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Primary Methods in Relief Society

Guest Author - Terrie Lynn Bittner

There is no reason in the world why adult lessons have to be boring. Why not take what you learned in Primary and use it to prepare your next Relief Society lesson? If youíre more comfortable in a room with tiny chairs and a flannel board, this technique can make you feel more at home in the Mommy Class.

There are, of course, a few restrictions. As I learned the hard way, adults donít want to get out of their comfy seats to put wordstrips on a board or to hold a picture. They hate to write on the chalkboard. And they never fight over who gets to say the prayer, so you will never get to have three prayers to start the class.

On the other hand, most adults love a good story, even if they didnít get to tell it themselves. And if you have visual aids, lots of expression, and dialogue, they will listen carefully and forget to wonder what theyíre going to fix for lunch when they get home. Iíve seen startled expressions when Iíve produced my beloved flannel board, but no one ever protested. Flannel boards are a great way to teach a story, or a complex concept. Donít be afraid to use them in your lesson. Holding up a picture as you tell the story works as well with adults as it does with children. A picture can help them understand the details of a story that happened long ago. Puppets, of course, are a bit too much for most adults, but flannel boards and pictures are safe.

As Primary teachers, we know that a song is a good way to settle a wiggly class. Songs work equally well in adult lessons. If the song adds to the message, helps to create a mood, or makes a complex doctrine more clear, by all means bring it into your lesson. You might want to leave out the cute gestures, and you shouldnít ask who wants to lead it, but let the class sing, or, if you prefer, play a recording.

Children love to get a chance to talk. Adults do too. And keeping adults on topic is no easier in adult classes than it is in Primary, although in Primary the off-topic discussions are far more interesting, since most adults won't tell you about the trip to Mars they took last week. Give your students plenty of opportunities to share ideas and thoughts, but just as you do in Primary, be prepared to tactfully bring the topic back on track or to gently interrupt a too-long story.

The transition from teaching Primary to teaching Relief Society doesnít have to be completely traumatic. Just avoid the temptation to send for their mothers when they donít behave!

Don't forget to hand out stickers to the kids...ummm...moms...who were behaving.
Copyright © 2007 Deseret Book
Stickers Relief Society Charity

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Content copyright © 2013 by Terrie Lynn Bittner. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Terrie Lynn Bittner. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Brenda Emmett for details.


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