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Getting into the scriptures

posted Feb 5, 2018, 10:40 AM by Christine Merrill
Yesterday at church was a rough day. Lugging my family and bags through the freezing rain, tired and grumpy kids (mine and the ones in Primary), a general feeling of panic that everything wasn't going to work out, ya know. But there was one great little part of the day I want to write about. 

For Sharing time, we were teaching about the creation of the world. The plan suggested to have the kids break into 6 groups, read the scripture of what happened on each of the days, then draw a picture of it on the black board. One of the things that bothers me with ASL is that you don't seem to get the same relationship with the scriptures as you do in English. Most of the time, it's too hard to show a video of a scripture, so people just translate it on the fly. But when you do that, you don't get that relationship of seeing the same scripture over and over again. It's that feeling of meeting a friend that you know and love well. But technology is advancing, and I've wanted to use the scriptures more in my lessons, so I pondered how to adapt this lesson for the branch.

I decided to use the ASL Bible and have the kids watch the scriptures, then see if they could figure out what was created each day. I think it's pretty similar to reading the scriptures in English - the language is deeper and more difficult to understand than normal conversation, so it takes some getting used to, at least for kids. I used the Jehovah's Witness's translation of the bible, which has links to each verse so you can look at the exact verse you want. That's lovely. In contrast, the Book of Mormon is only indexed by chapter, so you have to guess how far the verse you want is. Blech.

For Senior Primary, we did the whole thing in ASL. We "read" scriptures in ASL, discussed what they meant in ASL, and it was amazing. The kids did great! My tablet is a little small, so we had to turn off the lights, pull the curtains and crowd around the screen...but everyone could see, and I loved seeing even my tough nuts mostly engaged!

The funniest part of the day was when one of the boys drew what was created on Day 6: A dinosaur to represent the "beasts" and a person. The rest of the lesson, when we talked about Day 6, it was "Dinosaurs and People." And yeah, I totally knew the sign for dinosaur already, because I'm awesome :)
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