Monday, January 25, 2016

Meeting Your Goliaths with Stones of Faith

Meeting Your Goliaths With Stones of Faith
When studying the account of David and Goliath, 1 Samuel 17,  it is important to focus on the tools used to defeat Goliath rather than be awed or intimidated by his size.

This is true in our lives. If we spend our energies being intimidated and discouraged by the size of our personal Goliaths (adversities, trials, and temptations),  we risk overlooking the simple tools (stones of faith) Father in Heaven has given us to defeat our adversities, trials, and temptations.

As my mother taught me, focus on the solutions, not the problems.

In preparation to teach this principle and to reinforce the importance of using our stones of faith, I am making each student a bag filled with "stones of faith". (see photos below)
Each stone will be labelled with one of attributes President Thomas S Monson taught us to use in his adddress, "Meeting Your Goliath"   


I also purchased these wooden sling shots  from Amazon (I know...not the type that David used) and we will label some softer stones (perhaps crumbled up paper or large marshmallows) and shoot them at a drawing of Goliath (drawing in process at press time) Will post an update. I want the students to see the size of Goliath but spend more time on the stones of faith available to slay him.

A little history on the "Stones of Faith" idea:
I am basing this idea on one I used several years ago when I made "Value Rocks" for a Young Women activity. Before the "Value Rocks", my friend and I made "Gratitude Rocks" as part of table decorations for Thanksgiving. They were great conversation starters at our Ward Thanksgiving Dinner.

I will post photos when my  "Stones of Faith" are complete.
These photos are from several year ago when I used the Value Rocks 

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Be A Bellringer

Christmas gift with a message:
I like to give a bell necklace to my students with the  following quote by Elaine S Cannon, a former LDS General Young Women President
Be A Bellringer
"A Bellringer is someone who 
sounds a call,
issues a warning,
rings a signal, or chimes a time.
A bellringer, you see, 
makes things happen."
-Elaine Cannon-

This year, I found some adorable

Read more HERE

Bells pictured are from RTD Trading Co

Friday, October 9, 2015

Gensis 18 Is Any Thing Too Hard for the Lord?

Genesis 18
My students enjoyed acting out (see photos below) the account of  the 3 visitors to Abraham's tent, Sarah learning that she would have a son named, Isaac, and Abraham pleading with the Lord to save any righteous people in Sodom.

We made doors for Abraham's tent, enjoyed bread, and milk, and "dressed" a calf for the meal shared with the 3 visitors.

I find that these activities create great discussion and help the students relate and internalize the messages being taught. For example, why did Sarah stay in the tent? How were women viewed in the OT times and culture?

Here was our best discussion  point and where I planned to spend the most time:

Genesis 17: 14
"Is  any thing too hard for the Lord?" 
I asked them:
1) How do we make it hard for the Lord to bless us?
2) How can we make it easier for the Lord to bless us?

I made sure that they understood still that the Lord has His own timing and, just like Abraham and Sarah, we must continue to keep our covenants and stay close to the Lord even when we don't experience an immediate blessing.

Again..GREAT discussion with these questions.
Visual Examples + Great Questions + Great Discussion=
The doctrines and principles enter our students' minds and stay in their hearts.

I have a feeling we are going to enjoy using this roll of paper for many more lessons this year.
These are the doors to Abraham's tent in progress and then ready to function.

This is the calf the young herdsman boy was instructed to "dress" for the meal of bread, milk, and meat Abraham served his 3 visitors.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Genesis 15- The Abrahamic Covenant

Genesis 15:9-21 The Abrahamic Covenant

In verses 9-10, the Lord instructed Abram to bring a heifer or 3 years old, a she-goat of 3 years old, a ram of 3 years old, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.
The heifer, she-goat, and ram were divided and each piece was placed one against another.
The birds were not divided and when they flew down upon the carcasses, Abram drove them away.

I had a student draw these animals on a large  sheet of paper and had two students for each animal come up to the front of the classroom and hold the drawings. As soon as they were all up front, I took scissors and cut the picture (animal) in half. Then we went out in to the hallway and I taped the halves of each animal on opposites of the hall.

Once the pictures were taped up, I had them walk between the carcass pieces as if they were Abram. In ancient times, the person passing between the carcasses was essentially sayng, "May I also be cut in two if I do not keep my part of the covenant?"

Our classroom has 2 doors so I had my students exit one door, we taped up the pictures, they walked between them, and entered the other door. Upon returning to class, I asked them to read Genesis 15:9-21 and we discussed the symbolism of this as it relates to the Abrahamic Covenant.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

LDS Youth Leaders

I created a Facebook Group for LDS Youth Leaders (Young Women and Young Men Leaders)
The LDS Seminary Teachers Facebook group has been so helpful that I am hoping this new group can do the same for LDS Youth Leaders.
Please join and post ideas for
Young Women Camp
Personal Progress
Ministering and Administering YM/YW Programs
Sunday Lesson ideas
Scout Activities
Combined YM/YW Activities
Quotes from Prophets and Apostles that support the LDS Doctrines we are teaching and living.
Class Presidency ideas
Communication and support with leaders, youth, and parents
Fireside (Bishops Youth Discussion) Ideas
Bishops Youth Council Ideas

Click HERE for a link to the group
Add other Young Women and Young Men Leaders to this group and suggest they do the same.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015


As a wrap up and review of Moses 7, we did an activity based on Moses 7:18
(See photos below)
"And the Lord called his people Zion, 
because they were of one heart and one mind, 
and dwelt in righteousness; 
and there was no poor among them."

I made up an obstacle course with "Zion" and the "City of Enoch" as the end goal.
A few of the students were blindfolded (representing the "residue" and wickedness that surrounded the people of Enoch before they were translated 
The remainder of the students represented the righteous and were already in the City of Enoch-Zion. They were instructed to guide those with blindfolds to join them as they experienced:
One in Heart.
One in Mind
No Poor among them
( I had chairs labelled with these attributes that the students had to touch as they were navigated through the obstacle course)

I gave them very basic instructions at first:
1) The blindfolded students needed to follow the tape on the floor from place to place, in the order they find the the description of Zion in Moses 7:18.  (One in Heart, One in Mind, Dwelt in Righteousness, No Poor among them)
2) They would need to touch the chair with the corresponding picture and then move to the next chair following the instructions from those in the City of Enoch
3) They could not touch those with the blindfolds on
4) They had to stay in "Zion"  at the end of the room behind a line

At first is was chaos because all 5 blindfolded students started at one time and all of the people in Zion were yelling at them with different instructions and directions all at once.

At that point, I stopped them and asked how they they this was working out and if this was how a Zion people operate.

The students who were in Zion re-grouped and made a plan (UNITY) they appointed a leader and instructed one blindfolded person at a time to navigate the obstacle course and had only one person at a time calling out instructions. 
With this strategy, the blindfolded person quickly made it to Zion where they all welcomed them with open arms, cheers, and high-fives, etc.
This was repeated, and each time, the instructions were clearer and the person was navigated to Zion in a more efficient manner.

At the end there was an envelope for all to open that instructed them to go as a group to the kitchen for a treat after we had closing prayer. Before prayer we compared this activity to Moses 7:18 and gave us the opportunity to discuss the attributes of a Zion people, Unity, and what we need to do as a class to create more unity before we can expect to become a Zion people.

If I had more time, I would have used more of the verses from Moses 7 and labelled obstacles as chains, mountains, residue, giants, etc.  As it was, I just used extra chairs, tables, music stands, etc. from around the building.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Getting To Know You-What Do We Have In Common?

What Do We Have In Common?

At the beginning of the year, I had each student fill out a form with basic information about themselves. There was another section for them to list "Favorites" and anything else they want me to know about them.
As an ongoing "get to know you" activity, a few days per week, I take a few minutes at the beginning of class and call a few students up front.
No one has any idea why they are up front.
I ask everyone in the room to guess what these students have in common based on the things they wrote on their information sheets and some things I already know about them.

For example:
1) I called 5 students up front and said they all have something in common with me. After a few guesses I gave some vague clues such and they eventually figured out that the thing they all have in common is that they each have a Birthday in the summer when school is out, hence no treats at school for their Birthday and we had donuts that day and sang Happy Birthday to them (and me)

2) Another day, I called 5 students up front and the thing they had in common was they were all born outside the USA.  I gave clues like asking everyone in the class where they were born and eventually they all figured out that they each were born outside the USA.

3) Another day, I called 2 students up front and the thing they had in common was they all like pizza.

4) One day, I did not even use information from the forms. I called up everyone who was wearing blue jeans. 

5) Another day... the thing they all had in common is that they play a musical instrument.

This is a great way to get multiple uses out of those beginning of the year information forms and get your students mixing and mingling.