Monday, December 26, 2011

January 2012 LDS Primary Sharing Time Helps and Ideas

Image courtesy creative commons license by PetitPlat Aug. 2011

Monthly Theme: Agency Is the Gift to Choose for Ourselves
Monthly Scripture: "Wherefore, men are free . . . to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men" (2 Nephi 2:27).

Week 1 and 2: Agency is the gift to choose for ourselves.

* God bless whoever invented ice cream! Who has ever enjoyed going into an ice cream shop and having a bunch of flavors to choose from? What are some favorites? Personally, it's Rocky Road or bust for me! Have an ice cream cone and different colored ice cream scoops made out of paper. Write scriptures, questions and songs having to do with agency on the back of the scoops. Invite a child to choose a scoop, then do what it says on back and build a tall cone on the black board! There are a lot of choices out there and it's God's gift of agency to us, to let us choose!!!

* Choices! Choices! Choices!! Have 20 envelopes in sets of 2. In each envelope have names of different scriptural characters and some sort of simple instruction like hop 5 times on one foot. Invite a primary friend to come up front and choose a set of envelopes, then choose another primary friend to choose one of the 2 envelopes! Have them talk about the scriptural character and choices they made. Then have the primary do the simple instruction.
Some examples could be:
Nephi - tug on left ear 3 times
King Noah- rub your elbows together while
It's always nice to get bodies moving!! It is possible to move and maintain reverence so don't be scared to try. Children (& most people) learn best when actively involved!

* Try to have the children learn the scripture "Choose ye this day whom ye will serve... but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." Joshua 24:15 by you saying it and randomly leaving out words and having them fill in what word you left out. At the beginning of primary you could challenge the children and see if anyone can learn the scripture to recite by themselves by the end of primary. Have an outline of a house on a piece of paper for each child. Invite children to draw in their home or write about good choices we can make. Have them share with the whole primary or in groups. Our choices and the choices of our family decide whether we'll have a happy or not so happy home!

* Have 2 gift wrapped boxes up front. Invite a child to come up and choose a gift. In one gift have a bunch of demands like sweep the floor, do 50 push ups, eat 6 spoonfuls of mashed potatoes, walk 10 minutes to the store and buy milk only, sip 4 times a cup of that milk, wash your hair for 2 minutes in cold water, lie on the floor for 45 minutes to take a nap, read the dictionary for 6 pages and then freeze. Woah! Does that sound pleasant being told and forced to do certain things? In the other box have the simple phrase, "Choose for yourself". Which gift is better and why? Agency is God's gift to us, and what we do with that agency is our gift to God! Have the children write down a couple choices they can make this week that would make Heavenly Father and Jesus happy. Then give them a brown paper bag with a bow on it, have them put their choices in it and share with their family what they'll do this week with their agency!

* Bring in a checkers board. You, as the teacher, can be black and the children can be red. Invite 1 primary friend at a time to come up and answer a simple case scenario, then they can make a choice on the checkers board.
For example, a case scenario could be:
Maria is walking home from school and sees garbage on the ground. How could she use her gift of agency wisely?
Teddy is mad at his brother. How could he use his gift of agency wisely?
Nice and short! Try to get as many children involved, up and thinking as possible! At the end you can conclude with our life is like a game of checkers. Some choices are very important and can mean all the difference in winning our eternal exaltation!
(And as a fun fact, did you know President Monson loved to play checkers?? He even read a book on different checker strategies and memorized moves and game plans so he'd never lose!)

* Have 3 cups and plenty of chocolate kisses! Invite a primary friend to the front and have them turn around while you hide one chocolate under one upside down cup. Mix up the cups. Preface at the beginning you are going to play a game. You might win a chocolate, you might not. But don't worry at the end everyone will get a chocolate!! Have Gospel Art Pictures of different scripture stories. Invite the primary friend to tell a little about the story and how they used their gift of agency. Then let the friend choose a cup and see if they got a chocolate!! Have about 10-12 different scriptural pictures. Sing Choose the Right Way (CS pg. 160) and look for super singers. Invite a couple of those super singers up to try choosing a cup! Whenever we make a good choice in life, we'll get something better than a chocolate kiss... a blessing from above! We might not see it right away, but it will always be there.

* Life is full of good choices and sometimes we can even make those good choices better! Have a couple friends act out the story of Mary and Martha as you read Luke 10:38-42. Mary sits and listens while Martha cleans dishes, serves food and hustles and bustles about.... What did the Savior teach us about the gift of agency?
List a bunch of good choices on the board, and then have the primary children share ideas on how to make even better choices!! For example:
Pray at breakfast ( A better choice could be to pray always!)
Read Scriptures ( A better choice could be to ponder and study the scriptures!)
Go to Church (Participate and ask questions and share at church!)

* Have the children act out the parable of the talents (Matthew 25). Focus on each of the choices the servants made.

“Every one of us will have to give an account for the deeds we do in the flesh, and that every man will be rewarded according to his works, whether they be good or evil.” Joseph F. Smith (Principles of Government  in the Church, Improvement Era, Nov. 1917, 10-11)

Week 3: In the premortal life, I chose to follow God's plan.

* “No principle in time or eternity is so cherished as the right of agency. A war was waged in heaven over our agency- a war that was transferred to earth. Satan is determined to blind, bind and lead captive through ignorance and sin everyone he can. Understanding our agency is imperative for our spiritual survival and fulfillment in Christ.” Doctrines of the Gospel Student Manual Rel 430 &431, pg.30
Have a backpack and name it our agency survival kit. In it have items with questions or scriptures attached. I’d have about 10 items inside. For example:
  Flashlight – Who helps us see through the darkness and make good choices?
(Jesus, the Holy Ghost, Parents, Teachers, Good friends)
Suncreen- How do good choices help us from being hurt?
Cell Phone- What can we choose to pray for?
Canned Food- Name some soul food, or scripture stories that teach us about good choices.
Water-  John 4:14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” What did the woman at the well choose? Show gospel art kit picture and briefly go over story.

* “Someone once said, “If you come to a fork in the road, take it.” But it doesn’t work that way. The Savior said, “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” President Faust, Ensign 1995, Serving the Lord and Resisting the Devil
Draw on the board what a fork in the road is. Show one path leading to a picture of the Savior and the other a frowny face. We made the wonderful choice in the premortal world to follow the Savior. Now that we’re here on earth, let’s name some good and bad choices we make and the paths that follow. Bring in a toy car and let children come up to the board and name examples and drive their car on each path to show everyone.
* "Endowed with agency, you and I are agents, and we primarily are to act and not just be acted upon. To believe that someone or something can make us feel offended, angry, hurt, or bitter diminishes our moral agency and transforms us into objects to be acted upon. As agents, however, you and I have the power to act and to choose how we will respond to an offensive or hurtful situation."David A. Bednar, "And Nothing Shall Offend Them," Ensign, Nov. 2006, 90
Bring in a long coat, hat and magnifying glass. Super Secret Agent time! Have each primary child write down a choice they have made in their life that was a good one and their name! Put all the choices into a box and invite a primary friend to dress up as a super secret agent and as you read a choice from the box, they can guess who made it!
Re-read the words of President Bednar, “As agents, however, you and I have the power to act and to choose how we will respond….” In the premortal life we chose Christ, so let's make sure our choices here support all we did before!
Week 4: Jesus Christ created the earth as a place where I can learn to choose the right.

* Click HERE for a Reader's Theater. Happy acting!


Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for taking the time and sharing such great ideas!

Sofia's Primary Ideas said...

Thanks Anonymous for taking the time to say thanks! Hope you have a spectacular New Years!!

Anonymous said...

Really appreciate your inspiration and ideas. Thank you for thinking of others!

Sofia's Primary Ideas said...

Thank you so much my friend! Hope you have a blessed day!

Conner & Zuleika Parry said...

I just got called to serve in Primary. I've never taught Sharing Time before, and the first two weeks of the year I get to teach the kids. I was really excited about it, but very lost as well. Thank you for sharing such creative and fun ideas that will also help bring the Spirit. I will for sure be using your blog a LOT. Thanks!!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your primary ideas! I finally have an idea for this weeks sharing time!!

Anonymous said...

I visit your blog regularly and really appreciate all your wonderful ideas, however, you might want to change the title of this post to reflect that it's about January 2012 Sharing Time, not January 2011. :)

Liesel said...

I've been following your blog for at least two years and apologize for not saying this before and often:
I love your blog. I love your ideas, love the links you provide back to the LDS site, love that you give some ideas and tell us to use our own agency, brains and personal revelation to determine what will work best in our primary.

Sofia's Primary Ideas said...

Sister Perry- Thanks so much! God bless you as you teach sharing time!!

Sister Anonymous-Thanks!

Sister Anonymous- I tend to hold on to the past too much!!! Just changed it! Thanks!

Sister Liesel- What a pretty name! Thank you so much for your kind words, you really are very thoughtful. I love YOU!

Thanks everyone! You brighten my day with your sunshine.

George and Tacie said...

I just recently got called as the first Counselor in primary and I really appreciate your blog! It is wonderful!! It makes my job easier which is great because its scary getting up there!! Thank you so much!

Sanders Clan said...

I was just called to do the 5th Sunday Sharing time, and I am struggling a little with what to do! The Theme for 5th Sunday is Dare to Stand Alone....any special ideas on what I can do for my first one? All I can think of is Choose the Right and I am thinking that they are wanting more than that! HELP! I love your blog by the way...good and numerous ideas...thanks for sharing!

Breanne said...

I echo what Liesel said ... I've referred to your blog off and on for the last 2-3 years through Primary Chorister & Primary counselor callings. You are so generous with your time, you have wonderful ideas that I can't even imagine coming up with (and they're not overly elaborate either - which I LOVE). So thank you, thank you, thank you!! You are very special!

I do remember when you lost your baby, and hope that you have been healing as well as can be since then. I'm sure your strength in faith has aided you, but I can't even begin to imagine ... thank you for such a diligent, kind, and faith promoting example.


Breanne Johnson, Mesa, AZ

Sofia's Primary Ideas said...

Sister Tacie- Thanks so much! I totally understand your fear, but it gets easier, right? Sure! Maybe? Yes!

Sister Sanders- You might think I'm weird, but here are my thoughts. Dare to stand alone and do what you want to do!!! "THEY" can want all they want, "THEY" can pressure you to do whatever, but "THEY" aren't the Lord. Sometimes "THEY" forget that you are entitled to personal revelation so if "THEY" give you any trouble just sing Mariah Carey's Shake It Off in response to anything "THEY" say to you. You are spectacular, trust yourself and more importantly, trust what God tells you to do. And thanks so much for your kind words. Sorry, but I have a pet peeve about people who try to dictate every aspect of callings so I hope you don't have to have any extreme experiences like I've seen....

Sister Johnson- I hope you don't mind I blog stalked you. Gorgeous family! Thank you so much for your kind words. God really helps me each moment of each day! Bless your soul for being so considerate.

Breanne said...

Oh good. Stop by my (not so regularly updated anymore) blog anytime you want. I have made a couple of blog friends that I consider keepers despite not having met, so I love it! Where do you live? What calling do you do right now? Maybe you have all that posted on your blog already ...

Anyhow, thanks for your nice comment back to me!! It is all true!

Thanks again!


Amy said...

I just wanted to add my thanks for all of your wonderful ideas. You've helped me out so many times for primary sharing time this past year. THANK YOU!!

Sofia's Primary Ideas said...

Hey Breanne- Why am I such a timely person? NOT. I was going to write back sooner, but I didn't. So sorry. I have no calling... and it's horrible to say, but I kind of like it. :) I live in the supposed "rodeo state" but no where except for our license plates accepts this as accurate... aka Northern Nevada. And thanks! I will stop by your blog because you are super nice!! Maybe we can even meet up one day!

Sister Amy- You are fabulous! Thanks for taking the time to say thanks!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all your ideas. Whenever I need an idea for Junior Primary I head right to you. Your hands on object ideas are fantastic!

Ann Andrews said...

What a blessing you are - YOu have helped me so much with your ideas. I have so much to learn, and i find you so inspirational - thank you so much for all your time and effort. YOu will never know the difference it makes to others !!!

Jamie said...

I am new to the whole sharing time thing and next week is my first week and I am at a complete loss of what to teach. Any ideas for a newbie teacher? I love your ideas for weeks 1-3 but week 4 seems to not have much to go by. I would love some advice. thank you so much

Sofia's Primary Ideas said...

Thanks Anonymous!!

Sister Andrews- Thank you so much for your very kind words. I know we can all learn more, but I bet you know quite a bit being a super mom of 9!!! Wowsa! You must be one amazing woman!

Sister Jamie- First off, don't worry. (Children can smell fear!)You are going to do a wonderful job!! When you call on children, if you don't know their name... call them "the beautiful sister in the blue dress" or "the bright eyed future missionary with the red tie". Compliments and love go a long way and make a wonderful first impression.
As far as teaching and planning a lesson, prayer goes a long way. I have the distinct impression that you are very talented and God will help you.

The Schanz Family said...

I love your backpack survival kit idea. You mentioned you put 10 items in your backpack. what were the other 5? Love your site and all the helP you've given me!!!

Kristine Fronk said...

Loved your ideas for last month it really helped and I had fun as well! Do you have any ideas for February yet?

Julie Wright said...

primary was a frightening calling for me. Your willingness to share your great ideas has made things so much less frightening.I am grateful for you.