Well, where do you start for the theme this year?
(image from lds.org media library)
How does one actually teach a child using the scriptures... especially if that child can't read? How do we help a child develop a love for the scriptures? How do we instill faith and diligence when it comes to scripture study?
I love Teaching, No Greater Call! Here is a great excerpt and I hope you don't mind if I added a few of my own thoughts in italics:
Suggestions for Using the Scriptures to Teach Children
You can bless the lives of children by helping them become comfortable with the language of the scriptures. When you teach children, you should use the scriptures frequently and find ways to have the children become comfortable using the scriptures. Following are examples of what you might do:
1. Help children become familiar with the names and order of the books in the scriptures. Use the songs
“The Books in the Old Testament,” “The Books in the New Testament,” and “The Books in the Book of Mormon” from the Children’s Songbook, pages 114–17 and 119. (Which means that yes, you will need to learn these songs too!!)
2. Help children understand the language of the scriptures. When you read scriptures together, explain the meaning of important words. Help children pronounce difficult words and names. Have them listen for certain words, phrases, or ideas.
3. When you want children to find a certain scripture passage, give them the page number of the passage as well as the reference.
4. Share a scripture account in your own words. Help learners visualize the events and the people as you describe what happened (see
“Stories,” pages 179–82). Then read key scripture passages aloud.
5. Have children read aloud from the scriptures. Be aware of each child’s abilities, and help each participate successfully. (I once taught a boy who had dyslexia. He really struggled while reading, but he was never embarrassed. I always gave him the opportunity and he smiled every time I told him what a fabulous job he did. It's good for other children to see that we are all different and perfect the way God has created us. But of course, another child with dyslexia might be terrified to read out loud. That's why I love this... be aware!!!)
6. If children are too young to read, invite them to watch as you read a scripture and point to the words. You could also have older children assist younger children in finding and reading scriptures.
(You could also help a younger child point with a ruler while you read, you can have them stand on a certain word, you can have them be the volume checker in the back of the room to make sure whoever is reading is bold and clear by giving a thumbs up)7. Have children read scripture accounts from the illustrated books of scripture stories published by the Church, such as Book of Mormon Stories. (At home, you can work on a child's fluency - reading with a smoothness as opposed to choppy. robot. style. , by having them use a ruler to underline the whole sentence instead of pointing to each word.)
8. Help the children discuss scripture accounts. Teach them to ask questions when they read, such as, “What is happening? Why is this happening? Who is speaking? How does this apply to me?”
9. Use the methods described in part F of this book (pages 157–84). For example, in presenting a story from the scriptures, you could use a flannel board, simple chalkboard illustrations, or pictures drawn by the children. You could have children retell a scripture story or sing songs that relate to specific scriptures.
10. At the end of some Primary lessons, there is a section called “Suggested Home Reading.” Invite the children to read with their families the scriptures mentioned there. (Or for sharing time, send them home with a small index card with readings from your lesson they can do with families.)