Well, another week has come and is nearly gone. I’m finally getting better at weeding out things to cover during class, but wow. It’s still difficult. With Old Testament, the problem was finding something to teach. With New Testament, it’s choosing which of many things to teach. If I ever teach New Testament in Seminary again, I will teach Mark first, then Luke and Matthew in harmony, and then John. I don’t know how I’d work the reading schedule, but I think it could be done with the help of BD, Gospels Harmony of.
But that’s four years away, I may not be teaching then, and I don’t want to think about it :).
I am posting my lesson planning notes below. This is the first time that I have written them out. Now that I have the new mini iPad, I finally have my holy grail of scripture books (except no find on page — come on church programmers!). The new iPad has a really great speech to text function and I’ve been able to dictate my lesson plans right into Evernote, where I can access them from my phone or computer or iPad, making my lesson planning easier.
Lesson Objective: Students will understand that friends and relatives of Jesus Christ had valuable characteristics that they can seek to emulate. Copying these characteristics will allow students to draw closer to Christ and become his friend.
Introduce Luke. Read BD, Luke and see handouts. (I have some handouts on the purposes of the four gospel writers that are in the students binders. We pull them out at the start of each new gospel.)
Have students write a character study of the four main characters in Luke chapter 1:
These characters are Zacharias, Elizabeth, Mary, and John. Invite the students to guess what they can about the character of John the Baptist based on his father’s blessing and his behavior while in Elizabeth’s womb. Ask students to describe the character of Mary based on her reaction to the angel and her conversation with Elizabeth. What characteristics must Elizabeth have had to recognize what was happening when the baby leapt in her womb? What characteristics did Zacharias have? Some were good, and some not so much. What can we learn from Zacharias reaction when his tongue was finally loosed? Joseph Smith called Zacharias the first christian martyr because he was killed in the temple when he wouldn’t reveal that his child John was in the desert in hiding when Herod killed all the male infants under age two.
What must these people have done to develop these positive characteristics?
Find a worksheet that will allow students to do biographical characterization. (I ended up making a character study worksheet based on several that I looked at.)
Students will do one characterization as a group. Discussion by zone leaders. If time, another on their own of their choice. (we only had time for the group character study)
Goal: Students will briefly review the birth of Jesus Christ. Students will learn that just Joseph and Mary were obedient to the requirements of the law found in Leviticus 12. They will also learn more details about Simeon, Anna, and John the Baptist.
Begin class by asking students to write a poem that summarizes the first 20 verses of Luke chapter 2. The poem will consist of two or three words per line. Short and sweet is the goal. Students will have six minutes to work on the poems. Rhyming is not necessary. I will suggest a minute and a half to review and four and a half minutes for writing.
Here’s the poem I wrote to give the kids an idea of what I was looking for:
On a donkey
Inns too full
In a stable
A baby born
A star arose
Glory to god
In the highest
And on earth
Peace. Good will.
Race to see
In a manger
Would I run?
Would I fear?
Would I tell everyone?
Point out specifics about John the Baptist preaching. VV 7-17, four groups. What did he say to each group? Why do you think the message is different for each group? Which group’s advice do you think is most important for you right now? (We didn’t have time for this activity.)
If time, invite students to do another characterization worksheet on Simeon and Anna as they did yesterday. They should also do a characterization worksheet or write a paragraph about the early childhood of Jesus Christ, or we could do it as a group. (We didn’t have time for this activity)
I altered the schedule a little bit to include a scripture mastery game day. We haven’t had a “break” in several weeks, and so I decided to let the kids kick back a little. The kids brought food, and made scripture mastery flash cards using the scripture references and phrases on the back of the NT bookmark. We also watched the end of Prince of Egypt, which we never finished last year.
Objective: Students will practice using the scripture study helps to answer questions.
Ask the students what are some approaches they use when they have a question about something they read in the Scriptures. List these approaches on the easel. (Students listed Bible Dictionary, asking a trusted authority, footnotes, prayer, Topical Guide, etc.)
Ask students to write down questions that they had about the reading. If they have a question about something else we’ve covered in class, they may write that question as well. Put all the questions in each of four containers, one for each his zone. Allow students to choose questions from the three containers that do not belong to their own zone. Students will work together to answer their peers’ questions. (This worked out pretty well. We did the first one as a group: “What does it mean to put old wine in new bottles?” because I knew it would be too hard for them. We only got through four questions, as expected, and we’ll finish this tomorrow.)
Spend the first 15 minutes of class on Friday wrapping up the question activity. For chapter 6 have students locate the one-liners in Luke chapter 6 verses 28 through 49. Discuss. I will probably do this “What did you underline” style with one of the critters we toss around.