New Friend Website Simplifies Primary Lesson Planning
Contributed by Philip M. Volmar, Church News and Events
The Friend and Liahona magazines have been publishing engaging gospel-related material for children and their parents and teachers for many years—the Friend for more than 40 years, and the Liahona for more than 30. But finding material for use in specific lessons and family home evenings can be daunting at times.
Parents and teachers now have an additional resource for helping them find material for teaching children: the new Children’s Lesson Helps website, available at http://lds.org/children/resources. The website is available now in English and will eventually be offered in Spanish and Portuguese as well. It contains links to Friend and Liahona content as well as other Church-approved media that can complement family home evening or Primary lessons.
Marissa Widdison, an assistant editor for the Friend who helped create the website, said that the new resource can help parents and teachers more easily locate stories and visual aids as well as tailor lessons to the needs of the children they are teaching.
“We hope that parents and teachers will enjoy using the material posted on the website to help them plan lessons at home and at church throughout the year,” she added.
The website is organized into three sections:
Resources for Primary Lessons
Each month, Church magazine content will be posted on the Lesson Helps website to coordinate with each lesson in the Sunbeams, CTR 4–7, and Valiant 8–11 Primary manuals. Each lesson will contain links to stories, crafts, and activities previously published in the Friend or children’s section of the Liahona. In addition, the site will link to videos and music that relate to each lesson.
“We’re launching with January’s content, and we will stay ahead of the lesson calendar throughout the year so parents and teachers can plan in advance for their children,” Sister Widdison said.
Resources by Gospel Topic
This section of the site will organize magazine content for children by topic instead of by lesson. In addition to being helpful in preparing class or Sharing Time lessons, Sister Widdison said, this section could work well for family home evening. Topics such as baptism, Joseph Smith, and missionary work are represented, among others. This portion of the site will grow as time goes on.
Weekly Thoughts and Tips
Every Friday, the Lesson Helps website will be updated with an idea on how to use the Friend and Liahona to teach children, or with a message of encouragement.
Sister Widdison emphasized that the site is a “work in progress” and that more content will be added on a weekly and monthly basis. From the beginning, however, the website will be a help for those who nurture and teach children, she said.
“The purpose of this site is to help children feel the Spirit,” Sister Widdison said. “We want to help parents and teachers find Church-approved, supplemental resources to help them reach out to the children in their lives.”
Readers may submit feedback about the website by sending an e-mail to email@example.com.