An article I wrote for Family Share, published on March 12, 2014
***Note: Please read the post called “10 Lesson Helps” found under “Primary Lesson Listings” before reviewing any of my Sunbeam lesson plan ideas.
“Vary your teaching voice. Do you talk too slowly, too fast, too loudly? Do you use the same tone of voice, with little inflection? Is your speech clear? Are you enthusiastic about what you teach? How you use your voice can influence the attention level of those you teach” Teaching, No Greater Call, p. 71.
Materials needed: Paper puzzle pieces cut out to fit together with each child’s name on a piece, simple puzzles, Gospel Art Kit picture 1-39, a blanket (a nativity set if desired).
If you teach this lesson in December, you can start with this opening; if not, skip to the puzzle piece activity next (or do both).
Bring out each piece of the nativity set and talk about the character in the story, what they did and why they were important. Leave out baby Jesus. At the end, ask the children if someone is missing. When it is determined that Jesus is missing, bring out that piece and discuss why the story wouldn’t be right if we didn’t have Jesus. He is the whole reason for the Christmas story and he was the baby of this family. We are also important to our families and to the family of Heavenly Father. If we were missing, it wouldn’t be right. We are very important and needed!
Show a paper puzzle piece. What does this look like? This has someone’s name on it. It says, “_________.” Repeat for each puzzle piece and have each child come forward and put their piece on the floor, with assistance to fit them together. Save one middle piece and do not give it out (or keep the piece(s) of the children who are absent). What does our puzzle look like? Is it finished? Do you think something is missing? (put the last piece(s) in and let the children respond to how it looks when it is all put together). When the puzzle is put back together, tell the children you are going to read all the names in the puzzle. When their name is called, they stand up.
We all have a part in this puzzle to make complete. If it didn’t have you in it, it would have a hole and not be finished. Look around and see all our friends in our class. (Sit back down).
When we come to church, we are an important part of our class. If you don’t come, we miss you. We have a chair empty without you. We feel like there is a hole in our class. You belong here. (If a child is absent, talk about how our class isn’t put together completely unless ________ is here).
Would your mom and dad miss you if you didn’t come home one day? You belong to your family too. We belong and are important to our families and to Heavenly Father’s church.
Sing this song from Lesson #40:
I’m glad I come to church each week (hands peaked)
I love to listen (hand over ear)
And to pray (fold arms, bow head)
I learn of Jesus up above (point up)
The sacrament shows us His love (hug self)
(sing to the tune “Come with me to Primary”)
Heavenly Father and Jesus are so happy when you come to church each week and take the sacrament to remember Jesus.
Show a picture of a baby blessing (1-39). When you were a baby, you were blessed by someone with the priesthood. You were given a name and your name is put in the church list of members. You belong to the church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints. I have a song that is called, “I Belong To the Church of Jesus Christ” and I would like to sing it to you (or play it on the CD). Children’s Songbook, p. 77
I’m going to sing the song and I’d like you to pretend your chairs are a drum. Turn around and beat while I sing. Repeat. Now let’s march to it while I sing it.
What if _______didn’t come to church? Would we miss him? Yes. Let’s play a game where we pretend someone in our class was missing. We’ll see if we know who it is.
Have the children sit on the floor and close their eyes. Cover up one child up with the blanket. Tell everyone to open their eyes, look around and see who is “missing.” When they guess correctly, lift the blanket and say, “Oh I’m so glad to see ________.” Have the children move to a different place on the floor and repeat until each child has had a turn to be covered up.
I brought some more puzzles for you to play with. Remember that each piece is important to make the puzzle put together just like you are an important piece that belongs to Heavenly Father’s church.