Dear Primary Presidencies and Music Leaders,
The scriptures are the word of God. As you prayerfully read the scriptures and apply the principles taught in them and in this outline, you will be spiritually prepared to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ to the children in your Primary. You will also be able to use the scriptures to help the children understand gospel principles you will teach this year, such as Heavenly Father’s plan, the mission of Jesus Christ, the role of prophets, the Restoration of the Church, and the blessings of the temple. The scriptures will help you invite the Spirit into your Primary and create an environment in which the children can feel the influence of the Holy Ghost. That influence will help every Primary child be able to say, “I know the scriptures are true.”
Thank you for your faithful service. We pray for you and are confident in your ability to love the children and teach them the gospel of Jesus Christ.
The Primary General Presidency
Instructions for Sharing Time
Use this booklet as you prepare to teach a 15-minute lesson each week during sharing time. You may supplement the weekly lessons with other Church-approved materials, such as the Friend or the Liahona. The following guidelines will help you plan and present lessons.
Love Those You Teach. Show your love for the children by learning their names and being aware of their interests, talents, and needs.
Teach the Doctrine by the Spirit. As you prepare lessons, pray for guidance and strive to strengthen your testimony of the principles you will teach. This will help you teach by the Spirit.
Invite Learning. This booklet is designed to help you know not only what to teach but also how to teach and invite learning. You will teach the doctrine more effectively as you do the following three things in every lesson:
Introduce the doctrine. Clearly introduce the doctrine that the children will be learning. Consider ways to do this verbally and visually. (For some examples, see the lessons for the first week in March and the first week in July.)
Encourage understanding. Ensure that the children gain a deeper understanding of the doctrine through a variety of teaching methods that engage them in learning, such as singing songs, role-playing, and reading scriptures.
Encourage application. Give the children opportunities to apply the doctrine in their lives. Consider how they can express feelings about or set a goal related to the doctrine.
This booklet provides complete lessons for some of the weeks in the year. Ideas, but not complete lessons, are included for the other weeks. Supplement those ideas with some of your own. You can get ideas by reading other lessons in this booklet. When there is a fifth Sunday, use this time to review previous lessons. The Spirit can guide you as you plan and prepare activities for lessons.
Work with the music leader as you prepare your lessons. Singing songs will help reinforce the doctrines you are teaching. Occasionally you may invite teachers and their classes to help you with parts of the gospel instruction.
Some lessons suggest inviting guest speakers to participate in Primary. You should get the approval of your bishop or branch president before inviting these individuals to participate.
Accompanying the lessons are several teaching tips that will help you improve your ability to teach. The lessons also include pictures that will help you see what an activity looks like. Although developing teaching skills is important, your own spiritual preparation and testimony are what will invite the Spirit to confirm these doctrines in the hearts of the children.
Scriptures: Inviting children to learn from the scriptures will help them develop a lifelong love for the word of God. Plan ways each week to invite the children to use and learn from their scriptures. Some children may not have scriptures. Other children may not be able to read yet. The learning activities in this outline and the teaching tips on pages 8, 13, and 24 will give you ideas on how to teach using the scriptures.
Music in Primary should establish a reverent atmosphere, teach the gospel, and help children feel the influence of the Holy Ghost and the joy that comes through singing. A 20-minute segment of sharing time should be devoted to singing and teaching music. This will ensure that you have enough time to teach new music and to help the children enjoy singing.
This booklet includes a new song for the children to learn this year (see page 28). It also includes a section titled “How to Use Music in Primary” (see pages 26–27) and additional ideas for teaching songs to children (see page 7).
Preparation: Pray for guidance and seek the influence of the Spirit as you prepare your sharing times. As you prepare and teach with the Spirit, He will confirm the truthfulness of what you teach. (See TNGC, 13.)
Guidelines for the Sacrament Meeting Presentation
Under the direction of the bishop or branch president, the children’s sacrament meeting presentation is given during the fourth quarter of the year. Meet with the counselor in the bishopric or branch presidency who oversees Primary early in the year to discuss preliminary plans. Obtain his approval when the plans are completed.
Plan for the children to present the program based on the monthly sharing time themes. Throughout the year, keep notes of children’s talks and personal experiences for possible use in the presentation. As you plan for the children to share what they have learned about this year’s theme, think of ways they can help the congregation focus on the gospel doctrines they are teaching. A member of the bishopric may conclude the meeting with brief remarks.
As you prepare the presentation, remember the following guidelines:
Practices should not take time away from classes or families unnecessarily.
Visuals, costumes, and media presentations are not appropriate for sacrament meeting.
Resources Used in This Booklet
The following abbreviations are used throughout the booklet:
Teaching, No Greater Call
Many lessons include suggestions for using pictures. You can find pictures in the Gospel Art Book, the Gospel Art Picture Kit, Primary manual picture packets, and Church magazines and online at images.lds.org.
Resources: You can find additional teaching resources such as coloring pages, stories, and activities in the Friend, Liahona, nursery manual, and Gospel Art Book. Use these resources to supplement your lessons.
Curriculum for 2016
Nursery: Behold Your Little Ones; Sunbeams: Primary 1; CTR 4–7: Primary 2; Valiant 8–11: Primary 4
Sunbeams: Primary 1; CTR 4–7: Primary 2; Valiant 8–11: Primary 4