We wrapped up Matthew with a short summary and activity. I had the kids read the first 8 verses of this chapter silently and had 6 volunteers — 2 had to be female — come up to the front when they had finished reading. I had these kids act out the story in mime (silently). The boys ended up asking to be the women, so I let them, and we had 2 angels, 2 guards, and the two women. It was pretty great. One of my angels knocked over a guard (she is nearly 6 feet tall), who fell in slow motion on my other guard (she is about 4’10’ and maybe 90 lbs) who in turn knocked over a table. It was like watching dominoes go down. No one was hurt, and they all stayed in character the whole time. It was pretty great.
For the rest of class I taught the kids an overview of Christ’s life. I had made wordstrips from the fold out timeline the Church prints and had them put things in order after I did a little bit of a review on the board showing them how the passovers fit in the timeline. One group had Jesus’ life up to the first passover of Christ’s ministry, and the others had the three passovers of his ministry. This went a little long and wasn’t quite smooth enough, however, it will go faster next time we do it.
Education, The Key to Opportunity
I was hoping that my sub would teach this lesson so that I wouldn’t have to, but he didn’t :/. It ended up being fine, however, because the missionaries grabbed me Sunday and told me they wanted to come in and do a presentation. I told them that was great, and I decided to show the class the first Elder Ballard Welcome to Seminary video that we never got to see before I left either. It was about the fishers of men. After that was finished I let the missionaries come up and talk for a few minutes. I showed the kids part of the Guide to College Education or whatever it’s called from the Education, The Key to Opportunity DVD. We only watched the BYU, BYUI and LDS Business College videos since those are the most likely places I may have students go. I spent a little time telling kids that with the recent upswing in missionary applications, I think enrollment could be a liitle easier at the BYUs for a short while until equilibrium is reached. I expect that will probably short and may will affect only current seniors and possibly juniors. Some students who may have never considered going to a church school may find that they can attend after all. I don’t think my senior has any ambition for post secondary education. Her brother is a junior, and I was careful to point out that the LDS Business College lets in anyone who is worthy and 95% of graduates have work in a year.
I really like Mark — always have. Church curriculum seems to ignore Mark even though he’s the basis for Matthew and probably the basis for Luke, too. I wish we would teach Mark first to get an overview of the Savior’s life, and then teach Matthew and Luke to start adding in detail and to reinforce what we already learned. Maybe I’ll try that sometime. I will note that Seminary SuperStar Linda D does teach Mark first in her seminary classes. Suddenly I’m seeing the genius of it. Take a look at Linda D’s pacing guide here.
On the board I wrote: “How badly can you screw up before you can no longer come back?” The boys always try to guess how my lesson will go based on how the tables are or what’s on the board, but they couldn’t get this one. After introducing Mark and comparing him to Matthew using some of the ideas in the manual (I pointed out that Mark goes only 23 verses before we hit a miracle, while Matthew goes 8 chapters before he gets to a miracle. Matthew was writing to the Jews, while Mark was writing to Gentiles who didn’t need and might not understand all that stuff at the beginning of Matthew’s account.) I had the kids read BD, Mark, while watching for a ‘d’ word I said that might shock them. Today we’d say that Mark had broken the mission rules by leaving his companion and his area. Mark later repents and comes back, and he ends up writing the very first account of Jesus’ ministry which formed the basis for Matthew and probably Luke. We will make mistakes in our lives, too — sometimes very big ones. We can be like Mark and repent when we make mistakes.
I had written verse 18 on the board: “And straightway they forsook their nets, and followed him.” I told the kids to imagine that their pens were running out of ink, and they only had ink enough to underline one word. Which would would they choose? I asked a couple of students which word they’d underline and why. What did these men leave behind? How can we be like these men and follow Christ?
We then read verses 22 and 27. I talked about authority. What was Jesus’ authority? What evidences are in the chapter of his authority (There are tons: the signs at his baptism, people recognized him, he worked miracles, he healed others, he taught with authority, JTB taught of him, he was recognized even by the evil spirits he encountered…) I told them this authority is powerful stuff. Enoch had authority. We read Moses 7:13–19 aloud and discussed what Enoch was able to do with his authority. Jesus’ authority was greater even than Enoch’s. How do you get authority? From someone who already has it. We read Article of Faith 5. Authority has been restored in these latter-days. We read Joseph Smith History–1:72. I told the boys they can trace their authority with a Priesthood Line of Authority back to Christ, too. They all said they had never heard of this and didn’t know what it was. I told them to ask the bishop for a copy.