Today we held a road rally for our scripture mastery game. I created a little maze and placed each of the targeted scriptures with missing chapter and verse references on the page.
I passed out the sheet and had each student put their name on it. I explained that this was NOT a test, but simply an assessment form that we’d be using off and on for the rest of the year to gauge their progress.
Their assignment was, without looking in their scriptures, to fill in as many of the chapter and verse numbers that they could, keeping the scriptures in chronological order as best they could.
Once they were finished, they then were to circle the ones they filled out and write how many they knew in the upper left corner of the paper. (The goal: each time they fill a new page out, the number should increase. I intend to use this maybe three more times this school year.)
They run the race again, this time opening up their scriptures to each scripture mastery verse to check what they’d written before. The goal was to fill in any blanks and to correct any inaccurate ones (notice I didn’t say “wrong” :0) For those that finished early, I had them drilling key words in preparation for Round Three.
I had a duplicate, large road rally drawn on the chalkboard with a little car I’d cut out. We revved our engines and began our trek to see how far the class’s car could get.
Beginning with the first pitstop, the kids called out the reference and the accompanying key words WITHOUT looking in their scriptures.
(On another day, I would also have them reciting the scripture. But this was the first day and their knowledge is still new enough that we were moving a bit slow. As they get faster, we can also add reciting the verse.)
If they got the reference and key words correct, the car could continue on to the next pitstop. If the kids weren’t sure about either the correct reference or matching key words, they quickly looked them up and then shouted them out. That way they could “drive” on to the next pitstop!
At the next pitstop, again they called out the reference and keywords. They continued this way, moving the car to the next pitstop and so on, every time verifying they were correct.
From my human resource development major in college and from teaching piano for so many years, it’s been fascinating to notice that certain approaches help individuals acquire knowledge more readily than others.
There are certain helpful techniques when learning something for the first time. And then once knowledge has been gained, there are certain techniques which are helpful to group that knowledge to make it readily accessible/usable in the future.
Thus, in developing this race track, I tried to do it in such a way that the scriptures were grouped together in their own individual lanes/columns, rather than scattered randomly through the maze or even random squares in a box (although “random” has its place at certain times!).
Thus, you will notice that there are only two 1 Nephi scriptures and they stand alone on their own short path. This is to help the students remember that 1 Nephi has only two scripture mastery sets. 2 Nephi has six mastery scriptures and runs down one column all on its own, with only 2 Nephi scriptures in that particular lane. This is to help the students start dialing in the fact there are six 2 Nephi scipture masteries and to help them start differentiating between each of them. Jacob and the three Mosiah scriptures are all grouped together on their own path. Alma, likewise. And so on.
It’s a subtle teaching technique, but hopefully helpful for them as they dial in a final review of all of their scripture mastery sets.
By doing this, I want the kids to start getting a strong “lay of the land” of these particular scriptures and the important truths they contain. By drilling the references, along with the key words, for today, I’m hoping this all becomes a permanent part of these students. Not just for now, not just for the end-of-the-year scripture mastery day, but for always. May the Lord help us all as we try to help these great youth.