Opening up the King James Bible download

This free download from Barnabas in Schools provides a series of classroom activities for teaching and learning about the King James Bible.

A cross-curricular topic for upper Key Stage 2/3

The different units provide a range of opportunities for discussion, reflection and personal response, and is written by Chris Hudson.

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Why learn about the King James Bible?

This scheme of work provides a series of classroom activities for teaching and learning about the King
James Bible (or KJV).

This 17th-century translation did much to influence and inform the development of English language and literature, as well as giving rise to a whole host of ideas related to justice, politics, science and psychology - and the world of faith and belief.

It is impossible to understand the history and culture of England (and, indeed, many other countries) without a
working knowledge of the King James Bible.

The different units of this resource introduce pupils to various aspects of the King James Bible, providing a range of opportunities for personal reflection, shared discussion and response.

How to use this scheme of work in school

Schools vary in the way they organise their curricula - but as a general rule, the older pupils are, the more
likely they will learn through subject teaching instead of through broader cross-curricular topics.

However, this scheme will beneft from being delivered through the use of creative timetabling, perhaps in a special study week, or via a series of cross-curricular lessons running through a term.

It is not intended that each of these units is delivered only by the RE department. It may be that each unit should be hived off to a different subject department (for example, Drama, History, RE and Art), each of which could deliver the unit in their own way as part of a shared initiative.

If time is short, then the key units are probably Unit 1 (The King James Bible in Performance) and Unit 2 (Translating the King James Bible).

Units in this scheme of work

  • Unit 1 - Introduction: The King James Bible in Performance - A short text (Psalm 23 - The Lord is my Shepherd) is used for an English lesson based on dramatic speaking.
  • Unit 2 - Translating the King James Bible - Two lessons explore the historical background to the creation of the King James Bible.
  • Unit 3 - How the Bible 'Works' - Two lessons explain the overall layout and literary genres of the Bible, explore different opinions about its usefulness and worth - and evaluate positive strategies to read and understand Bible passages today.
  • Unit 4 - Slavery, Abolition and the King James Bible - Bible texts are sometimes used (or misused) to justify or challenge an argument. Two lessons investigate early examples of this, in the campaign to abolish the Atlantic Slave Trade.
  • Unit 5 - Picturing the Apocalypse - One Art lesson uses texts from the Book of Revelation as a stimulus for imaginative work.