Month: July 2013

Beyond ABCs: Is your child emotionally ready for kindergarten?

One of the more important articles I’ve written.

http://familyshare.com/beyond-abcs-is-your-child-emotionally-ready-for-kindergarten

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Lesson #26 "Families Can Be Together Forever"

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

“Elder Dallin H. Oaks said, ‘Teaching by the Spirit requires first that we keep the commandments and be clean before God so his Spirit can dwell in our personal temples.’ To be ‘clean before God,’ we can remember the Savior in all we do, always acting as true disciples. We can repent of our sins. We can seek things that are ‘virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy.’ We can study the scriptures daily and with real intent, seeking to be ‘nourished by the good word of God.'” (Teaching, No Greater Call, p. 13).

Materials needed: pictures of temples, the Primary children’s music CD and player, blocks (wooden or of some other material) and toy cars and people if available.

Show picture 1-54, Salt Lake Temple, and pictures of several other temples, including the temple in your temple district, if available.

What are these beautiful buildings called? Have you ever seen a temple? What do you think about when you see a temple? What do we do inside them?

Discuss the beauty of the temples, pointing out the spires, windows, and doors. Explain that on an outside wall of each temple are the words The House of the Lord. Members of the Church go to the temple to learn about Heavenly Father and Jesus and their love for us.

Can you find the steeple?  It points to heaven because it is Heavenly Father’s house on earth. It is very special and we go there to get married. Talk about your experiences and feelings about the temple.

Tape up the temple pictures around the room, naming each one.

Let’s make a steeple with our arms.  I’m going to play the song, “I Love to See the Temple” from the music CD and you can walk around the room with your arms pointing to heaven. When the music stops, stand in front of a temple that you like. I will tell you the name of the temple you like. Repeat.

When we get married in the temple, we can live together as families forever. Tell the children that if they keep Heavenly Father’s commandments, they can go to the temple when they are older. Explain that in the temple we make special promises to Heavenly Father to obey his commandments. We can be married in the temple, and we can be baptized for people who weren’t baptized while they lived on the earth.

Have the children hold up three fingers and repeat three things they can do in the temple when they are older:

“In the temple I can make special promises to Heavenly Father.”

“In the temple I can be married.”

“In the temple I can be baptized for others.”

What color of clothing are you wearing today? Talk about each child’s clothing and the colors they are wearing.

Sing “Mary Wore Her Red Dress” adapting it to the names of the children and what color of clothing they are wearing.

Example:

Thomas wore his green shirt, green shirt, green shirt,

Thomas wore his green shirt to church today.

What color of clothing will you wear inside the temple?  Sing another verse to the song:

We will wear our white clothes, white clothes, white clothes,

We will wear our whites clothes in the temple.

Tell the following story about President Lorenzo Snow in your own words:

Lorenzo Snow knew that he would soon be the prophet of the Church. He went to the temple, put on his white clothing, and knelt down in a special room to pray. He wanted Heavenly Father to tell him what he should do to lead the Church. He prayed and prayed but did not receive an answer. As President Snow was leaving the room where he was praying, Jesus appeared to him. Jesus wore beautiful white robes and looked so bright and shining that President Snow could hardly look at him. Jesus looked as though he were standing on solid gold. Jesus told President Snow the things he had prayed to know (see LeRoi C. Snow, “An Experience of My Father’s,” Improvement Era, Sept. 1933, p. 677).

Why do you think President Snow prayed in the temple instead of some other place? (Because he could feel closer to Heavenly Father and Jesus inside the temple.)

If you have good weather, take the class outside and play “I Spy.”  Have them look for different colors of things, especially look for white things, the same color that is in the temple.

Back inside the classroom, explain that because the temple is a sacred place, we are reverent when we are inside. We whisper or talk softly. Explain that we can feel happy and peaceful in the temple because we feel close to Heavenly Father and Jesus.

Play the “Whisper Game.” Whisper “I love Heavenly Father and Jesus” in each child’s ear. After you are done, ask them what you said. Tell them they had to listen carefully to hear your whisper. We have to listen carefully and quietly in the temple too.

You can repeat the Whisper Game with other phrases.

In all the temples, we walk quietly.  We are reverent because we are thinking of Jesus and how much He loves us.  Let’s practice walking in the church halls, like we will walk in the temple when you are older, to see if you can walk reverently and quietly. 

I know that temples are the most special place on the whole earth and Heavenly Father gave them to us to be happy. When you are older, you will be able to go inside if you do these things: pray, be obedient, pay tithing, eat healthy foods, go to church every Sunday, be honest and love each other. Can you do those things?

I brought some blocks so we can pretend to build a temple. Remember that it has a steeple on top?  Let me show you how and then you can build your own pretend temple and drive a car to it.

Lesson 25 " I Love My Whole Family"

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

“The amount of material you cover is less important than its influence in the lives of those you teach. Because too many concepts at one time can confuse or tire learners, it is usually best to focus on one of two main principles” (Teaching, No Greater Call, p. 99).

Materials needed: print out of a mother, father, grandma and grandpa; family popsicle stick puppets from the previous week; picture of a temple, art picture 1-18 (Jesus and John the Baptist), paper doll chain cutouts for each child with the words written on them “Families are linked together in the temple.”

How many of you visit your grandma or grandpa’s house?  What do you do there?  How do you know they love you?  Who else loves you in your family? Mom and dad, brothers and sisters, cousins, aunts uncles. 

We belong to a great big family.  Many people love us and take care of us.

When Jesus lived on the Earth, he had a mom and dad, brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles and cousins, too.  (Show picture). Who are the two people in this picture?  What are they doing? This is a picture of Jesus being baptized. Which one is Jesus? Do you know who baptized him? John the Baptist. He was Jesus’ cousin. They loved each other very much.  John the Baptist taught the people about Jesus. He was like a missionary to get the people ready to listen and obey Jesus.

Who has a cousin? What is your cousins’ name? What do you like to do with your cousin? Cousins are a part of our family who love us.

Choose each child to be a person using the popsicle stick puppets from last week’s lesson. While you name a person in the song, “A Happy Family” each person holds up their puppet: grandpa, grandma, daddy, mommy, sister and brother. Repeat and let the children hold different puppets.  We all stand on the words: “We are a happy family.”  (Children’s Songbook, p. 198).

Tell a personal story of your feelings about a family member that touched you in a positive way. Bear testimony that Heavenly Father wants us to be helpers in our families so we can be happy on earth.

Show each of the 4 pictures and ask what a dad, mom, grandma and grandpa do to help us. Tape each picture up on one of the classroom corner walls. Explain that we are going to play a game. I will close my eyes and count to 10 while they choose one of the pictures to stand under. When I am done counting, I will open my eyes and say the name of each child. They will tell one thing they like to do with the family member in the picture they chose. Repeat and have tell them to choose another picture. Repeat as much as needed.

Here is a picture of a temple.  When we get married in the temple, we can be together in heaven with our families. We will be with our moms and dads, brothers and sisters, grandmas and grandpa. Heavenly Father blesses us with temples so we can be happy in heaven with those we love.

Hold hands in a circle and talk about how families are together forever when the marry in the temple, like holding hands in our circle. Sing “Families Can be Together Forever” as you walk in a circle. (Children’s Songbook, p. 188).

Show one of the paper dolls and explain that these are holding hands in a family like we were. It reminds us that we are together forever as families when we do what is right. Let the children color and take home.

Lesson #24 "I Love My Brothers and Sisters"

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

“It is often easier to understand a gospel principle when it is expressed as part of a scriptural story. Stories engage people’s interest and show how gospel principles apply in everyday life. In addition, stories are often easier to remember than abstract statements of principles” Teaching, No Greater Call, p. 55 .

Bring a photo of your own family or the one you grew up in, 4 of the stick puppets from last week’s lesson, pictures 1-13, 1-2, a baby doll, a piece of yarn or string and fruit loops for each child.

Remember last week where we showed pictures of your families? We learned how Heavenly Father loves us by putting us in families. Here is my family. (Show your family photo and tell about each family member and what they mean to you).

Some families have brothers or sisters or both. Some only have one child. Who has brothers? Who has sisters? What are their names? Are they older or younger than you? (FYI: This week happened to follow the 4th of July so I asked them specifically what they did for the Fourth of July with their brothers and sisters.)

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:

Pointer=mommy

Sister=middle finger

Brother=ring finger

Baby=pinkie

 

Tell the story in your own words of Joseph Smith’s leg illness and operation. Highlight the love his brother Hyrum showed while Joseph was sick.  Use picture 1-13

How did Hyrum show Joseph that he loved him? Have any of you helped take care of your brother or sister when they were sick or hurt?

Stand up and sing “When We’re Helping” (Children’s Songbook, p. 198) and use the popsicle stick puppets from last week’s lesson while you sing the family member’s names: daddy, mommy, sister and brother. Repeat and let the children hold different puppets.

What are some ways we help our brother or sister?

I’m going to tell you some ways we might help. If they are good ideas, make a “thumbs up.” If they are bad  ideas, make a “thumbs down” sign.

Share your new toy with your sister.

Help your sister get a band aid when she gets a scratch.

Take your brother’s ball without asking him first.

Tell your sister, “You can’t play with us.”

Let your brother jump on the trampoline with you.

Help your sister pick up her toys.

When your brother gets hurt, you ask him if you can help.

Give your sister a hug and tell her you love her.

Sing “Fun to Do” (Children’s Songbook, p 253) with new phrases like “Rocking a baby is fun to do,” or “Hugging my sister” or “Sharing with my brother.”  Act out the actions while you sing.

Show picture 1-2 of Moses in the Bulrushes.  Tell about Miriam watched over Moses to be sure he was safe.

We’re going to play a game and pretend to be Miriam with the baby Moses. I have a pretend baby here and I’ll choose one of you to be Miriam. That person will go outside our class while we hide Moses. When Miriam comes in, they will try to find Moses hidden in the bulrushes. Repeat.

Review the importance of brothers and sisters helping each other.  Share a personal example of when you’ve seen an act of love and service between siblings or have experienced it yourself.

One thing we have learned today is that if she share with our brothers or sisters, we show them we love them.  We are giving them a good example so they will share with us. I will help you make something that you can share with your siblings.

Make a fruit loop (or some other round candy with a middle hole) necklace or bracelet with the children.

NOTE: I have found that 3-year-old children sometimes have difficulty stringing on the candies. If you use a stiff string it works better. If you put a piece of scotch tape tightly around one end of the yarn (like the end of a shoelace), it helps it go through easier. Also, I like to tape down the back end of the string to a chair and have the children sit on the ground in front, using their chair seat for a table (unless you have a large table they can all sit around). By taping down the end that they aren’t stringing through the candy, the candies don’t fall off the back end.