Curriculum Process

If you’ve ever taken on the task of developing and writing curriculum, you know that it is an all-consuming process. Sunday is always coming, so the right content has to be ready.

One of the most important things that we do every week is communicate a message. Not just any message—but a powerful message that has the potential to change lives.

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A Whole Mess of Creative Ideas!

Here is a broad outline of our process for creating content:

Scope and Sequence

This step is the most important stage of the process. Everything flows from the decisions  made when you outline the direction for your content. We have a consistent meeting with a few directors. We have roughed out the next three years. The next year is planned in more firm detail. We work about three-to-four months out on a firm outline.

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Scope & Sequence Creative Board

Brainstorming with Writers

Three months in advance we meet with the writers of the material and brainstorm the creative direction for both large group material and small group material. We ask the writers to come to this meeting with ideas. This meeting is where we give our writers specific direction.

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November Creative Ideas


First Read-Through

Two months before it is due, a small team reads through everything. We read it aloud from the opening activity to large group and small group. Hearing it helps us make sure that all of the pieces connect and flow well together, as well as allowing us to tweak wording. At this phase, if there is a major re-write, it goes back to the writer. If there is a minor re-write, we do it.

Second Read-Through

A few days after the first read-through, each section goes to the specific team that works with it. The large group directors get all of the large group scripts. These teams read, make small changes, and begin to talk through the logistics of this month to see, for example, if a large prop is needed or if we need to create a video piece. Small group teams read to make sure instructions are clear and decide what supplies need to be ordered.

Final Edits

Finally a team edits the material checking for clear directions, good sentence structure, and grammatical errors. They are also making sure that we didn’t omit anything and that it is simple and easy for our volunteers to use.

Do you write your own curriculum?

Comments

  1. Thanks for those amazing pictures! That’s how I do checklists but only with like 10 at a time. Amazing stuff.

    • Hi Tony,
      We transfer our cards to digital notes right after the meeting. But I like to work from the boards. Like the visual. There are MANY “to do’s” on that board – one of the color’s represents “to do’s”. I think that’s a great idea for your work flow though. I’m a visual processor – great idea.

      K

  2. Clark Palmer says:

    Question: Are the writers and others involved in the process volunteers or on staff?

    • Hi Clark,
      Some of our staff write as well, but we mostly use outside writers that we hire contractually. We don’t have any volunteer writers.
      Hope you have a good weekend.
      K

  3. Hi – just found your blog today, that’s why this is a month late!

    I am a seminary student who writes curriculum part-time for a church, so I appreciated seeing a little “behind the scenes work” on how you do it. I find one of the bigger difficulties in the planning process is getting leadership to provide content in advance. You said you have a firm outline 3-4 months in advance. What does this include, and who sets this?

    Thanks, JF

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