Grapple - This is brand new preteen curriculum from Group. I was able to test a sample lesson from them and it was decent, but I felt it had too many options and a bit hard to follow at times as a teacher. It is topical and team-work driven. There are a lot of activities and a lot of choices to choose from when putting your lesson together. So be prepared to wade through all activities you get to pick. It has cool online interaction capabilities for both preteens and preteen workers. Group also has packeged it to meet various size preteen groups. Curriculum to be released Fall 2007. www.group.com
The Edge - This is Gospel Light’s attempt at preteen curriculum. Their graphics were cool and the name is very cool (That’s the name of my preteen ministry). This was also topical driven. It did have some neat features to it, but all in all it lacked depth and while they said it was targeted toward 5th and 6th graders, it seemed geared for a lot younger audience. Curriculum is already released. www.gospellight.com
Next Level - This is Standard Publishing’s preteen curriculum. This is also topical driven and has been around for a while. They have several lesson books that cover various topical issues that preteens deal with. This curriculum “raises the bar” somewhat in challenging preteens to live for God. We have used this curriculum for 5th graders during our midweek programming. www.standardpub.com
Answers For Kids (Beginnings curriculum) – This material comes from Answers in Genesis. This stuff is great for entry and somewhat in-depth Creation lesson material. We use it for our 6th graders for our midweek programming. For part of the year, our 6th graders go through creation vs. evolution material and then for the other part of the year they go through age level appropriate purity curriculum (This goes along with the time of the year when we have our 6th grade boys purity retreat and our 5th – 6th grade girls purity retreat). Answers in Genesis has other creation material, which I have not reviewed yet, but will soon.
Fatih 4 Life - This material by Group is a series of Bible studies that are topic-driven. They focus on issues of faith and life. Each book has four interactive Bible studies. You get lots of optional activities, extra ideas and teacher tips with every lesson. I have found that these Bible studies do not “stand alone,” meaning that they have to be used with another curriculum lesson plan – they seem incomplete. I used Faith 4 Life to help me come up with ideas for writing my own curriculum. www.group.com
No-Miss Lessons For Preteens - These lessons from Group are easy to use and are great if you need to put together a quick lesson. However much like their Faith f Life Bible studies, they are not for building a long-term and solid curriculum plan for your preteens. I would not build my preteen ministry around these lessons! Instead, use them for what they are good for, quick and easy substitues, or for helping you put together your own curriculum. This resource features 22 action-packed, easy-to-teach lessons that talk about the stuff of life in the preteen world. You will also get ideas for service projects and for events. There is also a No-Miss Lessons for Preteens 2. www.group.com