Posted in brilliant ideas, church, coping, kids, Teaching

Cut and Paste Noah’s Ark lesson

This lesson goes with the Primary 6 book, Lesson 8

BACKGROUND:

Imagine you have a Sunday school class of 11 year old kids. You are trying to teach them about the Old Testament.

This was me several years ago and I was at a loss of what to do.

Here’s why:

One of my kids couldn’t read really at all. So having her read a scripture at all. Ever. Was. torturous.

Having someone else read didn’t solve the problem either because she wouldn’t pay attention at all and would cause problems when other people read because she couldn’t pay attention for that long.

Then one of my other students was a bit ADHD and really had no patience for any kind of long “discussion” at all (and by long I mean more than 30 seconds).

I felt like as 11-year-olds they should be learning a bit more of the details of the scriptures but I wasn’t sure how to get there without reading…or talking…for too long.

After the first couple weeks of basically complete disaster lessons, I came up with this idea because it kept their hands busy and it was something that shifted very fast and kept their attention. These lessons were for the most part 10 times more successful than any other attempts with a regular lesson.

What I did was I started drawing these pictures and cartoons and things to teach the lesson. I’d like to say I spent hours on them but honestly most of the time I was scrambling to finish them during Sacrament Meeting while wrestling my then two-year-old boy and two girls. How I ever did even one is a miracle.

I got them copied before class and that was it, gather up some good scissors and glue sticks and we were set.

The first 5-10 minutes was spent cutting out the pieces: they were old enough to do it themselves and I would sit with them and chat about school and their week, etc. Depending on the need, I would direct them to sort the pieces before we started.

I also cut out my own to use as a model while we talked.

Next, I went through the lesson, told stories, discussed and all the while putting the whole thing together. When we finished, they were supposed to color it…but to be honest, they rarely did, haha.

I was stoked for all the info we got through, how much they focused, and how much they actually retained (I would give them small quizzes about the previous weeks’ lesson as we cut out pieces and I could ask them anything it seemed! Amazing!!!)

Their reaction wasn’t as stoked, more like “huh. Cool.” when it was time to go, like “wow, that wasn’t miserable,” which coming from 11 year olds is a compliment, right?

This is my handout for Primary 6 (green book), lesson 8: “Noah and the Flood”

This is what the handout looked like at the beginning:

Then once we went through the lesson, the finished product looked like this:

The handout was intended to prompt me to explain each part so we actually discuss the whole story. I didn’t really write down a script, I just picked up pieces and discussed them as we went along.

Here is the script as I remember it:

First, what story do you think we are going to talk about today? Yes, It’s Noah and the Ark. (glue on Big Noah). How would you feel if the Lord asked you to build a boat when you were no where near water?

Who was Noah’s wife? (glue her next to Noah) What was her name? What do you think she thought about her husband’s project?

Who else was on the Ark with Noah? Can you guess? Yes, he had three sons and his sons had wives (glue them along the bottom of the boat like they are getting on)

What are their names? Japheth, Shem and Ham (glue their names over the top of each couple)

Alright, now what else was on the Ark?

FOOD! (Glue on two baskets of apples) Noah and his family had to bring on enough food to last for however long they would be on the boat so they had a lot of preparing to do to store enough for the journey. How much food do you think you would have to bring if you were going on the Ark?

What else did they bring? ANIMALS!

Now, when you were younger, I’m sure you always just heard “two of each” but actually, for some animals, they brought SEVEN of each…whY? Because they used some of them to actually eat! So They brought 7 of the birds like the chickens and the geese because they intended to eat some of them for dinner during the journey.

Glue on the animals they did NOT eat: the pigs, the cows, the elephant, the giraffe, the crocodile, and the bugs. Next to these animals, glue on “x2”

Next glue on the birds and glue next to them “x7”

Now who else was on the earth at this time? Did Noah have any other relatives?

Well, the first one that is pretty significant is Noah’s Grandfather, Methusaluh. Now Methusaluh was the last relative in Noah’s line that was alive he died ONE YEAR before the flood started. Methusalah is an interesting guy. His father was Enoch! And even though he was good as well, he was told to stay on Earth when everyone else was taken to heaven. He saw the VERY BEST people could be, and he also saw the VERY WORST they could be. He saw his friends and relatives taken up to heaven and he saw his friends and relatives reject the gospel and turn away from God. And if you look at when everyone older than him died, Methusalah was alive when ADAM was alive and even all of his great great and great grandfathers. He could have and probably did meet in person all of his “fathers” since Adam himself.

Now, here is a basic map of Adam and Eve’s children. We know the story of Cain and Abel but the scriptures say that Adam and Eve had many other sons and daughters that are not mentioned by name.

Now after Cain murdered Abel and became wicked, anyone who was associated with him came to be called “The brethern of Cain”

 

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Posted in brilliant ideas, Bullet Journals, coping, Getting Organized

Why I’m Hooked on a Bullet Journal

So I started doing a bullet journal the week that school started…

I’ve wanted to start one before but never had the right book for it…

When we were school shopping, I found the perfect one and thought…this. this is it.

So far I’ve really enjoyed it and here’s why:

1. It validates how crazy my day was. Sounds funny but really, it helps me realize that yes, this day was insane! You don’t have to act like it wasn’t and hello? of course you are tired! You did a billion things today!

2. It helps me be a little creative. I don’t always draw a picture in my entries but I like to and it helps ease that creative itch, ya know? I feel like at least I wasn’t a completely productionless artist today…

3. It’s not a big deal BUT it is. I feel like I have recorded my day! Let’s be honest, I’d love to be able to sit down and make a long, thought out, reflective, life changing entry in my journal every day but pffff….I have 4 kids, a job, a husband and a slipping grip on my sanity and hardly any time to spare. This is fast and satisfying and Done.

4. I record things here that have no other outlet. I mean just so many small details that I’d like to remember and can’t unless I have something to remind me. So many small experiences that would never feature as a main event even if I kept a journal…here is where they are. When I have bad dreams…I mean its not something I would even remember after even one day or even tell anyone, but I’ve often thought about how one night of odd weird dreams effects my day…or if the day before produced them?

5. It helps me see my life as a cycle instead of just a series of random days. I try to summarize each day of the month in one word and it’s crazy how each month unfolds. Sometimes it’s a wonder I get anything done at all looking at it

Posted in church, coping, Getting Organized, Getting Started, primary chorister, Teaching

Choose the Right Temple Matching Review game

Program is coming up… …so I opted for a review game. I was inspired by this idea (even tho all I can see if the picture of the cards) but I thought that having it straight matching would take too long…and be too hard for the little ones. So I figured a little more CTR action and then…temples?

So the game was called Choose the Right… Temple” because you had to match them, get it? So choose the right temple to complete the phrase? (not sure what doctrinal repercussions this could have on their little minds, maybe one day they will struggle deciding which temple to marry in because I told them to “choose the right temple” like that’s a thing but I guess I’ll risk it)

Green cards had the beginning phrase of one of our 8 program songs and then the temples had the other half of the phrase.

(I chose phrases from each song and didn’t choose words from either the beginning or the chorus on purpose–gotta have it kinda hard, I mean really!)

That Sunday I had both Jr and Sr primary together and we just divided the room in half and said those were the teams.

Whenever one team got a match, I put the cards under their Team 1 or Team 2 names (that I wrote in chalk) to the side to keep track of the score.

Whenever one team got a match we sang that song. We ended up singing 6 songs and just did the last 2 pairs for points sake–we did sing all verses on all the songs as well so if we hadn’t we could have probably finished.

Whole thing took about 25 minutes NOTES: I realized the point of the rule “if you find a match, you get another turn.” The first person to choose generally doesn’t get a match because they are just pulling random cards, after that though, the next team has a better chance of finding a match. The team that won had that advantage I started to realize as the game went on… so one time I gave the other team some “better singing” points to try and balance them out a bit better but they still won.

Posted in church, coping, Getting Organized, Getting Started, primary chorister, Teaching

Duck Duck Sing Review Game

Feel like getting a little rowdy in Primary?

Here’s a fun review game for you:

Now first, I played this with a fairly small group…Sr primary was about 10 kids so we just did a huge circle and everyone played.

Jr primary was larger so I had a small group come up and take turns being in the circle.

Basic idea: one kid comes up and chooses a duck. Each duck has a song on the back.

Now we sing that song and as we sing, one person (I chose a new person to be It other than the duck selector but could be the same person) walks around patting each person on the head (In Jr primary we discussed how to do this softly LOL) and walking around.

Whenever the person stopped and RESTED their hand on one person’s head, (again we discussed doing this softly but also firm enough for the person to know they were selected), they had to fill in the words to the song.

This was supposed to be just a few words and the other kids were supposed to stop singing but they mostly didn’t stop and the kid looked at me and if they were saying the right words I just said “switch!” and they did and new person kept walking until the song was over.

If they didn’t know the words, I just shook my head and the person kept walking, no big deal. (tried not to have this be some public shaming game haha)

NOTES:

Overall the kids loved it, they liked messing up the chairs I think… and it was a bit louder but it was fun.

Jr primary often had a hard time choosing a person and would just walk around and around…. even after I told them they had to…still just walked around… oh well…

Sr primary had a hard time choosing anyone of the opposite sex…boys chose boys and girls chose girls so had to stop them and make them choose certain people at times so everyone got a turn. Maybe next time you could do boy/girl seats and make them count out a certain number…maybe ducks could also say a number? that way it would take some fear out of selecting a person?

Posted in brilliant ideas, coping, Getting Organized, Painting, Teaching

Four Popular Art projects Your Child could Do Today: Day 1 “The Desert”

I see things on Pinterest all the time and think, wouldn’t that be fun to do? But its all so random and seems like we never get to them.

So I went through a bunch of ideas and put them together under themes that seemed more managable.

This is the series of “Art Classes” that I designed and thought someone out there would like to save some time and use.

Each class has four activities that go around a central theme. Each activity (not counting the prep time you might spend) is about 15 to 20 minutes long.

If you wanted to do all four activities at the same time, figure an hour or so.

If you wanted to do one activity a day with your child, you could spend 15 minutes doing it and then do other things. (So instead of Day 1 it would be more like Week#1)

Enjoy!

Folded Snake: http://www.craftiments.com/2013/02/chinese-new-year-snake-craft.html
Sun Texture: http://www.teachingblogaddict.com/2012/05/end-of-year-art-project.html
Slinky Lizards: http://art-paper-scissors.blogspot.com/2011/02/slinky-lizard.html
Qtip Desert Animals: http://www.teachkidsart.net/watercolor-fish-with-pointillism/

Missed a Day? Check out these also:

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

Posted in brilliant ideas, coping, trampolines

How to dig an in-ground trampoline and not go crazy Here’s How:

Step 1: find a trampoline that will fit in the space you want to use

In our case we needed a rectangular shape so that we would still have some yard left for other things

Step 2: ORDER IT right now otherwise you’ll just have a huge hole in the ground with nothing to put in it!

Step 3: order only the trampoline and disregard offers to have it installed professionally because you totally got this and geez, it’ll be cheaper right? Those install places charge a fortune!

Step 4: rent a backhoe for the day and start digging!

Step 5: have everyone watch and even have them “help” dig so they all feel involved

Step 6: keep digging and digging…at some point measure to see how deep you really need to go

Step 7: build the frame for the sides and put the trampoline in the hole

Step 8: fill in around the tramp with dirt. Call everyone over to help you and then fill some more. Wait for the dirt to settle and then fill in more… repeat over and over for about a week

Step 9: see that mountain of dirt? Just get used to that being there

Step 10: call everyone you know and ask them to come over and get some free dirt. Advertise on yard sale sites and talk to everyone you know about taking some dirt away.

Finally, use the leftover railroad ties and dirt and create a gigantic flowerbed thinking this will use up all the remaining dirt

Step 11: that uses a lot but not all of it. Resign yourself to the fact that you have a mound of dirt there and whatever. Let a year go by.

Step 12: get fed up with the dirt one day and just spread it out all over the yard on top of the gravel and then go get more gravel to put over the top of the dirt and give your arms a real good workout until about 1am

Step 13: after the padding completely falls apart 6 months later, order a new one and wonder why you didn’t do that from day 1. This one is so much better!

Step 14: put the kid’s basketball hoop next to the tramp, why did you never think of this before?

Enjoy!

Posted in brilliant ideas, Cell Phone Apps, church, coping, Getting Organized, Teaching

5 ways to not go crazy with teenagers, cell phones and Sunday school

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I was sitting in a “teacher council” meeting this last week

And we were discussing cell phones…and how they drive everyone insane.

There you are teaching a lesson and suddenly the two girls in the back are giggling over the video they are watching on their phones.
Or the kid who sits there through the whole lesson playing on his phone and being sulky and sullen if you ask him to participate.
Or just trying to get their attention AT ALL, get them to LOOK UP from their phones and act like humans and give educated, interesting, thought provoking responses

(I mean is that even possible??? Even without phones???)

Many in the group offered this solution: Take their phones away.

And that’s not a bad call in some cases really.

And as a high school teacher, I used to do much that same thing.
At the beginning of class, I made all my kids turn off their phones (OFF, not just vibrate)
And I went around and checked them and gave them points for doing it even.
And they were supposed to keep them ON their desk (not under the desk or on their lap)
And keep them off for the whole period.

It worked great.
My lower level kids had a harder time with it sometimes, 
But let’s be honest, they had a hard time following directions period. So hey…

This last year though, my attitude changed.
I still miss the days of “turn off your phone when you come to class”
But my attitude now is: Let’s teach you to USE that phone instead of just PLAY with it.
If ANYONE is going to do that, it should be ME, your teacher, the school
This should be part of your education.
Because phones are not going away
And if anything they are getting better and better

And we can use them in more ways to make our lives better

But I’m sorry, if all they know is how to work Snapchat, Instagram and FB
I don’t see their lives being enriched at all.

In fact most kids only use their phones as very expensive toys 

So where will they learn to be better?

They will just magically wake up one day and be so?
Ya no…. welcome to YOUR calling 🙂

So these are some ideas of how you could USE phones in your Sunday School/YW/YM class to teach them to be GOOD with their phones. Hope it helps 🙂

1. Have them put a quote into their “Scriptures” as the class is starting or as their “ticket” out

Let’s say hypothetically that you weren’t teaching lesson 3 and you chose to discuss the topic of the godhead



Included in these materials are several scriptures and also some references to some talks by General Authorities about the subject

To start off the class one thing that could be useful for them is to give them something to keep in their “scriptures”

It used to be that everyone had physical scriptures and so to give them something to keep in their scriptures all you had to do was print out a quote on some cute paper and hand it out to them. Now though if you do that chances are that those little pieces of paper will not be saved by anything other than the trash can because now everything is digital.

But there’s no reason you can’t do the same thing with the same intention in the digital age. You want them to put something in their scriptures that later in life they might find and be inspired or motivated or comforted by.

So you go to one of these articles that the lesson provided and you find a quote for them. I trust one from the article “Godhead” in True to the Faith.


Copy and paste that onto a paper with some instructions. For example I would put something like this, either that I wrote on the board or that I printed together with the quote to just hang up like a sign on the board:
Go to Matthew 3:13

Highlight the first phrase “Jesus, when he was baptized”

Now at the top of your screen click on what looks like a paper and pencil.
This opens up a note (what would be a sticky note if you were using physical scriptures)

Title this note “the nature of the godhead”

Type the following quotes in as a note:

At least for once their little fingers moving fast on the keys will not be irritating 🙂

Now the next time they read this verse (which is a pretty good example of the time in the scriptures when all three of the godhead were present together and also scripture that often misinterpreted) they will have this part of the first highlighted and also have this quote there either for their own enrichment or to share with others, just like the cute little bookmarks and inserts that we used to get in our scriptures.

Below this quotes you could also have them write a response (including the date) of how they feel about this or an experience with it or a comment about it or a question any type of thing that could go along with this.

Also when you want people to respond well and with some kind of thought to their words it’s often helpful to have them write down their responses first and this would also be a good place to do that as well if you wanted to have them discuss it later in class.

2. Have them memorize and pass off “scripture mastery” verses or choose verses that go with the lesson for that week for them to memorize.

This app is super GOOD and it’s one they would also use in Seminary 

(And no complaints from your kids’ seminary teacher I’m sure, they can use all the reinforcement and help they can get.)

It helps them to memorize the word by progressively taking words or letters away as you memorize it

See the scroll thing at the bottom? That is how you make more or less words appear as you are memorizing it

You can also have them take a quiz or take a quiz on the Scripture Mastery tags or references

Overall a pretty good app for memorizing the scriptures and you can also change it from Book of Mormon to Old Testament or new testament or whatever

3. Have them watch the corresponding video that goes with the lesson that week

It used to be that in order to watch a clip for your lesson you had to look in a huge TV and also check out a DVD or a cassette tape or a VHS tape

Now you still might have to do that if you want…

or you could actually have the students watch it themselves on their phones

One very quick and very easy option are the scripture stories these are in an easily downloaded app and they don’t take a lot of space a very common complaint from from my students these days: memory is a hot commodity) They don’t need a really good connection very simple also and to the point so they won’t take up a lot of time.

They might think this is a little childish but they do have a very basic summary of whatever it is that you’re talking about that week so at least when you say “Who is Enos?” For example you won’t just get blank stares. Well you might still get blank stares but at least you know that it’s because that’s just the way their face is…LOL

4. Make a KaHoot! Game 


You can do a quiz, a discussion,  a survey and they are really easy to make. It’s something that you could do the night before and then do during class without too much effort

All you need is a “base” computer for the game–probably easier with a tablet or laptop but phone works too. In order for it to work the kids have to enter a code that you give them to be part of the game so it helps to be able to just show them the screen but you could just write it on the board it’s not that complicated.

All you have to do is log on to your account and make your quiz ( you type in the questions and the answers then click to do the next question. Easy.

Once you go to start the game their phones now become their buzzers and as soon as they answer the program will show that they did and it will show the results of who answered what but it won’t say specifically which answer was whose so as not to embarrass anyone (It shows how many people have answered not who has answered). The program will tell them the correct answer was after a certain time. Usually 10 to 15 seconds and then it will move on to the next question.

5. Have them Define some words:

 I am always shocked at how many words my students don’t know the definition to. Words that I think “Of course they know because they’ve heard them a million times” and so I assume that they know what they mean! …and they don’t.

In my English class sometimes I have them go through an article before we read it and highlight words that they don’t understand and I am always floored at the words that they highlight. Now maybe they’re picking random words but in most cases I don’t think they are.

Like the other day we are reading an article and it use the word “bigot”I would say 99% of my students did not know what it meant and the one kid who guessed said that it meant a b**** and I guess that’s close to the definition? At least it’s getting to the general connotation of it but the fact that it had a female Association to it Disturbed me a little frankly. Do you see what I mean though? They kind of know what certain words mean but then at the same time they really don’t at all.

So if you want them to do something to help on the lesson have them choose some words to look up the definition for…

Maybe they have heard them a million times but it doesn’t mean that they understand them…at all…

On some words maybe just dictionary.com ( which most of my students use at school on their phones on a pretty regular basis) would work well for just like the Webster’s Dictionary type of a definition. For example, this is what the word “Meek” means:

It’s not a bad definition and it even gives you where it’s from? That’s kind of interesting but as far as the gospel I don’t know about you but I’m still not entirely clear about what it means.

Other times you could encourage them to use things like the Bible dictionary or a new feature in the digital scriptures called “Guide to the scriptures.”

This is a new addition and it’s kind of a combination between the topical guide and the Bible dictionary. For example if you look in the topical guide under “Meek, meekness,” you get this:

And if you look in the Bible dictionary? It’s not there.

But then if you look in the guide to the scriptures you get this:

This gives you an actual definition and it also gives you the references that the topical guide does as well.

Here’s to a Happy Sunday!  Good Luck!