I’ve been doing Spotlights from my first years of teaching and they have been great to build class unity, participation, and fun. There are many ways to do Spotlights but here is how it has worked best for me.
1. During the first week of school I pass one out to each student to fill out. Make sure you tell them not to discuss what they are writing with friends because it makes guessing too easy later. When they are filled out, I collect them in a folder.
2. Then each Friday I have the student who was spotlighted the previous week come up to spot light the next person. I semi-randomly, pull out a spotlight and then the student spotlighted previously will start to read clues. The first time, just ask any student to do it. I like to have students spotlight others, rather than myself, because it promotes getting the teacher out of the limelight, and putting the students there.
3. At any time, when clues are being given, a student can raise their hand and guess. If they guess correctly, I give them a small candy. If they guess wrong, they are OUT and cannot try to guess again. This keeps students from screaming out every name in the class.
4. Once the person is correctly guessed, then have the student share everything on the spotlight paper and ask follow up questions as desired.
5. Make sure you also put in your own spotlight paper. That will really throw them a curve ball.
They will beg to do multiple spotlights, but I hold them to only one every Friday. Click on the picture to download the spotlight paper for the first semester. Towards the 2nd semester, I’ll send another spotlight paper with all new spotlight questions.
I am sending this out early because next week I will be doing EFY and then on vacation with my family.
Experience has shown that Scripture Mastery is most successful if you do a little bit of it EVERY day in seminary, rather than whole days dedicated to it occasionally. “BUT what do I do for a few minutes every day with Scripture Mastery?” Good question! This worksheet, along with the following information should help.
It is best to spotlight a single Scripture Mastery scripture each week. I found it is usually best to do scripture mastery after the opening song, prayer, and scriptural thought. Try to only take a few minutes with this. Each day you recite the scripture as a class, and then do some additional thing with it. The worksheet was created with this in mind. Here is an example for a given week of how you could use the worksheet, or modify for your own needs:
MONDAY: Recite the scripture together and then ask the class questions like: “Of all of the verses in the scriptures, why was this verse chosen? Why would it be useful to know this scripture? What is a situation when you would want to know this scripture?” Once they understand why it would be really useful to know for the future, they will be more likely to want to memorize it.
TUESDAY: Recite the scripture together again and then go over the mnemonic as discussed in previous blog posts. This will help them memorize the key words to the reference of the scripture.
WEDNESDAY: Recite again and then have them do it with the blanks. Some teachers like to write the whole scripture on a chalk board and then have a student come up and erase a few words, and then have the class recite the scripture again and then remove more words. This helps them memorize.
THURSDAY: Recite again and then have them recite it but only using the first letter of each word (as shown in the handout).
FRIDAY: Recite, then review and get them ready to pass it off to someone in the class. Make sure they say the reference along with quoting the verses. When they do it, give them a small sticker to stick to the chart next to their name. The chart is a simple grid with class members’ names on one side, and scripture references on the other.
For really long scriptures, you may want to split it in half and take two weeks to do it. If you are diligent, by the end of March, you could have your whole class passed off with each scripture mastery scripture.
The handout can be just for you to use to plan what you will do, or it can be a handout to give each student.
Each of the four Gospels is unique and highlights the Savior’s life in different ways. Whether you are teaching the Gospel’s sequentially, or as a harmony, you will want to help your students see how each writer was different. I would use these glue-ins when doing an overview of the New Testament at the beginning of the year. Thanks Chris Porter for sharing this with me.
I know what some of you are wondering… “What’s a glue-in?” A glue-in is a small handout that can be glued directly into the binding of their scriptures. Let me explain how you do this. Get a glue-stick and have it sticking out about an 8th of an inch. Then with the small glue-in paper, get the edge you would want to be sticking into their binding and give that glue-stick a “paper cut” with the paper. That will give a very small amount of glue on the edge of the paper. Then turn in the scriptures to where you want the glue-in to be. In this case, the first one would go in the first page of Matthew. Then simply slick that paper into the binding and shut the scriptures (so you will want to do this at the end of class). Then the next time your students open their scriptures to Matthew 1, the glue-in will be sticking out with lots of useful information for them.
The handout I sent before with the New Testament Mnemonics was accidently an older file. Here are the newer mnemonics. Sorry for the mistake. I think you will like these a little better. Click on the pictures to see the 8 ½ by 11 full size Mnemonics, and also click on the other picture for the Handout that you can give your students. Sorry again for the mix up.
Part of Scripture Mastery is helping students recall (memorize) the references from the key words. This is essential to getting scripture chasing to work. For instance, if you say, “Ye are the light of the world”, can they recall “Matthew 5:14-16”? The way I help them memorize this connection is through mnemonics. Mnemonics is simply helping your students create a visual image or idea that connects the key words to the reference.
For instance, when they hear “Ye are the light of the world”, I have them think of holding a light while stand on a door mat. Then I ask, “What scripture book does that door MAT remind you of? (Matthew). Then I ask “How many finger are you holding that light with?” (5). “At what age do you especially need to start being a light to the world?” (Teachers & Mia Maids =14-16 years old). Then I have them put the whole reference together. When I am chasing with the class, I give them clues from the mnemonic rather than letting them look on their bookmarks. Feel free to help the class come up with their own mnemonics. You will find that some of the mnemonics are more helpful than others. Also, you may find that the more ridiculous it is, the better they remember.
Click on the picture to download the mnemonics I have for the 25 New Testament scripture mastery scriptures. Some teachers will print and show the particular mnemonic when spotlighting the particular scripture mastery that week. Others teachers print them all and use them to decorate the class.
In addition, click on the picture below to download a handout (front and back) that has all 25 NT Scripture Mastery mnemonics on one page. This also has some instructions on how to memorize with mnemonics. This is great for having the students quiz each other. Later this summer, I will have other resources that use these mnemonics for scripture mastery.
Just so you know, Todd Parker is who came up with most of these mnemonics with small modifications from me. I put together the graphics for them. The mnemonics are used with permission as long as it is a non-commercial use like seminary.
The summer time is a great time to plan how you want class to be. Class Presidencies are a great way to help students learn to be leaders, and help relieve a huge burden on you at the same time. What should class presidencies do, you ask? Click on the picture to download a great handout for your potential class presidency. This handout spells out what responsibilities you might want to give the. I have attached it as a MS Word document, instead of a PDF so you can modify this to your own needs better. When I appoint a new class presidency, I sit down with them and read over both these pages to help give them a vision of what wonderful things they can do as they magnify this responsibility.
You can even appoint a class presidency before school starts to help you as you try to contact and enroll more students. Remember the policy manual says about class presidencies, that they, “may be appointed by the teacher after obtaining clearance from each student’s bishop. Teachers are encouraged to consider all worthy students for class officers including those who have disabilities. They should be announced in class, but not sustained or set apart.”