Pre-assigned Questions

By Robyn Childers Robyn Childers: Tried something today that worked well: My class isn’t shy but they don’t jump out of their seat when I ask a question of them. Today I wrote down the search questions from the manual onto individual 3×4 notecards and handed them out. When the question came up in the lesson…Mary would answer the question. No waiting to call on someone, no deer in the…
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Four Column Scripture Analysis

By Adriene Olsen Murray Adriene Olsen Murray: I used this idea from our Seminary Coordinator. It works best with a short section or block of scriptures. It was really fun. The kids found things that I had not thought of and explained what it meant to them. Divide the board into four columns: 1. Zinger — find verses in the block of scripture that are awesome, stand out to you,…
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Pop Quiz

Ah, the dreaded Pop Quiz. There’s a reason that this old-style teaching method hasn’t been thrown out: it’s super effective. This evil-sounding tool can be used by the wise teacher to help cover a lot of material very quickly, review previously studied material, or to determine how well students are understanding material.  Plus, it takes very little preparation time by the teacher. Write your questions. Your questions should be of…
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Finding “Witnesses”

When I teach, I try to apply the law of witnesses: “in the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established,” (See D&C 6:28, 2 Corinthians 13:1, Deuteronomy 19:15, 2 Nephi 29:8, Matthew 18:16) to my Lesson preparation. The idea is that as teachers, we’re always looking for “witnesses” to the word. When we establish the word with multiple witnesses, or testimonies, we help it sink deeply…
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Jesus and Disruptive Questions

In Luke 10:25-37, we find a lawyer trying to trip up the Savior with his disruptive questions and justify himself in sin: And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He [Christ] said unto him [the lawyer], What is written in the law? how readest thou? [Here, Christ is establishing a starting point. He’s asking the lawyer to…
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Asking better questions

The following is a report I wrote after a Seminary inservice meeting where I attended a class on Asking Better Questions: I had the good fortune of being in Brother Baraclough’s class on Asking Better Questions. Watching him teach was at least as instructive as the material, if not more, and so I really enjoyed this. Improving the Set Up First Brother Baraclough demonstrated a common mistake teachers make (one…
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Elder Richard G. Scott taught, “Never, and I mean never, give a lecture where there is no student participation. A ‘talking head’ is the weakest form of classroom instruction.” (Address to CES Religious Educators, February 4, 2005) Lecture has its place in teaching, but teacher presentation or lecture should not be your entire lesson. It should not, in my opinion, make up the majority of your lesson either. I learned…
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