Molly Pickens: It this curriculum a keeper?

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Two weeks down…

We’ve completed two weeks of this curriculum in Children’s Church and I’m ready to make my final verdict.  If you missed the beginning of the review, check out Large Group DVD lesson, Small Group lessons, and testing it out on the kids.   After the first week of Molly Chickens (as the kids so fondly call her), everyone was begging to continue the video.  I was a little wary about whether or not they were really getting any biblical application from the Fantastic World, but choose to reserve judgement for another week.

At the start of week two, I asked the kids what they had learned the week before, and to my amazing their recall level was great.  They knew the memory verse, which I thought was important since there wasn’t a whole lot of biblical content besides that during week one’s video.  During week two’s DVD lessson, the biblical content was stronger, but not as much emphasis on the week’s Bible verse.  I particularly liked how during week one, the verse was introduced pre-DVD during small group and then was recited by Molly in the movie.  The kids loved that and it seemed to really drive the importance of the verse home.  That didn’t happen week two, and I wonder if it will during other weeks.

Conclusion

Looking at the big picture, I think this would be a great “summer time” curriculum.  Something that is a little less intensive, but a lot of fun for the kids.  Certainly it’s wholesome and engaging, easy for any newcomer to pick up on, and super teacher friendly (if you are computer/media savvy).  As far as long-term disciple making, I think it’s missing the mark a bit.  The lessons are too abstract for kids (power of love, power of faith, etc).  The week’s Bible story is only briefly mentioned and could easily be lost among the story line, crazy antics of Bill and Charles and funny one-liners (speaking of which, the kids go crazy about the “Charles, you smell!” lines).  If the teacher spent some time post-DVD actually in the Bible with the kids, reviewing the story and talking about life application, it would be better.  As it stands now, many of the spiritual themes seem applicable mostly to Molly and the Fantastic World, but not as tangible faith actions for the listening audience.

Final take: Good resource, but not the greatest curriculum I’ve come across.  I hear the makers of Molly are working on another series, so I’ll be anxious to see what they come up with this time!

Win a Copy Free!

Pick up your copy from Abingdon’s website. Price is $129.00 for this 10 week series.  Or, leave a comment for a chance to win my copy!  Drawing is on August 30th, 2010.

More on Molly Pickens:

Large Group Lesson

Small Group Lesson

Interview with creator Matthew Young!

Where did the idea of Molly come from anyway?

Fantastic World new series: Tiny Pirate

Other Curriculum Reviews:

Bible in Life Early Elementary
Bible in Life Elementary
Voice of the Matrys: Kids of Courage
The Lads Preteen Curriculum
David C. Cook’s Rio
Group’s Faithweaver Parent

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Comments

  1. The cactus is very funny and brings a lot to the show. I feel that with any curriculum that there needs to a strong teacher that can cater the lesson to the kids in their group. I get the feeling that this video series is great for drawing kids in (sometimes the hardest part) and as a result of that allows for even a moderately talented teacher to quiz/question/apply the lesson to everyday life.

    Do you think that a smaller church could use a curriculum such as this one to draw outside kids in and spark their interest in a children’s program (and hopefully increase attendance numbers)?

  2. I agree, every curriculum depends on the strengths of the teacher leading it. This curriculum would be great for a smaller church because it can be facilitated by one person (or rotating teachers). It’s easy to prepare and teach. The curriculum suggests breaking up into small groups, but I keep the kids together and just ask the small group questions (we only have about 20, so this works out fine). I don’t know if this would draw kids in necessarily. After all, they could stay home and watch movies. However, once they arrived at church and experienced this curriculum, they would enjoy it and return.

  3. We’re testing this curriculum in our kids church too. I agree that the kids are loving it and it seems very silly for me sometimes. But the stuff is sticking with our kids too.

  4. How funny to hear! What week are you guys in?

  5. Gussie Pellon says:

    Just want to say what a great blog you got here! I’ve been around quite a lot of time, but finally decided to show my appreciation of your work! Well done, and all the best! Cheers

  6. Frank Tan says:

    I read through the review but haven’t personally seen the series. So I obviously still have questions, such as, is this more suitable for a larger group or smaller church size? wider age range in a mixed group or not? did it appeal to the 4th-6th boy demographics that a lot of videos target?

  7. Hey Frank,

    Thanks for the comment. I would say it could be suited for both size churches. If you have a larger church, you break up into small groups during the discussion times, and then come together for large group (video, and skits if you have time). In our church, we used it with 20-30 kids and it worked well. We kept them together the whole time, but it might have been nice to have two or three smaller groups (where are you volunteers?) It is suited to a pretty wide age group. I was really surprised how each age group responded. The younger kids were enthralled with the magic and fantasy of it all, the older kids like cactus and the jokes between Bill and Charles. We only have a few 4th-6th grade boys in the class (once they are 9, they go to a different class), so that’s a hard one for me to answer. Stay tuned for an interview with creator Matt Young, scheduled to post on August 30 and 31st!

  8. Congrats Frank! You are the winner of the Molly Pickens Curriculum! Shoot me an email with your contact information, and I’ll send it your way!

    lindsey@growingkidsministry.com