Sunbeam Lesson #12 "I Am Thankful for Animals"

***Note: Please read the post called “10 Lesson Helps” found under “Primary Lesson Listings” before reviewing any of my Sunbeam lesson plan ideas.

“In addition to using a variety of methods from lesson to lesson, you should teach each lesson with variety. Children with their natural curiosity, respond especially well to a variety of learning activities–usually between five and seven per lesson…Choose methods that support and reinforce the main purpose of the lesson. They should be true to fact and life and emphasize truth, goodness, and beauty. Do not choose methods merely to amuse or take up time [gimmicks].” (Teaching, No Greater Call, p. 89).

Materials to bring: food items (see activity below), pictures 1-29 and 1-30, dress up costumes, a long sock for each child, pictures of animals, stuffed animals.

Review the song, “The Wise Man and the Foolish Man” (Children’s Songbook, p. 281).

There was once a man who was very wise. His name was Noah. He was like the wise man in this song, but instead of building a house, he built a boat called an “ark.” Let’s sing the song this way:

Noah built a very strong ark (repeat)

And the rains came tumbling down…etc.

…and the ark on the water was safe.

Tell the story of Noah and the ark from Genesis 6: 5-8:19. Show picture 1-29, Building the Ark and 1-30, Noah and the Ark with Animals.

How was Noah and his family blessed for obeying Jesus? He was very wise. We can be wise, too, when we obey Jesus and Heavenly Father.

Point to animals in the second picture and ask the children what are the names of each animal.

“Noah and the Ark” (sing to “The Farmer and the Dell”)                                                   Noah and the Ark

Noah and the Ark

Heigh-ho! The derry-o

Noah and the Ark.

 (Show pictures of animals and sing about each one)

Noah feeds the (bears)

Noah feeds the (bears)

Heigh-ho! The derry-o

Noah feeds the (bears)

Continue with monkeys, giraffes, dogs, etc.

Let’s all pretend to be an elephant on Noah’s ark. What does an elephant look like? (as you discuss, you can draw one on the board). I’ve brought a sock to put on one of our arms. Let’s pretend it is the elephant’s long trunk.

Swing the arm covered in a sock back and forth while saying,
Elly the Elephant goes this way and that

She’s so very big and so very fat

She sways her trunk from side to side

She takes the children on a fun ride.

An elephant is a wild animal. What are other wild animals that live in a jungle or desert? Have any of you seen them in a zoo? Some animals are tame, and that means they can live in our house and be a pet. Do any of you have a pet? What kind? What is their name? How do you take care of it?

Play “Animal Animal, Who Are You?”  (whisper an animal in their ear and they act it out for others to guess or they can draw out an animal cracker and pretend to be that animal). Before they act it out, all the children chant and clap, “Animal, animal, who are you?”

Display items: egg, cheese or an empty carton of milk or yogurt, a wool sweater, a can of meat like tunafish. Have the children identify each item and then tell them they each come from an animal. Heavenly Father blessed animals to give us food and clothing.  Draw (show a picture or say the name of) an animal and have the children match the food or clothing product to the animal. Ask the children to comment on what they like about eating these foods. Remind them how we are healthy when we eat good foods that obey the Word of Wisdom. If desired, you can pass out portions of the food (cheese or tunafish on crackers) to eat.

Put on costumes to be Noah and family.  Make a “boat” with the chairs.  Each child will take a stuffed animal to put on the ark (if available). Tell the story as they act it out. Repeat and take turns being different characters.

Tape pictures of animals around the walls. Sing the first part of “Noah and the Ark.” Children walk around until the song ends and then stand in front of one of the pictures.  Say a child’s name and they tell what animal it is.  Repeat.

If the weather is good, have the children line up outside on one end of the yard. Tell them you will say a name of an animal and they have to act like that animal to get to the other side of the yard. Have them go back and forth pretending to be different animals.

Extension Ideas. These are based on what materials and resources available to you.  I’ve given several to choose from:

1. Make an animal collage.  Bring in pictures cut out from magazines and let the children choose which ones they want to glue on their paper. Write animals names on it. If you have child-sized scissors, it would be a good fine-motor exercise to allow them to practice cutting pages from the magazine.

2. Animal shapes. Bring in playdough and let the children make animals. Teach them how to make the basic shapes of rolling out a “snake” or a “ball” or a “pancake” and how to put these together to make a body of an animal.

3. Animal Puzzles. Take larger pictures of animals (from a magazine or calendar, for example) and cut them in half. Mix them up and let the children put the puzzle pieces together.

End with testimony: When Noah and his family obeyed God, they and the animals were saved from the flood. We can be saved too when we obey the prophet and Heavenly Father. The Word of Wisdom is a commandment that blesses us to be healthy. Heavenly Father made animals to make our earth beautiful and to bless us so we can take care of them and they can give us good food in return.



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