Monday, November 21, 2016

Turkey Shoot-Scripture Activity

This is a fun way to help students learn the Doctrines associated with each Doctrinal Mastery Scripture. It is not my original idea. 
This idea is from fellow teacher, Sharon Haynie, who uses marshmallow shooters for her Turkey shoot. Click HERE for directions she shared on how to make Marshmallow shooters.
I use Nerf guns because that is what I have.
You could also use rubber band shooters.

Set Up:
Turkeys on paper plates stapled to upside down large plastic beverage cups. (see photos below)
Inside each cup is written a point amount ( 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 50) 
(I recycled my cups and plates from last year-they come apart easily and store in a small space-I don't like to do double work so anything I can use from year to year is a win!)

Divide students into teams ( I had 4 teams of 3 each-one team had 4 members)
Each team sat together on the perimeter of the "Turkey Coop" (see photos below for set up ideas)
 For each round:

  • Students sit as teams in the chairs set up around the perimeter.
  • Each team has a Nerf gun
  • Call out the key words or phrases from a Doctrinal Mastery scripture
  • Teams work together to locate the scripture ( all team members must  turn to the scripture), then a runner comes to me and shows me the scripture and states the Doctrine associated with that Scripture.
  • When I confirm it is correct, I say, GO!
  • The Team takes their Nerf gun and starts shooting the paper plate turkeys (each round a new team member takes their turn with the Nerf gun-some of them rotated during the same round so they all got more "shooting time")
  • Each team  does the same to find the scripture and show it to me
  • When the last team comes to me with the correct scripture and doctrine, I call out "30 seconds left" and set my timer.
  • When I say stop, the teams would bring their turkeys to me and call out the points earned.
  • Points are posted on the chalkboard and added up at the end.
  • After each round, the turkeys are put back on the tables so we would have enough for each round.
  • I would go scramble them sometimes as I could tell the students were catching on to some of the higher point turkeys.
As much fun as this is, the most important point is that the students had to dig into their scriptures match them to the doctrines associated with them. This was very effective.




















Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Changing Things Up

Welcome to our "Seminary Living Room"
I collected all the soft furniture from around our Church building and we held class "Family Home Evening Style" in our own "Seminary Living Room"
My students loved it so much that they asked to have class in the same location tomorrow.
The photos with the students in them were taken at the end of class when the sun was up. 
I was concerned that this may be too "comfy" and encourage sleepers, but it was exactly the opposite. My students were engaged in thoughtful, on-point discussion for the entire time.
We started in the dark.
Daylight Saving time blessing!



Friday, October 28, 2016

Matthew, Mark, Luke, John...I Went Down To Jerusalem Game

Take a familiar game, "Fruit Basket Turnover" and adapt it for Seminary, Sunday, School or any Youth Group Activities.
Rather than names of fruit, use names of the Apostles Matthew, Mark, Luke,  and John.
Play this game any time during the year.
The beauty is that it takes zero preparation and it gets them up and moving while they are reviewing the names of the 4 Apostles

In the "Matthew, Mark, Luke, John" version, the person in the middle says, "I went down to Jerusalem and I saw__________" (Person can call out 1, 2, or 3 names. If they want to call all 4 names, they say, "I went down to Jerusalem and saw all 4 Apostles who wrote the Gospels." or something similar.

The people who are assigned the name(s) that the person calls out must quickly get up and change seats with the others who have the same name.
The person in the middle tries to grab one of their seats in the process.
The students love the lively, fast pace of this game.









Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Parable of the Ten Virgins- Lamps of Faith

We made lamps of faith as we discussed the parable of the ten virgins from Matthew 25:1-13
I debated as to what type of clay to use. After some consideration, I decided to use Crayola Air Dry Clay- the terracotta color.  I suppose you could purchase white and color it, but I was not up for that experiment.
This clay was just messy enough for the students to have the "I worked with clay" experience, yet not too messy and very easy to clean up.  Not "globby" messes or stains on tables, clothing, etc.
I did cover the tables with disposable plastic but if I had not, the tables would have wiped clean with little effort.
I had Lysol wipes available for hand washing.
This video from the Seminary New Testament Manual was very effective at providing many points of discussion and in helping the students know what to shape their lamps like.

When our lamps are hardened, I hope to add wicks and light them and reinforce our discussion on the need to add oil to our lamps daily, build our testimonies and to Know, not Know About, Jesus Christ














Friday, August 26, 2016

Magnifying the Scriptures

Here is a simple, yet effective, method to use for a discussion-based lesson.
In the past years, I have felt that classroom discussion and interaction was something I needed to improve. I know students learn from discussion but I have been at a loss as to how to make it fresh and have everyone want to be involved.

For our lesson today, I told them in advance that it was important to read the Scriptures that go with the lesson and to be prepared to discuss.
When we started, this morning, I told them that I am teaching with the assumption they all read and will contribute to the lesson.
I showed a large magnifying glass (from the Dollar Tree)  and asked them what a magnifying glass is used for.

Some of their answers:
To make things larger (enlarge, enrich, make more)
To make things easier to see (read)
The clarify details
To search for things

Then we compared these answers to reading/studying the scriptures and how to apply them to Scripture study. We discussed how to magnify the messages of the scriptures using prayer, footnotes, cross-references, lds.org, Bible dictionary, Topical guide,  New Era, Ensign, asking parents/leaders, etc.

After the discussion of how to magnify the scripture messages,  I handed the magnifying glass to a student and asked her to share what she learned from the assigned reading (I made sure to choose a student who I could tell had read the assigned scriptures)
I asked her to share the chapter and verse from where she was sharing. When she was done, she was to pass the magnifying glass to another student who would do the same and so forth.

As a note: do your best to have a seating arrangement that supports discussion, such as all seated around a table, seated in a circle, etc. It is important that they see each other as they discuss.

This simple prop, a magnifying glass, was perfect for getting everyone involved.  Every student was engaged and contributing.  Even my sleepy, reluctant students were alert and engaged.
At one point, many of the students were begging to have the magnifying glass so they could share.

It was one of the best discussions I have experience in my 4 years of teaching Seminary.
I won't over-use this method but it will definitely be part of my plans all year.
I am  thinking about attaching the magnifying glass to something like a small stuffed animal or a holiday/seasonal object just to keep it fresh.

Happy Teaching!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Books of the New Testament Activity

At the beginning of the year, I teach my students the Books of the New Testament in order.
This is very basic and for some, a review.
The most effective method is to use "The Books of the New Testament" song in the LDS Children's Songbook on page 116. Sung to the tune of the Hymn, "Praise to the Man"

After introducing this song and reviewing it for a few days, your students are ready for this activity to reinforce what they have learned.

Depending on the number of students you will need to adapt it.
Place the name of one of the books on the back of each student ( I just use masking tape or clothes pins to attach the paper)
Instruct the students that without any talking, they need to line up in order starting with Matthew and ending with Revelations.
Once they are lined up, ask them if they think they are in order.
They will check and re-check themselves.
It is fun to watch.
You will learn a lot about your students and their personalities, leadership, interaction with others, etc. as you observe them in this activity that requires working together and problem solving.
 These photos are from my first year as a Seminary Teacher when I was quite sure I did not know what in the world I was doing.  My class was behind and I came in after they had been meeting for a month.  I look at these photos and see my CES Supervisor who had visited that day to officially welcome me as a teacher.  Wow....it seems like ages ago and I am still trying  to figure out what works best. It changes for each year and each set of students.

There are 27 books so if you need to combine
Write a few names on one paper, such as:

Matthew, Mark, Luke, John
Acts, Romans
1 Corinthians 2 Corinthians
Etc.

Games and Activities teach in a way no classroom lecture can.
Learning the books of the New Testament gives students the confidence to become more comfortable searching the scriptures.

Books of the New Testament Activity

At the beginning of the year, I teach my students the Books of the New Testament in order.
This is very basic and for some, a review.
The most effective method is to use "The Books of the New Testament" song in the LDS Children's Songbook on page 116. Sung to the tune of the Hymn, "Praise to the Man"

After introducing this song and reviewing it for a few days, your students are ready for this activity to reinforce what they have learned.

Depending on the number of students you will need to adapt it.
Place the name of one of the books on the back of each student ( I just use masking tape or clothes pins to attach the paper)
Instruct the students that without any talking, they need to line up in order starting with Matthew and ending with Revelations.
Once they are lined up, ask them if they think they are in order.
They will check and re-check themselves.
It is fun to watch.
You will learn a lot about your students and their personalities, leadership, interaction with others, etc. as you observe them in this activity that requires working together and problem solving.
 These photos are from my first year as a Seminary Teacher when I was quite sure I did not know in the world I was doing. My class was behind and I came in after they had been meeting for a month. I look at these photos and see my CES Supervisor who had visited that day to officially welcome me as a teacher. Wow....it seems like ages ago and I am still trying  to figure out what works best. It changes for each year and each set of students.

There are 27 books so if you need to combine
Write a few names on one paper, such as:

Matthew, Mark, Luke, John
Acts, Romans
1 Corinthians 2 Corinthians
Etc.

Games and Activities teach in a way no classroom lecture can.
Learning the books of the New Testament gives students the confidence to become more comfortable searching the scriptures.