This post was adapted from the original at http://seminaryatsixam.blogspot.com/2012/11/seminary-in-my-pocket.html Classroom In My Pocket During an early Seminary lesson, I gave each student a rock to keep in their pocket as a reminder of our lesson that day. Little did I know that "Seminary In My Pocket" had been born. During my first lesson, I shared a story with [my students] about an experience I had when I visited the death camps in Poland and showed them a rough, rugged rock I found while I was there that had one shiny side and could be easily over looked. I compared it to people in our lives who may appear rough and rugged, yet if we will look at them the way Christ does, we will be able to find something "shiny" about them. To remind them to look for the shiny side in everyone, I gave each of them a shiny rock to put in their pockets. I told them that each time they reached inside their pocket and felt that rock, to remember to view people as Christ does and always look for the good (the shiny) Seven weeks later, they are still showing me their rocks (a few have asked for replacements when they can't find theirs)
When we discussed Temptations of Christ and our own personal temptations, I gave each of them a rubber band to wear and told them to memorize something that they could keep in their minds that would push bad thoughts out (a Scripture, the Sacrament prayer, the Young Women Theme, a Hymn, etc. are some of the ideas we came up with for memorization) When they have a bad thought or are tempted to do something wrong, I told them to snap the rubber band and recite whatever they memorized to bring their mind and spirit back to Christ. (That was 4 weeks ago and they are still wearing them)
When we learned about the widow's mite and sacrifice, I gave them a penny for their pockets
When we learned about choosing our words carefully and using uplifting language, I gave them a button. They were challenged to know when to keep their lips "buttoned" and when to open their mouths and share uplifting words of love and encouragement.
Last week, they received plastic spiders as we discussed honesty and not getting caught in webs of deceit and lying. I challenged them to not weave their own personal webs like spiders do. We also did a fun group activity with yarn as we were standing in a circle and the yarn represented lying and dishonesty. We passed the yarn back and forth as we discussed lies and deceit until no one could move inside the circle due to all the lying and dishonesty. It was interesting to see the kids figure out that if they crawled down low, they could avoid the webs, yet it was awkward for them so I reminded them of how awkward it becomes when you have to constantly think of ways to avoid your own messes (webs)
25 Scripture Mastery Scriptures= 1 Quarter with a red happy face painted on the back. I told them that there are 25 scriptures set apart from the others that they are to know inside and out this Seminary year. The other scriptures are valuable and for our benefit, but the 25 Scripture Mastery scriptures are to "stand out" in their hearts and minds. I used red nail polish to paint a simple happy face on the back of each quarter to make it "stand out" from the other quarters that they may have in their pockets that are also valuable.
Parable of the Sower. To represent the seeds, I gave them a popcorn kernel. I knew it would not sprout or break apart in their pockets as they year goes on. I really wanted to give them some beautiful black soil from Belle Glade, Florida (right next to where we live) but I was not sure how that would last through one school day, although I am still trying... I dont have one specific day of the week I give them an item for their pockets, in fact, there will most likely be weeks that I don't give them anything. The items always go with a lesson and are designed to reinforce what we learn in Seminary. It is way for my students to carry a tangible reminder of Seminary throughout the day. At first, I thought they would throw the items away, but a day does not go by without a student showing me the items from their pockets. I have had the experience of sitting in Sacrament Meeting and one of my students will catch my attention to show me they are wearing their rubber band. It has become "cool" to have all these little things that most teenagers would have lost or thrown away by now. Most of my students are the only Latter day Saint in their schools. As they leave our class each day, it is my goal to send them armed with the spirit. I know these little reminders in their pockets are an effective way to reinforce their experiences in Seminary class. At the end of this week, I have a small drawstring fabric bag for each student who would like to keep their items in it. I know this will work better for some of them who don't have pockets or do not want to move their items from pocket to pocket each day.
Please share any ideas you have for "Seminary In My Pocket" with Shauna at shaunahh at gmail dot com.
Great for: Building class unity, Encouraging student participation, Getting the attention of uninterested students, Helping students find meaning in the scriptures
Class size: Any class size
Helps Students: SEE a gospel principle in action
Prep Time: 5 mintues
Student Age: Any age