“Chapter 35: Using Objects, Pictures, and Sacred Music,” Teaching the Gospel: A CES Training Resource for Teaching Improvement (2000), 128–30
“Chapter 35,” Teaching the Gospel, 128–30
“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, 39.)
Objects and pictures can be effective in helping students visualize and understand the scriptures (see Teaching the Gospel: A Handbook, 39).
The First Presidency said, “’The hymns invite the Spirit of the Lord, create a feeling of reverence, unify us as members, and provide a way for us to offer praises to the Lord. …’ (preface to Hymns, p. ix)” (Teaching the Gospel: A Handbook, 39).
Have sacred music playing when teachers enter the room. Point out that this is an example of the appropriate use of sacred music.
Note: If you did not use the other suggested training activities for this principle in lesson 34, you may wish to use them as part of this lesson. If this principle was previously emphasized, a brief review may be all that is necessary here.
Read together the first statement from handout 38 by Elder Boyd K. Packer of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
“An otherwise difficult subject can be taught by using a simple, well-known object as a visual aid and then relating it to the untaught, intangible principle. …
“… Remember that the Savior Himself used the simplest objects in His teaching. Need we do more?” (Teach Ye Diligently , 230, 237).
Ask teachers: What familiar objects did the Savior use to illustrate His teaching? List teachers’ answers on the board.
Invite teachers to read the paragraph under the heading “Objects and Pictures” (handbook, 39). Ask:
In what ways can objects and pictures help students better understand the scriptures? (see handbook, 39).
What objects and pictures have you successfully used in your teaching?
What senses can students use to examine pictures or objects?
Read together the second statement by Elder Boyd K. Packer on handout 38.
“In using visual aids, be sure they have a purpose. Don’t use them merely as decoration. Bring them out when you are ready to refer to them, so they don’t distract class members and draw their attention away from the lesson. And don’t use visual aids that are merely decoration for the classroom.
“A picture may be worth a thousand words, but only if it is used judiciously to enhance the lesson and make a point” (Teach Ye Diligently, 225).
What is the purpose of visual aids?
How can visual aids detract from a lesson?
Display a collection of simple, well-known objects that might be used in object lessons. Separate teachers into small groups and have each group select an object. Invite the groups to identify a principle of the gospel they could teach by using that object in an object lesson. Have them explain how they would use the object in a lesson. Go around the room and interact with each of the groups to provide input and help as they are deciding what to present. When all the groups have finished, have them share their object lesson with the in-service group.
Read together the first statement from handout 38 by Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
“The singing of hymns is one of the best ways to put ourselves in tune with the Spirit of the Lord. I wonder if we are making enough use of this heaven-sent resource in our meetings, in our classes, and in our homes. …
“The singing of hymns is one of the best ways to learn the doctrine of the restored gospel. …
“Our sacred music is a powerful preparation for prayer and gospel teaching” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1994, 10, 13; or Ensign, Nov. 1994, 10, 12).
What can hymns do for us?
What does sacred music prepare us for?
Invite teachers to read the material under the heading “Music” (handbook, 39–40). Ask:
According to the First Presidency, what can hymns do for us? (see handbook, 39).
In what ways can teachers use sacred music in the classroom? (see handbook, 39).
Why should teachers talk to students about the importance of music in the classroom? (see handbook, 40).
Read together the second statement from handout 38 by Elder Dallin H. Oaks.
“Sacred music has a unique capacity to communicate our feelings of love for the Lord. This kind of communication is a wonderful aid to our worship. Many have difficulty expressing worshipful feelings in words, but all can join in communicating such feelings through the inspired words of our hymns.
“When a congregation worships through singing, all present should participate” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1994, 11; or Ensign, Nov. 1994, 10–11).
What is the relationship between sacred music and communicating our feelings of love for the Lord?
Why is it important that everyone present sing the hymns, regardless of their musical skills?
Select an appropriate hymn that will illustrate the power of sacred music. Sing the hymn with the in-service group. Following the singing of the hymn, ask teachers:
What gospel truths does this hymn teach you?
How did the singing of this hymn make you feel?
Read together the third statement from handout 38 by Elder Dallin H. Oaks.
“We should be careful what music we use in settings where we desire to contribute to worship. Many musical numbers good for other wholesome settings are not appropriate for Church meetings.
“Our hymns have been chosen because they have been proven effective to invite the Spirit of the Lord” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1994, 12; or Ensign, Nov. 1994, 11).
Separate the in-service teachers into small groups of between three and five people to discuss the following questions:
What kinds of music are appropriate for the classroom?
What standards should be applied to selecting music for the classroom?
Have the groups report what they discussed.
Invite teachers to use object lessons and sacred music 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).