Thursday, May 24, 2012

June 2012 LDS Primary Sharing Time Helps and Ideas

One of the ways we're preparing our daughter for baptism is having her read Gospel Principles alongside the Book of Mormon. We discuss questions from the book itself but she also has a special notebook that she has learning labwork to do after each chapter. A lot of these assignments involve her drawing something. When she's finished I'll do a post and list all the learning labwork from her notebook.

Monthly Theme: I Choose the Right by Living Gospel Principles
Monthly Scripture: "I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them" 1 Nephi 3:7

Week 1 I pray to Heavenly Father for strength to do what is right.

* "Recognize that there is a power greater than ours, that no matter how good a man is, he is not good enough, that no matter how wise he is, he is not wise enough, that no matter how strong he is, he is not strong enough for all of the things which he will face in life, and that there is a source of power to which he can go with the assurance that he will be listened to and that there will be a response." Gordon B. Hinckley, "The Message: Gifts to Bring Home from the Mission Field," New Era, Mar. 2007, 4

Bring in a CD player. Can this turn on if you don't plug it in? Have a primary friend try. Now plug it in... will it turn on? The CD player is just a hunk of plastic and metal, unless it's connected to the power!! Play a song about prayer quietly on the CD player while you read the quote from President Hinckley to the children.We are like the CD player, we need to connect to our Heavenly Father through prayer and He will give us strength and power to do what is right.

* Have the children act out the story of Nephi being bound, while you read the following words from Elder Bednar:
"   Nephi is an example of one who knew, understood, and relied upon the enabling power of the Savior. Recall that the sons of Lehi had returned to Jerusalem to enlist Ishmael and his household in their cause. Laman and others in the party traveling with Nephi from Jerusalem back to the wilderness rebelled, and Nephi exhorted his brethren to have faith in the Lord. It was at this point in their journey that Nephi’s brothers bound him with cords and planned his destruction. Please note Nephi’s prayer:   
    “O Lord, according to my faith which is in thee, wilt thou deliver me from the hands of my brethren; yea, even give me strength that I may burst these bands with which I am bound” (1 Nephi 7:17; emphasis added).
    Do you know what I likely would have prayed for if I had been tied up by my brothers? “Please get me out of this mess NOW!” It is especially interesting to me that Nephi did not pray to have his circumstances changed. Rather, he prayed for the strength to change his circumstances. And I believe he prayed in this manner precisely because he knew, understood, and had experienced the enabling power of the Atonement.
    I do not think the bands with which Nephi was bound just magically fell from his hands and wrists. Rather, I suspect he was blessed with both persistence and personal strength beyond his natural capacity, that he then “in the strength of the Lord” (Mosiah 9:17) worked and twisted and tugged on the cords, and ultimately and literally was enabled to break the bands."
* HERE is an AWESOME AWESOME story from The Friend. Before you tell the story, in front of the children put on your warmest winter coat, hat, mittens and scarf. Read the story with lots of enthusiasm. Ask a couple questions to engage the kids... what do you think will happen next? Will he be able to open the door? Why do you think he'd even want to explore the polar ice caps?
Could he open the door with his own strength? What did prayer give him?

Just as prayer gave Admiral Byrd the strength to open the door, prayer can give us the strength to do what is right. Below are some artic animals. Cut them out, number them 1 to 9, and laminate them. Bring in a small tub with cold water. Put the animals in the tub. Let primary children put on your scarf and draw an animal out of the cold water. Have questions, scriptures, or songs to go along with the numbers they draw out.
For example:
1. When have you felt strengthened by prayer?
2. As a primary, sing A Child's Prayer (Children's Songbook pg. 12)
3. Where are 5 places we can pray?

I am in no way endorsing this website, but I am very grateful for their free cute clip art!

* Break into small groups and have 3 adults to tell the following stories from The Friend. They need to be GOOD readers.... use inflection, perhaps a couple visuals for a child to hold while they read, involve the children with a couple questions here and there.... Rotate the groups so they can hear all the stories! Each group should have about 3-5 minutes to hear the story.

Ummmm... WOW!!! HERE is awesome story #1!!! I would be sure to warn the children that the story is a little scary, but that it has a very happy ending because Heavenly Father answered The Oaks' prayers and because Elder Oaks was given strength to do what was right.

HERE is story #2. Perhaps you can have a picture of a car, a doctor and a person praying. Great quote, be sure to emphasize from the story!! "While the blessings we ask for and receive through prayer are undeniably magnificent, the greatest blessing and benefit is not in the physical blessings that may come as answers to our prayers but in the changes to our souls that come as we learn to be dependent on Heavenly Father for strength."

HERE is story #3. I would bring in a small fan and let it blow on the children as you read a little, but then turn it off when you get to that point in the story. I especially like this story because sometimes we have to be the answer to our prayers, and no matter what, Heavenly Father will strengthen us!! Great quote to emphasize, "How often do we quit because we pray for wind and none comes? Instead, we need to listen for the Lord’s answer when we pray and then act upon it. On the boat, five men prayed, but only one heard and acted. God gave him the strength to be His wind that day, and He will give us the strength to be His wind when we do what He asks."
Week 2 When I pay my tithing, Heavenly Father will bless me.

* HERE is a great story for a couple children to act out while you read. There are excellent questions at the end of the story.  Let the children make a fishing pole with a stick and some yarn. Discuss some blessings that come from paying tithing and write them on the board. Have different colored paper fish children can choose and write blessings on that come from paying tithing! Have plenty of tape!! Enlist teachers help and have the children tape their fish onto their fishing pole yarn.

* Enlarge this picture as BIG as you can!!! Invite a child to come up front, help Maria find a coin, circle it with a big red marker and then answer a question about paying tithing. (From Feb. 2010 The Friend Illustration by Adam Koford)
 hidden picture

* HERE is a tithing maze! Pair up an older child with a younger child. You'll have to have a copy of the maze for each pair. Have them read to the younger children what is on the maze and work together to find their way to the blessings of paying tithing!

* HERE are some great questions and scripture references for Senior Primary to work on in groups. You could make a crossword of it too!

* Boy, The Friend is just the best magazine EVER! HERE is another awesome story to tell the children. It's a little longer, so I would read it really well during your personal preparation time before Sunday and then tell in your own words. Have 10 volunteers in the primary take off their shoes and bring them up front, then go sit down. Invite another child to come up front and say something/ a blessing that comes from paying tithing. Let that child choose a pair of shoes and return it to the proper owner! Repeat until all the shoes are returned.

Week 3 I obey the Word of Wisdom by eating and drinking that which is good and avoiding that which is bad.

* Pack a picnic basket! Bring in plenty of food choices for the children & let them come up one at a time and pick something healthy to put in the basket. On the board have 2 columns- Good Food & Drink, Bad food & drink. When they come up to choose something for the basket, have them also tell you something to add to one of the columns that they don't see by the basket. Write it down on the board. (Many 7 years would be capable of writing on the board too!)

* Bring in paper plates & crayons. Let children draw a healthy breakfast, lunch or dinner. Have them walk around the room reverently for a minute and share with other children what wonderful word of wisdom meals they made!

(Some recycled ideas from previous posts)
* Explain that we are going to have a cooking demonstration. Invite a child to come up front and cut bananas, another one do strawberries... have another child add some yogurt and yet another child add in some grapes. (Please no sharp knives and be mindful of food allergies) Have small cups for the children to sample. Was the fruit salad cooking demonstration something that is good for our bodies?
Have the children play win-win-draw with foods and other things having to do with the Word of Wisdom that are good for our bodies. (They come up to the blackboard and draw, for example, an apple... then someone from the Primary guesses what they have drawn)

* Break into groups and have them pass a healthy food around as you sing The Word of Wisdom. (CS #154) When the music stops, the person holding the healthy food has to name something that is good for our bodies. For older children you can make it a little more challenging by giving them a certain letter that the healthy food has to start with.

* Have a bunch of healthy recipes and let the children make a recipe book for their family!! Make copies of the recipes and let the children draw pictures of how they think the finished food will look like.... Always make a copy or example to show them/give them some starting ideas. Display a bunch of different cook books and let the children end Primary by sharing some recipes they think would be healthy for our bodies in those books. On the chalk board you can have the words written- A RECIPE FOR SUCCESS- THE WORD OF WISDOM!!!
Week 4 When I dress modestly, I respect my body as a gift from God.

* HERE is a great article & story about how to tell if you're modestly dressed! Perhaps you could play it with the kids too!

* Have a clothesline hung between 2 chairs. Invite children to design modest clothes to hang on the clothesline. Be sure to have paper, crayons and scissors available. Teachers can always help cutting!

* I would definitely make copies of THIS talk (Modesty:Reverence for The Lord by Elder Hales), bring in highlighters and let the Senior Primary divide into pairs or small groups and read it together. They can mark things that stick out to them and inspire them. After 5 minutes, invite a couple children to share something they learned from the article. Also, if the weather's good, let them go outside and do it. Sometimes a change of scenery really helps you to focus.

* Look the part! Have a few dress up items. If you wanted to look like a fireman what would you put on... firehat. How about a ballerina? A tutu. What about a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints? HERE are some thoughts on modesty from Elder Christofferson. Invite primary friends to walk reverently around the room and give each other compliments on their modesty. If they are feeling shy, that's OK!! They can just smile at each other. FIRST!! Write some compliments on the board!! For example: Your hair is nicely brushed. Your skirt is a good length. Your pants are neat and unwrinkled. That's a handsome shirt. You look like a missionary. Nice shoes!! That dress has sleeves and is pretty. It's my own personal opinion that we need to make primary an environment where children feel loved and respected by each other. Giving compliments builds self esteem and makes a person's day brighter.


Anonymous said...

I'm a little confused....I thought May's monthly theme was "I choose the right when I am baptized and confirmed a member of the church" And the monthly scripture is Acts 2:38. Am I totally off? (I'm subbing for sharing time this week & just looking for some ideas)

Anonymous said...

oops......just realized they're on your next post. Sorry for the mistake! Thanks for your ideas!

Anonymous said...

Last year when I did modesty I taught this little song:

(To tune of “Smiles”)
If you raise your arms up high,
And your stomach shows,
Just remember who you are, and

If you sit down on the floor,
And your bottom shows,
Just remember who you are, and

Anonymous said...

I am teaching this month and I am dreading the modesty segment. I am troubled by the outline which suggests having the children call out parts of the body that should be covered. I also worry about having the children compliment each other on modest clothing choices. I worry that these modalities teach our children to judge each other- we always have primary kids in sundresses or leggings with short skirts and I do not want them to feel embarrassed or ashamed. Does anyone have any suggestions for teaching modesty in such a way that kids don't feel singled out or like they have done something wrong?

Anonymous said...

To anonymous,
I also feel very uncomfortable with the idea of focusing on specific body parts and clothing styles in Primary. I feel strongly that going into such specifics is a topic for parents to address with their own children in their own homes. We often have visitors, less active children, and even active children in a variety of clothing styles. I would say to emphasize the principle of modesty. defines modesty as "an attitude of propriety and decency in dress, grooming, language, and behavior. If we are modest, we do not draw undue attention to ourselves. Instead, we seek to 'glorify God in [our] body, and in [our] spirit.'" For some strange reason we often hyperfocus on dress and forget our attitude, language, and behavior. For JR primary, I'm talking about how we dress differently for different situations. For example, we don't wear Halloween costumes to church. We don't wear swimming suits to school, we don't wear pajamas to go swimming, etc. I have simple pictures of different places(school, church, Halloween party, pool, bed)Then I will have a bag of different clothing items and as the kids draw them out, they match them to the appropriate place. Last year for the SR. primary lesson on modesty, I slouched into the room wearing a bathrobe, food smeared on my face, hair all messy, and sprawled out on a chair, then leaned back in it and said, "yo, what's up guys. Um, I know I'm supposed to do sharing time, but whatever. . . " It certainly got their attention. Then I shared the definition of modesty, and then called on kids one by one to help make me modest (remove bathrobe, fix hair, clean face, respectful language and attitude). We discussed how modesty shows respect for ourselves, God, and others. But I finished the lesson with a reminder that how someone appears is never more important than the person. I think it turned out well and focused on the principle in an age appropriate way.

Makayla said...

Hi :) I have recently been called into primary in my ward, i am only 20 and felt completely lost! I joined the church when i was 15 so i have never been to primary before. Thank you for your blog. I have found so much help here, i didn't even know where to start with sharing time. Thank you so much for all that you do :)
Makayla. Tasmania, Australia :)

Sofia's Primary Ideas said...

Anonymous 1- No worries! Thanks!

Anonymous 2- Great song! Thanks for sharing. (Disclaimer: I'm in no way telling anyone to change the lyrics of the song SMILES)
:) :) :) :)

Anonymous 3- "I do not want them to feel embarrassed or ashamed" How wonderful are you! You my friend don't need any suggestions. You want what is best for the primary children you are stewards over, so go to the Lord and He will guide you in what to do.

Anonymous 4- Thank you so much for your insightful and helpful comment. Great ideas!!
"But I finished the lesson with a reminder that how someone appears is never more important than the person." WELL SAID!!

Sister Makayla- Thanks so much for your kind words!! You are a beautiful soul and will do much good in this world!

Kim said...

When it comes to talking about modesty,I always stick closely to For the Strength of Youth. Obviously, you need to be mindful of the children's feelings, but if it is very specific in For the Strength of Youth, then I don't have a problem teaching it. For the Strength of the Youth is the guide that the leaders of the Church have put together for our benefit and I feel strongly that those are the things we should be teaching those in our steward. I steer clear of controversial things that haven't specifically been addressed by General Authorities, and are just opinions.

Unknown said...

Thank you! All of your ideas really helped get me thinking about my lesson for Sunday. I appreciate all of the time and effort you put into your blog.

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous#4- LOVE your Ideas!!! THANKS!

Anonymous said...

I'm going to try to stick with the Strength of Youth too. I noticed that the outline says the children should LISTEN for what parts of their body should be covered I think suggesting that they listen for the specifics will help them pay attention better, and get it more firmly rooted in their minds. I won't have them call them out or say them out loud, but just let it be something for them to think about privately. I want to avoid being very specific other than what is listed in the Strength of Youth.

JennyB said...

There are a lot of children in my ward who receive lots of hand-me-downs from families and most of that clothing is usually not modest. I plan on having a doll to dress up in different situations, and show appropriate and inappropriate clothing, but also use the inappropriate clothing and allow the children to figure out how to make it appropriate. For example, if a skirt is too short, wear leggings underneath. If a shirt has no sleeves, wear a sweater or add sleeves. If the shirt is too short and shows the belly button then you can add more layers to the shirt and make multiple fringes until it is adequate length. If the pants are too loose, wear a belt, etc.