Lesson 9: Use Effective Methods: Part 2

"Lesson 9: Use Effective Methods: Part 2," Part G: The Teaching the Gospel Course, ()


Purpose

To help class members apply the principles they learned in lesson 8.

Note to the Teacher

This lesson is a continuation of lesson 8. In preparation for this lesson, you will invite a few class members to teach gospel principles by using the following methods: sharing stories, asking questions, and conducting discussions (see “Preparation,” item 1, below). You should ensure that this experience is uplifting for them and that it helps them gain confidence in their ability to use different teaching methods. You should be especially sensitive to the needs and feelings of class members who are less experienced teachers.

Preparation

  1. 1.

    Speak with three class members in advance, asking each of them to prepare one of the demonstrations listed below. Encourage them to refer to the scriptures and Gospel Principles (31110) for help with the subject matter of the demonstrations and to this book for help on how to use the methods they have been assigned.

    Demonstration 1: Tell a true story to teach about the power of personal prayer. Be prepared to share a few insights on how to effectively use stories in gospel teaching.

    Demonstration 2: Use questions to teach about the blessings of keeping the Sabbath day holy. Be prepared to share a few insights on how to effectively use questions in gospel teaching.

    Demonstration 3: Conduct a discussion to teach about why we should be willing to make sacrifices. Be prepared to share a few insights on how to effectively conduct discussions in gospel teaching.

  2. 2.

    As necessary, help the assigned class members prepare their demonstrations.

Suggested Lesson Development

Remind class members that in the previous lesson they saw demonstrations on using object lessons, comparisons, and the chalkboard to teach gospel principles. Today they will see demonstrations in which assigned class members will teach gospel principles by sharing a story, asking questions, and conducting a discussion.

Sharing stories

Demonstration and Discussion

Invite the assigned class member to present the first demonstration (see “Preparation,” item 1). After this demonstration, have class members discuss the following question:

  • How did the use of this story help you better understand the power of personal prayer?

Invite the assigned class member to share a few insights that he or she has gained about how to use stories to teach gospel principles.

Teacher Presentation

Have class members turn to the “Stories” entry on pages 179–82. Review “Guidelines for Preparing and Telling a Story,” page 181.

Asking questions

Demonstration and Discussion

Invite the assigned class member to present the second demonstration (see “Preparation,” item 1). After this demonstration, have class members discuss the following question:

  • In what ways did the questions in this demonstration help you better understand the blessings of keeping the Sabbath day holy?

Invite the assigned class member to share a few insights that he or she has gained about how to use questions to teach gospel principles.

Teacher Presentation

Help class members understand that the questions that we use as teaching tools should:

  1. 1.

    Stimulate thought and discussion. To find out what people know, think, or feel, ask questions that begin with what, where, when, why, how, or in what way. Generally, questions that can be answered yes or no are not effective unless they lead to other questions or to commitments.

  2. 2.

    Help class members see how to apply gospel principles in their lives.

  3. 3.

    Encourage class members to share personal insights and experiences that relate to the principles being taught.

Point out that we should not be concerned if those we teach are silent for a few seconds after we have asked a question. They may need time to think of responses.

Explain that class members can find additional suggestions in “Teaching with Questions,” on pages 68–70 in this book.

Conducting discussions

Demonstration and Discussion

Invite the assigned class member to present the third demonstration (see “Preparation,” item 1). After this demonstration, have class members discuss the following question:

  • How did this discussion help you better understand why we should be willing to make sacrifices?

Invite the assigned class member to share a few insights that he or she has gained about how to conduct discussions.

Teacher Presentation

Help class members understand that in conducting discussions, we should:

  1. 1.

    Help learners feel comfortable sharing their testimonies, insights, experiences, questions, and ideas.

  2. 2.

    Acknowledge learners’ contributions with appreciation and respect.

  3. 3.

    Be sensitive to learners who are hesitant to participate. It may be helpful to talk with them privately to assess their feelings about reading aloud or participating in class. It may also be helpful to allow them to prepare for class discussions by assigning scriptures that they can read and ponder before class.

  4. 4.

    Redirect learners’ comments and questions to other learners for response.

Point out that class members can find additional suggestions in “Conducting Discussions,” pages 63–65 in this book.

Conclusion

Summary

Express your appreciation for the class members’ demonstrations.

Remind class members that methods are important but that they should not be the focus of the lessons we teach. They are tools to help those we teach focus on the saving doctrines of the gospel and apply them in their lives.

Point out that our enthusiasm for teaching will increase as we continually seek to increase our ability to use a variety of methods. We may feel some fear and discomfort as we try new methods, but we can overcome those feelings.

Quotation

President Heber J. Grant often quoted Ralph Waldo Emerson, who said, “That which we persist in doing becomes easier for us to do; not that the nature of the thing itself is changed, but that our power to do is increased” (in Gospel Standards, comp. G. Homer Durham [1941], 335).

Testimony

Bear testimony as prompted by the Spirit.

Assignments

Encourage class members to:

  1. 1.

    Try new methods to teach gospel principles. Have them write about their experiences in their notebooks.

  2. 2.

    Come to class next week prepared to develop a plan for a lesson that they will soon teach. This lesson may be part of a family home evening assignment, a Church assignment, or another opportunity to teach. Bring lesson materials, such as the scriptures and lesson manuals.