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.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Classroom Order and Storage

Each student in my class has a plastic storage box.

Order in the classroom brings the Spirit and these storage boxes have contributed to our classroom routine and order that welcomes the Spirit.
Each box is tall enough to hold any size quad scripture set. ( 10 1/16" x  13 15/16"  x  4")
The width and length are just the right size for holding regular size notebooks, folders, binders, etc.
I have looked on-line at the IRIS site but have not seen this specific size, which is the best.
The high quality and dimensions make these ideal for student's classroom supply storage

The Scrapbook/Hobby storage container section at Michaels in the store, not-on-line, is the best place to find these. I have not seen IRIS brand plastic boxes with these dimensions, on-line or any place other than Michaels. With coupons, I usually pay a little under $5 per box. Regular price, they are around $8. They are high quality and worth the price.

As students graduate, they leave their box and it is assigned to a new student for the next year, unless it is broken, which I have only had one fall apart and it was due some accidental stepping on the box. They are sturdy, which is important. I have seen others for less money but they were low quality. These boxes get a lot of rough and tumble use, which is a consideration for quality. I have seen, in the past, Rubbermaid brand boxes just like these but not lately.

Each student receives a large sticker (I use the large shipping stickers from Office Depot) to cover the original product description sticker.
If they want a new one each year, I give them one. It feels like a "fresh start" and gets them excited about a new year of study.
They decorate the stickers with their names, doodles, etc.
This year, many of my students are writing their Hebrew name on their sticker.

Our room stays set up all week and when everyone cleans up their seat area at the end of each class and we can leave the room orderly (see photos below), we generally don't have issues with people coming in and moving, touching, taking, breaking, etc. our "stuff".

On Fridays we store them all in a locked cabinet, however, many weeks they have been stored out in the open, unlocked, and no one as touched them. I don't like to keep them unlocked or out over the weekend as their scriptures and journals with personal writings in their boxes. I am aware of another Seminary class that stores theirs in the meetinghouse library on weekends and long breaks.

This would be an ideal consideration for those who share their room in a busy meetinghouse and must pack up their supplies every day. The clean up is quick and the kids take responsibility for their own supplies.

Monday, August 31, 2015

My Hebrew Name

This idea came from a fellow teacher, Sharon Haynie.
I looked up the Hebrew  name for each of my students, printed them out from the My Hebrew Name site, and posted them on the walls of the hallway as the students arrived one morning.
As the students arrived, they had to guess which was their name.
Once they had the correct name, I had them look up the meaning of their Hebrew name.

Some of them are going by their Hebrew name in class and have had fun writing it on their supply box, paperwork, books, etc.
This can be used with any lesson emphasizing that we are children of God and that He loves us, He knows us by name, etc.
Great Old Testament introduction. Thank you, Sharon Haynie for this resource.
Click here for link for My Hebrew Name

Friday, August 28, 2015

Kiss or Cry- Scripture Mastery Activity

For the first 2 weeks of class, I have encouraged my students to mark all 25 Scripture Mastery verses.
As part of the "Studying Scriptures" lesson, we discussed various ways to mark scriptures.
Over the 4 years of Seminary, I encourage them to mark all 100 Scripture Mastery verses with a uniform color and method so when they are looking through their scriptures, those verses stand out as Scripture Mastery verses.
I show them several different examples and hope that they choose what works best for them and will develop their own system of marking scriptures as they study.

Today we played "Kiss or Cry", an idea I got from another Seminary Teacher.

How to play:
Call out any Scripture Mastery reference and the students all turn to it.
If they have it marked, they receive a Kiss (Hershey Kiss)
If not, they "cry" and no kiss is received.
Usually, those who don't have it marked start marking and by the time you play this in a few weeks, they don't miss out on receiving a kiss.

A nice aspect of this activity is that you can do it for 1 or 2 verses as a quick review on a lesson day or turn it in to a full activity for a flex day.

Today, I had our Bishop come in and play the game with them, however, you don't need to invite a special guest and this can take as much or little time as you determine to use.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Thank you, Amy Jones, for putting into writing what most Seminary teachers feel.
This is wonderful.
If you know or love a Seminary teacher, read  THIS 
If you are a Seminary teach, read THIS.
What do you think?
I think she said is spot on!
Happy Back to Seminary class!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Excellent Resource

It is July and my Seminary brain is gearing back up.
Truth be known, a Seminary brain never shuts down completely.

I just discovered this wonderful resource for Seminary lesson plans, organization, ideas, etc.
Smash Book Seminary blog and Oldfield Designs Etsy Shop.

Click HERE   and HERE for her blogs and HERE for her Etsy shop

Both a great resources offered by Melissa Oldfield.
Interesting that we live in the same geographic area and I had no idea her resources and support were out there until this week.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Succession in the Presidency

 After the martyrdom of Joseph Smith and his brother, Hyrum, the Church was without a President. To teach how a new President was called, we studied the 4 possible "candidates". We learned how and why Brigham Young become the next President of the Church and Prophet in this dispensation. I had 4 students represent each "candidate" and read the reasons why they or someone else felt they should be he next President of the Church.

We read testimonies of the Saints who were present to hear Brigham Young speak and to see and hear him take on the appearance and voice of Joseph Smith.

As a lead-in to this discussion, I made a time-line of events leading to the martydom (see photos at the end). It helped set the stage for discussing the possible options of who would serve as the next President.

As an activity (see photos below) I set up chairs for each current member of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. We walked through what will happen when President Monson passes away and what happens to his counselors, President Eyring and President Uchtdorf.
We moved the pictures to the appropriate chairs to show the seniority of each Apostle and discussed how a new President of the Church is called and how new Apostles are called.

 Succession in the Presidency activity

 Time Line

Temple Socks

This morning, my  students LOVED  receiving their new Temple Socks so much that they could not wait to wear them. As they were putting them on, they were naming all the times and places they plan to wear their new socks.
One student said, "I am going to have the coolest socks in my entire school.. I will be the only person in my school with Temple Socks!"
A fellow Seminary teacher introduced these on the LDS Seminary Teacher Facebook group as an idea for an end of year gift. (I love that Facebook group and these socks!)

I reminded them to "Stand in Holy Places" and of this counsel from President Thomas S Monson
on the eternal importance of Temples:
"Why are so many willing to give so much in order to receive the blessings of the temple? 
Those who understand the eternal blessings which come from the temple know that no sacrifice is too great, no price too heavy, no struggle too difficult in order to receive those blessings. 
There are never too many miles to travel, too many obstacles to overcome, 
or too much discomfort to endure. 
They understand that the saving ordinances received in the temple that permit us to someday return to our Heavenly Father in an eternal family relationship and to be endowed with blessings and power from on high are worth every sacrifice and every effort."

Order your own pair(s) HERE

Happy Teaching!