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How to Get MORE Out of Literature Circles with Weekly Assignments FREEBIE Included

If you’re reading this, I hope this means you have already read my post on, “How to Set Up Literature Circles in the Upper-Grade Classroom,” as well as the post on, “How to Keep Students Focused and Accountable During Literature Circle Discussions.” If not these are great places to start. If you also find yourself thinking I’m not here for information on setting up Literature Circles… Don’t go anywhere. These Strategy Focused bookmarks and student response pages are so extremely accommodating, their application and potential in the classroom go far beyond Literature Circles.

The idea for these strategy focused activities originated with my Literature Circle Groups. My set-up for Literature Circle groups evolved over the years, each year getting a little better, a little more effective, and a little more streamlined. What began as a weekly bookmark | summary and a letter to the teacher about what you read and the strategies used written in a reader’s notebook, eventually led to google classroom submissions, and finally to the finished product|program were going to explore in this blog post: Strategy Based Bookmarks and Strategy Based Digital Reading Responses.

Benefits Behind the Bookmarks and Digital Response Pages:

  1. These activities can be used with any text. Specifically fiction, novels, and digital reading passages. This allows you to use them again and again. Based on the text assigned you can easily differentiate amongst your students and apply rigor.
  2. These activities are editable through Google Drive. You can easily and quickly edit the text to your classroom’s needs, or alter the text to include more text-specific questions. The Active Reading Strategies are also editable in a way that you can completely customize the activities by moving different sections in and out of the response area.
  3. Use hard copies in the classroom, or assign the Digital Version Student Response pages in Google Classroom. Whether you start in the classroom, as a hybrid model, or distance learning classroom, you won’t skip a beat moving from one type of learning to the other. These pages are made to accommodate your unique needs as a teacher.
  4. By focusing student’s reading assignments on a single strategy you simplify your planning. Teach a whole class mini-lesson on the strategy of the week, practice together, then allow students to work independently with an appropriate text as they demonstrate the modeled strategy. This simplifies your planning 10 fold, while still allowing you to differentiate to your student’s needs.
  5. By focusing on a single strategy classroom discussions can be united and depth from different texts is added. No matter what text you are using, as long as the strategy is the same, students can connect, relate, and give great insight to a strategy that may have been one dimensional by only using a whole-class text.
  6. Active Reading Strategy Pages include my teaching notes, Elements of Fiction Pages include Anchor Charts. I’ve done my best to make the implementation of teaching these strategies through these products as seamless as possible. So much that I’ve included basically a script of how I introduce each active reading strategy (Editable text so you can make it your own) as well as a completed anchor chart that defines and gives examples of each Element of Fiction.
  7. The use and application of these pages are endless. Use these anywhere there is some type of reading assignment. Think ELA integration with History, Social Studies, or even use the Active Reading Strategies in Science. Use these as a Guided Reading lesson, Literacy Station Rotations, Whole-Class Novels, Classroom Book Clubs, or how they originated in weekly Literature Circle Assignments.
  8. This product is flexible across a large span of grade levels. Because it is text-dependent it can be used and implemented in grades as young as elementary looking to study chapter books or novels, to your middle school upper grades and High School Students.

Watch Video above for Preview of Making Connection Bookmark & Digital Student Response 

What’s Available

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Active Reading Strategies

Elements of Fiction

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How I use Them in the Classroom:

As was mentioned these originated as Strategy Focused Bookmarks that my students used during Literature Circles. At the beginning of a reading assignment. Students write the new reading assignment and due date at the top of the bookmark. We would do a quick lesson on the strategy we will be focusing on for the week, I like to follow the To, With, By model. Meaning I would introduce the strategy to them using a picture book. (High School | Middle School teachers… Don’t check out on me with the mention of a picture book. Big kids love picture books too, not to mention they are a WONDERFUL way to EASILY Integrate other subject material. If you can’t find a picture book or can’t bring yourself to picture book, find a brief reading passage instead! Model the strategy completely. This mini-lesson|introduction is done completely TO the students.  Notice with each strategy focused bookmark, I’ve included my personal notes with how I teach that specific strategy. This takes all the guesswork out for you and gives you a great base to start your discussion. Next, try applying the strategy to the remainder of a picture book or reading passage WITH your students. By the time you are done with this lesson students will be ready to work independently (BY) on their next assigned reading.

The Bookmarks lend themselves well to literature circle reading assignments or Classroom book clubs. Within the bookmarks, I’ve included strategy focused boxed activities. These boxes and the text within them can all be moved, manipulated, and edited to your own classroom needs. I’ve created these to be either printed double or single-sided.   These activities act as the assignment that corresponds with the reading that week. Students have the week to complete the reading and the Strategy Focused Bookmark Activities.

At the bottom of each bookmark and Digital Student-Response page is a scale of 1-10. This is a wonderful place to take a quick snap-shot assessment of your students. You can have them rate anything from their attitude towards the book to their effort of completing the assignment, to their understanding of the strategy they are focusing on for the week. To say I LOVE these bookmarks would be a complete understatement.

At the end of each week, I have students turn in their bookmarks and meet with their group to have a discussion on what was read. In order to keep their group discussions focused on the weekly strategy and meaningful, I created the Roll and Respond Activity. Click Here to Learn More about the Roll & Respond Pages and “How to Keep Students Focused and Accountable During Group Book Discussions.”

How to use in a Digital Learning Classroom:

Because of the need for resources that can be used in the regular classroom as well as adapted to a Distance Learning Classroom or Hybrid, I modified the bookmarks and created a Strategy Focused Digital Student Reading Response. Both are included in every Bookmark download. This allows you to use and assign these in a completely digital setting. If you are setting up Literature Circles to be completed through Distance Learning… WHICH I HIGHLY RECCOMEND. I still recommend printing off these bookmarks and giving them as a hardcopy to your students. I would include this in a packet and have students take a snapshot of the completed bookmark to show they have completed it. Each week I would hand out a new bookmark, with a new strategy to focus on while they complete the reading for the week, or handout every bookmark they would need with the start of a new novel! Maybe I’m old fashioned but I think something concrete like a book and a bookmark will help things feel a little more normal.

Mini-Lessons introducing the strategy for the week can be done easily over Zoom, Google Meet, or Screen Castify. If you want to go completely digital you can even assign the differentiated reading passages or assignments through Epic, Common Lit, Read Works, Newsela, or Freckle… Just to name a few of my favorite online resources for differentiated reading passages!

From these simply assign the specific Digital Reading Response through Google Classroom. To do so, begin by creating a student version of the slides. Once the Google Slide File is open, hold down the [control] or [command] key while you click on the slides your students will use.*** Only click on the slides you want students to see/use. Next, click on [File] then, [Make a Copy]. From there click on the [Selected Slides] option. Rename the file to include [Student Version] or something to that effect in the title. Then click OK. This will create a new copy of only the slides you selected and add it to your Google Drive. Making it EASY to assign these pages digitally or during distance learning.

Because the entire class is focused on the same strategy, having students respond to a strategy focused question, or having a group discussion can be really rewarding. Despite everyone using different texts, their response will be focused and just as meaningful to a student not reading the same text. Use the Digital Versions of the accompanying Roll and Respond Sheets to have students respond at the end of their reading assignment using digital tools like FlipGrid, Screen Castify, Zoom, or Google Meet! Click Here to Learn More about the Roll & Respond Pages and “How to Keep Students Focused and Accountable During Group Book Discussions.”

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***Remember these downloads are for personal use only. Your membership is good for one license of each product, meaning sharing or emailing with a friend is strictly prohibited. However, telling a friend how to become a member and download on their own is warmly encouraged and very much appreciated!

Save Big with Bundles: Bookmarks, Digital Responses AND Roll & Responds

***Something to keep in mind, if you like the idea of using these in your classroom make sure to check out the Roll and Respond Pages. Both were made to be used in conjunction with the other.  Both activities are great on their own but are taken to a whole other level when used in a partnership. See options below to SAVE BIG by bundling!

Active Reading MEGA Bundle: Roll & Respond and Strategy Focused Activities

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Elements of Fiction MEGA Bundle: Roll & Respond and Strategy Focused Activities

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BIG BUNDLE: Element of Fiction & Active Reading Strategy Roll and Responds & Activity Pages

BEST VALUE: Click Here to Purchase on Teachers Pay Teachers

 

Watch the video above to see what’s included in the BIG BUNDLE

If you liked this, make sure to check out these related posts! (Freebies Included)

   

All Bookmark Products include Editable Bookmarks AND Digital Student Responses

 Bookmarks & Digital Response BUNDLES:

Active Reading Strategies Bookmark & Digital Responses BUNDLE

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Elements of Fiction Bookmarks & Digital Responses BUNDLE

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Active Reading & Elements of Fiction Bookmarks & Digital Responses BUNDLE

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Individual Active Reading Strategies: Bookmarks & Digital Response

Summarizing Bookmark & Digital Response

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Questioning Bookmark & Digital Response

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Visualizing Bookmark & Digital Response

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Synthesizing Bookmark & Digital Response

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Making Predictions Bookmark & Digital Response

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Making Connections Bookmark & Digital Response

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Inferencing Bookmark & Digital Response

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Active Reading Strategies Bookmark & Digital Response

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Individual Elements of Fiction Bookmarks & Digital Response:

Character Bookmark & Digital Response

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Conflict Bookmark & Digital Response

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Elements of Fiction Bookmark & Digital Response

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Mood/Tone Bookmark & Digital Response

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Plot Bookmark & Digital Response

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Point of View | Voice Bookmark & Digital Response

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Setting Bookmark & Digital Response

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Story Map Bookmark & Digital Response

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Theme Bookmark & Digital Response

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If you’re interested in only purchasing the Digital Student Response Pages, Click Here!

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Awesome, FREE resources for this week’s Come Follow Me Lesson! I’ve added my favorites to the website💛 Head to the website to learn more, tag a friend in the comments 🍋🍋🍋 ...

“Your work to grow your testimony is not done—any more than the work of growing a redwood tree is done when the first tiny sprout pokes out of the ground. If we ignore or neglect these early spiritual promptings, if we do not nurture them by continuing to study the scriptures and pray and by seeking more experiences with the Spirit, our feelings will fade and our testimonies will diminish.” ...

We’re taking it back to one of my favorite Elementary school Activities for this week’s Come Follow Me lesson. All you need is a bean, seed, pea…etc of some sort, a plastic bag, wet paper towel, a window and some tape. I loved the activity suggestion from Come Follow Me this week, and thought this Bean Sprout activity would be the perfect way to illustrate it!
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Show the children a seed, and read to them the first few lines of Alma 32:28. Tell the children that the word of God is like a seed. Ask how we help a seed grow. Let the children pretend to plant a seed, water it, and help it grow. Point out that we can’t see the seed after we plant it, but we know it’s there and growing; we also can’t see Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, but we know They are real and They love us. Help the children think of things they can do to help their faith in Jesus Christ grow.
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28 Now, we will compare the word unto a aseed. Now, if ye give place, that a bseed may be planted in your cheart, behold, if it be a true seed, or a good seed, if ye do not cast it out by your dunbelief, that ye will resist the Spirit of the Lord, behold, it will begin to swell within your breasts; and when you feel these swelling motions, ye will begin to say within yourselves—It must needs be that this is a good seed, or that the word is good, for it beginneth to enlarge my soul; yea, it beginneth to eenlighten my funderstanding, yea, it beginneth to be delicious to me.
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This talk is the perfect companion to your #comefollowme study this week! I’ve also included a FREE Graphic Organizer to deepen your study! Do this as a family, send to your young men or young women or simply include it in your individual study this week!
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Tag a friend below!
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“Mountain climbers commonly refer to altitudes above 8,000 meters as the “death zone” because at those heights there is not enough oxygen to sustain life. There is a spiritual equivalent to the death zone. If we spend too much time in faithless places, seemingly well-intended voices deprive us of the spiritual oxygen we need.
In the Book of Mormon, we read of Korihor, who had such an experience. He enjoyed great popularity because his teachings were “pleasing [to] the carnal mind.” He said that parents and prophets teach foolish traditions designed to limit freedom and perpetuate ignorance. He argued that people should be free to do whatever they choose because commandments are nothing more than conveniently contrived restrictions. To him, belief in the Atonement of Jesus Christ was “the effect of a frenzied mind,” created by belief in a being who could not exist because He could not be seen.
Korihor created so much unrest that he was brought before the chief judge and the high priest. There, he rose “up in great swelling words,” criticizing the leaders and demanding a sign. A sign was given. He was struck so that he could not speak. Korihor then realized he had been deceived, and thinking of precious truths he had abandoned, he lamented, “I always knew.”
Korihor then begged for food until he was trampled to death by a group of Zoramites.The final verse in his story contains this sober reflection: “And thus we see that the devil will not support his children at the last day, but doth speedily drag them down to hell.””
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Free Printable and Activity for this week’s Come Follow Me Lesson! If you’re involved with Young Men| Young Women, Primary, or Activity Days this also makes a GREAT virtual activity. Simple drop off the supplies and zoom call to paint together or zoom call to display your creations! Head to the website for more ideas, and to download the FREE printable. Tag someone looking for covid safe activity ideas! ...

Happy 4th of July!
Found this quote by Gordon B. Hinkley quite thought provoking, especially considering it was given in 1973. I’m proud to be an American, this will always be the land that I love.
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“Notwithstanding the trouble, notwithstanding the argument, notwithstanding the increasingly heavy hand of government, notwithstanding the spirit of arrogance we so often display, notwithstanding occasional corruption in public office and betrayal of sacred trust-- I marvel at the miracle of America, the land which the God of Heaven long ago declared to be a land choice above all other lands. There is too much fruitless, carping criticism of America. Perhaps the times are dark. There have been dark days in every nation. I should like to repeat the words of Winston Churchill: "Do not let us speak of darker days; let us speak rather of sterner days. These are not dark days; these are great days-- the greatest days our country has ever lived; and we must all thank God that we have been allowed, each of us according to our stations, to play a part in making these days memorable in the history of our race."
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(President Gordon B. Hinckley, National Advisory Council of BYU College of Business, November 2, 1973)
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“The Anti-Nephi-Lehies “laid down the weapons of their rebellion,” burying them “deep in the earth” as “a testimony to God … that they never would use [their] weapons again.”6 In doing so, they promised to follow God’s teachings and never go back on their commitment. This action was the beginning of being “converted unto the Lord” and never falling away.7

Being “converted unto the Lord” means leaving one course of action, directed by an old belief system, and adopting a new one based on faith in Heavenly Father’s plan and in Jesus Christ and His Atonement. This change is more than an intellectual acceptance of gospel teachings. It shapes our identity, transforms our understanding of life’s meaning, and leads to unchanging fidelity to God. Personal desires that are contrary to being anchored to the Savior and to following the covenant path fade away and are replaced by a determination to submit to the will of Heavenly Father.” - Elder Dale G. Renlund
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As you ponder the changes in the Anti-Nephi-Lehies, consider how your own conversion to Christ is changing you.
What do you feel you still need to change so that the gospel can have greater power in your life?”
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BIG NEWS: Check out my story for more information, trust me you don’t want to miss this! .
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If you’ve been following me for long you know the ONLY paid subscription I use for #comefollowme is the Drawn In monthly subscription by @davidbowmanart .
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Use the EXCLUSIVE Promo code: LEMONLANE10 to get 10% off your yearly subscription. With this discount you receive 2 new 15-20 minute videos a week along with weekly printable materials that follow the Come Follow Me Curriculum! That’s a minimum of 8 videos a week for LESS THAN $5 a month! .
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I love the Drawn In videos because of their focus on APPLICATION. Instead of just a retelling of the story, David takes it a step further by exploring why the story is important, what we can learn from it, and even further by giving examples of scenarios of where the principles taught can be applied in your children’s life today. Truly @davidbowmanart has a gift for bringing the scriptures and their importance to life. .
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If you’re interested make sure to check out the FREE Sample videos available on his website, (I link it each week on the blog) Also don’t forget to check out my story for some EXCITING news that’s only available to you for the next TWO WEEKS! #gogogo
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“The influence of your personal testimonies is ever so far-reaching. The Lord instructed: “The testimony which ye have borne is recorded in heaven for the angels to look upon; and they rejoice over you, and your sins are forgiven you” (D&C 62:3). He also cautioned us: “With some I am not well pleased, for they will not open their mouths, but they hide the talent which I have given unto them, because of the fear of man” (D&C 60:2). You never know when your turn will come to comply with the admonition of Peter to “be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you” (1 Pet. 3:15).”
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Thomas S. Monson
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I’ve complied my FAVORITE inexpensive gift ideas for Father’s Day and created FREE printables for you to complete the gift! These are perfect and practical for the men in your life, and work great as a gift for the entire ward! -
What did your Ward do for Father’s Day this year?
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“I know the love of God. It is one of the very few things I do know with absolute certainty. I think suffering on this earth is an indication of God’s trust, God’s love. I think it is an indication that God does not want us to be simply obedient children playing forever under his hand, but wants us able to become more like himself. In order to do that we have to know reality. We have to be real ourselves and not dependent on externals. If we are to be like God, we cannot live forever in fear that we may meet something that will scare us or that will hurt us. We have to be able, as he is able, to meet what comes of others’ agency, and of living in a lawful universe that allows creation of a habitable planet only when it allows also the difficulties that come in natural operations of such a planet.”
-Francine R. Bennion
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“Now all this suffering might indeed be unfair if everything ended at death, but it doesn’t. Life is not like a one-act play. It has three acts. We had a past act, when we were in the premortal existence; and now we have a present act, which is mortality; and we will have a future act, when we return to God. … We were sent into mortality to be tested and tried [see Abraham 3:25]. … “Our past and present sufferings cannot, as Paul said, ‘be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us’ [Romans 8:18] in the eternities. ‘For after much tribulation come the blessings. Wherefore the day cometh that ye shall be crowned with much glory.’ [D&C 58:4.] So tribulation is useful in the sense that it is helpful to get into the celestial kingdom”
-James E. Faust
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Reflecting on Father’s Day... it’s incredible to me that the Supreme Creator of the Universe chooses to be addressed as “Father”...
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. “Father’ is the noblest title a man can be given. It is more than a biological role. It signifies a patriarch, a leader, an exemplar, a confidant, a teacher, a hero, a friend and, ultimately, a perfect being.” Robert L. Backman
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For whatever reason, I’ve had this false idea in my mind that when you are on the Lord’s errand, a path paved in smooth simplicity would be laid out before you… This simply isn’t the case. Consider Nephi’s path and the bumps and stumbling blocks placed in his way… Consider Abinadi and his ultimate sacrifice of meekness and obedience… Consider Joseph Smith and the reestablishment of the early Church… Now consider Alma the younger and his dealings with Ammoniahah… Looking ahead, look what happens to Amulek once he finally decides to “Know” the Gospel.

It’s so interesting to me that when the angel is sent to Alma to lift him up and send him back to Ammoniahah a key detail that in my mind would have eased Alma’s mind is left out. Notice how the angel made no mention of Amulek. There is no mention of comfort that someone has been prepared for you, and is waiting for you. Instead, Alma acts “speedily” not knowing what he will do, ACTING in faith, hoping that the Lord will provide a way.
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To me this illustrates the idea of the Lord’s hand cautiously guiding us even when we can’t see it. I’ve seen this concept in my own life, however, it isn’t until I have the hindsight of the future to look back and realize his hand was there all along. There is something to choosing to act on our own. Heading in the right direction, even though we don’t know how we will be delivered, having faith that we WILL be delivered.
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“Each of us also carries a load. Our individual load is comprised of demands and opportunities, obligations and privileges, afflictions and blessings, and options and constraints. Two guiding questions can be helpful as we periodically and prayerfully assess our load... [...]Sometimes we mistakenly may believe that happiness is the absence of a load. But bearing a load is a necessary and essential part of the plan of happiness... [...] Not only does the Atonement of Jesus Christ overcome the effects of the Fall of Adam and make possible the remission of our individual sins and transgressions, but His Atonement also enables us to do good and become better in ways that stretch far beyond our mortal capacities. Most of us know that when we do things wrong and need help to overcome the effects of sin in our lives, the Savior has made it possible for us to become clean through His redeeming power. But do we also understand that the Atonement is for faithful men and women who are obedient, worthy, and conscientious and who are striving to become better and serve more faithfully? I wonder if we fail to fully acknowledge this strengthening aspect of the Atonement in our lives and mistakenly believe we must carry our load all alone—through sheer grit, willpower, and discipline and with our obviously limited capacities.” Excerpts from Bear Your Burdens with Ease, -Bednar ...

With there being a focus on Missionary work this week for Come Follow Me, and the fact that it isn’t always rosy… I thought a good addition to the lesson would be to write a letter to a missionary. Maybe this is a family member, a ward member, or someone new entirely, but a message from home can be an easy way to show support for those serving in the mission field. To help with this activity I created a fun and editable missionary letter template. The template should simplify the writing process and take the guesswork out of what to write. You can either type directly onto the slide, and print or email. Or you can begin by printing a hard copy and writing directly onto the page.

Use this with your family, your students, the primary, or young men| young women! This works great as a zoom call activity or fun activity at home! I’ve also included a link to inkablinka.com where Kristin has uploaded some awesome printables going over missionary letter dos and donts!
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