Thursday, August 28, 2014

Plan of Salvation - Hula Hoops

Pardon the photo quality as I explain how I used hula-hoops to teach the Plan of Salvation/ Plan of Happiness on our first day of Seminary.
I lined up a few students at the front of the classroom and gave them hula hoops to replicate the pattern below. In between each person who was holding a hula hoop (circle), I placed another person to represent the lines in the design.
The people represented: (left to right) Pre-Mortal Life (holding a hula hoop), Birth, This life (holding a hula hoop), Death, Paradise/Spirit Prison (holding a hula hoop), Judgement and Final Judgement (two people standing side by side), and finally, 3 people holding 3 smaller hula hoops representing Celestial, Terrestrial, and Telestial. We did not have a hula hoop for outer darkness, it was just "out there where we don't want to go"
When I lined them up. at first, I did not tell them what they were representing. I asked them what they thought the circles and formation meant and how it may relate to Seminary, life, the gospel, etc.
After some discussion and interesting answers, I then explained what each of them represented and brought out this pillowcase printed with the design they were representing.
I had a pillowcase printed with this design for each student to have as a daily reminder that we are here on earth as one phase of our journey and that there is so much more than this life.
With this knowledge, does it help us make wise decisions, etc?
It was very effective.
I cannot take any credit for the design and I wish I knew who to give original credit to. I just thought up  a way to re-enact it using hula hoops.
I have seen this design on several sites printed on T-shirts. I kept checking to see if it was copyrighted or who may have had the original idea, If you know please share so I can give credit to the right person(s).
I decided to have pillowcases printed rather than T-shirts for several reasons. One was practical-I could not get the T-shirt sizeof each of my students before Seminary started. The other was that a pillowcase would be seen daily and be a reminder that "*you are here"- where are you going, what do you need to do to get there?

 We have not seen the last of these hula hoops for this Seminary year.
I am certain they will show up during a learning activity or game.
I may bring them to class when we are doing a review and ask the students to 
re-enact and re-teach the Plan of Salvation/Plan of Happiness

I hope this is clear and easy to understand.
After teaching this doctrine for many years, I must say this was my favorite and quite possibly the most effective and  interactive/visual method to teach and internalize the Plan of Salvation.
Happy Back To Seminary!

Scripture Mastery Activity

The post-it notes are back!
This is a very effective way to learn and re-inforce scripture memorization.
Each word, comma, period, number, colon, semi-colon, etc. is on a separate post-it note.
Have the students work in small groups to put the post-it notes in order to read the scripture verse.
Groups need to be small or not everyone participates.
Four is the maximum group size I recommend.
Depending on how well they know the verse, I allow them to use their scriptures or scripture mastery cards for guidance.
As the year progresses and familiarity is increased, they work without their scriptures or scripture mastery cards.
I usually have a small prize for the team who finishes first and has the verse correctly arranged.
When they have the verse in order, the team recites it to me without looking at their scriptures.
I read along with a book or scripture mastery cards, if something is not in order, I tell them to check it without suggesting to them which words to rearrange.
Sometimes, I purposely leave out a few words and ask them to tell me which words are missing. This works best with the shorter verses.
This is also effective for learning the Articles of Faith.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Breakfast Fit For A Prophet

This morning, we enjoyed a breakfast fit for a Prophet.
Did you know President Thomas S Monson prefers Wheaties for breakfast?
And yes, that is President Monson on the box of Wheaties.
 As part of our Church History study this year, we will enjoy favorites of many of the Latter-day Prophets. Click HERE  and HERE for a few favorite foods/recipes of the Latter-day Prophets. This Wheaties idea and the recipe information are some of the wonderful benefits of the LDS Seminary Teacher Facebook group.
 We will never eat Wheaties with the same perspective again.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Sweep The Earth As With a Flood

Elder Bednar's landmark address is a must watch for all people, not just members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints.
Click HERE for the text and video.

You Did It

This sign greeted my students this morning as they entered the building. It is important to recognize the benefits of Seminary and the amazing accomplishment it is that they attend Seminary every morning. Our Seminary students are making choices that are completely different than the peers they associate with when they walk the halls of their schools.
Many youth don't have "cheerleaders" in their lives and we need to be part of their "cheering squad". For some, Seminary is the only "bright spot" in their day.
I am thankful for their positive choices and the energy they bring to class.
I told my students this morning:  if you can attend one week of Seminary, you can attend two, and three, and so forth. You can do hard are doing hard are amazing.
I have had 32-34 students every morning this week.
It was definitely a logistics challenge.
I was expecting 17-20.
What a blessing to have so many students eager to learn and feel the spirit.
The down side is that my class will be divided this week and I can't imagine not have a single one of them.
Growth is good, yet painful.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

One Week and Counting

One Week until the 4:45 am wake up alarm signals time to wake up for Seminary!
Tomorrow, we have our Parent-Student Orientation Meeting.

In many ways, I feel prepared and charged up.
In other ways, I wish I had 2-3 more weeks of summer break to prepare.

Happy Back To Class!