Thursday, 30 December 2010

January 2011 Sharing Time

The theme for this coming month is “Feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do” (2 Nephi 32:3). Below are the lesson plans I have prepared to teach the junior primary in our ward. And just as a small note, to suit the needs of our children we currently run a separate music time, so you will not find any singing as such in my plans.

This year I have been allocated the task of junior sharing time but the activities and plans provided below could be easily adapted to the seniors.

The resources I make will be supplied below each weekly lesson plan.

Week One
The Scriptures are the word of God.
Areas of this plan were based on original ideas from the Primary outline and Sugardoodle

Needed: A cookbook, a storybook, a child's non-fiction book, one each of the standard works, a large world map, prepared graphics [see preparation].

Preparation: Stars with pictures of characters from stories chosen from within each of the four standard works, an image of each of the standard works, an illustration of a character to represent each standard work book and a house. And the word strips.

My Lesson: I will follow the Primary outline and bring in a variety of books such as a cookbook, a storybook and a children's non-fiction book to Primary. And invite the children to discuss the similarities and differences between the books, including their authors.

After this discussion I'll have 'Tommy' [he is always included in some form and the children love it], whisper a message into my ear and then I'll whisper it to the next child to me and tell them to whisper the exact same message into their neighbours ear. Once the 'whispering' comes to the end of the line have the last child repeat the message out loud.  I'll then turn to the first child I whispered the message to [and Tommy], and ask them if it is the same. As a group we'll talk about how the message became so jumbled up, that at the end, we hardly knew what the original message was.
I will conclude the discussion by saying that this example shows just how important it is to have Heavenly Father's words recorded, so that His message does not change.

Then I'll ask the children 'Where can we find His words?' A: The scriptures.
At this point I'll introduce four more books: Old Testament, New Testament, Book of Mormon, and the Doctrine and Covenants. Again like the earlier books shown, I'll invite the children to discuss what the similarities and differences are between these books and authors. Pointing out that the scriptures are unique because they are written by God's prophets and are the word of God.

I'll introduce the world map and firstly find places of interest to the children – where they are [positioning the house], I'll also point out different countries that some of our children can connect with through their own heritage.
Then I'll have a child position a book of scripture icon over the appropriate map area and explain where the particular scriptures were set, and when. Adding the word strip to match: 'Before Jesus Birth', 'Jesus Life-time', 'Another Testament', and 'Today.' Discussing, and giving characteristics of time and differences.

I will have previously hidden stars around the room. Each star will have an image of a character [or a star] from a story, found within one of the standard works. I will be using 'stars' that I know the children are familiar with and love.

I'll have the children search out their 'Stars' and see if they recognise them. Either have them tell me about their star or I tell them the story, then see if they can match their star to the right book on the map. [When I tell, or restate the story, I'll make sure to emphasise the time and place].

I'll be making them each a memory game of matching the character to the standard work, that they can take home and share with their family's for FHE and or quietly play during sacrament meeting.

Resources: World map can be tile printed direct from this site,
Word strips, stars, separate scriptures each with a character/s representing the time period and house graphics for 'where we are' and 'where I'm from' map placement have been combined together on this file. While the memory matching game file is here, all that needs doing is cutting out and laminating. The card faces have been placed in each corner of an A4, simply for the ease of making less cuts to the document when compiling.

Week Two
We are to feast upon the words of Christ.
Areas of this plan were based on original ideas from the Primary outline.

Needed: A set of action word labels, a picture of Jesus Christ, Scripture quote cards x 3, a highlighter pen. And requirements for chosen activities [below].

Preparation: I made small rectangular shortbread biscuits decorated like open scriptures, and wrapped them in cellophane with a ribbon for each of the junior children. While I did a rather super sized set of scriptures, with gingerbread biscuit and styled it marshmallows chocolate buttons fizzy, ribbon, licorice laces and other sweet fancies for the seniors to devour during their sharing time .

My Lesson: An action word is a doing word like “jumping,” "laughing" or "waving," the word is describing the action.
Under your chair is a word with a picture. Find it, look at and read it.
Ask: Is it an action word, or not? Have the children place their word in the correct column. [I always work on the floor with the little ones, so I'll set up a column on the floor with masking tape].
Show a picture of Jesus Christ. As you explain, that the Lord uses action words to describe how he wants us to study the scriptures, place his picture above the ‘action word’ column.

I don't think I'll have enough time for all 3 activities, so I am only going to do activity 2 and 3.

Activity 1 
You will need: two balloons, a length of string, labels for participants, empty toilet roll, tape, appropriate display card.

Ask the children to listen carefully for an action word.
Read the display scripture card 1 Nephi 15:24.
Ask: What do you think the action word might be? Have a child come and highlight the action word ‘holdfast.’
Ask: What might ‘holdfast’ mean?
While having feedback blow up a balloon, then ask for two volunteers and have them hold taught a length of string. Label one person [A] holding and end of the string “You are here.” While the other [B] as “Eternal life with Jesus.”
Tell the children that the string represents the scriptures, we have been asked to [restate some of their previous suggestions], or holdfast to. Meanwhile the balloon is each of them. Then holding the balloon at person ‘A’ ….

Ask: Do they think they will make it to person ‘B’? Let it go.
Ask: What happened to the balloon? Why didn’t it make it?
Explain that although the balloon started next to the string, it never followed it because it wasn’t holding fast. Like when you are in a crowded shop or simply crossing the road, you hold fast to the hand of your mum, dad or nan. So that they can guide you safely and you won’t get lost. Holding fast to the scriptures is just as important as holding their hand.
While explaining the above thread the string through an empty toilet roll. And tape an air filled balloon to the toilet roll. Then starting at person ‘A’ again.
Ask: The balloon is holding fast this time, do they think it will make it? Let the balloon go.
Explain that the balloon is able to reach ‘B’ because it is holdfast.
Bear testimony that as we hold fast to the scriptures and the commandments within them, by trying to do them everyday, we too will be able to reach eternal life with Jesus.

Activity 2
You will need: A table cloth, paper plates, biscuits, a couple of pages of stickers, appropriate display card.

Ask the children to listen carefully for an action word.
Read the display scripture card 2 Nephi 32:3.
Ask: What do you think the action word might be? Have a child come and highlight the action word ‘feast.’
Ask: What might ‘feast’ mean?
Restate some of their ideas as you set a table with a cloth and plates. Have each child come to the table and fold their arms. Place a biscuit on each plate.
For this game they are only allowed to nibble their biscuits. Whoever is the best nibbler is the winner. “Ready. Set. Nibble!” Have an egg timer set for a minute. The winner or winners get a sticker, [each teacher present gets to pick someone].
Ask: So what does nibble mean? If nibble is the opposite to feast, what should you do if you were going to feast on a biscuit?
This time you are going to ‘feast’ on your biscuit. Place another biscuit on each plate and time the ‘feasting’ for another minute. Again winners get a sticker.

Conclude that Jesus has asked us to feast on the scriptures. He doesn’t want us to nibble at them by reading them a little bit now and then. He wants us to feast, read everyday, think about them, try to understand them, follow them. Bear testimony that as we do so He will bless us, help us, and speak to us through the words written by prophets.

Activity 3
You will need: A personally treasured item, appropriate display card, treasure hunt clues, treasure chest, beginnings of the paper chains, scripture cookies.

Ask the children to listen carefully for another action word.
Read the display scripture card Doctrine & Covenants 84:85.
Ask: What do you think the action word might be? Have a child come and highlight the action word ‘treasure up.’
Ask: What might ‘treasure up’ mean?

Display a special item of personal significance. I will be using my daughters blessing dress. I made it as an heirloom item for her as part of her collection of ‘Three White Dresses.’ I hand smocked the bodice and used pearl beads, with French heirloom lace and ribbon as trimmings. And a prayer locket of ‘Miss 8’
We will discuss the items, there importance and why they are treasured up by ‘Miss 7’ and ‘Miss 9’.
Explain that Heavenly Father has a gift for each of them that he wants them to treasure up and ‘keep close to them’, ‘share with their family’ and ‘treat with love and care.’ All restates from our discussion.
Ask: Shall we find it?

Then have the group go on a treasure hunt, leading them to a treasure chest, with a surprise inside – I had originally thought about decorating cookies in the shape of scriptures, one for each child. But today while rolling out my dough, I had a spot of inspiration. And I am going to use alphabet shapes and cut 2 Nephi 32:3 out of the cookie dough, bake and decorate then display them in quote style for the children to find, read, then literally feast on the words! I am so excited by this concept.
For the seniors I am doing one big, 'scriptures open' gingerbread cookie - decorated, for them to feast on together.

Challenge the children and teachers to establish a habit of regular scripture study. Explain that each week, children who have read from or listened to the scriptures will be able to write their name on a piece of paper and add it to their paper chain. Tell them that as their paper chain grows so will their knowledge of the scriptures.
Conclude that as the children have all read, listened to, and thought about the scriptures today, they can each start their scripture chain.

Resources: Action word labelsscripture quote cards [all 3 mentioned in one file], activity 1 labels, I made the scripture cookies by making rectangles from a shortbread dough, once they were baked and cooled I piped and flooded the cookies with design of open scriptures with a marking place ribbon. And my husband wishes he could see the seniors eat the gingerbread scriptures....they are totally OTT :)

Week Three
The words of Christ tell us all things we should do.
Areas of this plan were based on original ideas from the Primary outline and the scripture cookies have an unknown author.

Needed: A blindfold, a picture of Jesus Christ, a pouring jug, glass, wool, water, an illustration of Lehi's dream, broom handle, a scripture quote card made of 1 Nephi 15:23-25, enlarged recipe card, ingredients and utensils required to make the dough for 'Scripture Cookies.' A set of cookie tasters, and take-home cookies with recipe attached.

Preparation: Have a practise with the little physics experiment, and make up the cookies the recipe is as follows: 
Ingredients: 3/4 c butter, 1/3 c milk, 1 1/2 c sugar, 2 eggs, 2 c flour, 1 t cinnamon, 1 t salt, 1/2 t baking soda, 3 c oats, 1 c raisins. Method: Beat first four ingredients together. Mix in remaining ingredients. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350° F (175° C) for 15 minutes.

My Lesson: I am going to start by using the activity in the 2011 outline....Blindfold a child. Have another child hold a picture of Jesus Christ somewhere in the room. Have the blindfolded child try to locate the picture without any help.

After the selected time period chosen, remove the blindfold and...
Ask: Why was that difficult? Couldn't see, didn't know where to go, etc.
Ask: How do the feel about not making it to the end? Disappointed, sad, frustrated, etc.

Bring the children's attention to the table display. Consisting of a half filled jug of water, and set apart from it, a glass with water [a third filled], and a length of wet wool sitting in a small circular pile in the bottom of the glass, with the other portion of the length draped up over and out of the glass. [The entire length needs to be wet or this physics experiment will not work.]

Ask: Without moving the jug of water, how do we fill the glass with the water from the jug, using only what we can see? The credit for this idea goes to my hubby, having a science background he can pull little treasures like this out of his hat.

This may take a little practise. Take the end of the wool that is out of the glass and place it in a manner over the top face of the jug so that it is:

1. Held in place over the pouring area to allow the wool length to catch the droplet. Take a look at the photographs. In a, I have placed the jug inside a large loop knot, [making sure to have a lot of length in the leftover]. Then moved it up as close to the rim, and pouring spout as I could get. To stop the thread from slipping, and to keep the knot in place, I then took the length of wool not attached to the glass, [the leftover if you like from making the knot], and pulled it tight to one side of the spout, across the face of the open jug, and then wrapped it back around the handle for my hand to keep held in place.

My 'Miss 9' came in while I was practising, and totally buzzed out over this [I was rather pleased], but she was promptly sworn to secrecy! This is her having a go, and an example of what to do if you want to make a mess. The jug and wool length is at an angle that is too high from the glass, and the gap between the spout and the wool to big. She is also pouring way too fast. But you can however see the water travelling the wool, which is why I put it in. You must keep the wool tight and manoeuvre the jug a little so the length of wool from the glass touches the spout.

2. The length has to be tight across the distance between the jug and glass. So I added the handle of a spoon. I placed the handle through a loop knot, tightened it off, then placed the handle over the middle of the glass mouth, so that the wool fell directly centre. Then I held spoon tightly at either side of the glass mouth with my first two fingers, while my thumb and smaller fingers were left in place around the glass. This kept the wool tight between the jug constantly. 

3. The jug should be held at an angle higher than the glass. And I also turned the water a dark colour with food colouring simply so the children to see that the 'jug water' was reaching it's final destination as the colour began to bleed into the clear glass water.

4. Pour the water in a gentle, slow and consistent manner. I should warn you, it will give your shoulders a work out :) Remember only because the wool is wet will you be able to visibly watch a droplet of water travel the length of the wool and fall in the glass.

Give the child time to marvel at the 'magic' of this experiment, and as you start a second droplet, Ask: I would like you to imagine you are this droplet of water. You have left your home in heaven to travel through life to return to your Heavenly Fathers presence.
Explain: It is only by clinging to the wet wool that the droplets are able to travel safely the distance from the jug to the glass.

Teach in part the story of Lehi's dream, using this illustration. Comprising of 1 Nephi 8:19-24. Explain that the Lord told Nephi that the iron rod that people in the illustrations are clinging too, to get to the Tree of Life is the word of God.
Ask: Where do we find the word of God today?
Conclude: Like the water droplets that clung to the wool while they travelled, it is only by clinging to the iron rod, or reading our scriptures and then doing what they ask and teach us that will lead us to our Heavenly Father. There is no other way.

Try the blindfold test a second time. This time ask two other children to hold up a length of string or broom handle leading to the picture. I can detach my broom handle, and this is what I'll use.
Ask: How much easier was finding the picture this time? What was different?
Ask: How is holding onto the 'rod' like holding on to the scriptures?
Adult Read and/or support: 1 Nephi 15:23-25

We are going to make some special cookies. Would you like to help?

On the blackboard put up the title, “The words of Christ will tell us all things we should do.” Then underneath, the enlarged recipe card for scripture cookies.
Have the children fill in the blank spaces by searching their scriptures. Each taking a turn in the preparation method.

Once the mix is at the bake stage of the method pull out some previously prepared cookies from home for them to try. I will also have a few bagged up with the recipe card attached for them to take home, and I will be encouraging them to share this activity with their family during FHE. Conclude with a portion of my testimony that the teachings in the scriptures help to keep us safe, bring us closer to Jesus Christ and eventually we will return to live with our Heavenly Father.

Resources: Illustrations of Lehi's dream, scripture quote card, scripture cookie recipe on A4 display card - copy or tile print to fit A3, and smaller recipe in handout style, [They are 2 up on an A4 and will need careful cropping between the two]Enjoy.

Week Four
I can know the scriptures are true.
The jelly bean object lesson I have no known origin for. Just that it was something I participated in during a training meeting about a decade ago.

Needed: A small bag for containing, illustrations of each sense, a book of scripture for children to handle, paper cups and different flavoured jelly beans.

Preparation: Make the assignment of Moroni to a Priesthood holder who would do this part well, and preferably in costume.

Lesson: Grab everyone's attention by stealing looks in the pre-prepared bag and getting excited by what's inside. Once everyone's attention is captured...
Explain that Heavenly Father has given our bodies five special gifts to enjoy this beautiful world. Have one child at a time 'discover a gift' and then have them display the illustration to others,
Asking: What is it you have? What is the gift? What do you and I do with it?

Explain that just as we use our fives sense to explore and enjoy our world we can also use them when exploring our scriptures, as you say this hand each child a book of scripture.
Ask them to use their senses to describe the books they hold.
Feed the discussion by asking, “What do they look like?” “Are they heavy?” “How would you describe the pages?” “How can we listen to them?”

Now although we can touch our scriptures and see and even hear them, we need to gain a testimony of them. Make a point of stopping and exclaim – Testimony?! That is a big word, do you know what one means?

Instruct: Don't eat these yet, I want you to look with your eyes. Then quietly hand out paper cups containing a few jelly beans.
Ask: Can you tell just with your eyes what flavour this candy is?
Explain that they can guess, but do they really know? Sometimes we have to experience things or feel things, to know the truth for ourselves.

Instruct: Okay, you can taste the Jelly Beans.
Ask: What flavours did everyone get?
Ask: Can you bear testimony of that flavour?
Explain that bearing your testimony is simply telling something you know to be true. You know that your jelly bean was strawberry flavoured, so you can bear testimony of it.

Ask: But what about with the scriptures, how do we come to know the truth for ourselves, so we can bear testimony?
Explain that just like with the Jelly beans, you have to experience something, you have to taste it. With the gospel we have a special sense, not taste or sight or hearing, but it's feeling the spirit of
the Holy Ghost. To gain a testimony of the scriptures we need to receive a witness through the spirit.

Welcome Moroni. I invited Moroni to join us and share his feelings about the scriptures and the verses he wrote in Moroni 10:4-5. He will be given the last portion of time to share his experiences, testimony and answer any questions the children may have.

Resources: Illustrated senses.

Week Five
As this is a 'free' week I have chosen to use it to summarise and reinforce this months principles taught in a fun and active way.

Needed: A4 paper spaces in four different colours, masking tape, lollipops dressed in origami hearts and labelled 'The love of God', large dice, four matching coloured envelopes with questions, table, chosen items for table set up and decoration.

Preparation: Make up the origami hearts, insert lollipops and attach the tag. Make up a large soft dice. The room will need to be prepared in advance with the board game layout taped to the floor. And the smaller table set with a display of 'the love of God.' [The 'tags' and 'soft dice' links will become available as I complete the resources].

Lesson: I will have prepared the room well in advance with my board game layout, a table set and decorated with a display of 'the love of God.'

When the children arrive I will be standing outside the classroom door. I'll explain to them that I have received and tasted the most special and sweetest thing ever. Asking them, if they know what that might be? [the love of God].
I'll tell them that because I love them so much, I want to be able to share His love with them also, and that I'm excited about sharing it with them.

I'll explain that to get to where His sweet blessings are they need to first remember the lessons we have learnt about the scriptures.

Then hand the dice to the first child to begin the board game.

At the close of the game I will start by asking how they felt when they finally made it to the tree?
I'll then conclude this discussion with my testimony that the scriptures are indeed words from our Father in Heaven and as we read and listen to His words, that they will help us to make the right choices. And as we try our best to understand and follow His instruction that we will all feel of our Saviour's and our Father in Heavens love for us.

I'm laying the game out in the classroom as a spiral, starting at the door and moving anti-clockwise. In the centre where they finish, I'll have a lovely set table with origami 'love of God' arranged.

As our Junior primary contain a few special needs, I have decided to pull back from the original elaborate plan, to just keeping it simple and easy to understand. I've also chosen to remove 'spaces' that tell the player to miss a turn or move back, as some may not completely cope with this. Instead the children will only be able to move forward if the question asked is answered. Obviously supporting as needed.

I will randomly use four colours of A4 paper, in the make up of the board. They will match the category envelope with questions to ask – based on one of the four themes covered this month.

I've decided to type out all the questions related to a specific theme and place inside a matching coloured envelope simply to control who gets which question, so that the smaller children, can feel the exhilaration of answering correctly, while the more capable can stretch a little further.

My questions:
Where can we find Heavenly Fathers words?
Name one or more of the standard works.
Captain Moroni is found in which book?
Jesus life is recorded in which book of scripture?
Moses was a prophet of God, which book of scripture is he in?
Name a prophet or tell a story from the Old Testament.
Name a prophet or tell a story from the New Testament.
Name a prophet or tell a story from the Book of Mormon.
Name a prophet or tell a story from the Doctrine and Covenants.
Complete this sentence; “The Scriptures are the word of ________.”

Complete this sentence; “We are to ________ upon the words of Christ.”
What does it mean to feast upon Christ's words?
How can you feast upon the words of Christ.
Where do we find Christ's words?
Complete this sentence, “We are to feast upon the ____________.”
What is the action word in this sentence; “We are to feast upon the words of Christ.”

Complete this sentence, “The words of ______ tell us all things we should do.”
Where do we find Christ's words that tell us what we should do?
Name one/two/three thing[s] Christ has asked us to do.
What is something you do, because the scriptures told you to do it.
In Lehi's dream he saw an iron ______, lead to the tree of life.
What happened to the people who let go of the iron rod?
What happened to the people who clung to the iron rod?
What did Nephi say the iron rod meant?
How can you hold on to the scriptures?

Complete this sentence, “I can know the ___________ are true.”
How can we find out if the scriptures are true.
What did Moroni promise us?
What is a testimony?
There is a primary song that teaches us how to discover if the scriptures are true do you know it's name, “_________, ponder and pray.”
Who came to visit last week? What is one thing you remember from Moroni's visit?
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