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Archive for January, 2014

I loved this activity on identifying and talking about Scripture Superheroes and was happily surprised that our youth leaders were excited to do it as well.  Here’s our plan – in Planning With a Purpose format.  Refer to this post for more info on how to do Planning With a Purpose and for downloads to help you in the process.

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I am now serving as the Stake Primary Counselor over Activity Days – that means I am no longer carrying out the activities.  But we had already planned these activities with our two youth leaders so I want to share them even though I don’t have photos of the actual activity.  I will continue to share ideas as I see them in our Stake.  Enjoy!

1.  What do we value?
click here to see “Value Sheet” download – we use the same values for all of our activities

  • We value accomplishing the Faith in God requirements.
  • We value everyone feeling included.
  • We value people coming.
  • We value making friends.
  • We value respect toward each other.
  • We value learning in a fun way (short lesson plus activity of some sort)

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2.  What do we want to have happen? (goals)
click here to see ” Planning Sheet” download

Instead of asking, “What do we want to do?” always ask, “WHAT DO WE WANT TO HAVE HAPPEN?
Refer to your list of values to help you answer this question – your values and goals should go hand-in-hand.

From the Faith in God Book (Learning and Living the Gospel): Tell a story from the Book of Mormon that teaches about faith in Jesus Christ. Share your testimony of the Savior.

For our Scripture Superhero activity, we adapted the above Faith in God requirement in the following way:

  • we want each girl to know more about a scripture person
  • we want to make scriptures more personal
  • we want everyone to feel successful at presenting
  • we want everyone to commit to be more like their scripture heroes

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3.  How are we going to make this happen? (plans + implementation)

NOTE: We are sending out an invitation for this activity because there is something for the girls to prepare before they come.
The youth leaders also committed to preparing 2 extra scripture superheroes each (4 total) for girls to choose from if they forget to bring their superhero information.

ACTIVITY PLAN
1.  Youth leaders greet each girl – find out if they have their Scripture Superhero ready.  If not, offer to let them choose one from the extras that our youth leaders prepared beforehand.  This will allow everyone to participate even if they forget to come with a Scripture Superhero.
2.  Welcome (opening prayer) – 5 min.
3.  Short lesson about heroes in battle (who’s side will you be on? – refer to idea found in original Scripture Superhero activity here)
4.  Scripture Superhero Share: before everyone shares their superhero, explain that everyone needs to pay attention because when it’s over, each person will share something they “Liked and Learned” about someone’s superhero.

“I liked Holly’s _____________ because I learned ____________.”

5.  Journaling Capes: using the journaling pages found here, girls will write something that they are going to commit to do to be more like one of the heroes we talked about today.
6.  Treat: we don’t normally have treats because it’s not necessary and it starts to cost too much money.  However, we decided that this time we would have a simple treat of superhero fruit snacks!  Cute.
7.  Closing prayer.

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HOW WE WILL LET EVERYONE KNOW ABOUT THE ACTIVITY:
Invitation (use the idea from here to make our invite – send out by 7 days before activity)
Calendar (we deliver a 3-month calendar to all the girls before the activities start)
Text Reminder to Moms (the day before – with reminder of what they need to have prepared)

4.  Evaluate the process and the implementation
Ask yourself often:
What DID we want to have happen?
Is that actually happening / did that happen?
Do we need to change something to get closer to what we want to have happen?
How can we do that?

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Whoo loves this darling Valentine decor using the Silhouette Advent Calendar?  I do!

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Find my valentine owls here and “Love You This Much” phrase here.

Enjoy!

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We planned a great activity to do before Valentines Day – here it is, in Planning With a Purpose format.  Refer to this post for more info on how to do Planning With a Purpose and for downloads to help you in the process.

Heart Attack Service

As of last Sunday, I am now serving as the Stake Primary Counselor over Activity Days – that means I am no longer carrying out the activities.  But we had already planned these activities with our two youth leaders so I want to share them even though I don’t have photos of the actual activity.  I will continue to share ideas as I see them in our Stake.  Enjoy!

Want to see a Heart Attack activity in action?  This video from the 2013 Primary Auxiliary Training will inspire you.  Click here.

1.  What do we value?
(click here to see “Value Sheet” download)

  • We value accomplishing the Faith in God requirements.
  • We value everyone feeling included.
  • We value people coming.
  • We value making friends.
  • We value respect toward each other.
  • We value learning in a fun way (short lesson plus activity of some sort)

2.  What do we want to have happen? (goals)
(click here to see ” Planning Sheet” download)

Instead of asking, “What do we want to do?” always ask, “WHAT DO WE WANT TO HAVE HAPPEN?
Refer to your list of values to help you answer this question – your values and goals should go hand-in-hand.

From the Faith in God Book: Read and discuss the parable of the good Samaritan (see Luke 10:30–37). Plan and complete a service project that helps a family member or neighbor. After completing the project, discuss how it helped your faith grow stronger.

For our Heart Attack activity, this is what we came up with:

  • serve girls in our group who don’t come to activity days by showing love
  • show thanks to bishopric
  • have fun while learning a new way to serve
  • make sure everyone is part of the serving

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3.  How are we going to make this happen? (plans + implementation)

NOTE: Holly + Sydney will cut extra hearts before the activity because we probably can’t cut them all and decorate the doors in 1 hour.
Use extra cardstock and paper from Sister Hall so we don’t have to use the budget.

ACTIVITY PLAN
1.  Welcome (opening prayer) – 5 min. (Sydney is in charge)
2.  Read and discuss the parable of the good Samaritan (see Luke 10:30–37).  Discuss that service increases faith.
3.  Heart Preparation: everyone cuts out hearts from donated paper, write messages on some hearts, group into 4-5 piles – 20 min.
4.  Closing prayer before we leave
5.  Divide into 2 groups – each do a bishopric/clerk door and at least one home of an activity day girl who doesn’t usually come.  (The youth leaders thought thought it was so funny to do the doors of the bishopric.)
6.  Heart Attack: use painters tape to attach hearts all over the doors of the bishopric/clerk and activity day girls – try to keep it a secret (Sister Denny get the key to the church)
7.  Leaders take girls home when finished

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SET UP PLAN:

  • cardstock and paper for hearts
  • scissors
  • sharpies / markers
  • painters tape or masking tape – enough for 2 groups

Use the kitchen counter and kitchen table to create hearts (cover table with cloth)

CLEAN UP PLAN:
Everyone helps clean up the mess before the closing prayer and heart attack delivery (Holly in charge)

HOW WE WILL LET EVERYONE KNOW ABOUT THE ACTIVITY:
Calendar (we deliver a 3-month calendar to all the girls before the activities start)
Text Reminder to Moms (the day before)

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4.  Evaluate the process and the implementation
Ask yourself often:
What DID we want to have happen?
Is that actually happening / did that happen?
Do we need to change something to get closer to what we want to have happen?
How can we do that?

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Sledding for an Activity Days activity.

Seems like a simple activity, right?  Even our simple activities need to have a plan in order to make them meaningful.  We can always make sure there is purpose in everything we do in Activity Days – not just the big events.

The Planning With a Purpose model outlines steps to plan and carry out leadership responsibilities, activities and real life decisions.  I learned it while serving in the student government at BYU and have practiced it ever since.

 

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Here is a step-by-step tutorial on how to use the Planning With a Purpose model.  And I’m using our sledding activity as the idea we are planning.

Click here to see how we implemented it using two of our 11-year-old Activity Day girls as the leaders for our Snowman Glove Service Project.  This model shows Activity Days but it is ready to be used for Young Women, Young Men, Relief Society – or any kind of planning you are doing.

THIS MODEL COMES FROM MY TRAINING
AT BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY.   GO COUGS!

Thank you, BYUSA for teaching me this wonderful method of planning!  I am lucky and blessed to have practiced it for the last 20 years.

Planning With a Purpose Instructions Planning with a Purpose Instructions

Planning with a Purpose Notebook Cover – 8×11

1.  What do we value?
Make a list of things that are important to us (you can use the download below if you choose).
What does the handbook say our purpose is?
What direction do we have from our bishop or other leaders?
What are the needs of the people in our group?

Holly & Sydney helped us decide on our values – use “guided practice” to help the youth learn how to do each step, including creating values. “Guided practice” can take the form of asking leading questions such as, “What does the handbook say our purpose is?  How should we included that in our values?”  It is ok to suggest ways to round out their thoughts to get a more complete end result.  That modeling is part of “guided practice.”

Whether you are training youth leaders or planning the activities yourself, use these same values while planning every activity.

  • We value accomplishing the Faith in God requirements.
  • We value everyone feeling included.
  • We value people coming.
  • We value making friends.
  • We value respect toward each other.
  • We value learning in a fun way (short lesson plus activity of some sort)

Planning with a Purpose Values Sheet Planning with a Purpose Values Sheet

2.  What do we want to have happen? (goals)
Instead of asking, “What do we want to do?” always ask, “WHAT DO WE WANT TO HAVE HAPPEN?
Refer to your list of values to help you answer this question – your values and goals should go hand-in-hand.

For our sledding activity, this is what we came up with:

  • have fun practicing sledding
  • be safe
  • lots of girls to come and feel included

3.  How are we going to make this happen? (plans + implementation)
Plan what you are going to do.  Always remember to look at the values to make sure it’s really what you want to have happen.
Ask: “How does this help us reach our goals of what we want to have happen?”
If your plan doesn’t meet your goals in a meaningful way, try something different.

NOTE: Listen to the Holy Ghost as you plan.  
The Holy Ghost can help us feel peace about our decisions and even help us formulate ideas for how to carry out what you want to have happen.

Use this planning sheet or a piece of paper to make your plans.  (this download comes in 2 different sizes below the picture)

Planning With a Purpose Planning Sheet Planning with a Purpose Planning Sheet – Half Page Version

Planning with a Purpose Planning Sheet – Full Page 1

Planning with a Purpose Planning Sheet – Full Page 2

For the sledding activity, here is our plan:

1.  Turn in permission slips (attach to calendar so parents have them already) – Sister Denny in charge
2.  Meet @ Sister Denny’s at 2:30 (wear snow clothes and bring sleds – put info on calendar + text reminder)
3.  Sister Hall + Sister Denny will drive everyone to location (get other driver if necessary) – Sister Denny in charge
4.  Sled for about an hour.  Holly + Sydney will monitor the experience and make sure each girl is feeling included, having fun, and a part of the group.  They will bring them into the group if necessary.
5.  Go home – drop girls off at homes

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4.  Evaluate the process and the implementation
Ask yourself often:
What DID we want to have happen?
Is that actually happening / did that happen?
Do we need to change something to get closer to what we want to have happen?
How can we do that?

This evaluation happens after the activity – it will help you plan future activities and build on what progress you are making along the way.  I encourage you to not skip this step!

Give Planning With a Purpose a try!  You can do it!

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Check out this tutorial over at greylustergirl – she used my ampersand shape and WHAT materials to create this 3D ampersand?  Go find out!

And here is another batch of ampersands available in the Silhouette store.  And if you’re a non-Silhouette user, find this ampersand here at Lori’s SVG shop.

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10 Lovely Ladies + 27 Snowman Gloves = 1 Fabulous Service Project!

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Get ready – this is a long post but it takes you through exactly how I used Planning With a Purpose to teach these girls how to plan and implement a meaningful activity.  It will work for any activity – not just this one.  These are the words and plans of our two youth leaders, Holly and Sydney, after simple leadership training on the Planning With a Purpose model.  I will have the Planning With a Purpose booklet that we used for training available in the near future for download.

What we wanted to have happen (goals):

  1. We want lots of girls to come to the activity.
  2. We want the girls to understand that service can be fun.
  3. We want them to understand that some people don’t have gloves & be grateful that we do.

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How we made that happen (plans and implementation):

  • Invite friends and people who don’t normally come.  Tell them it will be fun – that we do activities and not just a lesson the whole time.
  • Create a flyer, announce it in our church classes, send texts to remind everyone.
  • Encourage everyone earn the money themselves for the gloves and candy boxes.
  • Have a lesson to talk about how some people don’t have gloves and why it’s important to serve others.
  • Create at least 20 candy box snowmen with glove hats to donate to a local charity.

FLYER

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We wanted the girls to be in charge of implementing the flyer.  In order to do that, they need guided practice to feel confident and to teach them how to do it.  We made a list of all the information that we needed to include on the flyer, organized and ready for the girls to use as a guide for the final flyer.The key to each step in the planning process is “guided practice.”  In order to learn how to do something, you have to stand by their side as they practice it.  Making a detailed plan of the flyer together was that guided practice.

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We asked them to do the flyer without parental help (if possible) and bring it back to me to check it one final time then we would send it out.

The only thing they ended up needing parental help with was creating the border on the flyer.  They did the rest – and were excited to learn how to create a border for future projects.

When the girls came to have the flyer checked by me, they told me that they wanted to roll up each flyer and tie it.  They also wanted to hand deliver the flyers to each girl so that they could connect with every person in the group.

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Have I mentioned that these girls are amazing?  Yes, they are amazing.  They had officially caught the vision of what we wanted to have happen.

TEXTING

Texting is by far the best idea for communicating in our Activity Days group.  Because the list of girls changes all the time due to girls coming in and going out at their birthday, I keep a running list of the girls and their birthdays on my phone and refer to it when I make a group text.  Everyone gets a calendar of events for 3 months but I always text the moms (or dads) the day before the activity as a reminder.  It takes about 4 minutes total but our attendance increases when we do a text reminder.

“Reminder: Activity Days is tomorrow at 2:30 pm at Sister Hall’s house.  Get ready to make our Snowman Gloves!  See you there!”

Or something similar to that.

For this particular activity, I texted a few days before the Jan. 6 donation deadline, two days after it to tell them they could still drop off the donations, and the day of to remind them and tell them to come even if they didn’t have a chance to donate gloves or candy.  Most activities I only do one text the day before.

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LESSON

I taught the girls a way to give a great talk or lesson.  They (with some help from their moms) used this 3-step plan to create a wonderful lesson.  They had practiced it and were prepared.  Plus, they did it together.  They had experienced success already with this planning process because of guided practice so when I asked them if they wanted me to help them with the actual lesson, they said they could take care of it.

Choose a gospel principle then you need 3 things:

  1. scripture or scripture story
  2. personal experience or a story that you make personal to you
  3. bear your testimony of the principle

As they left the house, with a lesson assignment in hand, I asked, “Are you feeling nervous or confident?”  Holly paused for a moment then said, “Confident.”   Guided practice is the key to confident, independent behavior.

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Here’s their lesson:

  1. Read Mosiah 2:17.  Ask: What does this scripture mean?  Share your feelings about the scripture.
  2. Sydney told a story about her mom stopping to help a family get gas when they were stuck on the side of the road.  Then she followed them in their car to the gas station to fill up their tank.  Sydney said, “You don’t have to do something big to serve.  She could have just filled their gas can and they would have been so grateful.  Just serve.  Even if it’s a small thing.”
  3. Holly read the book, “The Mitten Tree” by Candace Christiansen.  It is out of print so getting a copy will cost you thousands of dollars but the kindle version is only $6.99 and you can show the pictures from your computer or iPad while you read it.  Holly’s mom found it at a local library so we were able to see the real thing while she read this sweet story of service – using mittens!  Perfect!
  4. They bore a simple, sweet testimony about service, including a challenge to serve because it would bring them blessings.  (by the way, what they did was straight from “Preach My Gospel” chapter 11 – I could have kissed them, I was so happy to hear their testimony!)

After the lesson they turned the time over to me and we worked on the snowman project.

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SNOWMAN GLOVES

Supplies:

  • Snoman Candy Box Wrapper – Outline
  • 1″ fabric strips but to about 14″ long (2 per box)
  • candy box (Milk Duds movie theater size is best)
  • knit gloves
  • crayons or markers or colored pencils

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  1. Color the snowman wrapper (trim the download across the horizontal lines to fit all sizes of boxes).  Plan where the wrapper will be placed and crease the edges.  Wrap the paper around the candy box then tape the back very tightly.IMG_1131IMG_1134
  2. Place one glove over the top of the snowman.  Place the other glove right behind the one on the box and tie gloves together tightly with a fabric strip.
  3. Add another fabric strip to create a scarf.

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27 snowman gloves later (we surpassed our goal of 20 sets!) – it was a fun, meaningful activity that only took an hour.  The girls were so proud of themselves for earning the money to purchase the supplies.

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Holly and Sydney knocked it out of the park with their responsibility, capability and teachability.  It has been a joy to work with them through this process.  It’s worth the extra time and effort to go through the guided practice that it takes to actually teach these young people to lead with purpose.

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Enjoy this activity but love the leadership training that can happen with ANY activity you choose to do!

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Thank you to Amy for sharing how they are using the “Come Unto Christ” vinyl this year at their New Beginnings event.  They are tying it to the “Diamonds in the Rough” idea so she whipped up a beautiful companion to my vinyl shape.  Click here for notebook cover printables.

Truly lovely.  Thank you so much for sharing the photo with us!  Don’t you just love the little bling added to the quote?

Great connection to the YW theme, Amy.

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