Today we began the study of Helaman, chapter 1-6. I intend to cover these chapters over the next two days. And when I begin a new book within The Book of Mormon (Alma, Helaman, Words of Mormon, etc.), I like to give an overview so that the students have a global understanding of what we’re about to microscopically look at. For the overview, I print up summaries of each (or at least most) of the points under “Some Important Gospel Principles to Look For” in the teacher’s manual (i.e. these word strips came from page 194 in the manual).
I present these phrase strips in a “hangy-downy-thing” which I keep up for the first week of discussion of each book (OK, bad name but I don’t know what this teacher’s tool is called! [wince].)
To begin the introduction for the new unit/book, I call on a student and ask them to read the sentence. Then we read as a class the associated scripture I’ve listed on the strip underneath the phrase.
We have a brief discussion about each scripture and concept as it is read. I usually only do an overview of three or four word strips a day, otherwise the kids tend to get a bit restless. Then we move on to the lesson material.
Today, once we completed the first half of the overview, I then asked who felt they were the sickest in the class (almost all of the students are sick at the moment). One brave soul immediately raised his hand and pluckily announced he was.
Following the suggestion in the teacher’s manual, I then asked what he was going to be doing to get better. He replied, “Take medicine and sleep lots.” (I had to grin at the “sleep lots” part – these early classes at 5:55 a.m. are tough.)
I then drew on the board a two-column diagram with “SICKNESS” in the left column heading and “REMEDY” in the right column heading. Turning to Helaman 4:11-14, the students took turns reading this verse by verse. As they came across mention of spiritual forms of sickness, we listed them in the “SICKNESS” column. As they came to the spiritual remedy, we listed that in the “REMEDY” column.
I wanted them to do this for two reasons. First of all, it was suggested in the teacher’s manual on page 195. Therefore, I wanted to follow the suggested teachings. But secondly, I was about to give them an indepth assignment and it is always easier to follow an assignment when you’ve had it mentored first.
I then announced that they were suddenly in the future and had all obtained their medical degrees. They were now doctors with their own practice! To prove it, I showed them presciption forms I had created with their names on it, all with “M.D.” behind their names.
They thought this was great. I told them they had a patient that was very ill. They needed to research what their client needed.
I already had pre-printed the forms with the individual chapter assignments. They were to look for the spiritual illness their “patient” had, study what the recommended remedy was, and record that on their prescription forms. Once they were done, they were to write in the third section their final summations.
The kids seemed to enjoy this and it drove home the point – sin creates spiritual sickness, which then leads to weakness, which then leads to being overpowered by Satan. Not something any of us truly wants. The students hopefully got the message!