Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Power in the New Curriculum: What I am Learning

This past Sunday, in teaching the New Curriculum, Come Follow Me, in Sunday School,  I found power in:
  • Starting with what they know...and going from there
  • Trying to use several senses in teaching-visual, touch, and listening
  • Going back over a topic that I felt wasn't well understood
  • Asking they youth what they learned in class today
  • Challenging them for next week-return and report

This past week I focused on

"How I Can I learn to see Heavenly Father's Hand in My Life?"

First off I LOVE this topic for EVERYONE and was so excited to focus on it this past week.

Starting with what they know...
To start things off, I had them write their testimony... what they already know or already believe.   I told them I only want them to write what THEY know and what THEY believe today. At the end of this post, you can see how one boy learned and grew from this exercise.

Trying to use several senses in teaching-visual, touch, and listening...
I had several visuals up on the chalkboard of the Savior, the First Vision, and Joseph Smith that I felt covered the topics I wanted to cover in class. [Testimony, the Savior, Prayer, Recognizing God's hand in our lives] As well as President Eyring's talk O Remember, Remember  [love that talk!] which I passed out for each of them to have.[touch] And tried hard to help them listen!  Not always easy with 13 year old boys, but with this New Curriculum I have been very impressed with how well these goofy, squirmy 13 year-old boys focus, participate, and are engaged.

Going back over a topic that I felt wasn't well understood...
This week I chose to  re-visit talking about the First Vision this week although we briefly touched on in last week.  I wasn't fully convinced that the boys had a  firm grasp on it. It is so important and so basic to our testimony, that I felt we couldn't move on without understanding the First Vision more. We went into a lot of detail. I  followed the counsel found in Preach My Gospel to quote Joseph's account of the actual vision ..." I saw a pillar of light..." and to memorize it.  I tried, but I have it so ingrained in my brain in Spanish from my mission, I had to read part of it, to get it completely right.  There is such a power in those verses from the mouth of Joseph Smith.

From there we then talked about the principles of prayer.  I went super basic because I feel we do a lot of assuming in our lessons that the youth have a full understanding, when often times they are lacking in the very basic principles.  I asked a lot of questions and they were basically teaching it although I don't think they realized it.

We read and covered the scriptures listed and  then we made the connection of recognizing God's Hand in our lives and writing down spiritual experiences with Joseph Smith's first vision and President Eyring's talk O Remember, Remember. We talked about how Joseph Smith wrote down a very spiritual experience and how God answered his prayer.  Anyway, you get the idea.

Asking the youth what they learned in class today...
I was surprised with how effective and powerfully applying this one question was.  Each one of the boys shot their arms up in the air wanting to share what they learned, and each of them picked something different!  My favorite response was, "My testimony grew today" 

Challenging them for next week-return and report...

The challenge for next week is to try to recognize God's hand in your lives, and we will share at the beginning of class next week.