Teach the class that following instructions exactly is important by drawing a picture on the chalkboard different than the one for which you give oral instructions.
Tell the class members you will give them some instructions to draw a picture. Instruct them to listen carefully to the instructions and follow them closely.
Encourage the class members to refrain from talking or discussing the class activity while you're giving instructions.
Don't follow your own instructions as you draw a picture on the chalkboard, but read the following instructions to the class:
Beginning with your pencil in the middle of the paper, draw one continuous line:
1. Down 2 inches
2. Over right 3 inches
3. Up 2 inches
4. Diagonal up left 2 inches
5. Diagonal down left 2 inches
6. Straight right 3 inches
7. Down 2 inches
8. Left 2 inches
9. Up 11/2 inches
10. Over right 1 inch
11. Down 1 1/2 inches
12. Over left 4 inches
14. Make a squiggly, complete circle (about 2 inches in diameter)
15. Down 2 inches
16. Over left 2 inches
17. Up 4 inches
18. Make a smooth, complete circle
19. Draw pointed triangles around your circle
20. You are finished!
Some students will realize you are not drawing the same picture I was describing to them by the time we got about half way through, but will be unable to finish the picture correctly because they missed the first instructions. Most of them will copy the drawing on the chalk board, instead of my verbal instructions.
Now, repeat the activity. This time, lead the class by drawing the correct figure on the chalkboard as the instructions are read.
Things to discuss:
We often hear that "Actions speak louder than words." Do they?
Who might be affected by a bad example? (siblings, friends, nonmembers, members)
"Do as I say, not as I do." are nearly impossible instructions to follow, as this object lesson shows.
Can we get off track by not carefully listening to and following the Prophet's words?
Whose example was perfect in word and deed? (The Savior)
Where are perfect written and oral instructions for our lives found? (scriptures, conference talks)
An object lesson is a short, thought-provoking message often used as an attention-getter at the beginning or end of a lesson. Please visit our LDS Activities section for activities that take 30 minutes or more.
Each idea in our collection of LDS Object Lessons was shared by the visitors and members of this website. We are able to host them free of charge, thanks to proceeds from our LDS store.