Thursday, October 29, 2015

The Plagues of Egypt - in a jar!

I had so much fun with this lesson!  I put each plague of Egypt in a jar.  Each jar had a scripture reference for the student to look up and share with the class.  When the students came in I had them pick a plaque out of a box.  I gave them a few minutes to read about their plaque and then they each came up to share with the class.  It was a great success!

Here is a copy of the labels that I made.  If you would like to use it just click on it to make it large. Then right click and save it into your pictures, or copy and paste it into your printing program.  

Jar 1 - The waters all turned to blood.
I used clearance Halloween blood, but you can also use corn syrup with red food coloring.  Add a little bit of Hershey's syrup to make it darker.

Jar 2 - Frogs upon the land.
I ordered a bunch of plastic frogs from Amazon.

Jar 3 - Lice throughout all the land
I bought some Halloween "chest hair" and put it into the jar.  Then I added salt to make it look like lice.  It was really gross!

Jar 4 - Flies only in Egypt
I found some plastic flies at the dollar store.

Jar 5 - Dead livestock only in Egypt
I bought some plastic livestock at Walmart, but I found better ones at Target.

Jar 6 - Boils breaking forth with Blains
I bought Halloween candy boogers and mixed in some Halloween candy body parts.

Jar 7 - Hail, thunder and fire, only in Egypt.
I found a bag of Christmas snow that looked like hail.  You can draw or paint fire on the sides of the jar.

Jar 8 - Locusts up over all the land of Egypt
I used glow in the dark plastic bugs that I found at the dollar store.

Jar 9 - Darkness over the land of Egypt
I took corn syrup and mixed it with black food coloring.

Jar 10 - Death to all Egyptian firstborn in the land
I found small plastic skeletons at the dollar store.

Since it was Halloween I put a treat together for them.  I had already bought all the stuff, but later thought it would have been fun to put together treats similar to the plaque items.  On mine I decided to add a scripture about the plaque in the shape of a bow tie.  I have that version for you to print out, or I made a second version in the shape of a skull.

Here is the bow tie version:

Here is another version:

It really was a lot of fun, especially since it was the week of Halloween.  Please feel free to tell what you did in your classroom.  I always love to hear new ideas.

To see all of my LDS Old Testament Seminary ideas click here.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Learning about Jewish Customs in an LDS Seminary Classroom

Last year I taught the Old Testament in my LDS Seminary class. This year I am teaching the New Testament. As I teach I like to help my students to be aware of the Jewish Holidays as they occur. I am learning many things right along with the students.  As I discover and share with my students, I will post them on here so that you will be able to see the things that we have learned.  Just click on the picture to take you to the link that will give you more information.

Making the Jewish connection with your class

There is an excellent talk by President Ezra Taft Benson called "A Message To Judah From Joseph" that is a great source to share with your students.

Here is a quote from that talk:

You will recall the episode of Joseph and his brethren in the Old Testament, and how he was sold into Egypt. You will remember that, because of a famine in the land of Canaan, his brethren were compelled to go to Egypt to purchase corn from the granaries. Joseph had risen to the position of governor over the land, and was in charge of those granaries. One of the most touching scenes recorded in the Torah is when Joseph made himself known to his brethren: “I am Joseph your brother …” (Gen. 45:4.)
To you, our friends of modern Judah, we declare, “We are Joseph, your brothers.” We claim kinship with you as descendants from our fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. We belong to the same family. We, too, are the house of Israel.
There is yet another parallel to this story of Joseph.
The brethren of Joseph in times past came to him during a famine for physical sustenance. Today there is another famine in the land, “not a famine of bread, nor a thirst of water, but of hearing the words of the Lord.”

Mormon and Jewish Delegation Gathers at Historic Jerusalem Site

28 OCTOBER 2016
Elder Holland and Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Church’s Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and Elder James J. Hamula of the Seventy traveled to Jerusalem to commemorate the 175th anniversary of Orson Hyde's visit to the Holy Land. 
A quote from Elder Holland's talk:
"This is too brief an account to do justice to such a magnificent story, but I hope it explains something of the brotherhood we feel for you, and our doctrinal devotion to the history, anguish, blessings, and future destiny of the tribes of Israel generally and the Jewish people specifically. Perhaps it is appropriate to close this inadequate summary with the words of the prophet Zechariah:
“Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for, lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the Lord.
“And many nations shall be joined to the Lord in that day, and shall be my people: and I will dwell in the midst of thee, and thou shalt know that the Lord of hosts hath sent me unto thee.
“And the Lord shall inherit Judah his portion in the holy land, and shall choose Jerusalem again.”[8]

We believe the work of modern Elder Orson Hyde has played a key role in God choosing Jerusalem again in the fulness of times. We pray for the preservation of the Jewish people and for their peaceful association with all who dwell in what is truly the Holy Land."

There are several videos of this visit that you can show your class.  It is really a wonderful source to share with your class.
Give your students an Hebrew name
Feasts and Festivals from the Institute Manual
Celebrate Rosh Hashannah in your classroom
The Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot)

 Image result for sukkot booth

Celebrate Simchat Torah by committing your students to read their scriptures.

Learn about the Sabbos Project, and the Jewish Sabbath and make Challah Bread

The Passover

More ideas to come as we celebrate throughout the year.

Please feel free to share your ideas with me.  I would love to hear them.

Talking about the Shabbos Project, making challah, and keeping the Sabbath day holy in a LDS Seminary classroom

In my search to learn more about Jewish holidays for my Old Testament Seminary class I came upon an add for the Shabbos Project.  It was going to be celebrated just around the time that I was teaching, so I decided to incorporate it into my classroom.

I learned a little about the project.  It is the Jewish Sabbath celebration around the world where Jews commit to keeping the Sabbath for 24 hours.  It was started by Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein in South Africa in October 2013.  I won't go into a lot of details but here is a link to explain the project.

One of the traditions was making the Challah bread.

I thought that this would be fun to do in my class.  I did it the easy way.  I used Rhodes rolls.  Here is how we did it.

1. I gave each student a piece of parchment paper and had them write their name on it.

2.  Then I gave each student 3 thawed Rhodes rolls.

3.  I had them roll out each roll into a strand.

4.  I showed them how to pinch the three strands together at the top.

5. Then I explained how to braid the bread.  It helps if you pull on the strands while you are braiding.

6.  When done braiding, pinch the end of the loaf.  Tuck the two ends under the loaf to make it look neat.

Here are the instructions that I put on the board.  You can right click them and save them into your pictures, or copy and paste them into your printing program.

Cooking the Challah

We don't have enough time in seminary to cook the bread so after the students braided their bread I took the challah home and put them in my fridge.  I got up about an half hour before seminary and popped them in the oven at 350.  They took about 20 minutes to cook.  I let them cool while I got ready.  I kept the challah on each student's parchment the entire time so that each student could get their own.  I served them with honey and butter.  I also had some apple juice to drink.  They were a hit.

An Explanation of the Braid Through the Challah

The reason for the braided bread is The Creation of the World, the Exodus from Egypt and the Messianic Era.  It also shows sacrifice. Some challah have 6 strands of dough braided through them.  The two loaves together represent the twelve tribes of Israel.  
Here is a link to explain it more.

How to Serve the Challah

The challah is placed on the table by itself.  There should be two loaves signifying the double portion of manna that the children of Israel collected on the day before the Sabbath.  It can also mean the two tablets from the ten commandments.  A decorative cloth should be covering it.  

Some cultures think that it should not be cut with a knife because Abraham did not use the knife when he was going to sacrifice Isaac.

Here is how some of my student's challah turned out:

I had the students write down one way that they were going to improve their Sabbath and put it in their pocket or somewhere that they would remember.  On Monday we all talked about how their Sabbath turned out, and if it made a difference.

I also showed a wonderful video by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland called "Upon My Rock".  He explains to seminary students how important the Sabbath is.  Here is the link:

Saturday, October 17, 2015

LDS Conference Note Taking

I challenged my seminary class to take notes during one conference talk and use it as a devotional for class. I had seen some conference notes on pinterest that were amazing and wanted to use these for inspiration.  I printed one of them off for each of the students in the class.  To see the source just click on the picture below.

I played a portion of Jeffery R. Holland's talk for the April 2014 General Conference Talk "Where Justice, Love and Mercy Meet."  I had the students take notes in their journals.  When they were done I gave each student a small version of the above notes to paste into their journal.  We discussed the different ways that they could take notes and the value of note taking.  I told them that the above example was just an inspiration for them and that I didn't expect theirs to be as fancy.  

Here's an example of one of my student's notes:

I gave them each a handout for them to take their notes on to use as a devotional.  Here's a copy of the handout that you can use for your class:

If you would like a copy of this just click on it to make it larger.  Then right click and save it into your pictures or copy and paste it into your printing program.

Here's a journal sized handout:

Here's and example of what I got back in my class:

My family and I were out of town for Conference.  I was in the hotel room and forgot to bring paper to take notes on.  I had just bought a new purse that was full of crumpled paper.  I flattened them out and folded them up.   Here's how they turned out:

Here's a closer view:

As you can see, I will not be selling mine on etsy any time soon! But, I was so excited with how this turned out that I thought that I would share it on my blog. Here's how you can do it.  Just take a large sheet of paper.  I used packing paper.  

Then fold it three times.  There is enough room for a talk in each section then a rectangle for which session of conference that your notes are from.  

If you would like all of your drawings to face the same direction then mark the top of each rectangle before you start.  I would refold it for each talk so that It was easier to draw on, but I did not get them all going the same direction.  I thought of marking them after I was done.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Commit your LDS seminary students to read the Old Testament or New Teatament by teaching them about the Jewish holiday of Simchat Torah

Since we are studying the Old Testament this year in my seminary class I am trying to teach them a little about the Jewish traditions.  I have to admit that I know very little about these traditions, but I have enjoyed learning about the Jewish culture. 

Here is a very simplified version of what I have found out about Simchat Torah:

Every year the Jews end their annual reading of the Torah on Simchat Torah.  They remove the Torah (which are three scrolls) from the ark and everyone dances and sings in a circle to celebrate the Torah. Then they begin their next annual reading of the Torah. 

To read more about it go here:

At the beginning of class I had these videos going:

Get Up for Simchat Torah - Roar Parody

The Maccabeats - Book of Good Life

Simchat Torah Dancing With the Scrolls

I used the opportunity to get my students to recommit to reading the Old Testament.  I gave them each a copy of the Torah handout above to use to write their commitment.  Then they glued them into their journals.

To see all of my seminary ideas click here.