Understand Those You Teach

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“Understand Those You Teach,” Teaching Guidebook (2001), 16–17

“Understand Those You Teach,” Teaching Guidebook, 16–17

Understand Those You Teach

It is important to understand those you teach. Consider the maturity and experience of your class members. People of different ages have different needs and learn in different ways.


Children are growing physically, socially, emotionally, and spiritually. As you prepare your lesson, remember each child’s talents, abilities, and needs.

Children enjoy variety. Use short stories, simple games, pictures, object lessons, and songs to keep their interest.

Children are just learning about sharing, kindness, and patience. Help them overcome shortcomings in these areas by reminding them of Jesus’ example and encouraging them to follow Him.

Children are trusting and believing. They will believe what you teach them. They will also watch and follow your example.


The period between childhood and adulthood is sometimes difficult and challenging. Class members may have many responsibilities in their families, at school, and at work. The following suggestions may help you influence young people for good.

Prepare each lesson to be directly relevant to their lives. Help them see how the gospel can answer their questions and help them make good choices.

Young people may feel lonely or unappreciated. Help each person become an important part of your class. Belonging to a group with gospel standards gives young people spiritual strength and helps them keep their lives pure.

Show that you respect their opinions. Encourage them to participate in the lesson and to discuss their ideas with you and with each other.


Adult class members are of different ages and have varying backgrounds and experiences. Use these differences to enrich your class. Encourage class members to share the wisdom they have learned from their experiences. Make use of their many talents.

Teach the truths of the gospel simply. The Holy Ghost will help the class members understand and apply the truths in their individual lives.