Monday, August 29, 2011

A Story to Silence Them

I began teaching CTR4 today. Technically, my husband and I began teaching CTR4 today, but he taught Elder's Quorum this Sunday leaving me in a much-too-small room with eight small children.

Oh my.

Is it me, or do they always have that much energy? Anyway, they aren't shy. That's for sure. My son is one of those eight small children. Has anybody ever taught their own child Primary before? Okay, they may have all seemed wild, but my son seemed especially so.

Here is a small sampling of their boundless energy:
Climbing on chairs.
Turning upside down on chairs.
Jumping off chairs. (Actually, this one -quieter- girl would occasionally and suddenly JUMP off her chair, and as she landed on the floor her dress billowed out around her, creating a pink-flowered mushroom which the other children would gather around and proceed to kick.)
More talking.
Climbing on windowsills.

It wasn't a surprise that my lesson didn't go so well...until...until...I read a story. Then there was absolutely no climbing, no jumping, and no noise. A story. That's all it took. And that, my friends, is why we do what we do.


  1. Haha! That's awesome! My husband and I were called (about the time the Lord of the Rings The Two Towers came out on DVD) to teach the 4's. We had a little boy who had major "behavioral" problems. Come to find out many years later it had food allergies that caused him to be unable to sit still and pay attention. Anyway we tried everything we could with him and one Sunday he was particularly difficult and my husband said in his deepest most Gandalf- "you shall not pass" voice and said
    "CAMERON" He froze, as did the entire class. I don't think he moved for a whole 90 seconds after that. ;)

  2. I was in the Primary presidency for a couple of years and that was my favorite thing to do- read stories to the children! I teach the 8-year-olds now and they still react the same way. I will often let them get out of their seats and come sit on the floor around me while I tell or read the story- it makes it even more special. But yes, there's something about a story that just works magic on children. I'm so glad that even in this age of video games, internet, and 3D movies, kids are still mesmerized by a well-told story! We actually have a sister in our ward who is also a librarian at our local library and she also does story time there. She is an AMAZING storyteller. I am actually going to have her come into my class to help teach part of my lesson next week by telling the kids a story. :-)

  3. Stephonie-I love it! My husband is also a big LOTR fan, and we are going to have to try that one.

    Kasey-Isn't that amazing that a good story beats all?

  4. I'm the Primary President and the mother of the oldest CTR 4 in our ward, and YES, they always have that much energy. (I also taught CTR 4s 10 years ago when they were called CTR 5s; assigned seating was a HUGE help and I'll be recommending it to our teachers next Sunday!)

    I've had the same experience of telling stories to 3- and 4-year-olds and even the senior primary. They love stories!

  5. Jordan-Ah! Assigned seating. I'm sure which seats are best will come to be the longer I'm the teacher...which children are the troublemakers and which are the peacemakers. My son is the latter of the two.

  6. I have taught that age a lot. I use stories for everything. Coloring pages, flannel board stories, songs, games. Anything to help them remember the principles that I am teaching. That is one of my favorite ages ever!

  7. Patty Ann-The old flannel board stories! How could I forget?!

  8. Yep. Stories. I don't know what I'd do without them. Once I was serving in the Primary Presidency and the class assigned for a class presentation (I don't know if they do that any more . . .) used 1.5 minutes of their assigned 20 minutes of sharing time. The counsellor who was conducting stood up and announced that Sister Tolley (me) would now tell a story. Ummm . . .

  9. Diane-Talk about being on the spot. I'm not very good at making up stories on the spot. And I want to write. Go figure.

  10. Jessie, I love this post. It is why we do what we do!! I tried whispering, but that only worked for one week's class, not the next. Good luck!



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