I use the phrase "Today We Learned..." to help establish direction in my lessons. First, I determine a lesson objective. Most of my lesson objectives start with the phrase "Students will ..."
Here are some lesson objectives I've used this week during our study of Luke:
- 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.
- Students will briefly review the birth of Jesus Christ. Students will learn that Joseph and Mary were obedient to the requirements of the law.
- Students will practice using the scripture study helps to answer peers' questions.
At the end of class, I summarize what we learned by using the phrase "Today we learned ..." and I restate my lesson objective. By changing "Student will .." to "Today we learned .." I have both my lesson objective and conclusion written before I start lesson preparation in earnest. So I might conclude with "Today we learned friends and relatives of Jesus Christ had valuable characteristics that they can seek to emulate. We also learned that copying these characteristics will allow us to draw closer to Christ and become his friend."
Using this method has helped me keep my lessons focused and helps me select only things most relevant to my lesson objective. It also helps me direct my questions toward a greater understanding of the lesson objective. It also gives me an easy way to wrap up a lesson with a strong, brief conclusion even when I'm running out of time. I hope it's helpful to someone else!