To prepare yourself spiritually to teach this lesson, please read and ponder the following:
One of the great blessings of the plan of salvation is the opportunity to receive a physical body. The Lord wants us to respect our bodies and take good care of them. He blesses us when we do so (see 1 Corinthians 3:16; D&C 89:18–21).
Begin with a gathering activity. For ideas, see page 3.
Invite a child to give the opening prayer.
Tell the children that Heavenly Father gave us our bodies and with our bodies we can do many wonderful things. Show the picture on page 46. Point out each family member in the picture; when you point to the baby, ask questions similar to those listed below. After each question, invite the children to respond with you by saying “No” as you turn your head from side to side in an exaggerated way.
Can a baby walk?
Can a baby talk?
Can a baby throw a ball?
Tell the children they were once babies, but now they are growing bigger.
Have the children stand. Sing or say the following words to the tune of “Once There Was a Snowman” (Children’s Songbook, 249) and do the actions below. Invite the children to join you.
Once I was a baby, baby, baby. (pretend to rock baby in arms)
Once I was a baby, small, small, small. (gradually crouch down)
Now I’m growing bigger, bigger, bigger. (gradually stand up)
Now I’m growing bigger, tall, tall, tall! (stretch hands above head)
Show the picture again and point to the young child playing with her father. Tell the children that this child is about their size. Ask the children questions similar to those listed below. After each question, invite the children to respond with you by saying “Yes” as you nod your head in an exaggerated way.
Can you walk? (have the children walk in place)
Can you talk? (count to five with the children)
Can you throw a ball? (have the children pretend to throw a ball and catch it)
Tell the children they are growing bigger because they eat good foods, go to bed and sleep, and wash themselves to keep clean.
Show the illustration on page 47. Point to the picture of the girl sleeping and explain that sleeping is one way to take care of our bodies. Invite the children to pretend to sleep. Repeat for the other pictures in the illustration.
Express your gratitude for the bodies Heavenly Father gave us. Invite the children to say, “I will take care of my body,” a few words at a time.
Invite a child to give the closing prayer.
For the guessing game: Bring three or four healthy foods, such as fruits and vegetables, on a plate. Bring something to cover the plate of food, such as a large cloth.
For the coloring activity: Copy the illustration on page 47 for each child to color.
Show the children the plate with food. Point to each item, and help the children name them. Cover the food with the cloth; then take away one of the items and remove the cloth. Invite the children to guess which one is missing. This activity is most effective for older children.
Recite the following activity verse and invite the children to join you:
This little fellow is going to bed. (raise one finger)
Down on the pillow he lays his head. (lay finger on palm of other hand)
Wraps himself in the blankets tight, (close hand over finger)
And this is the way he sleeps all night.
Morning comes and he opens his eyes.
Back with a toss the cover flies. (open hand to show finger resting)
Soon he is up and dressed and away, (raise finger up)
Ready to smile and work and play.
Let the children color a copy of the illustration on page 47. While they are coloring, point out that the illustration shows ways we can take care of our bodies.