Storm" found in Play & Learn Children's Bible CD. Choose the read aloud feature. This is your Bible Study!

Invite students to come up one at time to click one of the hidden animation hotspots on each screen.

Remember to talk as if you were reading a book to a child.... pointing out things in each illustration, asking questions and making comments, such as, "O Boy, he looks scared, have you ever been that scared?" If you have time, view the story a second time in the software (the stories are short).

Do your typical Bible Study routine... show the kids where the Sea is on a map. Remind the kids that several disciples were fisherman, and Jesus used boats to travel to different towns, and to get away from the crowds. Ask the kids what kind of boats they've been on, what it's like, etc.

As you work through the story, make the observation that Jesus made the Disciples feel safe. How does Jesus make US feel safe? Can we feel safe if we are far away from Jesus? If we don't know or talk to him? What can we do to feel closer to him?

You will also need to introduce these "concrete thinkers" to the idea that the "storm" in the story can represent "storms/trouble" in our lives. The boat can represent the church, our families, our friends. This is a developmental leap for younger kids. Help them make the connection.

Conclude with the observation that Jesus was also demonstrating to them that HE was indeed the Messiah, the Son of God, who has the power to make things happen, and can help us with our problems.

Now....Introduce the idea that Jesus can help us feel unafraid and protected, even when bad things are happening around us. Talk about some of the "bad things" that can happen to children (sickness, bullies, getting lost, being hurt, mean people, trouble in our family, moving away, death of a loved one, etc). When we trust in Jesus, and know he is always with us, we can face any problem that life gives us. And Jesus can help us figure out our problems... because he has the power!

3. After the Play and Learn story presentation, have the kids go to the other computers and turn on KID PIX , the creative writing and drawing software program.

You can either have them draw their own boat and add a caption, OR...you can pull up a picture of Jesus calming the storm from another source.

Over the top of that picture, they can add illustrations of "problems" that they might have, or other children might have (problems, things they are scared of, ...use examples from the discussion you've just had with them).

This "picture of Jesus calming the storm" can come from a number of sources. Perhaps you've found an illustration on the internet, or maybe you did a screen capture using your printscreen key of the scene from Play & Learn Children's Bible CD, and preparing the image ahead of time. Whatever, SAVE this image ahead of class in a folder on each computer. Kid Pix can find that picture and pull it into the drawing screen for the kids to add to it. (Note: pre-size the image to about 640x480 pixels so it fits nicely into the Kid Pix drawing window.

4. Add some "talking text" to the illustration. (Kid Pix will speak whatever they type, to the delight of the children.) The Preschoolers will need help spelling but can find the keys. You may type their comments for them if needed. The kids love to hear the computer speaking their words. It's what makes Kid Pix a popular tool.

5. After everyone has illustrated their picture and added some talking text, have everyone get up from their seats and go hear everyone else's presentations. The teacher should make comments as each presentation is played.

6. PRINT! and conclude with prayer. If you have time, have the kids (with help) type their prayer requests onto the Kid Pix screen for a prayer that speaks out loud. 

<>< Neil

This basic lesson plan concept can be used with A LOT of different stories.

See my "Older Children" adaptation notes below.


Comments:
As you can see, this lesson requires a little bit of preparation (what lesson doesn't), and some familiarity with importing graphics into Kid Pix. It will also require some "helpers" to be present. All told, this lesson will require about 35 minutes. One key is to keep a tight rein on the kids when they're using the Kid Pix drawing tools. 

Doing this Lesson with OLDER Children:
Play & Learn is too young for grades 3 and up in this lesson. Instead, you can substitute showing a short video of Jesus Calming the Storm, or use Lesson #18 "Jesus Calms the Storm" in Life of Christ CD !  Then, either use Kid Pix, or Let's Talk CD to create the spoken responses. Focus on the idea of "how do we keep Jesus near so that we KNOW and feel his presence, and know his words during times of trouble."

How do you "screen capture" an image from Play & Learn Children's Bible CD?
Go to the image screen in the program you'd like to save, then press your "PRINTSCREEN" key on your keyboard. This snaps a shot of the screen and stores it on the Windows clipboard. Open Windows paint, create a new image and select EDIT then PASTE and the image will appear. You can modify it from there. A good photo/graphic editing program is even better.


The List of the 50 Stories in Play & Learn Childrens Bible CD
 
Old Testament

Creation
God Makes Adam and Eve
The Garden of Eden
Noah Builds a Big Boat
God Sends a Big Flood

Issac is Born
Esau and Jacob Are Born

God Helps Joseph
Joseph's Secret Identity

Baby Moses
A Bush Keeps Burning
Walking through Red Sea
Moses Leads His People
God Gives Good Rules (10 C's)
God Promises a Home
The Walls of Jericho

God talks to Samuel
David Fights a Giant
Special Gift for King Solomon
Queen Esther
Daniel and Lion's Den
Jonah and a Big Fish

 

Print a handout of the 50 Stories
to give to your teachers or post in your classroom

New Testament

An Angel Brings Good News
Baby Jesus is Born
Shepherds Visit Jesus
Wise Men Visit Jesus
The Boy Jesus
Jesus Teaches some Teachers

John Baptizes Jesus
Jesus Goes Fishing
Jesus Chooses 12 Disciples
Jesus Preaches a Sermon

Mary and Martha
The Lost Sheep
Prodigal Son
Jesus Loves Children
Zaccheus

A Woman's Big-Little Gift
Down Through the Roof
Jesus Stops a Storm
Lunch for 5,000
Jesus Walks on Water
Lazarus is Alive

Last Supper
Jesus Dies on the Cross
Some Women Visit Jesus' Tomb
Jesus Goes Back to Heaven

Saul Becomes Jesus' Friend
Singing in Jail
A Boy named Timothy

 Our Clickart CD has a lot of great Bible images you can pull into Kid Pix