34 Using the Board

Teaching The Gospel A CES Resource for Teaching Improvement, (2000), 124

Principles to Emphasize

Involve More than One of the Senses

“Numerous studies have shown that people learn best when more than one of the senses are utilized in their study experience.” These experiences often “create a readiness for the Spirit to fulfil his functions” (Teaching the Gospel: A Handbook for CES Teachers and Leaders [1994], 39).

Use the Board

The board is a primary teaching aid because it is simple to use and widely available (see Teaching the Gospel: A Handbook, 39).

Note: The following principle and its suggested training activities may be taught here or as part of lesson 35. If you choose to emphasize this principle in this lesson, a brief review may be all that is necessary in lesson 35.

Suggested Training Activities: Involve More than One of the Senses (25 minutes)


Distribute copies of handout 36 and read together the first statement by Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

Learn by Hearing, Seeing, Feeling

“Were I a teacher of young students, I would have them commit to apply this principle: I will seek to learn by what I hear, see, and feel. I will write down the things I learn and will do them.

“You would want to explain how to use each of these three avenues of communication. Every student who consistently does that will be blessed by inspired direction in life” (Helping Others to Be Spiritually Led [address to religious educators at a symposium on the Doctrine and Covenants and Church history, Brigham Young University, 11 Aug. 1998], 1).


Invite teachers to carefully read the first paragraph of the section entitled “Visual, Audio, and Other Teaching Resources” (handbook, 39). Ask:

  1. What have numerous studies shown about learning and the senses? (see handbook, 39).

  2. What can video and audio experiences often create?


Read together the second statement by Elder Richard G. Scott on handout 36.

No Place for Gimmicks

“There is no place in your teaching for gimmicks, fads, or bribery by favors or treats. Such activities produce no lasting motivation for personal growth nor any enduring beneficial results. Simply stated, truths presented in an environment of true love and trust qualify for the confirming witness of the Holy Spirit” (Helping Others to Be Spiritually Led, 3).

Ask teachers:

  1. Why do you think “gimmicks, fads, or bribery by favors or treats . . . produce no lasting motivation”?

  2. How should the truths of the gospel be presented?


Invite teachers to read together the comments in the gray box on page 40 of Teaching the Gospel: A Handbook, by Elder Boyd K. Packer of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Ask teachers: What did Elder Packer caution about using audio and visual aids?


Show presentation 32, “Using Visuals” (8:15). This presentation is a humorous depiction of a teacher overusing audio and visual materials. Ask teachers to look for how this presentation relates to Elder Boyd K. Packer’s counsel about using audio and visual materials “sparingly to accent or make a lesson interesting” (Teaching the Gospel: A Handbook, 40).

Suggested Training Activities: Use the Board (25 minutes)


Invite teachers to read the paragraph under the heading “Chalkboard” (handbook, 39). Ask:

  1. What effective uses of a board were mentioned? (see handbook, 39).

  2. Which of these methods have you used in your class?

  3. In what ways did using the board enhance your lessons?


Have the teachers turn to handout 36 and follow along as you read the first statement by Elder Boyd K. Packer.

Focus Students’ Attention

“I think that no teaching aid surpasses, and few equal, the chalkboard. . . . You can use it to focus the eyes of your students while the main lesson is presented audibly. As you talk, you can put just enough on the board to focus their attention and give them the idea, but never so much that the visual aid itself distracts them and becomes more interesting than your lesson” (Teach Ye Diligently [1975], 224–25).

Ask teachers:

  1. What is a major purpose of the board?

  2. How much material should be put on the board?


Explain to teachers that material displayed on the board usually falls into one of three categories: (1) charts and graphs, (2) diagrams and pictures, and (3) lists and quotations. List these categories on the board, and demonstrate an example from each.

Group Work

Distribute handout 37. Separate the teachers into small groups. Assign each group one of the categories listed on the board in the previous training activity, and invite them to complete the corresponding portion of the handout. Allow the groups ten minutes to agree on an idea and create a visual representing their category. Have one teacher from each group present the group’s visual.


Read together from handout 36 the second statement by Elder Boyd K. Packer.

Synchronize Sight and Sound

“Perhaps the most common mistake in employing written words as visual aids is in not synchronizing sight and sound. The mistake is made so frequently that only occasionally do you see it done correctly. If you have words to write on the chalkboard, or if they are on a chart, or if they are put on a flannelboard, or if they are thrown on a screen from a projector, the students should see with their eyes and hear with their ears at the same time” (Teach Ye Diligently, 225).

Ask teachers:

  1. What is a “common mistake in employing written words as visual aids”?

  2. How can teachers avoid making this mistake?


Invite each teacher to create a visual aid for Doctrine and Covenants 88:87 using part D of handout 37. Have the teachers share their visual aids with the in-service group.


Invite teachers to use the board to add appropriate variety to their upcoming lessons. Have teachers share their experience of applying what they have learned (with a colleague or in the next in-service meeting).