I’ve been distributing weekly lesson supplements to our senior Primary teachers; I figured I might as well post them here. “Those might be of some use,” as my four-year-old would say. You can also use these ideas for FHE, Sharing Time, etc.
FUN FACT: â€˜Mannaâ€™ is a Hebrew word that literally means â€˜what is it?â€™ In other words, the Hebrews had no idea what to call it!
INTRODUCTION: If you want to use the activity in the manual about the days of creation, you can find pictures of the creation in the Nov 1998 Friend â€œThe Creationâ€”Each Day a Giftâ€? and the Jan 1984 Friend â€œFunstuff: In the Beginning,â€? both of which are available online at www.lds.org.
DEMONSTRATION: Bring a Ziploc bag with two pieces of bread in it, a jar of peanut butter, a jar of jelly, a butter knife and a plate. Tell the children that you are completely clueless and they need to tell you how to make a sandwich and then do EXACTLY what they tell you. (For example, if they tell you to spread the jelly on the bread before they tell you to open the jar of jelly, then take the entire container of jelly and put it on the bread.) Point out that Heavenly Father gives us perfect directions that must be followed precisely!
ROLE PLAYING: Invite one child to the front of the room. Pretend to be a friend who is inviting them to go to the lake on Sunday. Say things such as, â€œBut you donâ€™t have to miss churchâ€”we can go after!â€? or â€œBut weâ€™ll be experiencing Godâ€™s creation!â€? or â€œBut we donâ€™t have to spend money!â€? or â€œBut my family doesnâ€™t have that rule and weâ€™re Christians!â€?
PARTNER ACTIVITY: Have each child find a partner. Designate one person in each pair to be the Nice Guy who will tell the other person about something really nice that they have just done for them (given a present, done their chores, etc.) and the other as the Complainer who will complain about the nice thing. Let them switch roles after a minute. Discuss how it feels to be the receiver of complaints and how God might feel when the Israelites complained or when we complain.
CASE STUDIES: Bring an old remote control. Invite one child to be a parent â€˜on TVâ€™ who assigns chores to a child pretending to be a son or daughter. Have the son or daughter complain. Then use the remote control to â€˜rewindâ€™ the scene and replay it with the child responding in a way that doesnâ€™t involve complaining.
GAME: The November 2004 Friend (â€œRemember the Sabbath Dayâ€?) has a wonderful game about manna and the Sabbath that you could play with your class. You could also use the game pieces differently by writing scripture verses from the lesson on the manna pieces, hiding or placing them around the room before class, and then having your students â€˜gather manna.â€™ After, students would read the verses on the manna pieces at the appropriate time in the lesson.
INTRODUCTION: Bring in a boardgame that your class is familiar with. Invite them to play. Let each student take a turn with the teacher playing last. On your first turn, cheat. Explain that there are no rules for this game, so you have done nothing wrong. Then discuss why rules are important.
REVIEW GAME: Before class, prepare one envelope for each child. In the envelope, put wordstrips with the Ten Commandments on them, but leave one commandment out of each envelope, so that each child is missing a different commandment. Bring a sheet of paper and a gluestick for each child. Give them their envelopes and have them paste the Ten Commandments in order on their paper and figure out which one is missing. When they can tell you which commandment is missing, give them a copy of that commandment to complete their sheet. If time allows, each child can tell the class what would happen if their â€˜missing commandmentâ€™ really was missing: What problems would result if people didnâ€™t have that commandment?
SONG: â€œThe Commandmentsâ€? song from the Childrenâ€™s Songbook is a great way for the kids to learn the Ten Commandments.
THUMBS UP OR DOWN: Make a statement to your students and have them give you a â€˜thumbs upâ€™ if it is part of the Ten Commandments and a â€˜thumbs downâ€™ if it is not. This is more interesting if your â€˜thumbs downâ€™ statements are true. Some examples: Brush your teeth after every meal, do not take drugs, do not misuse Godâ€™s name, be faithful about doing your homework, be kind to mom and dad, read your scriptures every day, do not believe everything you hear, if you canâ€™t say something nice, donâ€™t say anything at all, etc.
MEMORY GAME: Write the numbers 1-10 on ten cards. Write the Ten Commandments on ten more cards. Shuffle and turn them all face down and play a memory game with them (ie, turn over two at a time and try to find a match). You could modify this so that the child doesnâ€™t get to keep the match unless they can tell you something they can do this week to keep that commandment.
FLANNEL BOARD STORY: The May 1998 Friend â€œMoses Teaches His Peopleâ€? has flannel board figures that you could use to teach the scripture account.
MEMORIZATION ACTIVITY: Write the Ten Commandments (or perhaps a key phrase from each one) on the chalkboard, including the numbers. Recite them as a class. Invite a child up to erase a word or number. Then recite again. Repeat, giving each child at least one turn.
TEACHING THE SCRIPTURE STORY: Tell the story of Moses and the brass serpent, drawing key parts on a sheet of transparency film (available at office supply stores; a sheet of transparent plastic or even wax paper could also be used) as you go. When you finish the story, slide a picture of Jesus on the cross underneath the transparency sheet to show how the stories are parallel. (You will need to practice and plan in advance so that you draw the pole with serpent in the part of the transparency where the cross will be and the onlookers in the same place.)
CHRIST WASHING THE DISCIPLESâ€™ FEET: If you discuss this story, you may want to mention the previous chapter, John 12 (where Mary washes Jesusâ€™ feet) to reinforce the point in the lesson about humility and accepting service from others.
REVIEW GAME: Sketch a serpent on three pieces of paper that have been placed adjacent to each other. Cut the serpent out and then cut it into nine pieces. On each piece, write a review question. After you have taught the scripture story, hand the serpent pieces to your class. Invite them to answer the questions and then assemble the serpent on the floor.
LOOK AND LIVE ACTIVITY: Bring an object (a toy, soft ball, etc.) that you can pass around the room. As the object is passed, have the children tell of a commandment that they donâ€™t know the reason for following. Explain that for that child, then, that commandment is like the serpent on the brass pole: something that they are asked to do out of obedience even though it doesnâ€™t make sense to them.
ENRICHMENT ACTIVITIES: There are several excellent enrichment activities listed at the end of this lesson. You could use the scenarios in the second enrichment activity by inviting the students to stand up. As you read each situation, ask the students to face a picture of the serpent on the pole if the person in the situation was acting in a humble manner and to look away if they were acting in a prideful manner. You could use the words in the first enrichment activity by writing them on pieces of paper and handing them out and asking your students to imagine a situation that could happen to them where they would be tempted to act in that manner.
BEING LIKE JESUS GAME: The April 1984 Friend has a game called â€œBecoming More Like Jesusâ€? that would reinforce this leson.
DIORAMA: You will need a small box (for Rahabâ€™s house) with a hole cut in it (for a window) and red string (scarlet cord). (You may want to include small figures for Rahab and the spies.) Use this to tell the story of Rahab. Then explain to the students that this story has a lot of similarities to the Exodus, where the children of Israel are spared from the destroying angel if they put blood on their doorposts. You could emphasize the idea of conversion and repentence (since Rahab is not of the House of Israel but joins them) or the need to follow our Church leaders (since in both stories they gave directions necessary in order to be saved).
ACTIVITY: You will need a piece of blue poster board, a very large sheet of blue paper, or something similar. Explain that just as the priests needed to show faith by stepping into the waters before they parted, we sometimes need to take a â€˜leap of faith.â€™ Have one student at a time stand next to the â€˜waterâ€™ and give them a scenario that would require faith (such as: you feel that you should serve a mission but you arenâ€™t sure that you would be able to learn a language) and ask them if they are willing to walk by faith and step into the â€˜water.â€™ If they are, then tell them the blessing that comes from obedience and, perhaps, read 1 Nephi 3:7 and assure them that the Lord would bless them for their faith.
REVIEW GAME: The November 1990 Friend (available online at www.lds.org) has a board game called â€œThe Exodus Gameâ€? that would make a great review of the last several lessons.
ACTIVITY: Bring twelve stones (the larger the better, but donâ€™t hurt your back) and some paper, a marker, and tape. Explain that after the people entered the promise land, God commanded them to take twelve stones and create a memorial to teach their children what had happened (see Joshua 4). Pass out the stones, paper, marker, and tape and have the students write down things that they think are important to teach to their children and then pile them up and share what was written.
SCRIPTURE MEMORIZATION: One way to help the children memorize the scripture from Enrichment Activity #3 is to print out a copy for each child, cut it so that each word is on a separate strip of paper, put them in an envelope, and give one to each child. See if they can assemble the statement correctly. Then, give them time to work on memorizing it on their own, perhaps by removing one word each time they say it or touching each word each time they say it.
SILLY SONG: (Tune: B-I-N-G-O; lyrics by Sharon Broome)
There was a girl God used for good and Rahab was her name-o
and Rahab was her name-o.
ATTENTION ACTIVITY: Make a figure of a boy or girl out of play dough before class. Bring it and some toothpicks. Give each child 3-4 toothpicks. Ask them if they know what a bully is. Explain that it is someone who “picks” (hold up a toothpick) on others who are smaller and weaker. Have the children think of ways that children sometimes pick on each other. Each time they think of something they may stick a toothpick into your figure. When all the toothpicks have been used up ask the children how the boy or girl would be feeling if s/he was real. Explain that in our story today some people called the Midianites are bullying the Israelites and the Israelites have some of those very same feelings.
TEACHING THE SCRIPTURE STORY: Use the two-part story â€œScriptural Giants: Gideonâ€? from the July 1988 and August 1988 Friend. Print out the stories and cut them into sections so that each child in your class will get one section. Give them a few minutes to prepare their parts and then have them be storytellers and tell the story to the class. Encourage them not to read word-for-word from the page, but to tell the story in their own words.
ADDITIONAL STORY: The Primary manual does not cover the story of Deborah (Judges 4-5). You may want to include this story.
TRUST ACTIVITY: You will need some yarn or string. Beginning at one end of the room, lay the yarn in a wavy, circular, maze pattern throughout the room. Try to make the loops big and frequent. Each child begins at the start of the yarn maze. They walk on the yarn following it wherever it goes. Explain that no matter how messed up and mixed up things may look at times, God never leaves us. He goes with us through everything if we will just let Him.
SCRIPTURAL CHAIRS: The following activity is similar to Musical Chairs. Set the chairs back to back. Make sure you have one less chair than the number of children playing. Explain that instead of hearing music they will hear you reading promises from the scriptures; the promises tell us that God will never forsake us. When they hear you say the word forsake or forsaken, they may sit down in a chair. If they sit down before you say the word, they are â€˜out.â€™ (Children who get “out” can be the readers of the texts.) Look the following texts up ahead of time so you don’t have to look each one up individually during the activity: Deut. 31:6, 2 Cor. 4:9, Heb. 13:5, 1 Sam. 12:22, Ps. 9:10, D & C 61:36, D & C 88:83.
PUZZLE: The February 1998 Friend has a puzzle about Gideon that could be used as a review activity.