Reading and studying the Bible have always been the first activities of our school day. This year my son is working on his required Bible Merit for Royal Rangers---learning the books in order, creating a timeline, choosing 16 books to read, and more. This review of Wizzy Gizmo and their product Fast Track Bible Pack: New Testament came at a most opportune time.
Our package contained a 5”X9” glossy, heavy cardstock card for each book in the New Testament and a summarizing card for the series. There is valuable information printed on both sides as you can see in this sample for the book of Matthew.
ON THE FRONT:
The largest section of the page is not so much a summary of the book as it is a “hook” to entice the student to read the book. It may ask a question or share something that makes the book unique. Around the edges you’ll find the number of the book as ordered in the New Testament, the number of chapters, the author if known, approximately when the book was written, and the theme.
ON THE BACK:
The book’s title and theme are repeated at the top. There is at least one outline (Philippians has three) and then lists for key chapters, passages, doctrines, and people that appear in the book.
The product’s web page includes ideas for use broken down by ages but since my son is working on his Bible merit badge we’ve found several useful ways to incorporate the cards into those requirements. (I will admit the size of these cards mean you’ll need a bit of work space).
Learning Book Order--
Schnickelfritz tried putting the shuffled cards in correct order while only referring to the back side of the cards. When he was finished he could turn them over and see the order number in the red circle on the front (or refer to the summary card).
Classifying Books by Genre
I made a label for each genre and Fritz would build piles of cards beneath. This information did not come from the cards themselves but from his Royal Ranger handbook. Of course most of the books in the New Testament are classified as ‘Epistles” and there are no books of law or poetry. (Looking forward to them coming out with the Old Testament series)
Building a Timeline
Fritz has to create a timeline from Creation through the time of the Apostles and include the books of the Bible on that timeline. Some cards included lists of key people and if they made the card they were probably worthy of inclusion on the timeline although we’ll have to find dates of their lives from another source. The card fronts include the best estimates of dates when the books were written. The New Testament fits within a single century so again, I’m looking forward to an Old Testament series and I hope they’ll consider including the time period each book covers as well as when it was written (if any of you Wizzy Gizmo folks happens to read this).
Choosing Which Books to Read
Fritz has to select and read two books from each genre for his merit badge, but how to choose? He could read the descriptions on the front of the card and look for passages he was already familiar with on the back (I won’t deny the graphic letting him know how many chapters he’d have to read also played a role in his decision making). When choosing which gospels to read I was able to point out to Fritz that while the subject was the same (the life of Christ), each author was writing to a different audience or for a different purpose and so each book has a different theme: Jesus as the son of God, Jesus as the son of man, Jesus as servant, Jesus as king.
Once Fritz had selected his books he started reading a chapter each day. By referring to the back of the card he could see when that days reading would include an important passage
Most of the information on these cards can be found in the introductions to each book in a good study Bible, but these cards still have a lot of value in that they can be manipulated—organizing the Bible ‘s books or comparing two side by side. I’m looking forward to the day an Old Testament pack is available. The Fast Track Bible Pack: New Testament sells for $14.99 and can be used by all ages (as long as they can read).