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(Helps for Relief Society Lessons)
Do you have any suggestions for ways that we can perhaps make these lessons apply to our sisters more and make them more interactive?
With the change in format for the lessons, teachers and class members are given more freedom and more responsibility. This can bring about greater learning and insight if we let it. These suggestions and ideas may help us make better use of the materials provided for us. When you use these suggestions, remember, the real purpose is to delve into what Joseph F. Smith taught and figure out how to apply it in our lives.
1) Change the sisters' expectations. Tell them that they are the teachers and should come prepared, having read the lesson, formulated questions, and gathered ideas of things to share. If they expect to participate, if they realize that their comments count, and if they realize that the lesson should be a discussion more than a presentation, then I think this new format will work.
2) Use the teaching resources provided by the Church to develop your teaching abilities and to set up your classroom for success (Teaching: No Greater Call, videos, books, etc.).
3) The teacher could ask several sisters to share experiences or testimonies on the principles taught in the upcoming lesson.
4) The teacher could focus discussion better by asking appropriate questions (many of which are found in the lesson itself), rather than lecturing on the teachings herself. Some questions may be: Why did Joseph F. Smith address this principle in his day? How is our day like Joseph F. Smith's day? What do we see in the world around us that helps us see the importance of this principle? Now that we know this principle, what should we be doing? What will acting on this principle do to strengthen our homes, wards, etc.?
5) Make a change in seating to encourage discussion.
6) Before the end of each lesson, ask a question which will be answered by the next week's lesson. Make this question reflect modern day experiences or problems.
7) Make up skits in which people show their knowledge of the principle or show their commitment to living the principle and have the sisters act them out.
9) Use an interview format--one person dresses up as Joseph F. Smith and answers the audience's questions about the principle in the lesson material. Have questions prepared for the interviewer in case the audience does not have many questions.
9) Use games to test knowledge of the lesson material. If the material emphasizes cause and effect relationships, or things that we must do and the blessings we will receive in return, turn that portion of the lesson into Jeopardy, or a matching game. Play Scattergories using lesson terms. E.g.--list as many things as you can relating to Joseph F. Smith's teachings on the family. Then discuss the list together.
10) Make a list each week of specific applications for the lesson material. Have the sisters help formulate that list and write the list down on some pretty paper to take home with her.
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