This summer I have been working as a guide (counselor) at a LDS youth program called BASEcamp. One of the main focuses of this camp is to teach youth how to teach. As a guide, on the first day, I teach the “Learn to Teach” model which helps the youth learn to teach the gospel to their peers. Throughout the week they create lessons and devotionals. Then, they are given many opportunities to teach these lessons and share their insights and thoughts with each other. The “Learn to Teach” model consists of six parts: principle, stories, scriptures, quotes, questions, and application.
Example written by Lori, a participant at BASEcamp:
Principle: If you ask the Lord, you will be directed to where you need to be.
Scripture: D&C 6:14
Quote: “I fear too many of us carry burdens because we forget that we kept our first estate. We were the valient and faithful ones and our faithfulness has brought us to the place where we are at this time.” Better Than You Think You Are by Ardeth G. Kapp
Questions: Why does the Lord wait for us to ask before He guides our lives? How is the best way to ask the Lord to get the best answer?
Story: I transferred schools because the Lorde made it clear to me that I needed to be there.
As I looked at this model, I realized the model contains many similarities to teaching upper elementary and secondary education. So, how can we use this model in the classroom?
Students are learning various subjects each day during school whether it is addition, reading, biology, or history. Growing up, they may have gained through their own experiences a more in depth knowledge of these subjects that is not taught in the classroom. Some of these experiences may include visiting historical sights or planting a garden with their families. Through these experiences, they will have stories from their lives that they will want to share. It is important that as teachers we encourage students to share their stories, so that the whole class can learn from their experiences.
To help them gain a better understanding of the subject they are learning, it is also important that they learn from their textbooks and library books. Questions should also be asked to guide the discussion, so they can gain a deeper understanding of the topic. These questions should be from the students and the teacher. Then application will help the students to understand how what they are learning applies to their lives now and in the future.
There are many benefits to this model. One of the benefits of the model is that students get the opportunity to teach. This is beneficial because they can learn from and better relate to each other. Each student brings different perspectives to the table. With the combination of these things, students become more engaged in what they are learning both as the teacher and the participating student.
I have seen this model used in each session of BASEcamp and have seen the good that it does. These youth have learned and grown so much through the help of each other. As their guide, I am always there to back them up if they need help, but from my experience, if you give kids the responsibility of teaching and preparing lessons, they will rise to the challenge.
How will you use the Learn to Teach model in your classroom?