Sunday, June 27, 2010

As you Teach -- Get'um up and Moving!

Touching and Inspiring the Mind of students in your care is somehow more easy--and always more effective if you involve some large muscles--the benefit is you have their undivided attention and in many cases a bonus -- they wake up!

In the military I learned a training staple called the Standing Break in Place. It goes like this:

"Well, we've been at it for a while now, I'd like to do something I learned during my time in the Army. It's called the Standing Break in Place. I'll do it with you. Let's raise our arms above our heads. Take a deep breath and stand up on our toes. Now open your mouth and do the silent scream! (When I open my mouth as if to scream--I've had some students actually scream--with the laughter that inevitably follows)

The remarkable thing is that stretching the muscles gets oxygen to the brain and wakes up the class. This works when things are beginning to come undone--and always produces results.

Big muscle "learning" worked again for me recently at an Eagle Court of Honor. The illustration above demonstrates the way we worked together to establish a living Eagle Trail. Read about it in the Grampa in Training (GiT) Blog.

Dance us the ultimate big muscle movement. I've taken a real interest in choreography since writing a musical and coordinating the music and other elements of the production. One of the best choreography I've seen recently is a home brew video taping of a wonderful broadway show starring the actress who gave life to Disney's Littlest Mermaid. Jodi Benson is the female lead in George Gershwin's CRAZY for YOU. I do wish I would have been able to show her wonderful dancing to the volunteer choreographers who did our show. If you'd like to take a look go to the CRAZY FOR YOU link below on Youtube and enjoy as many of the 15 ten minute episodes as you would like! Look for the wonderful choreography between Jodi Benson and
Harry Groener as they dance their committment to each other in Episode 3 and Episode 4

Finally, a little tribute to the late Alma Heaton, one of my great heros in the recreation department at BYU in the middle to late seventies. A dear friend gives me some credit for being able to create that magical anticipation (Like my Dad used to say, "Anticipation is more than half the fun!") Alma Heaton taught me everything I know about that.

Alma Heaton emerged in my consciousness as the guest "entertainer" at a stake high priest's steak fry in Provo when we were students-- and became a life long friend. One of his last callings was as a square dance missionary in India. Alma and his wife were called to teach western Square dancing on a cultural exchange program--and Alma in his wonderful way, would invite promising young New Delhi Indians to the trunk of their rental car and get a prized book of Mormon. He was the master of the big muscle movement. He richly deserved his title as Professor of Fun JWH

Monday, June 14, 2010

TMB 1 Memorial Paper Doll

This is the first of many Teaching Moment BOOSTERS to come on Youtube.

These are Object Lessons that help teach principles of the gospel. The Memorial Paper Doll is a technique to teach youngsters of any age about how the resurrection works using a hinged paper doll, a clear plastic spirit and a mystery tool that makes it all permanent.

I am indebted to then Bishop Gene Pratt for using it in a young father's funeral more than 40 years ago. I've used it several times since. It has become a concrete way of helping us to think about death and life afterward.  JRH