What checking a horizontal is not:
- Something to be quickly looked over in less than 5 minutes and evaluated without
- There are not right or wrong answers as long as they can be explained as the goal is to encourage critical thinking through the inductive method.
- A step of discouragement or of comparison. Each person will see things differently and that is to be encouraged.
- Fitting their horizontal into how you or how the lecturer sees the book.
- Giving them the horizontal or key verse.
What checking a horizontal is:
- A conversation about the book and what the students have seen through each layer of structure as this is an opportunity to mentor them in their growth as inductive students. Ask them questions about WHY they chose certain titles and divided the book at certain places. This will make them think about the book and also give you an idea of their understanding of the book to help them further clarify and deepen their understanding as the structure of each book is central to our foundation of studying. We need to encourage the use of structural tools that are used by the author such as laws of composition or other literary devices.
- A check in point not only their work but also with how the student is doing spiritually, emotionally, and mentally (discipleship). We have limited time in the SBS world and we should make each moment count. So checking a horizontal should be done with great care and consideration as it is a place that we can pray with our students if they are struggling and we can walk with them.
Proper Protocol to check a horizontal (give yourself at least 30-40 minutes):
- This process should always start or end with prayer. Allow time to pray with your students before or after you check their horizontal.
- When the student gives you their horizontal tell them you need 10-15 minutes to look it over and if you have any questions you will come ask them so they need to stay close. This will allow you time to think through their titles and breaks clearly without feeling pressured by time or by them. Write down any questions you might
- Continue the conversation with them by looking through their titles and breaks start with the Book Title and work down through the structural levels (division, sections, segments) to make sure they are connecting and processing the information.
- Questions you could ask the student:
- What did you see in the book that made you pick that Title?
- Was that a repeated idea you saw?
- Why did you title that there?
- Why did you put that break there?
- Is there a better break?
- How did all of these segment ideas fit into this section?
- What law of composition or structural tool did you use to divide this book?
- Are their any other literary tools used in the structure?
- When you have gone through all the titles and breaks return to the main idea and key verse and ask why they picked that key verse. Ask how it connects to their title and main idea of the book. If it doesnʼt ask them what verse might better encapsulate the main idea of the book.
- If a student does not know why they broke up a book or picked titles this is your job to help them critically think through it by asking questions. This can mean having them go rethink through the horizontal by themselves or dialoguing with them by asking them questions. It does not mean giving them the answer.
By Rachael Frase