Not My Best Lesson

Well, today’s lesson was not stellar.  I don’t know why I keep doing this same lesson — it’s a flop nearly every time.  I’m just expecting too much.  These students just can not write a short script from a scripture text to save their lives.  Three years I’ve been doing it, and it never seems to get any better.  It’s always much better if we talk about the story and act it out or if I just let them act out what they remember.  Having them try to work on a skit during class is always a miserable experience.  Today was the last time.

Actually, I know exactly why I did it — it makes TOTAL sense.  Today we drew Nephi’s version of the Tree of Life vision.  The plan is to cover the vision over the next three days.  Today was overview with drawing and acting.  Tomorrow is going to be explanatory discussion, and the following day will be deeper, with a focus on “Have ye inquired of the Lord?”. After I split up the verses for drawing, it became pretty clear that one person or group of 3-4 (due to space) could not complete the drawing in a reasonable amount of time.  So I decided to split the class into boys and girls.  Boys would draw the action items on one wall and Girls would draw the symbols on another.  Easy.  Now what about the leftover kids….  I decided it would be fun to have the kids act out Nephi seeing the vision using the visuals that would be present on the walls.  Each group had a director, 3 actors (angel, spirit, Nephi), 2 writers, a costumer, and at least one script writer.  Costuming — check.  Actors — okay.  Script — too much.  The acting in the skits was pretty disastrous. 

I was hoping for the kids to see the pattern in the vision through the skits: here’s a symbol, here’s the interpretation, here’s a real life example, repeat.  Fail.  So for the last few minutes I stood and showed the kids the pattern of how the dream was working myself. Tomorrow I’ll have to go back and make sure we cover what may have been missed.

I should have gotten up earlier to set up, too.  If I had, I’d have learned earlier that sticky putty does not hold bulletin board paper up effectively sooner.  I ended up using painter’s tape.  Thank goodness I had some around.

Another mistake I made was in skipping over Lehi’s version of the vision in chapter 8. I figured it didn’t make sense to repeat the text, but in reality, it did, since the text builds on itself. When I planned this out in my mind, I thought I would have kids draw the vision as we dicussed it, and then label the vision and add detail as we got to Nephi’s version and the interpretations.  This would have been a better approach. Drawing should have happened in 1 Nephi 8, then labeling during 1 Nephi 11-15.

*sigh*

Next time.

At least now I have the drawings up and can use them to fill in detail tomorrow.  That’s the thing about Seminary — if you crash one day you better pick yourself up.  They’re coming back tomorrow.