1. Determine Each Student’s Brigham Bucks.
I’ve found the simplest way to add up each student’s “money” to spend during the auction is to use the student’s attendance. In other words, start with a large dollar amount (like $14,000) and subtract $100 for each absence (the bigger the starting dollar amount, the more the fun).
I must admit, this year I had been giving $100 per completed assignment or class project, but this creates a boatload of bookkeeping all through the year! As long as each student participates well while in class, it’s just as easy (and much simpler) to use attendance as a manner of earning “money.” I just don’t advertise this, because I want the kids participating all throughout the year, not just showing up! :0)
2. Ask Parents to Donate 5+ Auction Items.
This was the fun part – seeing what each student brought to the auction from their parents. In our auction this morning, the most coveted items were loaves of bread. Each loaf of homemade bread sold for over $12,000!
(The students all knew the mom who had made the bread, had previously tasted of it, and several students determined they weren’t bidding on anything until the bread came up for auction – for that reason alone, we waited to bring the bread forth until the very end! :0)
3. Select the Location.
We decided to hold the auction at one of the student’s homes. We did this, because we thought this would add a fun and casual environment. And it did! Once the auction was over and while the kids were waiting for the pizza to arrive, they all pitched in and made cookies together. Truly, memories and friendships were once again being strengthened.
4. Create One Brigham Buck Souvenir Per Student.
My husband created a fake dollar bill and pasted a picture of Brigham Young in the middle of it. Then on each Brigham Buck, I wrote in fancy lettering the student’s first name and the total amount of money they had to spend at the auction. During the auction, “purchases” were tallied by the teacher (me) on a sheet pre-formatted with each student’s name and total earned dollar amount for the year. As the students made purchases, I simply kept a running total and every ten minutes or so we stopped to call out current amounts.
5. Arrange for a Parent to be an Auctioneer.
This was the fun part, letting a parent be involved. In this case, our Bishop was the auctioneer, since his daughter was in my seminary class. He wisely started with the smallest items first, building to the bigger and more wanted items. He also had a “dis”-incentive for those who might not normally bid – the person with the most amount of money left over got the booby prize – a sports cap of one of the despised professional teams in the state! This seemed to serve as an excellent incentive to get the kids bidding, especially in the beginning. :0)
All in all, it was a very fun way to reward the kids for their hard work and great participation in seminary this year. And interestingly enough, when we had started it all off this morning, after praying, we had asked one of the kids to recite a scripture mastery verse. Of course, 2 Nephi 2:25 was selected (being so short). But that was just fine. We all recited it together, being reminded once again, that we are created to experience joy. And today’s auction was a great way to remember that!