Primary Lesson Supplements 20-24

I’ve been distributing weekly lesson supplements to our senior Primary teachers; I figured I might as well post them here. “Those might be of some use,” as my four-year-old would say. You can also use these ideas for FHE, Sharing Time, etc.

Lesson Twenty

FUN FACT: ‘Manna’ is a Hebrew word that literally means ‘what is it?’ In other words, the Hebrews had no idea what to call it!

INTRODUCTION: If you want to use the activity in the manual about the days of creation, you can find pictures of the creation in the Nov 1998 Friend “The Creation—Each Day a Gift� and the Jan 1984 Friend “Funstuff: In the Beginning,� both of which are available online at

DEMONSTRATION: Bring a Ziploc bag with two pieces of bread in it, a jar of peanut butter, a jar of jelly, a butter knife and a plate. Tell the children that you are completely clueless and they need to tell you how to make a sandwich and then do EXACTLY what they tell you. (For example, if they tell you to spread the jelly on the bread before they tell you to open the jar of jelly, then take the entire container of jelly and put it on the bread.) Point out that Heavenly Father gives us perfect directions that must be followed precisely!

ROLE PLAYING: Invite one child to the front of the room. Pretend to be a friend who is inviting them to go to the lake on Sunday. Say things such as, “But you don’t have to miss church—we can go after!� or “But we’ll be experiencing God’s creation!� or “But we don’t have to spend money!� or “But my family doesn’t have that rule and we’re Christians!�

PARTNER ACTIVITY: Have each child find a partner. Designate one person in each pair to be the Nice Guy who will tell the other person about something really nice that they have just done for them (given a present, done their chores, etc.) and the other as the Complainer who will complain about the nice thing. Let them switch roles after a minute. Discuss how it feels to be the receiver of complaints and how God might feel when the Israelites complained or when we complain.

CASE STUDIES: Bring an old remote control. Invite one child to be a parent ‘on TV’ who assigns chores to a child pretending to be a son or daughter. Have the son or daughter complain. Then use the remote control to ‘rewind’ the scene and replay it with the child responding in a way that doesn’t involve complaining.

GAME: The November 2004 Friend (“Remember the Sabbath Day�) has a wonderful game about manna and the Sabbath that you could play with your class. You could also use the game pieces differently by writing scripture verses from the lesson on the manna pieces, hiding or placing them around the room before class, and then having your students ‘gather manna.’ After, students would read the verses on the manna pieces at the appropriate time in the lesson.

Lesson 21

INTRODUCTION: Bring in a boardgame that your class is familiar with. Invite them to play. Let each student take a turn with the teacher playing last. On your first turn, cheat. Explain that there are no rules for this game, so you have done nothing wrong. Then discuss why rules are important.

REVIEW GAME: Before class, prepare one envelope for each child. In the envelope, put wordstrips with the Ten Commandments on them, but leave one commandment out of each envelope, so that each child is missing a different commandment. Bring a sheet of paper and a gluestick for each child. Give them their envelopes and have them paste the Ten Commandments in order on their paper and figure out which one is missing. When they can tell you which commandment is missing, give them a copy of that commandment to complete their sheet. If time allows, each child can tell the class what would happen if their ‘missing commandment’ really was missing: What problems would result if people didn’t have that commandment?

SONG: “The Commandments� song from the Children’s Songbook is a great way for the kids to learn the Ten Commandments.

THUMBS UP OR DOWN: Make a statement to your students and have them give you a ‘thumbs up’ if it is part of the Ten Commandments and a ‘thumbs down’ if it is not. This is more interesting if your ‘thumbs down’ statements are true. Some examples: Brush your teeth after every meal, do not take drugs, do not misuse God’s name, be faithful about doing your homework, be kind to mom and dad, read your scriptures every day, do not believe everything you hear, if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all, etc.

MEMORY GAME: Write the numbers 1-10 on ten cards. Write the Ten Commandments on ten more cards. Shuffle and turn them all face down and play a memory game with them (ie, turn over two at a time and try to find a match). You could modify this so that the child doesn’t get to keep the match unless they can tell you something they can do this week to keep that commandment.

FLANNEL BOARD STORY: The May 1998 Friend “Moses Teaches His People� has flannel board figures that you could use to teach the scripture account.

MEMORIZATION ACTIVITY: Write the Ten Commandments (or perhaps a key phrase from each one) on the chalkboard, including the numbers. Recite them as a class. Invite a child up to erase a word or number. Then recite again. Repeat, giving each child at least one turn.

Lesson 22

TEACHING THE SCRIPTURE STORY: Tell the story of Moses and the brass serpent, drawing key parts on a sheet of transparency film (available at office supply stores; a sheet of transparent plastic or even wax paper could also be used) as you go. When you finish the story, slide a picture of Jesus on the cross underneath the transparency sheet to show how the stories are parallel. (You will need to practice and plan in advance so that you draw the pole with serpent in the part of the transparency where the cross will be and the onlookers in the same place.)

CHRIST WASHING THE DISCIPLES’ FEET: If you discuss this story, you may want to mention the previous chapter, John 12 (where Mary washes Jesus’ feet) to reinforce the point in the lesson about humility and accepting service from others.

REVIEW GAME: Sketch a serpent on three pieces of paper that have been placed adjacent to each other. Cut the serpent out and then cut it into nine pieces. On each piece, write a review question. After you have taught the scripture story, hand the serpent pieces to your class. Invite them to answer the questions and then assemble the serpent on the floor.

LOOK AND LIVE ACTIVITY: Bring an object (a toy, soft ball, etc.) that you can pass around the room. As the object is passed, have the children tell of a commandment that they don’t know the reason for following. Explain that for that child, then, that commandment is like the serpent on the brass pole: something that they are asked to do out of obedience even though it doesn’t make sense to them.

ENRICHMENT ACTIVITIES: There are several excellent enrichment activities listed at the end of this lesson. You could use the scenarios in the second enrichment activity by inviting the students to stand up. As you read each situation, ask the students to face a picture of the serpent on the pole if the person in the situation was acting in a humble manner and to look away if they were acting in a prideful manner. You could use the words in the first enrichment activity by writing them on pieces of paper and handing them out and asking your students to imagine a situation that could happen to them where they would be tempted to act in that manner.

BEING LIKE JESUS GAME: The April 1984 Friend has a game called “Becoming More Like Jesus� that would reinforce this leson.

Lesson 23

DIORAMA: You will need a small box (for Rahab’s house) with a hole cut in it (for a window) and red string (scarlet cord). (You may want to include small figures for Rahab and the spies.) Use this to tell the story of Rahab. Then explain to the students that this story has a lot of similarities to the Exodus, where the children of Israel are spared from the destroying angel if they put blood on their doorposts. You could emphasize the idea of conversion and repentence (since Rahab is not of the House of Israel but joins them) or the need to follow our Church leaders (since in both stories they gave directions necessary in order to be saved).

ACTIVITY: You will need a piece of blue poster board, a very large sheet of blue paper, or something similar. Explain that just as the priests needed to show faith by stepping into the waters before they parted, we sometimes need to take a ‘leap of faith.’ Have one student at a time stand next to the ‘water’ and give them a scenario that would require faith (such as: you feel that you should serve a mission but you aren’t sure that you would be able to learn a language) and ask them if they are willing to walk by faith and step into the ‘water.’ If they are, then tell them the blessing that comes from obedience and, perhaps, read 1 Nephi 3:7 and assure them that the Lord would bless them for their faith.

REVIEW GAME: The November 1990 Friend (available online at has a board game called “The Exodus Game� that would make a great review of the last several lessons.

ACTIVITY: Bring twelve stones (the larger the better, but don’t hurt your back) and some paper, a marker, and tape. Explain that after the people entered the promise land, God commanded them to take twelve stones and create a memorial to teach their children what had happened (see Joshua 4). Pass out the stones, paper, marker, and tape and have the students write down things that they think are important to teach to their children and then pile them up and share what was written.

SCRIPTURE MEMORIZATION: One way to help the children memorize the scripture from Enrichment Activity #3 is to print out a copy for each child, cut it so that each word is on a separate strip of paper, put them in an envelope, and give one to each child. See if they can assemble the statement correctly. Then, give them time to work on memorizing it on their own, perhaps by removing one word each time they say it or touching each word each time they say it.

SILLY SONG: (Tune: B-I-N-G-O; lyrics by Sharon Broome)

There was a girl God used for good and Rahab was her name-o
R-A-H-A-B, R-A-H-A-B,
and Rahab was her name-o.

Lesson 24

ATTENTION ACTIVITY: Make a figure of a boy or girl out of play dough before class. Bring it and some toothpicks. Give each child 3-4 toothpicks. Ask them if they know what a bully is. Explain that it is someone who “picks” (hold up a toothpick) on others who are smaller and weaker. Have the children think of ways that children sometimes pick on each other. Each time they think of something they may stick a toothpick into your figure. When all the toothpicks have been used up ask the children how the boy or girl would be feeling if s/he was real. Explain that in our story today some people called the Midianites are bullying the Israelites and the Israelites have some of those very same feelings.

TEACHING THE SCRIPTURE STORY: Use the two-part story “Scriptural Giants: Gideon� from the July 1988 and August 1988 Friend. Print out the stories and cut them into sections so that each child in your class will get one section. Give them a few minutes to prepare their parts and then have them be storytellers and tell the story to the class. Encourage them not to read word-for-word from the page, but to tell the story in their own words.

ADDITIONAL STORY: The Primary manual does not cover the story of Deborah (Judges 4-5). You may want to include this story.

TRUST ACTIVITY: You will need some yarn or string. Beginning at one end of the room, lay the yarn in a wavy, circular, maze pattern throughout the room. Try to make the loops big and frequent. Each child begins at the start of the yarn maze. They walk on the yarn following it wherever it goes. Explain that no matter how messed up and mixed up things may look at times, God never leaves us. He goes with us through everything if we will just let Him.

SCRIPTURAL CHAIRS: The following activity is similar to Musical Chairs. Set the chairs back to back. Make sure you have one less chair than the number of children playing. Explain that instead of hearing music they will hear you reading promises from the scriptures; the promises tell us that God will never forsake us. When they hear you say the word forsake or forsaken, they may sit down in a chair. If they sit down before you say the word, they are ‘out.’ (Children who get “out” can be the readers of the texts.) Look the following texts up ahead of time so you don’t have to look each one up individually during the activity: Deut. 31:6, 2 Cor. 4:9, Heb. 13:5, 1 Sam. 12:22, Ps. 9:10, D & C 61:36, D & C 88:83.

PUZZLE: The February 1998 Friend has a puzzle about Gideon that could be used as a review activity.

9 comments for “Primary Lesson Supplements 20-24

  1. Tona
    June 18, 2006 at 8:53 pm

    Gee, Julie, this is as delightful as your Primary Primer. I just wish you were teaching junior primary instead so I could benefit even more from all your terrific preparation…

    Speaking of that, I know there’s a decent online forum for sharing times, but *is* there one for junior primary teachers? Maybe someone out there knows.

    Love the Rahab stuff, but I’m curious, is Rahab in the manual? How does it describe her?

  2. Julie M. Smith
    June 18, 2006 at 9:00 pm

    Yep, Tona, Rahab is in the manual, with no reference to her, um, previous occupation.

    (Reminds me of my all-time favorite Carlfred Broderick line where he describes being 10 years old and getting kicked out of class for setting his Sunday School teacher straight after she gave the kids a euphemestic explanation of what “thou shalt not commit adultery” means.)

  3. Sarah
    June 19, 2006 at 12:14 am

    Due to the size of our Primary the CTR-8s are in Senior Primary, doing the Primary 6 (Old Testament) manual with the rest of the seniors. I gloss over so much stuff it isn’t even funny, as most of my class is in second grade. Today we decided to ask our parents whether it was fair for God to just give the Israelites the city of Jericho, when it wasn’t clear that the people in Jericho had done anything especially wrong, and moved on quickly. It was kind of funny, like the day when a then-6-year-old member of the class gave the very first answer to the very first question I’d ever asked a class in Primary (the question being “what are some of God’s commandments;” the answer being “you can’t marry a man if you’re a man.”)

    This looks cool, Julie. Do you do these in groups of four? As you can probably guess from this comment, we’ve just finished with lesson 23.

    Tona, there’s a general Primary email list, and various general Primary related sites, but I’m not sure I’ve seen anything specific for the Primary 2/3 manuals.

  4. em
    June 19, 2006 at 2:19 am

    These are great Julie! I will definatley be using them in FHE!
    I\’ll have to look up more you\’ve posted

  5. Julie M. Smith
    June 19, 2006 at 11:54 am


    Our CTR 8s meet with Senior Primary for Sharing Time but they continue to use the CTR manual for class. Is this an option for your group?

    I usually do these one week at a time and hand them to the teachers two weeks in advance so they can prepare. I just posted a big group here to catch up because it hadn’t occured to me to post them here before. I’ll probably do one per week from now on posted here.

  6. Sarah
    June 19, 2006 at 9:04 pm

    I… don’t have any choice whatsoever in the matter. They handed me the Primary 6 manual and said “you’ll be in Senior Primary this year, by the way.” And that was that.

    To be honest, I kind of like it — it means that they’re on the same lesson as everyone else in the room. They’re already extremely sensitive to the “little kid” thing; we look up the monthly scripture in our classroom and mark it so that they don’t feel totally behind when they get into Sharing Time, and I give them printouts of glossaries for the songs we’re learning so they understand more of what’s going on. It’s kind of hard for them, since most of them are still 7, and there are some kids in our Senior Primary that are going into the 7th grade in six weeks — until February, when she moved away, one of my students was in kindergarten. I don’t want them to get the idea I don’t think they can handle reading the scriptures and doing the “real” lessons (in other words, the ones without lots of fake sounding stories.) It may sound weird but I try to be an advocate for the kids in my class as much as possible. It’s a big Primary, and all of them are in families with either teenage siblings or infants. Anything that takes away the “invisible little kid” feeling is okay in my book. Even if it does mean skipping over huge chunks of the manual on occasion (which is all right; there’s not enough time to do everything in the manual, unless you speed read it — and you can tell they wrote the manual to adapt for varying ages and maturity levels.)

    By the way, they posted a link to this post on the Primary email list a little while ago. Say “hi” to the lurkers. ^_^

  7. Julie M. Smith
    June 19, 2006 at 9:11 pm

    Hi lurkers. Look for new supplements here each Sunday afternoon.

  8. Robert COTTERELL
    June 24, 2006 at 7:38 pm

    Thanks, I will use some of your ideas for lesson 24 today. I haqve three of the most disruptive students – boys – one of whom is mine and it is actually enjoyable. They are having a good influence on me. Most of our good lessons are in the kitchen.

  9. Marie
    June 24, 2006 at 9:18 pm

    Wow, there are some great ideas here! I do believe I found a mistake, however. In Lesson 24, a story is suggested from the Friend (Scriptural Giants: Gideon). This is the story of the Book of Mormon Gideon, rather than the Old Testament one that we are studying!

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