Church-produced lesson manuals are carefully prepared to ensure that the doctrines of the Church are kept pure. They establish guidelines for teaching in Church settings, and they ensure a consistent approach to gospel topics and principles. You should be true to the teachings and guidelines in these manuals. However, you do not need to present lessons exactly as they appear in the manuals. You may adapt the lessons according to the needs and circumstances of those you teach.
Whatever you do to adapt lessons, remember that your adaptations should help learners understand and live gospel principles. Therefore, adaptations should be made only after prayerful study of the lesson material and consideration of each individual you teach. As you seek to adapt a lesson, you should be guided by (1) the manual you have been given; (2) the three central questions discussed on pages 98–99 of this book; and (3) the standards of teaching outlined in this book, such as loving those you teach, teaching by the Spirit, and teaching the doctrine.
Examples of Lesson Adaptations
The following situations represent a few ways in which you might adapt lessons to those you teach.
Using Material from Recent Church Magazines
As you read a story in a lesson about service, you are reminded of a similar story in a recent Church magazine. You feel that the young women in your class will relate better to the story in the magazine, so you use that story instead of the one in the manual.
Developing Your Own Learning Activities
As you prepare a lesson for a group of Primary children, you read the attention activity at the beginning of the lesson. You feel that this particular activity might not help the children in your class. You ponder the needs of the children and develop an activity that will help them focus on the principles you are going to teach.
Departing from the Suggested Lesson Development
You are preparing to teach the deacons in your ward. The Aaronic Priesthood lesson manual suggests using a role play to help them apply a gospel principle. As you think about the young men you teach, you are reminded of some experiences they have had recently. You feel that a simple discussion about those experiences would be more effective than a role play.
Adapting Lessons for Different Age-Groups
For ideas on adapting lessons for different age-groups, see the part of this book titled