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Steps for Effective & Engaging Literature Circles in the Upper Grades

 

I LOVE Literature Circles. I wasn’t someone that always wanted to be a teacher growing up… However, when I did decide to pursue the teaching route, one of the main motivators was to be that “someone” that introduced a reluctant reader to the LOVE of reading. I suppose it’s because I was one of those readers growing up, that is until I discovered the MAGIC that reading can be. Literature Circles are all of those things in one to me. They allow students to have ownership and choice over what they are reading. They allow me to introduce students to titles or genres they wouldn’t have necessarily tried on their own. They also allow me to effectively introduce, model, and teach the strategies and skills students need to actively and independently do as they read if they want to experience the MAGIC.

As an educator looking into setting up Literature Circles I’m sure you are no novice, let alone are you ignorant to the idea that many well-intentioned literature circles simply don’t live up to the hype. Below I will share with you my tips to make sure your literature circles earn a well-deserved place in your classroom schedule as well as live up to the hype!

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6 Steps to Setting Up Engaging and Effective Literature Circles

1. Organization is Key.

When it comes to setting up engaging and effective literature circles having a solid foundation from the beginning is crucial. For me, that meant a Literature Circle Binder. Before any reading took place, 99% of the groundwork was completed beforehand. I created forms that literally walk me through each step before implementing a Literature Circle Run.

    • A brainstorming form to come up with Central Commonality amongst all the books I would introduce to my students.
    • A form where students could be divided based on their reading level, making it easier for me to know which books to give as options to give them as a Literature Circle Choice.
    • A form to breakdown and calculate weekly reading assignments.
    • A form to keep track and rate which books worked well to remember to use again in the coming years
    • A form to divide students into their actual Literature Circle Groups
    • A form to keep track of students weekly reading assignments
    • A form for students to rate their weekly group discussions
    • …etc!

All of the forms that I use are editable through google slides, and include a digital version if you like to organize and plan initially! If interested in using these forms in your own classroom, see below for more information!

For a more detailed explanation about how I set-up & organize my literature circles, make sure to read this post!

2. Model. Model. Model.

Often times I think Literature Circles flop because we put too much of the weight of its success on the student. Literature Circles are after all supposed to be student-led…? To me, there is a great difference in student-led, and assigning roles or activities to students without the proper scaffolding or modeling. Assigning a reading response, literature circle role to a student, or asking them to practice a skill or strategy without the proper scaffolding or support is like telling a non-swimmer what swimming looks like, what tools can them float, and then tossing them in the deep end without a life jacket and expecting them to swim. Students will only be able to perform at THEIR limited introductive level. To reach the standard you crave for your students, they must first experience it. This is why modeling is KEY, when it comes to Literature Circles.

I begin the start of each year with a whole-class novel. This allows me to model my expectations for Literature Circles, as well as introduce the skills, strategies, and roles students will be expected to do independently. While teaching 5th grade, I liked to start with grade-level novels like Lemonade War, or Frindle. Essentially you want a quick read, that can be divided into lessons, that will allow for meaningful group discussion based on the strategies and skills you will be modeling. I would start by introducing and modeling the Active Reading Strategies.

If you don’t introduce the skills, strategies or roles you will be expecting students to do independently through a Whole-Class Novel, consider introducing them during a weekly lesson instead. You can use a whole-class novel with this type of weekly lesson, digital passages, or even picture books to model a weekly lesson! (Don’t check out Middle School|Secondary teachers… There are LOADS of picture books dripping with depth and complexity that are also GREAT options for integrating other subject matters) ***The only thing to keep in mind with weekly lessons is that if you are wanting to do Literature Circle Roles, students will all be completing the SAME role after a weekly lesson unit all the roles have been covered.

To, With, By is the simple yet effective model I used for introducing skills, strategies, and roles. Begin by modeling the expectation, standard or skill clearly and explicitly. Do all of your thinking out loud, this introduction is done TO the students. Next, move to the WITH part of the introduction. Do the same strategy, skill, or standard WITH your students. Here answering, and asking questions and stating any clarifications. At the end of the WITH students should be confident moving into the BY section of the lesson. If doing a whole Class Novel, let them read the next chapter and apply the lesson BY themselves. If doing a mini-lesson students will do the literature circle weekly reading BY themselves and apply the modeled skill.

***If teaching Digitally, these models work GREAT. Zoom and Google Meet are wonderful free resources for video conferencing with your class, you can even record your lessons and post them to Google Classroom for students unable to attend a live conference! All of the Literature Circle Resouces I use come in a digital version as well! I’ll include more information below!

3. Keep things Strategy | Skill Focused

This goes hand in hand with modeling each skill, strategy, or role you expect students to do independently.  I’ve heard the argument of not isolating skills or strategies during literature circles whether that be through Student roles, or reading responses because educators want students to apply ALL of the skills while reading… To this, I say, “ABSOLUTELY.” The whole point of introducing skills and strategies in an isolated way is for students to better understand and experience the skill. Back to my swimming analogy, it’s tough to expect a student to know the difference between an inference and a prediction when they haven’t had adequate exposure and practice with both in a way that they know what one is and what it is not. THE END GOAL, the entire point of keeping things strategy based is that they will begin to do ALL of the things we’ve introduced to them in an isolated matter. Because it’s when you’re doing ALL of the things that MAGIC happens.

I’ve created Strategy|Skill Focused resources, bookmarks, digital reading response activities for students to complete during their weekly reading assignments. They are available in the following strategies/elements.

Elements of Fiction
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Active Reading Strategies
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I used these as a weekly assignment with my literature circle groups. If doing mini-lessons to introduce the skill or strategy of the week, the lesson would be based on the student response|bookmark that would be assigned. Students would then receive their weekly reading assignment and new bookmark or digital response page (Printable version included).  Students would have the week to complete their reading and the strategy focused assignment. At the end of the week, students would meet in their groups and use the Roll & Respond Comprehension Questions based on the SAME strategy they focused on that week to guide their group’s discussion! Learn more about the Strategy Focused Roll and Respond pages in the next step!

To get a more in-depth look at how I keep my Literature Circles Strategy and Skill focused, check out this Blog Post! FREEBIE INCLUDED!

4. Hold Students Accountable in Group Discussions

Allowing students the opportunity to discuss a book they are reading with their peers is motivating and for lack of a better word… powerful. When done correctly with the right supports, the discussion, participation, and passion found in a peer-led book talk will always outweigh a class-discussion led by the teacher. There is trust necessary between teacher and students in order to allow for this type of flexibility and freedom to happen in the classroom.

I quickly learned that simply telling my students that they had 10 minutes to talk about the book they were reading with their group despite my clearly stated expectations was ineffective, and often led to chaos and disappointment on my end. Depending on your class or the group of students asked, this won’t always be the case. However, I found that by adding supports, restraints, and accountability to their discussion greatly increased the overall effectiveness of the group’s discussion.

As mentioned in Step 4, I would use Strategy Focused Roll and Respond Comprehension Questions during a portion of each group’s discussion. These are wonderful because they add a little chance/fun to the discussion, all while making sure students are talking about the things I want them to talk about that week. Every Bookmark/Student Digital Response has an accompanying Roll & Respond sheet based on the same strategy. If this interests you make sure to check out the blog post above. There I more clearly explain my procedure and expectation for evidence-based student answers.  As well as how you can use a digital dice roll if implementing is a distance learning classroom!

At the end of each discussion, collectively as a group, students would rate their group’s discussion by having one person hold up their hand showing a 1-5. I am a big proponent of not grading everything, but not letting your students know it. As far as they were concerned I would take down their group score and it would go in the grade book. In reality, this wasn’t always the case. I would, however, reward any group that honestly felt they met a 5. Rewards could be they leave an extra 5 minutes early for recess, a small treat…etc. This tiny motivation was a huge proponent and motivator in group discussions and creating accountability. Another way I held students accountable during literature circle discussions was to use group accountability sheets, (One is included in the Literature Circle Form & Organization Product.) As well as when roles were implemented during literature circles, it was the director’s responsibility to score each group member based on preparation and participation. Whatever you do, have some form of accountability during student-led discussions.

For a more in-depth look at how I structured student discussions, expectations, supports, restraints, and resources check out this Blog Post: FREEBIE INCLUDED!

5. Establish Meaningful & Deliberate Roles

It’s not enough to assign cutey roles|jobs to each student and hope that they will rise to the occasion and their discussions will all of the sudden have the depth you so desperately want them to experience. As mentioned before, I firmly believe that nothing independent should be assigned to a student without proper modeling.

If you are looking to establish roles in your literature circles, I highly suggest beginning with a short whole-class novel or take the time to model each role with your class before assigning then in a literature circle run. This will allow you and the class to practice first-hand exactly what you will be asking them to do, (on display to their peers…)

When assigning roles to your students make sure that they are both age and curriculum appropriate. The literature circle roles created with 3rd graders in mind should not be the same roles you use with your 6th graders or secondary students. Make sure the tasks associated with the roles are aligned with the curriculum and standards you are expected to teach them.

I’m all about choice when it comes to literature circles. (Just check out the Bonus Tip!) Student choice creates motivation and accountability that can’t be imitated. I use this same approach when it comes to assigning literature circle roles. Technically, the students have already been introduced to and experienced each role that I wanted them to during the whole-class novel when each role was modeled…right?! Also, by allowing students to choose which role they will complete each week FREES me of having to keep track and come up with a rotation of roles schedule for each group! The only requirements I have are:

    • Only one student, per role, per reading assignment (No two the same)
    • No repeats during a literature circle run

I created Literature Circle Role Bookmarks and Role Digital Response Sheets for the following:

  1. Director
  2. Linguist
  3. Analyzer
  4. Questioner
  5. Creator
  6. Predictor
  7. Examiner
  8. Sleuth
  9. Profiler
  10. Reporter

All are completely editable through Google allowing you to customize each activity to your classroom, whether that be simplifying the text or adding more depth and complexity. These are great options for Upper Elementary, Middle School, and even Secondary students. Added Rigor comes from the assigned reading. Each role focuses on different strategies and elements like literary devices, figurative language, elements of fiction, and the active reading strategies.

For a more in-depth look at how I implement Literature Circle Roles, Check out this Blog Post!

6. Be Flexible, Use Resources Adaptable to Digital Learning

With the ever-changing, quickly adapting classroom model I highly suggest using a product that can accommodate both digital and in-class learning. There is great value in establishing familiarity with what you will be assigning to students and what they will be expected to do. Keeping that common thread whether students are in class with you or in their own home prevents a lot of confusion and anxiety. This simple step also simplifies your workload 10-fold. I will link the products I created below. Every Literature Circle product includes the printable version as well as a digital version that can be used in a distance-learning classroom. By using the same materials in the classroom as you do during distance learning, students know what to expect no matter what comes, thus you simplify your planning and decrease anxiety for both you and your students. Below are some of my favorite resources for implementing Litearture Circles in a Distance Learning setting:

  1. Zoom, Google Meet, and Flip Grid are great FREE resources that make it easy to implement Literature Circles Digitally.
    • Benefits to Zoom: Zoom is a video conferencing tool that allows you to meet with your students in real-time. Zoom offers breakout rooms which are PERFECT for your Literature Circle Groups to meet and discuss the weekly reading. This “live” time is also a nice way to partially meet the social needs of your students. Essentially you would begin the conference call as a whole class, and then students would divide into their breakout rooms to discuss their roles and the reading as a group. Click here for more information on breakout rooms. 
    • Benefits to Google Meet: Google Meet is another video conferencing tool that is wonderful for distance learning. Because it’s through Google the integrations between Google Classroom and Google Meet are pretty seamless. If using Google Meet, you will have to separate “Google Meets” for each group to use, instead of meeting as a whole class first and then breaking off while staying on the same call. Head here for more information on Google Meet.
    • Benefits to Flip Grid: Flip Grid is a video response tool. Instead of meeting live, during a conference call, students would instead have the option of creating a video of themselves responding to the reading and posting it to their group’s discussion board. From there, students can interact, like, and comment on each other’s Flip Grid Videos. This is a great alternative if students are unable to attend a scheduled conference call. This blog post offers more information.
  2. Go COMPLETELY Digital with EBooks and Digital Passages. I’ll be the first to admit I’m all for getting a real, old-fashioned, concrete book in your student’s hand. However, I’ll also be the first to admit that it may not be an option at times. With all the resources available to teachers in the form of Ebooks, don’t stress for one second, you have thousands of quality E-books and classics at your disposal many of them are even Free. Check out this list for more information! 

For a more in-depth look at using Digital Resources in the classroom, Check out this Blog Post!

BONUS TIP: Build Your Literature Circles on Student Choice, Supported by Independent Reading Levels

Literature Circles to me are all about instilling a love of reading while fostering student choice and accountability in the classroom. Allowing students to have a choice in their own learning is power. Allowing students to discuss something they had a choice in with their peers is motivating.

Many people hold different philosophies when it comes to literature circles as to how much choice should be given in the matter. Do you abandon all structure and let your highest reader pick a book level below where they should be reading. Do you throw reason in the wind and let your lowest reader join book levels above where they are able to read independently? You will find a wide range of opinions all with strong reasoning on every part of the scale, myself, however, I would say I’m a moderate.

Because of the materials and resources, I use alongside my literature circle groups I feel confident that rigor is provided even if a student is in a literature circle group a few levels below my readers. I also see value in having that higher student in a book group leveled below them because of the depth and insight they can bring to the weekly discussion. It’s all about weighing out the pros and the cons, the biggest pro you can have in your corner is a student excited about a book and passionate about wanting to be included in that group.

To learn more about how I use choice when setting up Literature Circles, make sure to check out this blog post!

BENEFITS to setting Up Literature Circles in your classroom

  1. Introduce students to wide variety of titles, genres, and themes.
  2. Literature Circles can easily adapt & seamlessly adapt to digital or distance learning.
  3. Your planning is simplified 10 fold. Prepare a weekly strategy focused mini-lesson, let students apply what they are learning as they read.
  4. You can use your Literature Circle plans, book choices and breakdowns for years to come.
    • I keep all of these filled out forms in my Literature Circle Binder and would look back on them OFTEN. Even while at home I keep these notes for another day.
  5. Students are able to independently practice the skills and strategies being covered in Guided Reading and the mini-lessons.
  6. Student choice leads to greater accountability and motivation
  7. Peer Discussion creates motivation, “Literature circles give students the opportunity to talk about books with their peers. Through these conversations, they build community, learn critical speaking and listening behaviors, deepen their understanding of books, and…recognize that reading is fun!”

If you’re interested in trying the products I created for Literature Circles in your own classroom make sure to check out the EVERYTHING Bundle. This Bundle includes EVERYTHING introduced in this post as well as EVERYTHING you will need to set up Effective and Engaging Literature Circles in your Classroom. Save BIG with this Bundle. If you are interested in purchasing items separately, check out the related blog posts for individual product listings. 

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Gracelyn Jo
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“Grace is different from the Atonement. It is not Christ’s suffering, death, and Resurrection. Instead, grace is the power that flows from those sacred moments...”
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“Grace is different from the Atonement. It is not Christ’s suffering, death, and Resurrection. Instead, grace is the power that flows from those sacred moments.
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“The Bible Dictionary states, "Grace is an enabling power.”
-Brad Wilcox, His Grace is Sufficient
...

Gracelyn Jo
(See Full Picture in Profile)

“Grace is different from the Atonement. It is not Christ’s suffering, death, and Resurrection. Instead, grace is the power that flows from those sacred moments...”
-
“Grace is different from the Atonement. It is not Christ’s suffering, death, and Resurrection. Instead, grace is the power that flows from those sacred moments.
-
“The Bible Dictionary states, "Grace is an enabling power.”
-Brad Wilcox, His Grace is Sufficient
...

Gracelyn Jo
(See Full Picture in Profile)

“Grace is different from the Atonement. It is not Christ’s suffering, death, and Resurrection. Instead, grace is the power that flows from those sacred moments...”
-
“Grace is different from the Atonement. It is not Christ’s suffering, death, and Resurrection. Instead, grace is the power that flows from those sacred moments.
-
“The Bible Dictionary states, "Grace is an enabling power.”
-Brad Wilcox, His Grace is Sufficient
...

Had to share Emily’s post and this piece titled “The Refiner’s Fire”

@emilyshayart 2020 has been a YEAR.
Personally, it tops the charts.
My family has been drastically and painfully altered, bringing overwhelming heartache.

And yet, considering a piece of rough ore- a rock encased with minerals which naturally contains impurities. With those impurities, it also carries within it precious metals such as silver and gold. For the refiner to create something out of that piece of ore, he needs to begin the refining process by breaking the ore with a heavy hammer. The ore then must be exposed to the refiner’s fire, with temperatures as high as 900-1000 degrees Celsius, in order to burn away the impurities and reveal the precious metal inside.
God refines us by allowing us to go through painful trials and difficulties. One might think, “What is the purpose of letting Their children suffer if They truly love us?” Is it possible- one way to look at this allegory is to help us understand the purpose beyond our pain- to expose and purify the greatness within?
Could there be a gold and silver lining to the trials we are experiencing? By clinging to hope, persevering in faith and trusting in the Master Refiner’s perfect plan, we are refined in the fire.

In this painting there are a few things I’d like to point out:
⁃ with the support of Jesus Christ and heaven raining down tender mercy to keep her from burning, she is safe, cool and unconsumed.
⁃ by accepting such love and support, this brings new growth – beautiful fiery growth.
⁃ Christ’s halo is made of all colors of the flame, as he takes on every and all impurities.

“I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are my people,’ and they will say ‘The Lord is our God.’” Zech. 13:9

“Adversity should not be viewed as either disfavor from the Lord or a withdrawal of his blessings. Opposition in all things is part of the Refiner’s Fire to prepare us for an eternal celestial destiny.” -Quintin L. Cook

“God would not put you through a refiner’s fire if you were not worth refining.” -Brad Wilcox
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We’re BACK! Thank you so much for your kindness and patience as we took a brief pause to prepare for and welcome our sweetest new addition. THANK you to so many of you who reached out and checked in on us, to know that you have looked forward to and used these posts and even missed them...made me eager to return. ...

Excerpt from a personal post 💛 Thank you all for your patience as we welcome the newest member of our little family🍓
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2020 the Year of the Poppies
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“... You may not know this about me, but I love gardening, especially flower gardens. I'm no good at it, and again my good intentions out do any action on my part, leaving an often neglected and overgrown sight, however, I still love it and love learning, reading, and experimenting with different blooms. One of my favorite flowers is a poppy. I think there is so much to be said about and learned from these flowers. From the alien-like tubers you plant, to the fury foliage it produces, one would NEVER think that something so weed-like could ever produce such a gorgeous sight... And then... It does. Is that not life? Is that not 2020? This year has been hard for everyone, especially for some that I love the most, and yet despite everything, there has been beauty.

I truly believe that some of life’s most beautiful moments are produced after the hard or ugly. Is that not the Gospel and Hope found in Christ? Through His Grace the hard and ugly things we go through can actually be the source of something really beautiful, something better than we could have imagined, even a better version of ourself? 2020 has been hard, it’s still hard. But because of that hardness I’ve seen growth and light and beauty that I never would have expected. From repaired and renewed relationships, to a new focus on family and what’s really important, to things working out when they shouldn’t, to a beautiful new addition to our family... The increase is through Him. I think for me 2020 will always be the year of the poppies.
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Excerpt from a personal post 💛 Thank you all for your patience as I’ve taken a break from weekly posts as our family has welcomed its newest arrival.
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You may not know this about me, but I love gardening, especially flower gardens. I'm no good at it, and again my good intentions out do any action on my part, leaving an often neglected and overgrown sight, however, I still love it and love learning, reading, and experimenting with different blooms. One of my favorite flowers is a poppy. I think there is so much to be said about and learned from these flowers. From the alien-like tubers you plant, to the fury foliage it produces, one would NEVER think that something so weed-like could ever produce such a gorgeous sight... And then... It does. Is that not life? Is that not 2020? This year has been hard for everyone, especially for some that I love the most, and yet despite everything, there has been beauty.
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I truly believe that some of life’s most beautiful moments are produced after the hard or ugly. Is that not the Gospel and Hope found in Christ? Through His Grace the hard and ugly things we go through can actually be the source of something really beautiful, something better than we could have imagined, even a better version of ourself?
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I think for me, 2020 will always be the year of the Poppies.
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#generalconference is just around the corner! Snag the link to this FREE paper chain countdown in this week’s post💛 Each chain link includes a QR Code video to watch and complete each day to help your family spiritually prepare 🍋
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Tag a friend in the comments below!
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“There is a better way to prepare, because great faith has a short shelf life. We could decide to persist in studying the words of Christ in the scriptures and the teachings of living prophets. This is what I will do. I will go back to the Book of Mormon and drink deeply and often. And then I will be grateful for what the prophet’s challenge and promise did to teach me how to gain greater faith and maintain it.”
-Eyring
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What insights did you have while studying #comefollowme this week? Comment below!
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Great, FREE coloring page for this week’s #comefollowme lesson by @ldsbookstore Head to this week’s post for the link! Yo access this free download you will need to add the coloring page to your cart and “checkout” Tag a friend in the comments below 💛 ...

LOVED this post by @tendermercieseverywhere
🍋
Samuel risked it all.⁣

After being kicked out of Zarahemla, he returned to the hard-hearted Nephites, climbed that outer city wall, dodged arrows and stones, and put his life on the line to preach repentance and salvation through Christ.⁣

He prophesied that the Son of God would come to redeem “all those who shall believe on his name.” (Helaman 14:2)⁣
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Believe on His name.⁣

To “believe on His name” is really to believe on His 𝘯𝘢𝘮𝘦𝘴—and there are over 200 of them throughout the scriptures. Christ’s myriad titles perfectly capture who He is and who He can be in our lives if we’ll only believe. ⁣

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When we need an ally and a friend, He is our ADVOCATE WITH THE FATHER.⁣

When we yearn for a constant in an ever-changing world, He is ALPHA AND OMEGA.⁣

When we are spiritually famished and emotionally fatigued, He is the BREAD OF LIFE.⁣

When we are encompassed by darkness and yearn for the light, He is our BRIGHT AND MORNING STAR.⁣

When we just can’t shake the chains of addiction and sin, He is our DELIVERER.⁣

When our faith is not enough, yet we desire to believe, He is the FINISHER OF OUR FAITH.⁣

When we have wandered and can’t find our way back, He is our GOOD SHEPHERD.⁣

When we need hope for a future that only seems bleak, He is the HIGH PRIEST OF GOOD THINGS TO COME.⁣

When we’re consumed by the mists of darkness, He is the LIGHT OF THE WORLD.⁣

When we grieve, anguish, and cry out, He is the PRINCE OF PEACE.⁣

When we are wounded and seek divine healing, He is our PHYSICIAN.⁣

When we’re ready to be molded into something more, He is the POTTER.⁣

When our souls need reclaiming, He is our REDEEMER.⁣

When the winds of doubt blow us off course—when the waves of trial beat against us—He is our REFUGE FROM THE STORM.⁣

When our world is crumbling, He is our ROCK.⁣

When we need saving, He is our SAVIOR.⁣

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What’s in a name?⁣
What’s in 𝘏𝘪𝘴 name?⁣
Everything you and I will ever need.⁣
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What is your favorite title for Jesus Christ?
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*A beautiful, talented student at the school where I formerly taught created this artwork 👏🏼 Checkout @emma.st
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“As a prophet reveals the truth it divides the people. The honest in heart heed his words, but the unrighteous either ignore the prophet or fight him. When the prophet points out the sins of the world, the worldly either want to close the mouth of the prophet or else act as if the prophet didn’t exist, rather than repent of their sins. Popularity is never a test of truth. Many a prophet has been killed or cast out. As we come closer to the Lord’s second coming, you can expect that as the people of the world become more wicked, the prophet will be less popular with them”

– President Ezra Taft Benson
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Excited to share these two FREE activities with you this week! So a chronological sort of the events as you read the account of #samualthelamanite or cut out the symbols that represent the signs Samuel mentioned, hide them, and then ”LOOK” for the signs! This is a great activity that lends well to a follow up discussion on looking for the signs of our Savior’s second coming 💛
Tag a friend in the comments that would appreciate these downloads!
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For those of you with kiddos headed back to school, don't forget about this FREE and CUSTOMIZABLE download!
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Are your kids back in school? How’s it going? How are you doing????
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Let me know, if you want the link and I’ll add it to the link in profile 💛
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So very much of pure prayer seems to be the process of first discovering, rather than requesting, the will of our Father in heaven and then aligning ourselves therewith. […] When we do conform to His will, God will pour forth special blessings from heaven upon us, as was the case with Nephi, the son of Helaman” (All These Things Shall Give Thee Experience [1979], 93–94). Elder Neal A. Maxwell ...

The Lord loves effort. Even when our effort feels like it is next to nothing, or all we have left, it is something. I think I’m learning that the Lord not only loves effort, but through the enabling power of our Savior Jesus Christ and His Atonement… that effort can be consecrated and become more than what we ever had to give in the first place. Not only that but the Lord blesses us in our efforts. “When we do conform to His will, God will pour forth special blessings from heaven upon us…” I have felt this. In the tiniest ways, I have felt this.
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Read about my tender mercy on this week’s post.
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Have you ever felt that way?
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📷: @aruskdesign
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I’m SO sure you’re going to LOVE it, I’m giving ALL of the August slides away for FREE! If you want more information on how and when you can download ALL of August, comment below! Don’t forget to spread the love by tagging a teacher friend that NEEDS this!
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Did you download this FREE Printable for your Young Women? This is the perfect little drop off for your girls as they get ready to head back to school💛 Link in Profile, tag a friend with a calling in Young Womens Below 🍋🍋🍋 ...

Loved this excerpt from the #comefollowme manual this week:
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Think about evidences that the Lord has given you. For example, maybe you haven’t literally heard the Lord’s voice, but have you felt “a whisper” from the Holy Ghost that “did pierce even to the very soul”? (Helaman 5:30; see also Doctrine and Covenants 88:66). Perhaps you’ve been in darkness, cried unto God for greater faith, and been “filled with that joy which is unspeakable” (Helaman 5:40–47).
What other experiences have strengthened your faith in Christ and His gospel?
Helaman 5:29–33: What experiences have we had with recognizing the voice of God in our lives?
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The language in Heleman 5:12 has always really intrigued me. Scriptures like this one can become really relevant by simply noticing a single word. In the case of this scripture that powerful word for me is When.

Do you see it? Did the verse become that much more powerful to you by simply paying attention to that single word?

Notice that the verse doesn’t read, “If the devil shall send forth his mighty winds,” or “If all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you…”. The language instead is when.

Hardships, trials, pain, discomfort, and all-out storms WILL come, no amount of righteous living can prevent them… However, if our foundations are firm, and built upon our Savior Jesus Christ… We will not fall. There is peace in that. There is promise in that. There is POWER in that.
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