This past Wednesday was my workshop at the Primary Girls Camp, which was a 2-day event, 6 hours each day. I was in charge of a workshop on using good language, not using the Lord's name in vain, standing up to swearing, and using words appropriately. I feel strongly about it, of course, but I was still a bit nervous. For starters, I have never taught kids at church before, where the dynamic between teacher and students is a bit different than in a public school setting.
I did with the workshop what I do with my Relief Society lessons, which is to do the visual aides first. Doing it in this order helps me to feel like I'm making progress, I have a chance to relax and be creative, and while doing the visuals the rest of the lesson starts to take shape. I do the same process every time and I have found that it really works for me.
So, here are my visuals:
The scripture we discussed (the underlined words were ones I felt needed defining, so we talked about those in more depth)
The strips of paper with the scripture that each girl received at the end of the workshop.
The activity (wrong choices)
The activity once the RIGHT choices were added
Poster board and glitter glue became my tools of choices, only because I wanted to make this as "light" as possible while talking about a heavy subject.
Mostly we talked about ways to handle uncomfortable situations when people around us are using bad language. Almost every young girl (ages 8-11) had a story to share of a classmate who has said bad words in front of her. Sometimes their efforts to say something were successful and sometimes they weren't. I think that just sharing those experiences had a positive effect. We also talked about words like "hate," "kill," "stupid," and the importance of trying to eliminate them from our everyday conversation. I read them a quick story about a little girl who was constantly having to say "Please don't use those words around me" to her friends and they learned that getting the desired results is not an immediate thing. We also talked about the No Cussing Club, which is an actual club started by a boy in South Pasadena, CA in an effort to stand up to swearing.
When the half hour was up, each girl got a strip of paper with the scripture we discussed and her copy of the No Cussing Club certificate.
The time went very fast. Four workshops in 2 hours. Bam, bam, bam, bam. By the last group I could tell that the girls and their leaders were tired. I was too! I didn't get a lot of feedback because things were just moving too quickly and there were still 45 minutes left by the time my last session was done. The feedback I did get was positive, so that's a good thing. Still, in retrospect, I can think of things I would do differently next time.
It was definitely a learning experience for me. If I was ever asked to do something like that again, this experience gave me a good foundation. What really impressed me, though, is how the subject hit home, even with the youngest girls, and how many of them have already been courageous enough to stand up to bad language that was being used in their presence. Good for them!