Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Lesson - How can I learn to see Heavenly Father's hand in all things? - What I Did

1.  Introductory Activity - Useless Without

I got this out of an FHE manual.  I think it nicely introduces the theme of the lesson.  Here are the original game instructions.  I didn't divide them into pairs.  I had them do it individually.  My class is small, and I thought it would be quieter this way. :)

The kids loooved this activity.  However, I think it took too much of precious class time.  Looking back, I think I'd just do the lamp worksheet, and then ask them to think of what they would be useless without.  They would come up with ideas, and hopefully one of them would say, "Heavenly Father." Then we could have them read D&C 59:21.

Some of the kids felt uncomfortable with the word "useless."  I agreed that the word useless has kind of a negative connotation, but I pointed out that, without Heavenly Father, we wouldn't even be here.  Our bodies wouldn't be formed and wouldn't work.  We wouldn't have a place to live.  We truly cannot function (a.k.a. have no use) without him.  I really should have had them look up that verse in King Benjamin's speech about how we only breathe and function and live through God's kindness, and that we should be grateful.  That would have been another good one to look up and mark.

Then I asked them if they would think of a time when they really felt God blessing their lives.  While they were thinking, I gave them mine.  I remember when Ben applied for the architecture program at the U of U.  It was an extremely competetive, difficult program, and it was tough to get in.  He had gotten several bad grades his freshman year (I'm beginning to think this happens to all guys), and had retaken those classes, but still.  We thought his chances were pretty slim of him getting in the program.  One day, he came home, literally crying, yelling, "I GOT IN!  I GOT IN!"  We immediately dropped to our knees and thanked Heavenly Father.  We knew it was only through Him that Ben got accepted into that program.

Then  I had the ones who wanted to, share their examples.

2.  Pass and Write - O Remember, Remember

I recently read on The Red-Headed Hostess about a technique called Pass and Write, and I really thought it would work great with this portion of the lesson.  I wanted them to read a pretty big exerpt from Elder Eyring's talk, O Remember, Remember, and I knew they would get fidgety and bored after a few paragraphs.  So I did Pass and Write with it, and it was a huge hit!  I followed The Red-Headed Hostess's directions step-by-step, and the kids loved it.  And were really quiet.


Here's the exerpt, along with instructions on the top:
After we finished doing Pass and Write, our time was up!  Dang it!!  But this is what I would have done next, if I had the time - I would have written at the top of the board, "Blessings from looking for God's hand in your life."  And then I wanted them to point out blessings that Elder Eyring had pointed out in his talk.  Among them would have been the following:

1.  gratitude grows
2.  testimony grows
3.  realize the help of the Holy Ghost
4.  remember God
5.  come to love God
6.  become more like God
7.  brings us joy

Then I was going to ask, "What are ways we can remember God's kindness?"  and just have them answer me verbally.  The things I thought of were:

1.  thank Him in prayer
2.  keep a gratitude journal, or just write things you're grateful for in your regular journal
3.  tell others
4.  bear testimony of it

3.  How Great Thou Art

I was going to give each student a copy of the hymn, "How Great Thou Art." I was going to have them individually read it, and at the bottom of the page, list the things in the hymn that show God's power and love.  Here is my jpg of the hymn, including directions for the kids to follow at the top:
Hopefully, their list would include:

1.  worlds
2.  stars
3.  thunder
4.  nature
5.  animals
6.  mountains
7.  wind
8.  His son

Then I was going to give them a few minutes to add other things to this list that testify to them of God's power and love.

I was going to tell them of how much nature testifies to me of God's power and love, and then give them this gift (which, by the way, I still gave to them):

On the back is a picture I printed out of Niagara Falls, from when we visited there in October.

Stapled to the front of the picture, printed on vellum, is this:


I just had to write to tell you how much I love you and care for you. Yesterday, I saw you walking and laughing with your friends; I hoped that soon you'd want Me to walk along with you, too, so I painted you a sunset to close your day and whispered a cool breeze to refresh you.

As I watched you fall asleep last night, I wanted so much to touch you. I spilled moonlight onto your face – trickling down your cheeks as so many tears have.

The next day, I exploded a brilliant sunrise into a glorious morning for you.

I love you. I try to say it in the quiet of the green meadow and in the blue sky.

The wind whispers My love throughout the treetops and spills it into the vibrant colors of the flowers. I shout it to you in the thunder of the great waterfalls.

I warm you with the clothing of My sunshine and perfume the air with nature's sweet scent.

My love for you is deeper than the ocean. Please call Me soon. No matter how long it takes, I'll wait, because I love you.

Heavenly Father

I got a handout like this from a devotional a girl gave in 9th grade seminary.  It really touched me, and I've remembered it for all these years - 20 years.  Whoa.  I felt like it was really fitting for the lesson, and the kids seemed really touched.

And that's all I've got for ya, folks!


Tracy Atack said...

Thank you for your fabulous ideas for teaching Sunday School. They really help me a lot! I appreciate the time you put into sharing them to benefit so many! I teach the high school seniors in our ward - including my own son - and they are all so smart and solid in the gospel and it can be intimidating to try and teach them. I find your lessons help me have better discussions and help me think of some of my own ideas too. Thank you, thank you!

Tara said...

Thanks for sharing your ideas! It really helped get my creative juices going!

Iina Nieminen said...

Thank you so much. I hope some of these ideas will help my students to be more involved.

Jenni said...

Thank you so, so much for all the time and effort you put into these lessons. Your ideas help so much and I find myself only choosing lessons that you have outlined (is that bad???). Your creativity is amazing and I'm so grateful for these great inspirational ideas.
I have been following you for a couple of years now and pray that you will combat the daemons in your life at this time. P.S. You're gorgeous with no hair!

Te Ara Tuara said...

Wow....we are inspired and truly grateful for the time, energy and creativity you have shared to support others. Feeling overwhelmed and inspired. Thank you Heavenly Father for bringing this wonderful soul to share her talents with others...

Christine Hughes said...

This is awesome, I love learning through games and the youth get excited also. Thanks for all the great ideas!

Janette Rupple said...

This is simply beautiful. I can't tell you how grateful I am to have found your blog. Your ideas are truly inspired and help me become a better teacher each week. Thank you so much and God bless you and your family.

Kelly Kline said...

Your lesson plans always motivate me to dig a little deeper and find ways to help the kids recognize our Father's hand in their lives. Thank you for sharing your talent, your testimony, and your love of the gospel with us. The kids always benefit from your lesson plans, but I am the one who benefits and grows the most.

Stacy Packard said...

Thanks for these lesson helps! The pic of the letter cuts off on the right hand side. Can you tell me what each line says that is missing? Thank you!

LaceyBG said...

Hey - Thank you SO much for these lesson helps. I appreciate being able to gain inspiration - and also just straight-up copy you. My sunday school students have better lessons because of you! Thank you!

Also - I recreated the lesson helps (the Useless Without, Fill in the Blanks, O Remember, Remember, and How Great Thou Art worksheets), because they were a bit hard to read (and I'm a graphic designer, so I can't help myself). Anyway - if you would like copies of my files for future use, let me know!

Thanks again!

Kar said...

Hey, Stacy, if you look under the picture of the letter, I had typed out the letter in the post. Good luck!

Unknown said...

I teach 14-15 year olds. They are smart kids and I'm always looking for ways to make the lessons fun, challenging and inspirational. The lesson material you share has been in a big help on both fronts. Thanks you for your service, It's appreciated. God Bless!

Holly said...

I am grateful for all of your creative talent and the time you take to post your lesson plans-- you are a blessing to me as I try to magnify my youth sunday school calling! ♥

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