Giving Instructions

Scripture: Exodus 18

Learning Objectives:

  • Students will learn how God uses other people to counsel each other as Jethro counseled Moses.
  • Students will learn how to write instructions so that another person can follow them.

Guiding Question: How can we write clear instructions that others can follow?

Materials: paper, writing utensils

Procedure: Review the story of Jethro’s counsel to Moses focusing on how he gave clear instructions on how to follow through with the advice. Have students write instructions for something that they are good at doing (craft, hobby, garden, cook, etc.). Encourage them to choose something very specific so that they do not get overwhelmed (for example instead of “How to play the guitar” they might write “How to play the major C scale on the guitar.”) Show them the following format for writing instructions: 1. Materials 2. Steps 3. Extra notes/alternatives/extensions. Explain that numbering steps is a good way to make them clear and concise. The written procedure should have a clear introduction and conclusion. Remind them to consider who their audience is as this may influence how they write their instructions. Are there key terms that they need to define which someone who was not an expert would not understand? Have students share their instructions with each other and answer questions from their peers.

Additional Questions:

  • In what ways was Jethro specific and made his advice very clear?
  • What are your strengths and talents that you can use to counsel others?
  • What are some of your weakness or areas where you do not an expert? Who can you ask for help?
  • How does your audience change how you write your instructions? How would you change it for younger kids, experts, and non-experts?

Supplemental Activities:

  • Students can swap instructions and try to follow each other’s directions. Discuss their clarity. This is beneficial so that students can see what assumptions they make and what they may need to add or be more specific about in their writing.
  • Students can research otherwise counselors in the Bible noting the type of advice they gave and who it was intended for.

Written by: Savannah Negas

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