An Example of a Robust At Home Lesson

To continue my helps for teachers while dealing with this situation (COVID-19 and having to race to turn F2F classes into online courses) I am sharing an example of a robust at home lesson that I created for an REL 250: Jesus Christ and the Everlasting Gospel course.  I will share the assignment on a post following this one.

Principles to consider while creating a longer, more in-depth at-home lesson:

  • Think about the experience you want your students to have in class (perhaps go to a F2F lesson plan).
  • Now, conceive of this lesson as something different, you obviously can’t create the same F2F experience, so how can you take each section from your lesson plan and allow the student to go on a guided journey through the material.
  • It will take some effort to switch your thinking from traditional teaching to online, but think of one of your students at home and how you can best help them have an experience with the material.
  • I find it best to allow them to make choices in the lesson (think of the old “choose-your-own-adventure” books) because it helps them engage more in the process.

I find it very synchronistic that the at home lesson I have is a lesson on creation and creativity! Enjoy the process of being creative as a teacher. This is why I love this profession – each day, each class affords me the opportunity to be creative!

Enjoy! And please share it with those who need it, and comment on ideas that you have for at-home lessons, etc.

Other posts in this series –

 

My lesson follows:


“At Home” Lesson on Creation

Hello Dear Students!

I put the words “at home” in quote marks, because I don’t care where/when you do this assignment. We will not be having class on Thursday, May 3rd, and so instead we will be doing this lesson. It will require at least 3 hours – (to make up for the hour of pre-class work, a one hour class, and the one hour after class assignment typical of the university requirements.) This assignment will have a beginning, which you must complete and then have a section of principles. The principles will be in 3 parts and I leave it up to you to decide (by the spirit and your desires) how you want to do that part of the lesson.

The most important things are these:

  1. That you understand what the Lord’s teachings through His words to Prophets and Apostles (not what the world’s teachings) are on each section.
  2. That you learn, and enjoy doing it!
  3. That this time teaches you. You will know that you have been taught if after the time spent – you have drawn closer to God, and you want to make changes in your life to be better.
  4. You complete the study and the assignments.

Okay, ready? Here we go!

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BACKGROUND

(you must all complete this part)

jehovah-creates-earth-rane-1344168-mobile

Jehovah Creates the Earth, by Walter Rane, 

Jehovah created the earth under the direction of the Father

PONDER these questions as you study this section:

  • As you observe the world around you, what do the creations of God teach you about the Savior, about His priesthood, and about His stature in the pre-mortal world?
  • How does understanding these truths influence your feelings toward and testimony of Jesus Christ?
  • How does understanding these truths influence the way you feel about the earth?

The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles (Links to an external site.)” states: “Under the direction of His Father, [Jesus Christ] was the creator of the earth. ‘All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made’ (John1:3)” (Ensign or Liahona, Apr. 2000, 2). As you come to understand the eternal purposes of the earth’s creation, you can live with greater resolve to fulfill the measure of your own creation.

First, please study the following:

  • Moses 1:27-42
  • READ:  [Then] Elder Russel M. Nelson, The Creation (Links to an external site.), April 2000
  • and then choose one of the versions of the creation –
    • Moses 2, 3:1-3
    • Abraham 4, Abr, 3:24-26
    • Genesis 1:1-31; 2:1-2

As you read, copy down questions or impressions in your journal. You can use these as guiding questions if you’d like – What question came to mind about the creation of the Earth and Universe? How are the Father and the Son Creators and what is their purpose for creating?

____________________________________________________________________________________________

PRINCIPLES ABOUT CREATION

(study this section as you see fit, maybe spend equal time on each one, or skim two and focus in deeply on one, your choice)

Section #1 Principle: God created our mortal body and we have a stewardship to care for it.

PONDER these questions as you study this section:

  • Why is it important to see myself as a steward, responsible to care for my body?
  • How is Satan tempting me to misuse my body?
  • What am I doing each day to care for my body? Why is that important?

READ: [Then] Elder Russel M. Nelson, Thanks be to God (Links to an external site.), April 2012

WATCH:

Look over these resources and make some goals/changes to help make yourself healthier during your time here.

Section #2 Principle: In Honoring God’s Creations, We Honor the Creator

PONDER these questions as you study this section:

  • Knowing that the Lord’s teachings are usually in the middle of the debate – how can we learn to use (have dominion) and yet be good  stewards of the earth at the same time?
  • How can you “make your own living space more beautiful and inspirational”? How would that improve your life?
  • How have you, or could you, enjoy more of the Lord’s creations here in Rexburg? How would that improve your life?

READ: In Honoring God’s Creations, We Honor the Creator (Links to an external site.), LDS Newsroom, April 2018

WATCH:

Ponder this is from the new Young Women’s Camp Manual (Links to an external site.)

“A fountain of pure water” and “a thicket of small trees” (Mosiah 18:5)—Mormon used these words to describe the place where Alma hid after fleeing from King Noah. Those trees and that water became “beautiful . . . to the eyes” of the people who joined Alma there. Why? Because in that place, Alma and his people “came to the knowledge of their Redeemer” (Mosiah 18:30). The location of your Young Women camp—whether it is in a forest, in a park, on a beach, or in a meetinghouse—can become beautiful to the eyes of all who gather there. Like Alma and his people, young women need a place where they can gather together, separate from worldly influences, feel the Spirit of the Lord, grow in unity and love, and strengthen their faith and testimonies of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.

Section #3 Principle: Choose to be a creator, not merely a consumer

PONDER these questions as you study this section:

  • What do you seek when you have free time?
  • Are you a Consumer or a Creator?
  • What are you consuming?
  • What are you creating?

READ: [Then] President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Happiness Your Heritage (Links to an external site.), October 2008

WATCH:

Look over these resources and make some goals/changes to help make yourself more productive and creative during your time here.

Talent and Interest Survey (Links to an external site.), lds.org (for fun and to get ideas)

Recognizing and Developing Talents and Abilities (Links to an external site.), From Institute Manual; The Gospel and the Productive Life.

 

Assignment: After completing this lesson, please complete this assignment.

Thank you for your hard work!!!

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For Further Study –

The First Presidency Statement about the Father and Son–1916

Issue Exploration: Human Creativity – musings and questions

So, my first notebook piece (that I assigned myself) is late. As the professor, I have given myself an extension, however, I will have to dock some points off of myself because of this gross disregard for my own rules. 🙂

I have decided to do 5f, and here is the prompt: 5f. Collect several images that interest you, related in some way to your issue (the relevance can be tangential, as long as you feel it). Then write something that connects the images, one to another. You can think of your connections as a story (one thing connected to the next), or as a web (everything cross-connected), or as a square, with two sets of opposites, or as a circle (ideas leading back to the place you started).

 


rogers-and-king-fridayCreative People – A while ago I wrote a blog post on Mr. Rogers, and began to do a series on creative people.  When I study the lives of uplifting creative people, I tend to be filled with ideas and motivation. Perhaps sparks of creativity are contagious? Then, does creativity from another beget creativity? Does it give us some unconscious permission to do? (And why do I feel that I need some sort of permission or validation to create, but more on that later.)  Or is it that when I see how others  create, it gives me a hope that I can as well? Is there a quantitative way to study this idea?


ethics-in-creation-1

Ethics of Creation – I’m not arguing about a person’s right to create whatever material they desire (i.e. Freedom of Speech). What I am concerned about is the ethics of creation. The moral obligation that we should bring to creating materials that do not exploit humans. Example – Hugh Hefner – can he create porn?  Yes. Should he? When this material ( Hefner’s first playboy magazine was released in Dec. 1953) has lead to objectification of women, and as the materials have lead to darker and more violent types of “entertainment” these have led to sexual exploitation and domination of women and in more recent years children and has become fuel for the sex-slave industry (see Our RescueElizabeth Smart, Fight the new Drug, and Cambridge study).

I could go on a similar exploration of links between the violence in media and video games and its effect on society. Or creating product that destroys health or leads to addiction (think cigarettes, overly processed foods, gambling, etc). The guiding question here is – should we create things that in some way exploits others, or in other words, leads to the exploitation of humans?

I tend to believe that the human race can do and be more. There are so many creations that build and uplift mankind – the arts, medicine, invention. We individually decide what use we put to objects, and we collectively determine what the markets are by our dollars. We can achieve so much more if we build rather than destroy (and if we must destroy something, let it be to build up something greater to benefit man).


pumpkin-coachCreativity without (or with very little) money– [which is an exercise in creativity all itself ;)] Sometimes I will just stop myself or my children when they begin to describe what they need to create a project and we will begin to brainstorm about what we have and how to use it (see a series of posts I wrote on creating on a tight budget).  When did we stop using what we have available to us? Think about all that we can do  – Writing is free. Some art can take very minimal supplies. Art from nature. I remember reading once about creating music out of the world around us – the idea that anything can make music.


champions

 

Creativity without remuneration – Does it matter that I don’t get anything back? Especially in the Arts, do I need feedback or money to entice me, or can I create for myself and family? I’ve noticed that the more I create, the more I don’t care. I just love the process and gain more confidence in my abilities.

 


steve-apple-wikiCreativity in areas other than the Arts – This is an area that many don’t agree about. I personally don’t believe that creation is only about the arts. For my definition I will be talking about creation in problem solving, engineering and ingenuity. Have you seen the glow in a builder’s eyes as they walk into Lowes? 🙂  Or Office Max? Or a thrift store? It’s the same wonder and excitement as those who get giddy walking into Michaels. Beyond that, can you believe the wonders that are coming out by forward thinking companies with creative engineers? I am in AWE of the ability we have as humans to create.


Can all individuals create? – I believe that everyone has within them the ability to create.I think that it just needs to be encouraged and practiced.


pink-piratesTeaching Creativity to Children –  Picasso is attributed as saying  “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” How do we encourage them to continue?  Ideas: Teach them new techniques, supplies, and opportunities. Immerse them in creativity. Encourage creative problem solving and thinking. Lavish praise (deposits) but be honest and teach them how to use and appreciate constructive critiques. Teach them to try again, to learn that failure is temporary and part of learning and growing  (can even be an opportunity)- depending on our attitude! And teach them to practice, practice, practice! I once heard an artist talk about being given a stack of papers to practice one stroke over and over until her hands had memorized the movement.


grandmamoses-pub-domainTo Adults – Grandma Moses began to paint at age 78.  Let us learn to not only be continuously learning knowledge but skills as well. Now, a person can get a total education online.  Remember the term “self-educated man”? We can do that. Never stop learning! An art teacher once told me that many people have 6th grade art ability because that’s when they stopped drawing, so pick it up and start again in whatever you enjoy – piano, guitar, cooking,  chess – whatever ! – don’t let the voice of critics stop you.


a_child_drawingBalance between Create and Consume – [Picture of child with phone.] Computer solitaire is  a fun game, so is scrolling down my Facebook news-feed, but I have found that I need to make sure that I’m doing it intentionally, after I have finished my to-do lists and my creations – with a timer set, so I’m not finding myself up at 2 am watching re-runs of Fraiser. Families used to create together, it was second nature. There was no TV, so they would have family concerts, readings and plays. For example, in the books  Little Women and Anne of Green Gables the characters would perform plays, concerts, poems, go to dances and dance (rather than sit at the dance, faces buried in phones).  The Bach family picnics, my own mother and her brother would have full musical family concerts at night. As a society, despite all of the gains from it, have we lost something in technology? Can we gain it back?


johann_sebastian_bach-pub-domain

 

Uplift from consuming the creations of others – But on that last note, I’m not suggesting that we never consume. It’s a balance. There is creation that takes my breath away, stops me in my tracks, brings such an emotion to my heart that I cry. When I spend my time in media, on the internet, in thought, I want to spend it on things that are worthwhile and uplifting and not a waste of time.

 


Join me next time with the notebook assignment – choose from 3a, 3b, 3c, 4f, 5i, or 8c.


Picture Credits –

Fred Rogers: see http://www.fredrogers.org/

Ethics Wordle: created on WordItOut (https://worditout.com/)

Champions: created on PicMonkey (https://www.picmonkey.com/)

Steve Jobs: By Matthew Yohe, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10584359

Create Video: lds media library (https://www.lds.org/media-library/video/2009-02-06-create?lang=eng)

Grandma Moses: By New York World-Telegram and the Sun staff photographer: Roger Higgins. – Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. New York World-Telegram and the Sun Newspaper Photograph Collection. http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3c15888, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1577316

Child Drawing: Benoît Prieur (Agamitsudo) – CC-BY-SA, https://commons.wikimedia.org

Johann Sebastian Bach: (aged 61) in a portrait by Elias Gottlob Haussmann, copy or second version of his 1746 canvas. The original painting hangs in the upstairs gallery of the Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall) in Leipzig, Germany.

English 2010 Notebooks

So, I am teaching this English Writing and Rhetoric course this semester and I have been THOROUGHLY enjoying this semester long assignment, so much so, that I am going to do it right along with my students this semester.

We’ve been asking them to choose a topic to write about over the course that is a problem with social implications. Some call it an issue of public concern, some a social justice issue (that last term is so politically one-sided, that I don’t care for it much AND because it’s so charged – it can be an off-putting.  This is a shame because, quite honestly, there is a lot of good that can come out of the work that is brought about through writing, researching, and creating around these problems and questions.  I suppose that in itself is another blog post for another day). But, I digress…

The topic that I’ve chosen to write about isn’t necessarily earth-shattering, life altering, nor controversial, but it is something near to my heart and, I believe, may be one (of many) contributing factors to problems within our society. Are you ready?

Brrruuuuummmmm (that’s a drum roll, by the way)  😉 –

Creators and Consumers

Some Guiding Questions that I’ve been thinking about –

  • Are we a society of creators or consumers?
  • Should we be worried about how much we consume?
  • Would creating more give our collective souls a much needed uplift?
  • What is meant by creativity?
  • Is creativity more than just crafting or working in the arts?
  • What constitutes creativity?
  • Does each individual inherently have the ability to create?
  • Is creation for myself fulfilling enough?
  • Or must creation have some sort of monetary remuneration to be worth my (or  anyone’s) time?

Anyway, these notebook assignments have been created so that the students can explore their issues and create in an online space. The prompts were created by two of my brilliant colleagues, Lisa Bickmore and Kati Lewis. The reason that I love the course that they’ve written is because there is SO much freedom for creativity built into the work. Here is the link to the notebook prompts  and I encourage you (if you are interested in doing something that will open up your writing) to join me this semester. For the first assignment, my students can choose one of the following prompts – 5b, 5e, 5f, 5g, or 5i. You may choose to write on any topic you would like (from really angst ridden ones like abuse, to comical ones like the 2016 US Election Cycle ;), or things that would improve the world or place around you (I had a student write about bike trails in his area, another about prepping, and another about how using too much social media as teenagers can stunt their social abilities). Choose anything that you want to research, study, or explore this semester!

See you tomorrow with my first notebook (the assignment is due at 11:59pm, and seriously, if you decide to join me in this little project, link your first assignment to me either in the comments or thorough the contact page) and I will review  and “grade” your work  (people … as a professor, I have a going freelance rate of $50 – 75 an hour. I’m sending out this one time, special offer to review your notebook work FOR FREE to any of you who join me in this endeavor, this Fall 2016 semester!)

Talk soon!

sign off note

P.S. Here are some ideas to research topics that are quire interesting to me (please feel free to add some of yours in the comments section) –

  • Religions effect on society
  • Boundaries with friends, family, etc.
  • School choice (charter schools, home schools, public schools)
  • Breakdown of the family and effect on society
  • Freedom of thought, press, speech, religion – are these being attacked and what to do about it?
  • Clutter and chaos in the home – how to make it a better place
  • Technologies effect on children
  • Dating or Hanging out? – how to help our children have healthy social relationships
  • Media – it’s effects and how to create more uplifting media