Valiant Eleven Teaching Tips

My Assistant Scoutmaster, Sister G., and I had only one Boy Scout attend tonight. I asked him what four traits from the Scout Law he had shown lately. When he listed reverent as one of them, I teased him.

“You do remember I’m also your Sunday School teacher. Are you sure you want to go with reverent?”

He was this close to getting himself kicked out of class last Sunday. But he pulled himself together and sat still, without touching anyone or falling off his chair, for the last five minutes. Hallelujah!

The interesting thing is that when this boy attends Scouts, he’s serious and focused, a model student. During Primary class it’s difficult for him to behave as well as he does on weeknights.

Sister G. and I team teach the Scouts’ Primary class and she turned my joke into a request for more information. She’s awesome like that. How could we make it easier to be reverent in our classroom?

We took a walk over to our classroom and moved the table and chairs around. The little kids share a room with us and need smaller chairs, so it gets really crowded. We also have a large table in the room for the younger ones to color at and it tends to get in the way. We rearranged the furniture. We’ll see if the changes help.

We also asked for ideas on how we can make the lessons more interesting. Sister G. asked our Scout to recall the most memorable Primary lesson he had. He described a classmate jumping in through an open window. That wasn’t what we had in mind, but it sounded memorable!

Here are some ideas he came up with for making our lessons more engaging:

  • Watch church videos.
  • Ask the students to share personal stories related to the lesson.
  • Have more activities: hands-on, artwork, crafts.
  • Let the children sit at and use the table.
  • Don’t dismiss attention activities that might be messy; move to the kitchen to do them.
  • Make a class play or video and perform or play it for the other children during Sharing Time.
  • Plan and present a five minute segment of Sharing Time (with the Primary President’s permission).
  • Teach what we’re learning to Junior Primary (with Primary President’s permission).

I have our current Primary students take turns welcoming everyone to class and inviting someone to say the opening prayer. They learn how to conduct a meeting for future responsibilities. The students like it and are quick to tell me if I’ve missed their turn.

When I was a Primary President nine years ago, we had trouble engaging our eleven-year-olds. They move onto youth group at age twelve, and they were so ready to be done with Primary. I offered the eleven-year-olds the opportunity to conduct our opening exercises. It worked wonders!

What have you found helpful in teaching the oldest Primary children?

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