This post is about introducing your children to the types of literature by using the Bible as examples. Types of literature include: Prose, Poetry, Fiction, Letters, Essay, Drama, and Biography. Begin by making a sign / poster for each type with a picture to illustrate the example. Then each day before a new one is introduced, the previous ones can be reviewed by looking to where the posters are hung on the wall.
I’ve given a short synopsis of what to cover in each lesson.
Prose: Natural language of man, loose and unconfined to poetical measure. I Kings 17:8-16 is the story of Elijah with the widow of Zarephath. This story could also be roll-played by children. Read it together so they can hear the beautiful language right from the Bible. Create a vocabulary page and discuss prophet, widow, curse, meal (flour), and waste. Make simple flour cakes together.
Poetry: Metrical composition. Psalm 5 reads, “My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O Lord, In the morning will I direct my prayer.” Or read Psalm 23–include a picture of a shepherd for young children to color. Discuss the roll of a shepherd.
Fiction: Something that is imagined that ideally helps us learn a principle. Any parable would be a good example. Mark 4:3 begins the parable of the sower. Draw a picture to illustrate the parable and then label the different types of ground, and what they represent. Discuss the lessons we learn about preparing our hearts so that the good seed will grow.
Letters: Messages from one person to another. Discuss the letters of Paul: Teach your child the new word: epistles. Show where the epistles of Paul are found (Romans through Philemon). Discuss his travels and how his letters were a way to keep in touch with the people he met. Show a map of Paul’s different travels. Read Romans chapter one; it begins a bit different than a letter they may write. It begins by saying who the letter is from (Paul) and then by verse 7 we find the salutation when he writes, “To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jeus Christ.” Discuss the parts of a letter. Read some favorite passages from Paul’s letters together (for example: II Timothy 1:7,8). Finish this lesson by writing a letter to a grandparent expressing a love of the Bible.
Essay: A short literary compotisiton on a single subject, usually presenting the persona view of the author. I love the example in Isaiah 44:13-19 where idols of wood are shown to be foolish. Discuss how things made by man can become our idols such as TV, computers, etc. Write an essay about the wise use of technology and how it can be used to glorify God.
Drama: Picture of human life that allows for action. What could be better than the story of David and Goliath? If you are able, on a large strip of bulletin board paper or butcher paper, draw a large Goliath (6’7″-6’9″ according to the Dead Sea Scrolls). With plastic spoons and mini marshmallows discuss what obstacles we have (times tables, spelling, shyness) that we can overcome with the strength of the Lord. Fire the missiles at Goliath as each is named.
Biography: Life and character of a real person. For this, just choose a favorite story. Moses could consume a month of lessons, but the story of Ruth may be more easily condensed. Many biographies today are written using a person’t journal for a reference. Begin journals.
Referencing the Bible for these 7 Types of Literature is a wonderful way to introduce them to a child. But don’t stop there. Study each more in depth by reading the poems of Robert Louis Stevenson, the drama of Anne of Green Gables, the biography of Sir Walter Scott, Wizard of the North.
Help your child find literature that uplifts him and honors God.