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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.

Sunbeam Lesson #4 “I Can Pray to Heavenly Father”

By Roberta

 Link to Lesson

Objective:  To help each child learn how to pray to Heavenly Father, and know that He will listen.

I think the biggest “take away” that I would hope to give the children though this lesson is that Heavenly Father hears their prayers.  I know that we Latter-day Saints can easily get caught up in the cultural aspects of prayer, what I often call the “works” part, such as whether we have closed our eyes or folded our arms, or if we’ve used the “proper” old English pronouns correctly, but regardless of these things I believe Heavenly Father hears every sincere prayer.

The Bible Dictionary is a good resource to read over for this lesson.  (It’s interesting to me that prayer is more a duty of the faithful rather than a commandment, and nothing about it is found among the list of interview questions for a temple recommend).  However, when we pray, we are commanded to pray in the name of Jesus Christ. Continue reading

Sharing Time 2012-January Week 1 & 2 “Agency is the gift to choose for ourselves”

guest post by Cheryl

Link to Sharing Time Outline

 

These were some of my thoughts and inspirations leading up to my sharing time presentations. This might actually be more important than the actual sharing time outlines which follow. My study of the scripture stories made me realize that those who grew closer to God were those who acted. Those who grew away from God were those who were acted upon.

Elder Bednar (from General Conference, April 2010)
In the grand division of all of God’s creations, there are “things to act and things to be acted upon” (2Nephi 2:14). As children of our Heavenly Father, we have been blessed with the gift of moral agency, the capacity and power of independent action. Endowed with agency, we are agents and we primarily are to act and not merely to be acted upon….
Giving a man a fish feeds him for one meal. Teaching a man to fish feeds him for a lifetime. As parents and gospel instructors, you and I are not in the business of distributing fish; rather, our work is to help our children learn “to fish” and to become spiritually steadfast. This vital objective is best accomplished as we encourage our children to act in accordance with correct principles—as we help them to learn by doing…. (John 7:17)
Are you and I helping our children become agents who act and seek learning by study and by faith, or have we trained our children to wait to be taught and acted upon? Are we as parents primarily giving our children the equivalent of spiritual fish to eat, or are we consistently helping them to act, to learn for themselves, and to stand steadfast and immovable? Are we helping our children become anxiously engaged in asking, seeking, and knocking? Continue reading

Sunbeam Lesson #3 Heavenly Father’s Plan for Us

By Roberta

Objective:  To help each child understand that we lived with Heavenly Father as spirit children before we came to earth and that we can live with him again after this life.

Link to Lesson

(Read Alma 40 as lesson preparation)

For an “attention getter,” contact the parents of the kids ahead of time and get a picture of each child as a baby.  Young children often like to look at pictures of themselves as babies, and it’s a good way to introduce the “pre existence” concept.  As you hold up each picture, ask the children if they recognize who the baby is in the picture?

Do they remember being a baby?  Most people can’t remember what it was like to be a baby.  Do they remember living before they were born?  Most people can’t remember what it was like to live with Heavenly Father but everyone did.

We are spirit children of Heavenly Father

  • Did you know that we are all spirit children of Heavenly Father (Hebrews 12:9)?  We all lived with him before we came to earth as babies.  We were happy there.
  • Our spirits are an invisible part of our bodies.  Our spirits can live without a body just like they did before we were born, but our bodies cannot live without a spirit. A body without a spirit inside it is called “dead.”  Your spirit will always live but not your earthly body.
  • One of the reasons we came to earth was to be born into a body so our spirit could experience the joy of having a body.  A body is wonderful!  (See: Friend Magazine February 1999 “I Shouted for Joy”)

Part of Heavenly Father’s plan for us to grow and to learn to be more like him was to come to earth to get a body.  On earth we get to learn to treat our ourselves and others the right way.

Continue reading

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