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Splitting Students into Teams to Learn the Gospel

Seminary Mom likes to split her classes into groups for gospel learning. Here's how she taught 3 Nephi 11 over the course of two days, while splitting into groups for researching the scripture topic:

Today was a special day as we began our study of 3 Nephi 11, the crowning moment in the Book of Mormon. I know that the suggested teaching schedule recommends teaching 3 Nephi 11 in one day. But we are also to pray and consider the needs of our students as we approach our teaching schedule. As I contemplated the chapter I've decided to present it in two days. I want the students to desire to know Christ as the Nephites during this time period did. And I especially appreciated the quote from Elder Melvin J. Ballard in the teacher's manual on page 218. This is where Elder Ballard shares of his sacred experience in coming to know Christ for himself. What an inspiration. I want the students to feel this, to desire this, to seek a deeper reverence for the Savior and what He offers. I divided my class into six teams. Most teams received one of the following sets of assignments from "Studying the Scriptures" on page 164 in the student manual. Some received assignments from the teacher's manual and some received copies from both manuals.

TEAM 1: A. Write a Talk

(I copied the whole little section under A and gave them the cut-out copy so they would only focus on their assignment, rather than reading what the other students were working on).


For this team I copied the upper left corner of the teacher's manual, page 218 (from "Read 3 Nephi 11:7-1 and ask students..." to the final question: "What do you imagine it would be like to be in the presence of Jesus Christ." I did NOT include the quote from Elder Ballard, because I reserved that to share at the very end of class today).

TEAM 3: B. Consider What it Really Means

This team was to research the two questions under this heading and prepare a brief presentation (like the other teams) on what they learned.

TEAM 4: C. Being a Witness

This team was to research and prepare a brief presentation on what they learned researching the questions in section C, in addition to reading to the class the quote from Elder Holland on the same page entitled "The Wounds of the Savior."


This team received a copy of the materials from page 218 in the teacher's manual under the heading "3 Nephi 11:29 (Scripture Mastery). We are commanded not to argue with others over points of doctrine." They also were to prepare a brief presentation, including the quote from Elder Nelson from that section, in addition to utilizing E: Scripture Mastery - 3 Nephi 11:29 from the student manual.

TEAM 6: D: List the Baptism Doctrines

Team 6 received parts from both the student's manual and the teacher's manual to research. They received part D from the student's manual and the section headed 3 Nephi 11:20-27, 31-41 in the teacher's manual on page 218. They, too, were to prepare a small presentation for tomorrow. Each of these student's presentations are meant to spur the students into deeper study of the scriptures, in addition to get them thinking about how to share gospel truths with others. Regardless of whether they're using the materials from the student or teacher manual to guide their research, they are to be pondering what they're studying in the scriptures and building their knowledge about these important topics. Finally, as they share what they've learned tomorrow, they are also encouraged to share how they feel about what they've learned. In so doing, they grow step by step in their mastery of gospel topics, and hopefully, in their mastery of gospel living.

This post originally appeared at Seminary Mom's Seminary Class Notes blog. I am sharing it here so it doesn't get lost

Post Date: March 13, 2011
Scripture Reference:
Age Group:
Author: Jenny Smith


Jenny Smith
Jenny Smith is a designer who started blogging in 2004 to share lesson and activity ideas with members of her home branch Mississippi. Her collection has grown, and she now single-handedly manages the world's largest collection of free lesson help for LDS teachers with faceted search. Her library includes teaching techniques, object lessons, mini lessons, handouts, visual aids, and doctrinal mastery games categorized by scripture reference and gospel topic. Jenny loves tomatoes, Star Trek, and her family -- not necessarily in that order.
Jenny Smith is a designer, blogger, and tomato enthusiast who lives in Virginia on a 350+ acre farm with her husband and one very grouchy cat.
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