Object Lesson

Follow the instructions

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 13. Up2inches 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) Source: Geocities

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Last updated: November 18, 2004

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