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Nursery Lesson #18 “I Will Love Others”

by Heather F.

My first exposure to International Women’s Day (IWD), March 8, was when my roommate from college came home from Russian class with a flower. While not widely celebrated in the United States, International Women’s Day is a worldwide event that occurs yearly and promotes peace and opportunities for women and girls. In Russia, it is common for women and girls to receive flowers on March 8 in celebration for IWD.

Because of this tradition, I thought it would be nice for the Sunday before IWD to talk about peace and make flowers. Lesson #18 in the nursery manual fit this theme very well.

To start the lesson, I will show a picture of Jesus with women. There are a few from the Gospel Art Book: Jesus and the Samaritan Woman, Jesus Raising Jairus’s Daughter, Mary and Martha, or Mary and the Resurrected Jesus Christ. I’ll probably say, “Jesus loved everyone and spent time with all kinds of people: men and women. He taught us to love each other.”

I really enjoy the lesson in the manual and using any of the activities or songs from the lessons is great. For our art activity, I am using this egg carton flower craft. We buy our eggs in pallets, so I had these lying around ready to go into the recycle bin.

It did not take long to cut out 20 “flowers.” We normally have about 15 kids in our nursery, so that should be enough.

With out pallets of eggs, I was able to make two different sized flowers and we’ll combine them into one with a dot of glue once the kids are done coloring them.

Because it’s near the beginning of the year, most of our nursery kids are young, so I will just have them color the flowers with crayons, but if you do this lesson later in the year, you might be able to use markers. I’m definitely not using paint! Can you imagine the mess?! If you’d like to go with an International Women’s Day theme, the IWD color is purple. The kids can then give the flowers to their moms, grandmas, aunts, or girl friends.

If you don’t have egg cartons around, use what you have: this is nursery, they won’t even remember it anyway! Tissue paper flowers would work, or even just having them color flowers on a blank paper. Make it easy on yourself!

I also think this activity would be great for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, or even Grandparent’s day in the fall.

And Happy International Women’s Day this week!

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Primary 1 Lesson 10 (Sunbeams) “I am Thankful for Trees, Plants and Flowers”

by Roberta

Link to Lesson at LDS.org

Objective:  To help children feel gratitude to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ for trees, plants and flowers.

I think these simple lessons about the various parts of God’s beautiful creation are a lot of fun to teach.  For this lesson about trees, plants and flowers, I’m following the lesson’s suggested outline for the most part:

First, I’ll discuss that trees, plants and flowers were created by Heavenly Father first spiritually and then created physically in the world by Jesus on the third day of creation, who followed Heavenly Father’s plan.  All these things were created for man to be useful and also to please man’s eye and gladden his heart (D&C 59:18).  I’m going to explain that the part I love most about trees, plants and flowers (aside from their fabulous uses) is their amazing variety.  I am so happy to have so much diversity to enjoy, so much varying texture and color.  When I look at trees, plants and flowers in the world I know that Heavenly Father loves diversity, too, and that He derives great pleasure from mixing them together in just the right way to create an incredible view.  I will show photographs of some amazing natural displays of trees, plants and flowers.

The lesson suggests including the “popcorn popping” song during the lesson, but I’m going to skip it only because I want to have enough time to cover several scriptures that involve trees and plants as key elements.  Here is what I’m adding for a scriptural emphasis:

Genesis 6:  Noah’s ark  (I’ll show a picture and I’ll ask what the kids think it’s made of).

Exodus 15:22:   The Israelites have been wandering in the wilderness and are thirsty.  They come to a pool of water that is very bitter.  Moses prays and is told to throw a nearby tree into the water to make it sweet.  (I’ll show a picture of a tree and ask the kids questions about how they think that tree grew there in the first place since it’s a dessert-ish area).

Exodus 3:   Burning bush at Sinai  (Did the bush really burn?  I may ask them why God used a bush and not a rock…just to hear their answers and to observe their thoughts)

John 19:  The cross used to crucify our Lord.  I will ask the kids what the cross was made of?  A plant, tree or flower?  Today, when we visit the gravesite of a loved one, we bring flowers to make it more beautiful and as a symbol of our love for that individual.

Mark 16:1:  Mary at the selpulchre to annoint Jesus’ body with herbs.  What are herbs? (I’ll bring a variety they can smell and touch)  Where do herbs grow?  Why would Mary use herbs on Jesus’ body? What are perfumes made from?

Genesis 2:  Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil in the Garden of Eden.  Symbolic uses of trees to mean choices and growth.  Trees are often used in the scriptures as metaphors to teach important lessons because of the many uses of trees in our world.

For an enrichment activity I will bring paper cups, potting soil and seeds for the kids to plant seeds.

Nursery Lesson #5 “Jesus Christ Showed Us How to Love Others”

by Heather F.

Link to lesson

I saved this lesson for the Sunday before Valentine’s Day because I wanted the activity to be making Valentines.

I think this lesson does a great job of offering stories directly from the scriptures to choose from. Almost every nursery lesson I give has the same format: show a picture of a story from the scriptures, talk about it, ask some questions, go color!  And that is really easy to do here: Show a picture of the Christ giving the sermon on the mount, talk about what is happening in the story, ask how we can show love, go make Valentines!

The one thing I noted about all the lessons on love is to remember that everyone feels love in different ways. Using the 5 Love Languages as a guide some ways are:

  1. Words of Affirmation
  2. Quality Time
  3. Receiving Gifts
  4. Acts of Service
  5. Physical Touch

So when guiding the conversation, I plan on making sure I give an example of each for the children to do as a way to show love to their families.

  1. Saying “I love you.”
  2. Playing with your family and friends.
  3. Sharing toys, giving gifts
  4. Helping clean up or with other chores
  5. Giving hugs and kisses

I try to do this a lot because I think we have a tendency to downplay the love languages that we don’t speak ourselves: “Actions speak louder than words” except that for some people words are essential for them to feel love. “We’re going to give service for Christmas instead of gifts because it’s more meaningful” except that for some people, gifts are hugely important. It’s good practice to remember that love is felt differently for every person and each child in your class is going to respond to some of these more than others.

I might make a 5-piece puzzle of a heart, with each of the pieces containing a picture of each way to show love, for the kids to put together. Two year olds love puzzles!

And like I said above: end with coloring! I don’t do fancy handouts: I think I’m just going to draw some hearts on red construction paper and let them color them. Easy peasy!

New page at lds.org called “Children’s Lesson Helps”

by Karen

Emily Jensen at Mormon Times just pointed me to a new area of lds.org dedicated to helping parents and Primary teachers find resources for teaching children. It’s called simply “Children’s Lesson Helps.” You can browse by topic, or by lesson number! They’re still getting it up and ready, but it looks like the first few lessons from each manual are available.

Here is a sample:

http://lds.org/children/resources/primary-lessons/primary-2/4?lang=eng

Sunbeams Lesson 4 “I Can Pray to Heavenly Father”

Written by: Jenni                                                                Link to Lesson 1-4 on lds.org

Review the things we have discussed in the last few weeks (that we have Heavenly Parents who love us, that we are like Them just as we are like our earthly parents, and that They sent us here to learn and grow).

  • When we are apart from our earthy father, we may be able to call him on the telephone, write letters or emails, or even have video chats. There is a way that we can talk to our Heavenly Father too. When we use to telephone, we cannot see the person we are talking to, but they are still there and they can hear us.
  • Do you say prayers?
  • When do you say prayers?
  • What kinds of things do you say in prayers?

There are different kinds of prayers. Show pictures of kneeling to pray by a bed (picture 1-9), family prayer (1-10), blessing a meal (1-15), baptism (1-11), confirmation (1-12) blessing an infant (1-39), the sacrament (1-8) and blessing the sick (1-40). Invite the children to help hold the pictures. Ask the children to explain what is going on in each picture. If they do not know what the picture is of, briefly explain it to them.

  • There are different kinds of prayers. Sometimes we pray to ask for special blessings, such as to bless our food, to help us find something,  or to help someone who is sick or hurt. Can you think of a time when you asked for something? Continue reading