Sunday, September 22, 2013

I Can Love Others

This week was our Primary Program, culminating nine months of learning the theme and songs.  I've taught through a couple of Primary Program experiences, so I knew what to expect - the class after the Primary Program tends to be louder and wilder than usual.  After all, the kids were on their best behavior in front of the congregation for the previous hour.  Hard work for little kids!

So for our class time I paid extra attention to offering Active Faith activities that allowed the kids to out of their seats and doing something.  Our Primary lesson for the week was I Can Love Others, as taught to 3-4 year olds.

Jesus Showed Love Matching Game

A main focus of the lesson was "Jesus showed love to others by being kind".  I found coloring page examples (these pins: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8) of Jesus performing acts of kindness, and created a matching game from those images.

Our classroom includes a small table, which I pulled to the middle of the room and had the children stand around.  We then took turns, each child choosing two cards, hoping to make a match.  Each time a card was turned, I paused to have the children look at the picture and tell me what they saw.  Once the game was completed we had talked about eight examples of Jesus showing love by being kind to others.

Hearts Up, Hearts Down

Next we played "Hearts Up, Hearts Down".  This is based on Enrichment Activity 1 in the lesson.  I gave each child a heart (I used pre-cut foam hearts I used back around Valentine's Day in this activity).  I then listed several situations and asked the children to hold the heart up high if it was an example of showing love ("taking turns while playing a game") or to hold the heart in their lap if it was not showing love ("being grumpy").  The children did well-it's fun to see that they KNOW what is right.

Next I explained that we were going to make Heart Hats to remind us to show love for others.  Several times before, during and after making the hats, I asked the children what happens when they take off the hats-can they still show love for others? How?  I think this helped drive home the meaning of the lesson.

Heart Hats

Materials Used:
This is a quick craft to prepare, especially if you aren't particularly hung up on cutting a perfect circle or heart.  Which I didn't have time or energy to be concerned with.  And you don't really need to for it to work out great.

At home before class I first used an X-acto knife to cut around the inside perimeter of the plate, leaving about 1 1/2 inches uncut.  Then using scissors, I cut the heart shape from the center of the plate.

In class we before handing out the heart hats, we talked about In class I handed out the heart hats and offered up markers for the children to use to decorate them.  This took about 15 minutes for each child to complete their heart hats.  The children were excited to show their heart hats to their families; hopefully they remember to show their love, too.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

I Am Thankful for Food and Clothing (from Plants and Animals)

Clothespin-Legged Farm Animals and File Folder Barn

Materials Used:
For our Active Faith to accompany our Primary lesson, I Am Thankful for Food and Clothing, as taught to 3-4 year olds, I searched for and thought about crafts involving seeds or plants or animals, as a large portion of the lesson makes the point that plants and animals provide the food and clothing that we enjoy.  I realized that a person can find both plants and animals in a farm setting, so that is where I turned my focus.  I came across a picture and post of clothespin-legged farm animals here, and that was the starting point.  That post links to the template to print the farm animals.  Be advised: I created the full set of four farm animals for each of the six children in our Primary class; because the animals have a front and back side, that was 48 animals that I cut out.  It took me about two hours.  If I had it to do over again, I might have done something more like this, although there was no template that came with that idea.

Now the animals need a barn.  I thought back to our chapel made from a file folder, and realized I can make a barn using the same idea.  I found a simplified barn with barn door line drawing.  I stapled that print out to the file folder, and then cut along two side of the barn door so it can open.

Granted, the barn and animals are not to scale, and the animals are a bit anthropomorphic, but the children really enjoyed coloring and assembling the animals.

Oh, and our snack included cheese (from an animal), apple (from a plant, with seeds) and Goldfish Grahams (because they're yummy - I mean, because they are in the shape of a fish).