Wednesday, November 16, 2016

The Parable of the Cake

Today’s seminary lesson was The Parable of the Cake. This lesson is an effective way to teach good scripture study habits, and a lesson students request year after year.

I'm always encouraged and even inspired at what the kids draw from this lesson.  Their insights are personal and insightful.  This year it took 10 cakes to have enough for all of the students (Christina, our incredible support specialist, helped me to bake that many) and it was worth every pan.

Materials needed: baked chocolate cake, 1 jar caramel ice cream topping, 1 large tub whipped topping and 1 cup candy bar toppings (broken candy bars, Heath bits, mini-M&M’s, etc.)

1. Explain that reading the scriptures is a lot like eating cake.

Ask your students for correlations between eating cake and scripture study. (They will give you great analogies: both are sweet, both are filling, both make a visible difference when a lot is consumed, both have a lot of variety/ingredients, both take work, etc.)

Have students silently read a selected chapter or block of scripture. After the students have finished reading, I suggest that one similarity between cake and scripture study is sometimes they’re both a bit dry. There is a reason we frost cake and there is a reason we are encouraged to do more than read the scriptures.

2. Explain to your students that they can eat the cake just like it is – after all they have read the scriptures – or they can add more layers to make it moister, better, more satisfying.

Show the class a jar of caramel and take a vote on who wants to eat the cake plain or who wants to add a layer of caramel to the cake. (After dozens of lessons, I’ve yet to have a class vote to eat the cake plain). Explain that caramel on the cake is like studying the scriptures rather than simply reading them. Studying makes the scriptures more filling and sustaining.

3. Have the students return to the chapter or block of scripture and study using the Topical Guide, Bible Dictionary, Guide to the Scriptures, maps, For the Strength of Youth pamphlet, General Conference talks, etc. While they are studying, poke holes in the cake with fork tines or a kabob stick and drizzle caramel over the cake and let it seep down into the holes.

After students have studied the scriptures for about ten minutes, allow them to share insights with the class. After the discussion, ask students if they want to eat the cake as it is (after all, they have studied the scriptures) or if they want to add another layer.

Show students a tub of whipped topping and ask for a vote. (Again, the vote has always gone for more toppings when I’ve taught this lesson.)

4. Explain that pondering and praying for understanding will add to reading and studying the scriptures.

Give students an opportunity to reflect and write in their journals what they have learned or questions that they may have from what they have read and studied. While students write in their journals, spread the whipped topping over the cake.

5. After students have written in their journals. Explain that they can eat the cake like it is – after all they have read, studied, and pondered the scriptures – or they can add another layer.

Show students the candy bar pieces and explain that teaching and testifying of what we have learned helps not only others, but it helps us to better retain the truth. It also gives the Holy Ghost an opportunity to confirm what we say and strengthens our understanding. 

Take a vote whether or not the students would like to go to the next layer.

Assign the students to teach each other or create a social media post on what they have learned. As students teach, sprinkle the candy bar bits on the cake.

6. Now that the cake is finished with a layer of caramel, whipped topping, and candy bar bits, explain that no matter how beautiful or satisfying it appears, it is of no use sitting there. It is not until the cake is eaten and inside of us that it makes a difference. It is the same with scripture study. We can learn, understand, and feel the truth of them, but until what we have learned influences our behavior and actions it is of little use to us.

Invite your students to apply what they have learned from their scripture study and record their goal in their journal or report to a friend.

Serve the cake!

(This lesson could easily be applied to other topics such as how to have a more united family or any topic that builds upon a foundation.)

1 comment:

Rachel said...

Oh I love this! I hope I remember it. You may get an email or phone call someday asking for help remembering it.