Improving Teaching Methods


“Teaching our children to understand is more than just imparting information. It’s helping our children get the doctrine into their hearts in a way that it becomes part of their very being and is reflected in their attitudes and behavior throughout their lives.”

—Cheryl A. Esplin, “Teaching Our Children to Understand,” April 2012 general conference

What do you see in this video that could apply to any teacher of children?

Ideas to Help Children Identify the Doctrine

Help the children memorize a phrase or scripture about the doctrine.

Picture ItAsk each child to draw a picture or diagram that represents the doctrine.
Sing ItUse songs from the Children’s Songbook and Hymns in a variety of ways to identify the doctrine.
Memorize ItHelp the children memorize the doctrine.
Reveal ItReveal one word at a time as the children try to determine what the statement is. Consider covering each word with paper, placing the words around the room, or writing the first letter of each word on the chalkboard.  
Pantomime ItHave the children create simple pantomimes or hand actions.
Discover ItInvite the children to search scripture verses to learn about the doctrine.
State ItAsk the children to state the doctrine.
Write ItWrite the doctrine on the chalkboard.
Scramble ItScramble the words of the doctrine. Ask the children to arrange the words so they make sense.

Ideas to Help Children Understand the Doctrine

Suggest WordsHave children suggest words or ideas that come to their minds as they think about the doctrine.
Do an Object LessonShow an object that illustrates the doctrine.  Ask the children how the object illustrates the doctrine.
Play Matching GameHave the children play a matching game to learn more about the doctrine.
Ask QuestionsHave children search scripture passages and teachings of latter-day prophets to understand the doctrine.  Ask them to develop questions that could be answered with the scriptures and the teachings.
Match a PictureHave children match pictures or drawings to scripture passages and teachings.
Fill in the BlanksWrite an incomplete statement about the doctrine on the board.  Invite the children to look for important words or phrases from the scriptures and teachings of latter-day prophets that could complete the statement.
Discuss the DoctrineHave children search scripture passages or quotations of latter-day prophets and discuss what they learn about the doctrine.
Look for AnswersInvite the children to look in the scriptures and teachings of latter-day prophets for answers to questions about the doctrine.
Make a ListHave children search the scriptures and teachings of latter-day prophets and then make a list of what they have learned about the doctrine.

Ideas to Help Children Share the Doctrine

Show PicturesShow pictures of individuals living the doctrine. Ask children how the individuals are living the doctrine.
Share ExamplesAsk children to share examples of how people can live the doctrine.
Set a GoalInvite children to set a goal that will help them live the doctrine more fully.
Trace Feet or HandsHave the children personalize their commitment by writing a way to follow Jesus in their own footstep or writing a way to serve others in their own handprint.
Make a Spinner GameAsk the child to come up with a related application to whatever the spinner points to.
Teach Each OtherLet individuals or groups discuss applications.  Then let them share what they discussed with the rest of the Primary.
Music GamesHave the children pass an object around the room as they sing. Randomly stop the music. Whoever is holding the object shares an application. This will keep everyone thinking of an application they might share.
DramatizationsHave some of the children role-play an application of the doctrine, and the rest of the children guess what they are doing.
Visual RemindersMake a paper chain. Make road signs. Make class banners. Make salt dough figures. Draw a picture. Make bookmarks.

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