Encourage understanding and application (listening to a story): Tell the following story: “Two boys found a worn-out pair of shoes by the road. In the distance they could see a man working in a field. One of the boys suggested that they hide the shoes and then watch the man’s reaction.” Ask the children to share what they would say to this boy. Then tell the rest of the story: “The other boy suggested that instead of hiding the shoes, they should put a silver coin in each one, and that’s what they did. Soon the man returned. When he found the coins, he was so overwhelmed with gratitude that he knelt down and offered a prayer of thanks. He spoke of his wife, who was sick, and his children, who had no food, and he asked the Lord to bless whoever had helped him. The boys felt something warm in their hearts and were thankful they had chosen the right” (see Gordon B. Hinckley, in Conference Report, Apr. 1993, 71; or Ensign, May 1993, 54). Invite several children to share times when good friends have helped them choose the right.
Identify the doctrine (seeing an object lesson): Show the children a bowl filled with fruit and a bowl filled with dirt. Ask the children which would be good to eat and why. Explain that Heavenly Father wants us to fill our minds with things that are good for us rather than things that are harmful. Invite them to say, “I should read, listen to, and look at things that are pleasing to Heavenly Father,” doing simple hand actions for read, listen to, and look at.
Encourage understanding (discussing the doctrine): Tell the children that if we make choices that are not pleasing to Heavenly Father we could lose something very important. Ask them to listen for what that important thing is as you read the first paragraph under “Entertainment and Media” from For the Strength of Youth (see also “My Gospel Standards”). Ask the children if they heard what we lose if we make wrong choices (the Spirit). Divide the children into three groups and have them take turns visiting three stations: “Reading,” “Listening,” and “Looking.” At each station invite the children to read, listen to, or look at something that is pleasing to Heavenly Father. Discuss how they feel when they read, listen to, and look at things that are pleasing to God.
Identify the doctrine (memorizing a scripture): Tell the children you will give them some clues to discover an important message. Write the first letter of each word in Exodus 20:8 on the board (R T S D T K I H). Explain that the letters are the first letters of each word in the message. Give the next clue by showing a picture of Moses and the Ten Commandments. Then invite the children to look up Exodus 20:8 and read it together. Let the children discover the connection between the letters on the board and the scripture. Help the children memorize the scripture by pointing to the letters on the board as they repeat the scripture several times.
Encourage understanding (discussing and coloring): Divide the children into four groups. Assign each group a paragraph from the “Sabbath Day Observance” section of For the Strength of Youth to read. Ask them to discuss the paragraph in their groups and then share what they learned with the other children. Give each child a piece of paper, and invite them to draw some good things to do on the Sabbath. Ask a few children to share their drawings with the rest of the Primary. Encourage them to share what they learned with their families at home.
Encourage understanding (doing a scripture activity): Before Primary, prepare a basket filled with pieces of paper representing manna to use during this activity. Write the following questions on the board:
What food did the Lord provide for the Israelites in the wilderness?
How much were they to gather each day?
What were they to do on the sixth day?
What was different on the Sabbath?
Have the children listen for the answers as you tell the story of the Israelites gathering manna (see Exodus 16:11–31). Ask them to stand when they hear the answer to one of the questions. Let one child retell the part of the story that answers the question. Then continue with the rest of the story. When you are finished, talk with the children about why the Lord didn’t want the Israelites to gather manna on the Sabbath. Have the children close their eyes and pretend to be asleep. Quickly spread the “manna” around the room. Ask the children to open their eyes and gather their share of manna (one or two pieces). Ask the children to place the manna back into the basket. As each child does so, ask him or her to share an appropriate way to keep the Sabbath day holy.
To help the children learn “I’m Trying to Be like Jesus” (CS, 78–79), consider the following:
Sing the song to the children. Invite them to count on their fingers how many times you sing the words try or trying. Sing the song again, and ask the children to clap the rhythm as you sing.
Display simple pictures with key words from each phrase of the song around the Primary room (such as be like, following, love, do and say, tempted, and listen), leaving the wall at the front of the room blank. Ask the children to listen while you begin singing the song. Invite them to point to a picture they think matches the words you sing. Ask one child to move it to the front wall. Have everyone sing that much of the song. Continue singing and repeat the activity for each picture. Then have the children sing the entire song several times. Briefly testify of the importance of trying to be like Jesus.