This course of study is designed for twelve to seventeen-year-old young women of the Church. By studying the lessons in this manual, each young woman should better understand the Lord’s plan for her and be better able to base her personal choices and behavior on gospel principles.
Elder M. Russell Ballard counseled: “Teachers would be well advised to study carefully the scriptures and their manuals before reaching out for supplemental materials. Far too many teachers seem to stray from the approved curriculum materials without fully reviewing them. If teachers feel a need to use some good supplemental resources beyond the scriptures and manuals in presenting a lesson, they should first consider the use of the Church magazines” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1983, p. 93; or Ensign, May 1983, p. 68).
This manual is divided into the following units:
Living as a Daughter of God
Fulfilling Women’s Divine Roles
Contributing to Family Life
Learning about the Priesthood
Learning about Family History and Temple Work
Being Involved in Missionary Work
Increasing in Spirituality
Living a Virtuous Life
Maintaining Physical Health
Developing Socially and Emotionally
Managing Personal Resources
Developing Leadership Skills
Each unit develops related principles and reinforces them so that the young women can understand and apply the principles. In teaching these units, assess the needs of the young women in your class by asking yourself the following questions:
What problems are they facing?
What previous lessons have they had on the subject?
What do they already know about the subject?
Which of these lessons best meet their needs?
When you have carefully considered the needs of your young women, study the lesson titles and objectives of each lesson to determine which lessons will best meet those needs. By planning well in advance, you can be sure that the young women will receive lessons in all units and that you will provide a complete, balanced curriculum.
Use the following resources in preparing your lessons:
The Scriptures: The basic foundation for the course is the scriptures. Encourage the young women to bring their copies of the standard works to class each week.
Use the scriptures in your lessons every week. If time is limited or attention lags, select only those references that will be most effective. Through your preparation the scriptures can become a powerful teaching tool.
The young women in your class should read individually from the scriptures during almost every lesson. Motivate them by asking a question or presenting a problem. You will probably want to write the scripture reference on the chalkboard so that the young women will know where to look. Usually you should ask a question before a scripture is read. Otherwise, the young women will have to reread the scripture to be able to answer the question. Sometimes a young woman may give the correct answer in her own words without turning to the passage of scripture. When this occurs, ask additional questions to get her to read the scripture, for example, “How did Paul say it?” or “What additional insights can we gain from this passage?”
Before you can get the young women excited about searching the scriptures, you must become excited about them yourself. Prepare yourself through in-depth study, prayer, and meditation about those passages you will discuss in class.
Teaching—No Greater Call (33043) is a valuable resource for all teachers. It contains suggestions for lesson preparation; spiritual preparation; and teaching techniques such as role playing, buzz sessions, questions, chalkboard illustrations, object lessons, and involving students in the lesson. It also contains ideas about controlling classroom behavior, setting up a classroom, and improving teaching skills. Refer to it for aid in preparing and teaching lessons.
Church Magazines: The Church magazines contain articles and stories that may enhance lesson material.
Each lesson contains the following:
Objective. This states the purpose of the lesson—what you want the young women to understand or do as a result of the lesson.
Preparation. This includes those items needed to present the lesson, such as pictures, handouts, and assignments that need to be made in advance. Most of the pictures called for are included at the back of the manual. The numbers in parentheses indicate that the picture is a meetinghouse library picture. Pictures should not be removed from the manual. Handouts are included at the end of the lessons. You may want to photocopy them for the class members. Most lessons require scriptures, chalk, and chalkboard.
Suggested Lesson Development. Left margin notations suggest teaching methods, and the main body of the lesson presents the information to be taught. From the information provided, select those materials and methods best suited to meet the needs of your young women in the time available. (When appropriate, lessons may be extended to more than one class period.)
The body of the lesson contains the following:
Introduction. This is a suggested way to begin the lesson and gain the class members’ attention and interest.
Subheads. The individual sections of the lesson contain the main ideas. Teach each section using the scriptures, stories, quotations, and activities provided.
Conclusion. This gives a summary of the lesson and suggests sharing feelings about the gospel principle discussed and bearing testimony about the principle.
Lesson Application. This suggests a plan of action, assignment, or goal to help each young woman use the discussed principle in her life. When appropriate, you could provide time at the beginning of the next class period for the young women to share their experiences. You could say, “Last week we talked about ______. Did you try it? How did you feel about it?” If the young women do not respond at first, you might say, “I tried it, and this was my experience.” By sharing your positive experiences, you can help the young women learn how to apply the principles in their lives.
Suggested Activities. These are related activities that may be planned to expand and reinforce a gospel principle.
Stories and examples given in the lessons are meant to help young women understand how the gospel principles being taught apply to their everyday lives. As you prayerfully prepare and present your lessons, you may feel impressed to substitute stories or examples from your own experience or from other reliable sources more familiar to the young women you are teaching. When doing so, always keep in mind the gospel principle being taught in the lesson. Supplemental stories should support and help to teach the gospel principle identified in the lesson objective.
Lessons do not need to be taught in the order they appear in the manual, but all topics should be covered at some time during the year.
Teaching Young Women
Remember that you are teaching young women, not just teaching lessons. Pray for inspiration to help them reach their full potential as daughters of God.
Effective teaching includes knowing each young woman, her parents, and her family. Think about each young woman and her family. Try to see her as Heavenly Father does. Accept each one at her own level and help her grow in the gospel.
Learn about each young woman by asking yourself the following:
What are her interests, desires, talents, and goals?
What is her background and experience at home? at church? at school? at work? with her peers?
What are her needs?
How can I help her?
The best way to help each young woman is to help her learn and live the gospel. President Marion G. Romney counseled: “Learning the gospel from the written word … is not enough. It must also be lived. As a matter of fact, getting a knowledge of the gospel and living it are interdependent. They go hand in hand. One cannot fully learn the gospel without living it. A knowledge of the gospel comes by degrees: one learns a little, obeys what he learns; learns a little more and obeys that. This cycle continues in an endless round. Such is the pattern by which one can move on to a full knowledge of the gospel” (“Records of Great Worth,” Ensign, Sept. 1980, p. 4).
Including Those with Disabilities
The Savior set the example for us in feeling compassion for those with disabilities. When he visited the Nephites after his resurrection, he said:
“Have ye any that are sick among you? Bring them hither. Have ye any that are lame, or blind, or halt, or maimed, or leprous, or that are withered, or that are deaf, or that are afflicted in any manner? Bring them hither and I will heal them, for I have compassion upon you” (3 Nephi 17:7).
As a teacher in a Church classroom you are in an excellent position to show compassion. Although you probably are not trained to give professional assistance, as a teacher you can show concern and understanding to each person with disabilities. You can involve each class member in the learning activities as much as possible.
Class members with disabilities may be challenged by learning disabilities, intellectual impairments, language or speech problems, vision or hearing loss, behavior and social problems, mental illness, movement and mobility problems, or chronic health impairments. Some may find the language or cultural setting difficult and unfamiliar. Regardless of individual circumstances, each class member shares the same needs to be loved and accepted, to learn the gospel, to participate successfully, and to serve others.
Use the following suggestions as you teach those with disabilities:
Look beyond the disability and get to know the individual. Be natural, friendly, and warm.
Learn about a person’s strengths as well as her challenges.
Teach class members of their responsibility to respect the other members of the class. Helping a person with a disability can be a Christlike learning experience for the entire class.
Find the best methods for teaching the class member by consulting with parents, with other family members, and, when appropriate, with the class member.
Before calling on class members with disabilities to read, pray, or otherwise participate, ask them how they feel about participating in class. Stress each person’s abilities and talents and look for ways each can participate comfortably and successfully.
Adapt lesson materials and physical surroundings to meet the needs of members with disabilities.