I love March. For those who don’t know, this is the month that college basketball teams from all over the nation battle it out for #1. For me, March also seems to be the time that hope is back in the air. Help your kids feel that. I know that some of you teachers do a little competition with March Madness to decrease TARDIES, and increase READING. There are many ways to do this. One way is to break the class into two EVEN teams for the month of MARCH and let them choose a team name. Then you can set up a hoop (converted trashcan can work) in the room and then at the end of class, if they READ they can shoot for their team, and if they were there ON TIME, they can shoot. I would give them the option of choosing to take their earned shots at a 2 point or 3 point line. Over the month the teams will battle it out by being on time and reading.
The trick to all this is don’t let it take much class time. For this reason, let them simply mark being on time and reading as they come in. (Don’t take class time for that!) Then leave the last 3 minutes of class for the shooting for the entire month.
Since you might already have a hoop set up for “March Madness” you might also be interested in playing Scripture Mastery Basketball. Divide the class into two teams. One team will send up someone to shoot (with a rebounder) while the other team chases. The faster the other team can all get to the scripture mastery in their scriptures, the less time the other team has to shoot. Then they switch. I like to give the shooter the option of shooting from a 2 point line or a three point line. The team with the most points wins. Make sure to give everyone the chance to shoot. Each team will also want to have someone helping with rebounds.
Here is another worksheet to help your students learn how to apply the Scripture Mastery scriptures to situations in life. These help from the context of a missionary helping an investigator. Click on the image to get the worksheet.
We have to help students see that the purpose of Scripture Mastery is to be better prepared to answer life's questions, for ourselves and others. Click on the image here, then each day during your scripture mastery time, read one of these and see if the students can come up with the right scripture. Realize that there may be other scriptures that can help in the situation.
Here are a few great resources that I have found very useful so I wanted to pass them on to you. In this post you will find 3 different reading chart book marks you can pick from, the link to the Sons of Ammon Scripture Mastery music, where to get the big 18” by 24” Scripture Mastery posters, and the reward pins & necklaces. I have no connection to any of the follow products or people who produce these items. But I did want to pass them along to you in case they would help you in your teaching:
Many students like to have something they can mark off as they progress with their reading through the New Testament. When you challenge them to read the whole New Testament, give them one of these book marks. The Three Wise Men is nice to use as you teach about them in Matthew 1. The Reading with Pacing one is not small enough to be a bookmark, but I love that it has the student marks the days they read, and it keeps pace with the lessons. I would love for someone to make this into a bookmark size. If you know of one, please send it on to me.
· Three Wise Men
· Reading with Pacing
Here is the “Sons of Ammon” group that for FREE created and produced songs that go with every New Testament scripture mastery verse. It can really help your students memorize. The link is: http://lds.about.com/od/seminary/a/scripture_songs_5.htm or Click Here. Some teachers just have the music playing as students come in and other have the student sing along when they spotlight the new verse that week. It will probably be most useful to make a CD of the songs. If you are not sure how to do this, I guarantee there is a student in your class who would LOVE to do this for you. Just give them the link and they will do it for you. Here is a scripture mastery musical chairs game that uses this music.
Musical Chairs -October 2010
The idea is pretty simple. Have one less chair than students in a circle. When you give the clue, they walk around the chairs while chasing to the place in their scriptures. When they have found it, they can sit down. The student who is last to find it and sit down won’t have a chair so they are out. Then you take out another chair after each round. Fun.
Another variation is to get the Sons of Ammon CD that we made for you and randomly pick SM songs. They can chase as they recognize the verse. So the faster they become familiar with all 25, the faster they can chase. For this reason, this variation of the game might work better for later in the year. Let me know if this is confusing and you need some clarification.
Carr Printing Co. makes great 18” by 24 inch scripture mastery posters that you can hang up as you spotlight that scripture for the week. It costs about $20 for the set of all 25 posters. Some share with other teachers in the building to reduce the cost. This can also be reimbursed from your teacher supplies budget. Click on the picture to go to their site.
Latter-day Editions is a company that makes tie-pens and necklaces that can be used as part of a program to be recognized for “Lettering” program or great accomplishments in seminary. They are about $1.50 per pin or necklace. We use them as part of the “President’s Award” with my stakes. Click on the picture to see their site.
Again, I have no connection to those who have products here. I’ve just been asked where to get these this often enough, that it is easier to post here.
I am sending out this idea now because so many are approaching the end of the year and this will take a bit of planning. This is a nice event to help end the year. On this day you will probably want to ask some parents and/or bishopric members to help cook and/or help kids pass off scriptures. Depending on your budget, you can also assign out to parents different parts of the breakfast to bring or help make (pancakes, bacon, juice, plates, forks…).
On the given day, the kids will walk into the seminary to the smell of an incredible breakfast (remember the power of bacon!). Then they will go to their class(es) and be given the instructions and score sheet. Then they have the next 25 minutes, or so, to pass off as many scriptures as they can in order to get to the needed 320 points. They can pass it off with strait memorization or using the first letter of each word (for fewer points). Tell the kids not to worry if they have already passed off scriptures. That will just make it much easier to pass it off again. Once they have passed off enough scriptures to you or your parent helpers, then they are released to go into the place where the breakfast is there for them. The paper is there ticket to eat.
I am sending this out as a Word document so you can adjust and modify to your needs. Good luck and have fun.
As I have mentioned before, there is no real point to doing Scripture Mastery, unless it can become useful in real life situations. Here are two more worksheets where your students write down the Old Testament Scripture Mastery which best fits the situations. Click on the titles to download that work sheet.
The first is called, “Lots and Lots of Frustrations” where the students identify the scripture that would help this youth with his questions and concerns.
The second is called “Mastering Rhymes in the Latter Times” which is a bunch of two line rhymes that need to be matched up to the scripture mastery.
No, I am not putting in an answer key. I have found it is best to go over the worksheet after the appointed time and have your class say what they put for each number. If you find a discrepancy, have them back up why they chose the one over the other. This makes for a powerful learning experience.
Thanks again to Jared Moon for sharing these worksheets.
Have you ever thought about what the purpose of Scripture Mastery is? I hope we give our students a vision of the usefulness of scripture mastery and a vision of these scriptures helping themselves, and giving them the ability to bless the lives of others around them.
So now that we are getting closer to the end of the year, students need to get to this application level in their understanding of scripture mastery. Scripture Masteries must become applicable to life. In real life, students are not even given the key words before they need to share a Scripture Mastery; they only have real life situations that come up. This handout helps them use the Old Testament Scripture Masteries and translate them into everyday situations. If student’s can’t make this transition to real life situation, then all our work with Scripture Mastery was in VAIN.
Maybe for the rest of the year, instead of giving them key words or other clues for chasing, try only giving them real life situations like the ones on this work sheet. Not only do I use this as a class assignment, but I also use it for role-play situations.
"Gotcha" is similar to the game "Slap Jack" but with some cool changes and additions. Click on the image here to download the game instructions.
Also, Click Here to download the alternative seat changeing rules. For some classes, this is easier to follow. Thanks Bro. Moon for sharing the idea.
Word strip activities can help your students become very familiar with, and memorize, the scripture mastery scriptures. Usually it is best to use word strips with the longer scripture masteries scriptures that they may have gone over already.
To save you a ton of time in your preparations, I have placed the text of the Old Testament scripture masteries HERE IN THIS WORD DOCUMENT. That way you can just find the scripture you want and print that page only. Then you can just make the number of copies you need, cut them up, and place them in envelops. Since it is a Word document, you will also be able to modify it. Starting out you probably just want to have the word strips as long as the row would be when you print that page of the Word document. Later as your class becomes more proficient, you can cut the rows in half to increase the difficulty. Here are some activities and games you can do with scripture mastery word strips.
Up & At’em
A team comes up and each team member is given a word strip that they hold up in front of them as if showing the class. Then they have to run around and stand in the right order so the class can read the scripture mastery left to right. If there are more strips than team members, some will have to trade around and hold two strips out. Make your team sizes appropriate for how many strips that scripture has.
Here you would make multiple copies of the same word strips of the scripture mastery scripture. Each team is at a table and is given an envelope with that scripture mastery in it. When you say go, each team dumps the strips out of their envelop onto their table and try to put the scripture together in one long row. First team to finish correctly wins. In order to maximize participation, teams should not be much bigger than 5. Have them mix them up again and try to get faster. This can be a fast scripture mastery activity that you do for a few minute before the lesson.
Here you would have multiple stations set up around the room (the number or stations would depend on how many kids in your class). Between 3 and 5 is an ideal student group size. On each station table you would have an envelope containing the word strips to one of the longer scripture masteries you have already become familiar with in class. When you say go, each station will empty the word strips from their envelop and try to put it in order as fast as they can. If you want to add an element of competition, then say “go” when the second hand is at the top of the clock and start counting seconds. When a team says they have it, you call out to them how many seconds it took them and they record down their score. Then when each team has done each station, have them add up their combined score. Lowest score wins.
Human Tic-Tac-Toe is a super fun Scripture Mastery game I saw at one stake’s Scripture Mastery Bowl last year. Click on the picture to download a paper that has the instructions and a diagram.
Now that your class is getting familiar with the Scripture Masteries, you can start to play games. It's the beginning of the year so they may need their bookmarks to help, but try to wean them off of the bookmark as soon as possible. Perhaps instead of working with all 25, you could work with the first 8 or 12 mastery verses.