Have each class member work with a partner. Have them study the plan of salvation, as taught in Preach My Gospel. Then have them role play teaching it as missionary companionships to an investigator (or investigators).
I always love it when we can use women from the scriptures as role models! So, I really love this study guide from The Red Headed Hostess about what we can learn about adversity from the women of the scriptures. You can learn more about it and the rest of the teaching pack for this lesson here.
Have you felt unsure with how to go about letting the youth teach Come, Follow Me? Maybe you’re not sure they can handle teaching a full lesson. Maybe you’ve asked them to teach and they’re too scared to say yes. Well, in any case, giving them some ways to help you teach can be a great start to preparing your youth to be ready to teach an entire lesson. I’ve also noticed that it helps the quieter kids participate more. Here are some things I do to help them.
Let Them Write on the Board
Any time we have a discussion where I want responses written on the board, I ask one of my class members to do the writing. This gives them some practice being at the front of the room. Sometimes, I use my sense of humor and challenge the rest of the class to wear their arm out with their ideas. This works well for loosening their tongues.
Have Them Divide the Class into Groups
Sometimes, when I split the class into groups, I let one of my students do it. It’s another easy, non-threatening way to give them a small teaching responsibility.
Ask Them to Pick Up or Drop Off Materials from the Library
I am only one person. It can be a little overwhelming to try to pick everything up from the library, set up for my lesson, teach, and then clean up after. This takes some of the pressure off of me, and gives a class member a chance to help out. This is a great way for kids who aren’t comfortable getting in front of people to participate.
Assign Them to Teach Part of the Lesson
This is a great test for how well they can handle teaching the whole lesson. I start by letting them choose the lesson they want to teach. Then we both study the lesson material on our own during the week. On Friday or Saturday before we teach, we get together for about 15 minutes (this could easily be done on the phone or via Skype) and plan the lesson together. I let them choose the part of the lesson they want to teach: introduction, main lesson or weekly challenge. I also let them choose how they teach it. This is a great opportunity to help them prepare and ask you questions about teaching. One of my class members asked me what they should do if they ask a question and no one answers. We had a great discussion about how to handle it.
Have a Lesson Where They Study a Resource and Teach a Mini Lesson
Any time the lesson is very discussion-based and the youth do more talking than the adults, the youth are teaching in a very informal way. You can take that up a notch and have them teach a short lesson (2-5 minutes) on what they learned from any Church-approved resource.
Now it’s your turn. What are some ways you’ve had success in getting the youth in your class to help teach? Share your experiences in the comments.
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It’s hard to believe it is the end of the year! I know some of you are looking for something Christmas-y to teach. I think the lesson on using our spiritual gifts is perfect for this! You could download the 5th Sunday lesson on Light the World and use elements from both to create a great Christmas lesson!
Here are the rest of the resources I gathered for December!
Sometimes, it’s really helpful to give my class a worksheet to guide them through the lesson. It keeps me from having to repeat the questions and it gives class members a place for taking notes, if they want to. These sheets are based on three conference talks in this lesson.
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I love these two study sheets about The Ten Virgins and The Parable of the Talents from The Red Headed Hostess. Sometimes it can really help with a discussion when our class has time to write their thoughts down before sharing.
Why is it important for me to gain an education and develop skills?
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Becoming more Christlike is always a great topic of discussion for the youth. I always love hearing what my class has to share about how they do this.
This month’s Come, Follow Me theme is my personal favorite! The atonement means so much to me. It’s taken on a new meaning, as I’ve been studying the lessons to prepare to teach. Three weeks ago, I had knee surgery. I was expecting it to be a fairly small deal. We were fixing one, maybe two things and I was told I would be able to walk right after my surgery. I woke up from surgery, facing a completely new set of circumstances.
The surgeon came in to update me on how the surgery went. He held up three pages of pictures of the inside of my knee and said, “Well, I found about five things to fix in your knee.” He proceeded to walk me through the pictures and explain everything he had done. Bottom line, one of the procedures would take 6 months to heal and I would be going home on crutches with instructions to bear 50% of my weight on my bad leg. It was way worse than I had expected and planned for.
I’ve found a great deal of personal peace and comfort studying about the atonement, especially how it can bring us peace during our trials. The quote from Sister Marriott stands out to me the most. “Yielded and still” has become a mantra for my recovery, as my pace has slowed both literally and figuratively. Slowing down is not easy for me. I don’t know yet what the Lord is trying to tell me, but I know there’s much to be learned from this experience. I know that I’ve been showered with tender mercies, like being in almost no pain. I’ve been healing and recovering quickly. My physical therapists say I’m ahead of schedule in my recovery. I’ve been blessed with friends and neighbors who brought me meals, visited me, checked on me and have given more than I needed.
As tough as it has been, and will be for a little longer, I already see that I will look back and see some really beautiful moments where I have felt the love of God, especially through my friends, family and neighbors.
I’m in the beginning of my fourth year teaching Come, Follow Me and I’ve never regretted the changes the Church has made to the new youth curriculum. It’s completely changed how I see teaching in the Church and has helped me to serve my young women better. I find myself wishing that more people taught Come, Follow Me- style lessons. Here are some of the reasons I wish we taught this way church wide.
It helps the instructor focus on the needs of the students. We have the opportunity every month to get feedback from our class or quorum presidencies and parents about which lesson outlines are needed the most. If we are meeting needs, the students are more likely to be engaged in the lesson and not checked out on their phones.
I learn more when I teach this way. Seriously, the answers that come from my young women teach me.
It’s a great way to truly teach by the Spirit.
You will be more focused on spiritual preparation. It’s the spiritual preparation that helps us gain the influence of the Spirit to help us teach. This is what helps us teach effectively and truly meet needs. It also helps us know how to handle questions and concerns that are raised in the course of the lesson by our students. You do not have to be a gospel scholar to be a great teacher.
The discussions can be so much deeper. Have you ever walked away from a lesson wishing the instructor hadn’t ended the discussion so they could move on?
You are free to cover as little or as much material as you feel is right for the lesson. It may not make sense to cover all of the Plan of Salvation in one lesson. It may make more sense to split it over two lessons and discuss it with more depth.
The lessons always end with an invitation to act. We should be doers of the Word, not just hearers!
Come, Follow Me is coming to all church organizations. The change could happen as soon as 2017. Wouldn’t it be easier to start learning this now?
Do you wish every church instructor taught this way? Why?
Many of us are control freaks. We’ve done all of this before and we know how to do it. We think it would be easier if we did it ourselves. It’s so much more work when the youth are in charge. What if they don’t follow through?
Any of that sound familiar to you? Did you hear yourself in any of those statements?
If you did, you’re not alone and it’s not to late to make some changes. Here’s my list of easy, no-fail ways to release control of the youth programs to the youth.
Let them choose the themes for youth conference, camps, New Beginnings, Young Women in Excellence and anything else that requires a theme.
Pair a youth up with a leader to plan meals for camps and youth conference. They plan the menu and the leader takes them shopping for the food.
Ask your class or quorum presidency for feedback on which Come, Follow Me lessons they feel are needed the most.
Have the youth fill out the schedule for camps and youth conference. The worst that can happen is you will either run out of time to do the planned activities or you will run out of activities. These problems are easily solved by having the group vote on which activities are most important to them or by giving them some free time. You can also review the schedule with them before the event and ask them to add more activities or cut some activities out.
At the end of your Come, Follow Me lessons ask your class if they would like to spend another week on the same topic or move on to another one.
Have the youth start choosing the activities. You can start by giving them 3 or 4 options that are acceptable to you and then eventually move to purpose-based planning.
If this is something that is hard for you to do. I encourage you to choose one and try it out for a month.
What easy, no-fail ways have you used to release control to the youth?
One of the things I love about Come, Follow Me is how quickly my lesson plan comes together once I’ve finished studying. Most weeks, I’m able to put together a lesson outline in about 5 minutes. I think the reason that it works that way is that studying the lesson materials and praying about them and for the young women I teach is the most important preparation that I do.
With that in mind, I will share with you how I put my lesson outlines together so quickly.
First, I start studying for next week’s lesson at least a week before I’m going to teach. I pace myself so that I finish all of the lesson materials by the Saturday before my lesson. If you want some tips on how to study, take a look at my post How I Study for a Come, Follow Me lesson.
Second, I pay attention to which lesson materials cause you me to feel the Spirit the most. What thoughts go through my mind as I am studying? It might be good to write these down.
Third, after I have studied all the lesson materials, I review the lesson outline. I pay close attention to teaching suggestions that involve the materials that caused me to feel the Spirit the most. If none of the suggestions work for me, I use the link for more teaching ideas in the left sidebar. I’ve found those very helpful at times when I’ve been stuck with how to teach!
Fourth, I write my lesson outline. I always follow the same pattern: follow up on last week’s assignment, introduce the lesson, teach the body of the lesson, find out what other questions they have, ask if they would like to spend another week on this lesson or move on, and finally select an assignment for them to work on during the week.
That’s it, folks! I keep it really simple. I think it’s also important to remember that if you’re feeling unsure about how to teach or what materials to teach from that it isn’t possible to choose wrong! There are only good, better or best choices with these lesson outlines.
Now, I would love to hear from you. What is your process for preparing a lesson outline?