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. :)
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:
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:
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):
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.
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!