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.