Potatoes every night: Variety in Teaching




“When a homemaker plans a week of dinner menus, she is not likely to decide to prepare identical meals on seven consecutive nights. Even when her budget is so limited that she has to prepare potatoes every night, she soon learns that there are many ways to serve potatoes.

“The gospel can likewise be presented in a number of different ways. No teacher should fall into a monotonous pattern of presenting the same kind of lesson week after week. When you use a variety of learning activities, learners tend to understand gospel principles better and retain more. A carefully selected method can make a principle clearer, more interesting, and more memorable.” Teaching, No Greater Call, page 89.

11000_36123000_p_348You probably use these techniques listed on page 157-184: chalkboard, object lessons, discussion, examples, lectures, questions, scriptures, stories, visuals. But have you tried these?

  • Dramatizations (act out a story.)
  • Drawings (try a new idea such as having children draw different parts of the story, then put them together into a mural or roller box.)
  • Maps.
  • Memorization.
  • Music (don’t wait for Singing Time to sing! You’ll drive home an idea in an unforgettable way.)
  • Panel Discussion (with children or guest adults as panelists.)
  • Readers’ Theaters (using a script to tell the story. Particularly effective is Senior Primary children reading the “lines” directly from the scriptures such as King Noah, Abinadi, Alma, and the wicked priests from Mosiah 17 & 18, with a narrator reading the story line in between.)
  • Special Reports (asking a child to think about a gospel principle ahead of time and be prepared to share an example or idea.)
  • Stations (particularly good for Sharing Time.)
  • Worksheets (my personal favorite is a free custom crossword or search-a-word puzzle from puzzlemaker.com. Even Junior Primary children can find their own names in a search-a-word puzzle, underscoring that each child is important as a child of God.)

For more ideas and examples, see pages 157-184 in “Teaching, No Greater Call” (free download). Listen to the audio version or purchase inexpensively in one of several languages here.

No more mashed potatoes night after night; no more lessons with the same teaching technique! Here’s to memorable, impactful teaching.




Filed under Lesson, Sharing Time

2 responses to “Potatoes every night: Variety in Teaching

  1. Pingback: Recipe for Success: Dealing with Distractions and Helping Kids Focus | Primary in Zion

  2. Pingback: Chalk talk – inside and outside! | Primary in Zion

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