Month: June 2013

Lesson #23 "I Belong to a Family"

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

“When you received a calling to teach, you may have said to yourself, ‘But I have not been trained to teach. I have no ability to present a lesson or lead a class discussion. There are so many who could do better than I.’ Perhaps others do have more teaching experience or natural ability than you. However, you are the one who has been called. The Lord will make you an instrument in His hands if you are humble, faithful, and diligent” (Teaching, No Greater Call, p. 20).

Call each child’s parent the week before and ask them to each bring a family photo.

Materials needed: pictures 1-16, 1-5, 1-53, 1-7, 1-6, 1-15, six popsicle sticks with paper heads of a mom, dad, brother, sister, grandma and grandpa on each, a dress up item for a mom, dad, grandpa and grandma, a print out of a tree (leafless) for each child, green paper leaves, gluestick and a marker.

Show picture 1-23. What is this a picture of? Who is in the nest? Who is feeding the baby birds? Who built the nest?  Who will teach the baby birds to fly when they get older?

Every baby needs a parent to take care of them. When we are born, we have a mother and a father. Sometimes we have a brother(s) or a sister(s) in our family too.

Show the following pictures and ask similar questions such as:

Who is the mom? Who is the dad? What are they doing together? Are they happy in their family? Are there brothers or sister? Is your family like this one?

Picture 1-5.


1-7 (Mention on this one that some families have their grandparents living with them or closeby. Do you live close to your grandparents?)


1-15 (Mention on this one that some families don’t have both the mom and dad living in the same home. Some only have one child. This is a family, too.)

Each of you brought a picture of what your family looks like. Call each child up to the front of the class to show their family photo. If a child forgot to bring one, have him or her come up and tell about their family members and what they like to do together.  Count how many members are in each family. Be sure to emphasize after each child shares that his or her family is good and important.

Sing the following song to the tune “Where is Thumbkin?”

Begin by putting both hands behind back.

Where is daddy? (Bring one fist around to the front with the thumb up)

Where is daddy? (Bring the other fist around to the front with the thumb up)

Here I am (use a deep voice and wiggle the thumb)

Here I am (use a deep voice and wiggle the thumb)

How are you today sir?

Very well I thank you.

Run away (Put one hand back behind back)

Run away (Put one hand back behind back)

Repeat this sequence for each finger and family member:


Sister=middle finger

Brother=ring finger


Show picture 1-16. This is another family, like yours. Who is this a picture of? Who is Jesus’ mother? Who is Jesus’ father (mention that Heavenly Father was Jesus’ father but Joseph was Mary’s husband and a good man who took care of Jesus like a father)

How do you think Mary and Joseph felt about Jesus being in their family?

Sing “I Am A Child of God” (Children’s Songbook, p. 2)

How do you know your family loves you? Ask each child what their mom, dad, brother or sister does to show their love for them.  Have two children come up and pretend to be family members. For example, one could put on a tie to be the dad and the other could be a child. Tell one of them something to say and have the other one respond how a loving family member would.


“I need some help picking up these toys. Who will help me?”

“I love you very much.”

“I am sorry for hurting you.”

(Have the child sit on a chair and have the other person be a grandparent) Grandparent says, “There’s no place to sit down and watch t.v. I guess I’ll have to stand.”

“Mom, thanks for cooking this dinner. It’s really good.”

Sing “A Happy Family” (Children’s Songbook, p. 198) Hold up the popsicle stick puppet heads for each family member. Repeat the song and have the children come up to the front and hold up a stick puppet as they are mentioned in the song.

I love mother, she loves me

We love daddy, yes sirree,

He loves us and so you see,

We are a happy family.

Additional verses: I love sister, she loves me, We love brother yes siree, He loves us and so you see, We are a happy family. I love grandpa…etc.

Hold up the picture of the leafless tree. Ask them what is missing on the tree. Discuss how the tree needs leaves and that our family is like a tree. We are the leaves.  Write down  the name of each child’s family member and have them glue it on their tree.  Write on the top: I belong to a family.

Lesson #22 "I Can Do Many Things"

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

“A calling is a sacred opportunity to serve. It carries with it an accountability to the Lord. It should influence the way you life, governing your decisions and motivating you to be a faithful and wise servant” (Teaching, No Greater Call, p. 20).

Materials needed: baby items (i.e. bottle, pacifier, baby food jar, bib, rattle or toy, etc.), something crunchy to eat like carrot sticks, a blanket, magnetic fishing pole and fish with paperclips to “catch” with actions written on the fish (i.e. jump 5 times, hop on one foot, sign the ABC song, say your full name, etc.).

Have the children gather on a blanket on the floor. Put out baby items one at a time and ask them what each is called and its use. At the end, ask if they ever used these things. Why don’t they use them now? When we were babies, we couldn’t do very much. Can a baby (walk, talk, feed itself, dress itself, ride a bike, sing song, jump up and down?) No, but you can.

You are so smart now that you are 3 (and 4) years old! Play the game of having the children close their eyes and you hide one of the items behind your back. When they open their eyes, they have to guess which baby thing is missing. Repeat.

Who has a little baby brother or sister? Are you big and help you mom when a baby is crying? We are so much bigger now and can all do many special things. What can you do now? One thing you can do is eat your own food. When you were a baby, your mom or dad had to feed you and you got very messy so you had to wear a bib. Now you have grown teeth in your mouth and can chew. Who wants to show us how they can chew and eat these carrots without making a mess?

If you have a nursery room nearby, this would be a good time to take a walk to visit the younger children. Remind your Sunbeams that they used to be in nursery but now they are big and can do more things.

I know how smart you are now that you are growing up. We have learned in Sunbeams that we have a Father in Heaven. What is another name for Heavenly Father? (God) He made our bodies and is the father of our spirits. Who can remember the song “I Am a Child of God”? Let’s sing it together. (Children’s Songbook, p. 2)

Our bodies can do many things. Point to the part of your body that we have talked about in Sunbeams: We have learned that our fingers can touch and feel, our tongues can taste, our eyes can see, our noses can smell and our ears can hear. I’m going to touch a body part and you tell me what is does.

We can do more things and harder things as we grow up and get bigger.

Sing the song in the Children’s Songbook p. 249 entitled “Once there was a Snowman” but change the words to:

Once I was a baby…small, small, small. (crouch down on the floor)

Now I’m growing bigger…tall, tall, tall (gradually stand up straight).


What are you learning how to do now? Ride on a scooter? Ride a tricycle? Zip your coat? Button your shirt. In a few years, you’re going to learn how to ride a two-wheeler and tie your shoes and write your name. Do you think it will be hard? What are you learning to do now that is hard? Are you going to keep trying and working hard? Share something from your life that was a new skill that you had to be persistent in learning. Talk about your sense of accomplishment.

Sing “Do As I’m Doing” (Children’s Songbook, p. 276). Let’s pretend to do a few of these new things and sing a song.

Go “fishing.” Do the action the fish tells.

Bear Testimony. Heavenly Father sent us to earth to grow up, learn to do many important things and obey His commandments so we can be happy.

If time, play the hiding game. Have all the children find a spot to curl up in a ball on the floor with their face down, eyes shut. Cover up one of the children with your blanket. When you say “1,2,3” all the children sit up and look around (except the one who is covered. The children have to figure out which child is hiding. Repeat.

Sunbeam Lesson #21 "I Have Feelings"

Lesson #21   “I Have Feelings”

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

“Our testimonies are often strengthened because of experiences we have. Perhaps you have had an experience that has strengthened your testimony that Heavenly Father answers prayers. Or you may have been blessed for obeying a certain commandment. When you share such experiences, you are a living witness of gospel truths, and the Spirit can bear witness to others that what you say is true. In addition to sharing your own experiences, you should encourage learners to share their experiences as they feel comfortable doing so” Teaching, No Greater Call, p. 45.

Materials needed: Gospel Art Kit pictures, mirror, a ball, paper plates with expressions drawn on, a hand puppet, playdough or a Father’s Day craft (see below).

Take note of what the Sunbeam children did during Sharing Time and on the way to class where they showed an emotion. In class, begin, by telling them what you noticed. If they were sad, discuss why. Happy? Excited?

Show pictures of different children in situations from the Gospel Art Kit such as Children Quarreling (1-48) and Children Playing With Blocks (1-49).  How do these people feel?  How can you tell?

We can feel different ways.  If you are happy, you have a smile on your face and you feel good inside.  If you are sad, you have a frown and you feel bad inside.  Look in the mirror and see what face you are making.

Jesus was happy many times when He lived on the earth. When He was with children, He was happy. He loves children, like you, very much. When Jesus died, many people were sad. Can you see the faces of the people in this picture? (1-73). What are they feeling? Why?

I am grateful that Jesus died for us so that we can all live again. We can live together with our families in heaven because Jesus resurrected and gave that gift to us. That makes me very happy! How does that make you feel?

Sing: “Smiles” (Children’s Songbook, p. 267)

I have a some paper plate faces that show different feelings.  Can you guess what they are? When we see a face, let’s make the same expression with our faces too.

I have a puppet who would like to tell some stories.

Puppet: You and your friend are playing with toys and they won’t share.  they grab a toy from your hands. What should you do if you feel angry?  (Stand up when you hear a good choice, sit down when I say a bad choice)

Hit your friend

Throw a toy

Use your words and say, “Let’s take turns.”

Two children, a brother and sister, are sweeping the kitchen. The brother is sweeping with the broom and the sister is holding the dust pan. The brother sweeps too hard and hits his sister with the broom on accident. The sister says, “You stupid! What should the brother do after his sister called him a bad name? (Stand up when you hear a good choice, sit down when I say a bad choice)

Yell and scream

Call his sister a bad name

Hit his sister

Say, “Don’t call me a bad name.  I don’t like that.”

(Make up more scenarios and possible reactions if desired)

We can also go to an adult and tell them if we need help.  We can ask a teacher, our parents or neighbors if we are in trouble and are sad or afraid.  If we are scared or feel  sad, we can also pray to Heavenly Father. 

Tell a personal story about when you felt scared, worried, alone or sad and how prayer helped you. Keep it a simple and age-appropriate story that is reassuring to the young children. Ask if they have prayed when they were sad or worried or scared. How did they feel after?

Sing: “If You’re Happy” (Children’s Songbook, p. 266)

Sing additional verses with other emotions: (mad.. stomp your feet/sad… make a frown/tired…go to sleep/hurt…cry boo hoo)

Gather children on the floor: Roll a ball back and forth. Each child that catches the ball answers the questions, “What makes you happy?”

Testimony.  Even though we may feel sad or afraid or angry sometimes, we want to be happy.  Heavenly Father and Jesus want  us to be happy.  Jesus died for us so we can live with him again and be happy forever.

Alternative endings: You can get out Play Dough and have the children share it. Sharing makes everyone happy.

Or, if this Sunday falls on Father’s Day, talk about what makes their dad happy. What can they do for their dad? Make a craft or a special card to give to their dad.

Sunbeam lesson #20 "I Am Thankful I Can Smell and Taste"

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

“What skills do I need to develop? The teacher reads that she should observe class members during lessons. She tells herself, “This is a skill that I need to develop, but it will take some practice.” She writes this plan in her journal. As she considers her plan, she realizes that she already has a least one strength that she can build one: she diligently prepares lessons. Because she is always familiar with the lesson material, she will be able to observe class members rather than focus too much on the lesson manual or her notes” Teaching, No Greater Call, p. 25

Materials needed: snack items that have a smell such as an orange, popcorn, pickles, or cinnamon toast; empty small jars (like baby food or film containers, or use Ziploc baggies instead) with cotton balls saturated with strongly smelling liquids such as ammonia, vinegar, perfumes, essential oils, lemon, and gasoline); sugar and salt in similar baggies or in unidentifiable shakers; Art Kit picture 1-35; paper plates with eyes already glued on and printed off paper noses and mouths; glue sticks.

Heavenly Father made our bodies to do many things.  When I point to something on my body, tell me what it does (nose, eyes, ears, fingers, tongue).

Bring out the food items you’ve brought for snack. We can use our tongues and noses to smell and taste these. Hold them under the students’ noses to smell. Tell them to close their eyes so they can think about the smell.  What does it smell like?

Give each child a piece of the snack and ask them to eat it slowly. If we give our tongues enough time, we can tell if it tastes sour, sweet, salty, or something else. Ask them how their snack tastes.

Let’s see how smart your tongues are! I have two things here: salt and sugar. Our eyes can’t tell the difference. They look the same. Salt and sugar can trick our eyes, but I bet they can’t trick our tongues! I’m going to put a little on your tongues and you tell me which one it is. The salt will taste salty and the sugar will taste sweet.

Here is a picture of the Children of Israel gathering manna (show picture 1-35). Remember this story? We talked about it when we wanted to learn about the Sabbath Day. What is another word for the “Sabbath Day”? (Sunday). Do we  work on Sunday? Can anyone remember the story and tell it to us (if no one does, or it they need help, you can tell it). The manna that the Children Israel picked every day except Sunday was very sweet. It tasted like honey, or the sugar we just tasted. They liked it very much.

Our noses can smell different things and it is very smart too. We smell all day. Have you ever smelled something that was burning? What did it smell like? Heavenly Father gave us noses and mouths to enjoying eating and smelling. They also warn us if there is something dangerous, like something burning or not to eat something dangerous. Some things are not good to taste or smell.  They are poison.  Do not taste anything unless you ask your mommy first, especially medicine and things she cleans the house with. (pass around strong smells in cotton balls). What smelled dangerous? What was your favorite?

Let’s see if you can remember all the parts of our bodies that Heavenly Father made for us:

“Monkey See, Monkey Do.”

Monkey see, monkey do,

I clap my hands now you can too (all clap)

Monkey see, monkey do,

I clap touch my nose now you can too (all touch noses)

Monkey see, monkey do,

I clap stomp my feet now you can too (all stomp)

Repeat with other actions.

Show the paper plate “face.” I see some eyes on this face, but what is missing? Point to your nose. Point to your mouth. Where does your tongue live? (in your mouth). We need to add a nose and a mouth! Let’s see…where should I put the nose (hold up the paper nose and put it in wrong places, and then have the children guide you to the middle of the face with their feedback. Do the same with the mouth). Give them each a plate and one nose and mouth. Once they have put them in their proper places, glue them on. Write around the edge: “I am thankful I can smell and taste.”

Have the children hold up their finished “faces.” Let’s pretend these are real faces and they can sing. We need mouths and tongues to sing. What song should we sing? (have the children pick their favorite Primary songs and sing each one, holding up their paper plate faces.

If you have “Mr. Potato Head” and face parts, this would be a good time to let the Sunbeam children play with putting on different facial features. Talk about the expressions and functions of each.

Bear testimony that our bodies are wonderful gift from Heavenly Father.  We need to take care of them so they can grow big and strong.  We need to eat healthy foods, exercise, get to bed early, wash our bodies to be clean and always give thanks in our prayers to Heavenly Father for our beautiful bodies.




"Love Me, Love My Beehive" Wall Street Journal article 6/4/13

Check out this column on the Wall Street Journal with my husband and me. If you click on our photo, I’m in a live interview on the WSJ “Lunch Break” program as well.

Sunbeam Lesson #19 "I Am Thankful for My Eyes"

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

“When children are criticized or spoken to in a negative way, they often feel inadequate or rejected. They may try to gain attention by disturbing other children or otherwise misbehaving. On the other hand, positive comments will help them understand that you expect the best from them. Recognize the good things they do, and ignore minor problems. As you do so, they will begin to feel that they are accepted, loved, and understood” Teaching, No Greater Call, p. 80.

Materials needed: “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?” book by Eric Carle, any hand puppet, a sock puppet for each child (glue googly eyes on and decorate if you’d like) Art kit picture 1-43, a dog leash, a scarf.

Read “Brown Bear.” After reviewing the book, ask, ” What can your eyes see?”

Heavenly Father gave us two eyes.  What do our eyes do?

I have a puppet that has two little eyes. Can you see them? She is going to come around and touch your two little eyes and count, “One, two.”

Use the puppet to sing “Two Little Eyes” from Children’s Songbook, p. 268:

Two little eyes that blink, blink, blink.

Two little eyes that see.

Head and shoulders and knees and toes

and many more things make me.

Tra la la la la lala

Two little eyes that see

Two little eyes that blink, blink, blink

And many more thing make me.

Repeat the song a few times. I’ve got a puppet for each of you (hand them out). Can you put it on and find the two little eyes? Let’s have our puppets sing the song again.

Take their puppets outside to play “Eye Spy.” Discuss how we use our eyes to see so many things.  How grateful we are that Heavenly Father gave us our eyes!  After, take turns playing hide and seek outside.

Back inside, be sure to take back the sock puppets so they aren’t a distraction. Tell them they will get them when it’s time to go home. Sometimes, there are people whose eyes don’t work. They are blind. Tell story of Jesus with blind man, using the picture 1-43.

Do you know any blind people? Do any of them have a guide dog?  We’re going to pretend to be blind and have a guide dog (tie a scarf around a child’s eyes and have another child get down on their hands and knees). Hook a dog leash (or clip on something—like a heavy-duty paper clip—tied to a string) to the child’s shirt collar and have the “dog” lead the “blind” child around the classroom. Take turns. Talk about the trust the blind person has that the dog will keep them safe. Talk about how the dog must love his master to serve him so well.

Review how to walk down the hall quietly. Remind them to put on their “quiet shoes” and use their “indoor voices.” Tell them that we are going to use our eyes to see beautiful things from the life of Jesus. Walk them down the hall and stop in front of any hanging pictures framed on the walls. Ask the children what they see? Who is in the picture? What are they going? What colors do they see? Are there any animals? Etc.

Back in class: Bear testimony of the gift of sight from Heavenly Father.  We can thank him in our prayers for all the beautiful things we see each day. Challenge them to say how grateful they are that they can see when they say their prayers this week.