The Book of Mormon & Joseph Smith: Lesson 39, 40

Okay, so after two weeks of going over two of the missionary lessons, we decided to talk about the Restoration to make sure the kids could see the big picture. They had been asking questions like “How do we know this?” which is important! So we wanted to make sure they understood Joseph Smith’s role and how the Restoration worked. Although the Restoration didn’t exactly go with the lessons for these two weeks, we took the liberty of doing what we need to do to make sure our kids understand the Restoration.

It took us two weeks, and we watched the Church’s latest Restoration movie. The kids loved it! We would pause it when the kids had questions, and answer them as a class. We also provided popcorn, which was really fun!

You can watch the movie on lds.org here.

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Doctrine of Christ Worksheet and Game: Lesson 38

Primary 4 Lesson 38: Peace Among the Nephites

3 Nephi 28:1-16, 23-40; 4 Nephi

Although worksheets can be boring, it’s a great way for our kids to get to work on their own (which they seem to thrive at) at keeps them focused. One option for this lesson is to have them work on the worksheet on their own, but in order for our kids to ask questions, I think we are going to turn this worksheet into a game.

With our lesson last week about the Plan of Salvation, I am really looking forward to this lesson about the Doctrine of Christ – this is what our responsibility is and God’s method for us to return to him safely, through Jesus Christ. Although it’s easy to summarize the doctrine of Christ, it’s hard to live. Might as well start now, while you’re in 3rd grade!

Goal: Help children understand the Doctrine of Christ so they can experience peace and happiness.

Supplies you need ahead of time:

  1. Tennis ball
  2. Toilet paper rolls, at least 6
  3. Doctrine of Christ Worksheet

How to play the game:

  1. Set up 6 toilet paper rolls in a pyramid, like this website. 
  2. Hand out the worksheets.
  3. Give each chid a turn to knock down the paper rolls with the tennis ball. Don’t reset the pyramid unless the entire pyramid was knocked down. Each time a person knocks down the whole pyramid, let them choose which question on the worksheet we will answer as a class.

Prayer Craft & Impromptu Plan of Salvation Lesson: Lesson 37

Primary 4 Lesson 37: Jesus Christ Teaches the Nephites to Pray

3 Nephi 18:15-25; 19; 20:1

With just a few weeks left with out primary class, we wanted to tie this lesson into the Plan of Salvation because our kids still don’t seem to understand it. To start out this lesson, we had the kids take turns drawing different parts of the Plan of Salvation on the chalk board. They LOVED getting chances to draw on the chalk board, so this kept them really engaged. When we asked the students where we were before we were born, all the kids called out “heaven!”

When we asked them to draw how we come to earth, they decided to draw a zipline instead of someone being born, which was hilarious! We got a kick out of that one. After drawing Earth, we asked the kids where we go after we die. All they could answer was “heaven.” We tried to get them to think a little harder about what happens before we go to heaven, but they honestly didn’t know.

We explained the spirit world and had them read Alma 40:11-13. This week while I was reading this chapter, I realized something – that a lot of times when we draw pictures of the Plan of Salvation with lots of circles and lines and drawings of stars and suns and stars. However, we seem to never draw in the fact that right after we die, every single person goes to meet God. I know I didn’t teach this on my mission – maybe because it’s not a bold section in Preach My Gospel, maybe because I didn’t realize it. Anyways, as I was reading these verses I realized that the state of “peace” verses the state of “weeping” and “wailing” in the spirit world are probably result of seeing God again; the difference between a wicked person like Cain meeting God, and a righteous person like Enoch meeting God would seem to result in emotional states like those described in the spirit world in Alma 40. Someone without the Holy Spirit would not have a pleasant experience when being in God’s presence, yet a righteous person who had the Holy Spirit with them would have a glorious, happy, peaceful reunion with the God they know so well.

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The kids believed us, but one girl looked at me quizzically and said, “How do we know this??” It was pretty funny, but a very good question. We looked closer at Alma 40:11, and learned that an angel taught the prophet these important things.

We explained to them that the spirit world was a result of our meeting with God, and that made a lot of sense to the kids. We explained how people can repent while in the Spirit World, and that there are “missionaries” in a state of peace that will teach them. We went through the rest of the Plan of Salvation, and got to final judgement. When we went over the three kingdoms, they asked if God would come visit you if you didn’t live in the Celestial Kingdom. We said no, and they were really surprised. One student asked if it was mean to keep people away from God. We read with them Mormon 9:3-4 and discussed what happened the first time each person met God – what would happen the second time if they had not repented of their sins? Answer: the exact same thing. As a result, being in God’s presence would be worse than hell.

One of the amazing things about this lesson was that the children were engaged the entire time – they were calling out questions, and were totally interested. One girl was so concerned about her personal salvation that she wrote everything down and took her notes home. She pleaded with us to know what the commandments were so she would be able to follow them and as a result live with God some day. We told her to talk to her parents about that this week, and next week we would explain that. She accepted that, but obviously was concerned about knowing what she needed to do.

This was probably my favorite lesson to date in our class! It reminded me of being a missionary again – is this what being a parent is like?? It also reminded me of how Christ told us to be child-like – these kids were so engaged, and believed everything we said! I never had a lesson where the investigator was so engaged on my entire mission, probably. If all of us learned the gospel with such hunger, I think that wouldn’t be such a bad idea.

Obviously this discussion lasted the entire class, so we didn’t do our planned lesson about prayer. If you want a lesson about prayer, though, feel free to use the craft below:

Goal: Help kids understand the importance of prayer, and help them remember to pray daily.

Supplies needed:

  1. Cardboard
  2. Yarn
  3. Rubber Cement or glue
  4. Scissors
  5. Prayer Cut Out

How to:

  1. Print off the prayer cut out, and have kids trace it onto the cardboard. Cut out the cardboard.
  2. See this awesome website for instructions on how to make the craft.

 

 

Sacrament Scripture Find: Lesson 36

Primary 4 Book of Mormon Lesson #36: Jesus Christ Gives the Sacrament to the Nephites

3 Nephi 18:1-14

I remember when I was in Primary, and the teacher would ask us to look up a scripture. There was lots of looking at the table of contents and sharing page numbers once someone had found the scripture. Sometimes it was stressful; I remember feeling embarrassed if I was the one taking a long time to locate said scripture. (Such anxiety is no surprise if you intimately know me – I’m a bit of a comical mess sometimes.)

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With these funny memories of primary scripture chases, and considering this year’s primary theme being centered on scriptures, my husband and I started the year with a big goal: that all of our kids could easily find scriptures in the Book of Mormon. We drilled the Books of the Book Of Mormon song in our primary class for months, and know they all know it by heart. We also went over at least twice a month what a reference like “Alma 1:2” means, and how to figure out what chapter and verse is listed. Now our kids sing the Book of Mormon song to themselves when they are trying to find a scripture.

I’m proud to say that our kids are successful in finding scriptures on their own! But because it’s only October, we decided to introduce more ways to use the scriptures to our kids; this week, we are going to use the Index. I served my mission two years ago, and I’m sure that most missionaries use their iPads now instead of paper scriptures, but the topical guide was a life saver on my mission! While sitting in lessons with investigators and trying to find that one specific scripture that answers their questions, the index was extremely valuable.  Not only that, but it’s helpful for personal scripture study.

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Goal: To help children gain a testimony of the Savior, and always remember Him. Also, learn how to use the Index.

Supplies you need ahead of time:

  1. Download this work sheet: Book of Mormon Sacrament and Index Work Sheet
  2. Get construction paper. Review these instructions to make a cup.

How to:

  1. Review the Books of the Book of Mormon song in the Primary Songbook.
  2. As a class, review the top of the worksheet to understand how to find scriptures in the Index.
  3. Hand out the work sheets to the children. Either have them complete the entire worksheet on their own, or have them do one or two per person and come back together as a group and share answers.
  4. If there is extra time or the kids get bored, let them make a “sacrament cup” out of origami.
  5. You may also want to watch the video for this lesson here.

 

Christ Blessing the Children Terrarium: Lesson 35

Primary 4 Book of Mormon Lesson 34

3 Nephi 17

img_0127Okay so I have a confession. Sometimes our kids are still crazy energetic, regardless of the fun games we bring. As a result, we had to implement a rule in our classroom that if our students were disrespectful, we we would stop playing the fun game and everyone would have to read their scriptures silently for the rest of class. And you know what – they LOVED it! They were all asking us where to find their favorite scripture stories, and were super excited about reading about stories they’ve always heard of.

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Christ Blesses the Children Terrarium

Since they loved getting to read silently on their own, we decided to do “personal study” the next week; I brought my Preach My Gospel from my mission, and had them find the missionary schedule in it. We had them spend some time at the beginning of the class doing “personal study” in the current chapter of the lesson, and then we did “companionship study” where everyone shared what they learned. The kids liked it, partially because it mixed class up a little bit and was something new, and partially because they got to do something on their own.

Christ Blesses the Children Terrarium

In this lesson we will do something similar. We are going to give the kids some time to read the story themselves, and then give them a chance to depict the story in an artistic way.

Goal: Give the children a chance to read about Jesus Christ, which will help them gain a testimony that Jesus Christ loves them.

Supplies you need ahead of time:

  1. Canning jars. I used wide mouth “Pint and a Half” jars, that I bought here.
  2. I went to the beach and collected sand, and large and small rocks that my kids can put in their terrarium. I also used some dirt from my garden. You may want to put the dirt, sand, and gravel in the jars ahead of time to avoid messes in the classroom like I did. But it can be done during class as well.
  3. I purchased a succulent that can be separated and put into each child’s terrarium Paints and paint brushes for the children to decorate their rocks with. I have a set of acrylic paints and paint brushes for the kids to use, as well as markers.

How to do this lesson:

  1. Give the children 15 minutes of personal study where they read through 3 Nephi 17 on their own.
  2. Have companionship study, where everyone shares something they learned or liked from what they read on their own.
  3. If the children didn’t get a chance to read all or most of the chapter, summarize it yourself or show them this video on the Mormon Channel.
  4. Explain to the children that we are going to make a terrarium

Beatitudes Matching Game: Lesson 34

Primary 4 Book of Mormon Lesson #34: Jesus Christ Teaches the Nephites the Beatitudes

3 Nephi 12-13

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I recently had a conversation with a friend about what to do after graduation. I’m working a full time job, but what else? The biggest thing that makes “adulting” weird is that there are no longer small goals to work towards – no more semesters where you get the satisfaction (or dissatisfaction..) of finally getting a good grade after lots of hard work; no more “done” stamps after finishing a long essay. Luckily for my husband and I, adulting isn’t hard because of an inability paying bills or a poor marriage. But for me, it’s the fact that my life is no longer broken up into bite-sized goals by some external force. Even if I set goals for myself, it’s hard to stick with them because I don’t have anyone to be accountable to. So if I want to get better at watercolors, it only lasts for a few days because those paintings go in my drawer, and appear to serve no purpose.

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But Primary has totally changed that! I can practice drawing and art and design and being creative – and actually have an outlet for it. I am accountable to the kids in my Primary class. If I don’t work on my Primary lessons, then I’m the one that has to sit through an awful Sunday School, where my kids are literally bouncing off the walls and screaming at the top of their lungs. Primary has helping me figure out my path after university, and has helped me stay closer to my Savior by having goals to work towards weekly.

Goal: Teach children the beatitudes by giving them real life examples of Christ’s teachings. Also learn the names of some of the latter-day prophets.

Supplies you need ahead of time:

  1. Print off the Beatitudes Memory Cards. Print them double sided and cut them out. Printing them on cardstock will help you from seeing through the paper.
  2. Take a look at the Prophets and Beatittudes Matching Key so you know which prophets match with each beatitude.

How to play the game:

  1. Remind the children that we are learning about what Christ taught us when He visited the Nephites; tell them we will be learning about some of His teachings today.
  2. Have the children turn to 3 Nephi 12:2-3. Ask the children what they learned from this, and explain that since we should give head to the prophets and apostles, we are going to learn stories about prophets that were examples of the principles that Christ taught. These principles are called the beatitudes.
  3. Lay out the Beatitude Memory cards in a random order with the bees facing up so the children can’t see the beatitudes or prophets on the backs.
  4. Take a look at the key or print it of, so you will know which prophet matches which beatitude.
  5. Give each child a turn to flip over two memory cards. From your key sheet, tell the story associated with the prophet they flip over.
  6. If the beatitude and prophet are not a match, then have the child turn the cards back over and give the next classmate a turn. Continue this until all matches have been made.
  7. FYI: you will have to tell them the stories associated with each prophet more than once, but hopefully by the end of the class they will recognize the prophet, be able to name the prophet, and tell the story associated with him.

 

 

 

PDF Downloads:

Christ Throughout the Plan of Salvation: Lesson 33

Primary 4 Book of Mormon Lesson #33: The Savior Appears to the Nephites

3 Nephi 8-11

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Something I have totally LOVED about Primary is getting to answer questions from our kids, particularly on doctrinal subjects that they don’t totally understand. It makes me feel like I’m helping them in an important way. One of the things I’ve noticed in our Primary class is that our kids don’t totally understand the Plan of Salvation; when they first found out what Judgement Day was and its significance, they were very surprised, as if this was news to them. Everything post-death is very confusing t them, so the more frequently we put our lessons in the context of the Plan of Salvation, the better! Putting these big concepts into the context of a game seems to give the kids a chance to ask questions about what they don’t understand.

Christ Throughout the Plan of Salvation

Goal: Help children understand Christ’s role throughout the Plan of Salvation. As a result, strengthen each child’s testimony that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, that he is our Savior, and that he lives today.

Supplies you need ahead of time:

  1. We’ll be using the same game from this lesson. Use the same Plan of Salvation images from the previous lesson, or print it off again here: Plan of Salvation images. This time use Jesus as your character for the game.
  2. Print off the envelope stuffers. These are about the Savior and his role throughout the Plan of Salvation: Envelope Stuffers for Christ Plan of Salvation Lesson
  3. Number the outside of 14 envelopes. Put the pre-numbered Envelope Stuffers documents in the corresponding envelopes.
  4. Dice

Do ahead of time:

  1. Hide envelopes around the room.
  2. Post the Plan of Salvation images that you cut out on the chalk board. Draw spaces for the kids to move the character on. The following numbers should be near the corresponding part of the Plan of Salvation, like shown in the above image:
    1. Pre-earth life: 1, 2
    2. Birth: 3
    3. Life on Earth: 4, 5
    4. Death: 6
    5. Spirit World: 7
    6. Resurrection: 8-12
    7. Judgement Day: 13
    8. 3 Kingdoms: 14

How to play the game:

  1. The class will move Jesus through the Plan of Salvation as a group. Each child takes a turn rolling a dice. When a child reaches a numbered space, they have to stop; regardless of what number they rolled. They must find the envelope with the corresponding number and follow the instructions in their envelope.
  2. This game will require having your kids sing the Primary song “This is My Beloved Son.” If they don’t already know it, Sugardoodle has some good ideas on how to teach the kids this song.

 

 

 

PDF Downloads:

 

Signs of Christ’s Birth: Lesson 32

Primary 4 Book of Mormon Lesson #32: Signs In America of Jesus Christ’s Birth

3 Nephi 1-2

Primary 4 Lesson 32 Book of Mormon Lesson - A fun primary lesson about the signs on the American continent of Christ's birth!

 

So when we first started teaching Primary, our kids were always wanting to run around, so at first we would play games like four corners. But to be honest, four corners is not particularly spiritual in nature and it just seemed to rial them up more. So this lesson is a great option – because the kids get to punch a hole in something!! I don’t know a kid that won’t totally love this lesson.

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Signs of Christ's Coming ImagesGoals: Learn the different signs of Christ’s birth, and that when we have faith signs can strengthen our testimonies of Christ.

Supplies you need ahead of time:

  1. Make punch board, see directions we used here. We used a foam board that was a little more sturdy. I painted it with watercolors, which I think turned out beautifully!.
  2. Put objects representing the signs of Christ’s birth inside the cups in the punch board. Then cover with the tissue paper and rubber band. You can download my drawings here and cut them out: Signs of Christ’s Coming Images. Cut the scriptures off the image before you put them in the bunch board.
  3. Write the following scriptures on the board, or download a document to print here: Scripture signs of Christ’s Birth
    1. Helaman 14:2
    2. 3 Nephi 1:8, 15
    3. 3 Nephi 1:5-7
    4. 3 Nephi 1:9
    5. 3 Nephi 1:12-14
    6. 3 Nephi 1:21

How to play the game:

  1. Write the above scriptures on the board, or post the printed scriptures on the board in class.
  2. Have the class look up the scriptures as a class. Give each child a turn to write a summary of a scripture on the chalk board of the scripture.
  3. Give each child a chance to punch through one of the cups on the punch board. Have them try to match the item in the cup to one of the scriptures the class has already read.
  4. If you have extra time on your hands, download a coloring page here for the kids to do.

 

 

 

PDF downloads

Samuel the Lamanite: Lesson 31

Book of Mormon Lesson #31: Samuel the Lamanite

Helaman 13-14, 16; 3 Nephi 23:9-13

 

Goal: Read the scriptures that depict Christ’s life and mission as told by prophets. The kids will also get to practice

Supplies you need ahead of time:

  1. Large Lego blocks to make the wall that Samuel the Lamanite stands on. Use ones you already have or buy the ones that we did here.
  2. On the blocks write out the scriptures and discussion questions listed in the manual. Number them as well so your kids don’t get confused if they read them in the wrong order. Here’s a handy-dandy document that lists all of them: Scriptures and Questions for Book of Mormon Lesson 31.
  3. Ping pong balls or the “fiery darts” from this lesson.

How to play the game:

  1. Have each student take turns picking a block with a scripture written on it, and answer the question written on it. Have them go in numerical order. Each student will add their block to a wall on which our Samuel the Lamanite will sit.
  2. Once the class has made a block wall, have them use the extra Legos to make a Samuel the Lamanite to sit on top of the wall.
  3. Split the kids into archers and angels, making sure there are only one or two archers; give the archers ping pong balls. Have the angels stand by the Lego wall and Samuel. Have the archers try to hit Samuel off the wall with their ping pong balls, and the angles will bat away the balls. If the kids want to, have them switch roles.

 

 

Downloads:

“Powder” of the Priesthood Story Time: Lesson 30

Book of Mormon Lesson #30: Nephi Receives Great Power

Helaman 10

Okay, so what kid doesn’t LOVE story time? We decided to make a “story time” in order to illustrate the power of the priesthood. We brought a quilt, laid it out on the floor of our classroom, and provided powdered donuts – get it, “powder” of the priesthood? Power of the priesthood? (insert forced laugh) The kids thought is was cheesy and funny though, and that’s all that mattered. For this lesson we only had 3 girls there that day, and this really brought the quiet ones out of their shell. It was awesome!

 

Goal: Understand the power of the priesthood and the miracles that can occur through that power.

Supplies you need ahead of time:

  1. Print off Preisthood power stories double sided and post them around the classroom.
  2. Bring a blanket to sit on, and donuts.

How to play the game:

  1. Give each child a turn to pick a story off the wall and read it to the class. Feast on powdered donuts while you listen to stories!