To prepare yourself spiritually to teach this lesson, please read and ponder the following:
The Lord has commanded, “Thou shalt thank the Lord thy God in all things” (D&C 59:7). We should express appreciation to God for the many blessings He gives us. We should also be thankful to parents, teachers, friends, and others who help us in any way. (See also Psalm 100:3–4.)
Begin with a gathering activity. For ideas, see page 3.
Invite a child to give the opening prayer.
Tell the children that Heavenly Father has given us many blessings, such as our bodies, the plants and animals, our families, and the Church. Explain that we can show our love for Him by saying “thank you” and that we can also say “thank you” to our family and friends and anyone who does something kind for us.
Display the picture on page 66. Point out Jesus and the people who were very sick. Open the Bible to Luke 17:11–19 and tell the story of the 10 lepers. Below is an example:
There were 10 men who were very sick. Jesus healed them and made them better (point to Jesus in the picture). They were all very happy (point to the lepers in the picture). But only one man said “thank you” to Jesus (point to the thankful leper in the picture). We can say “thank you” (invite the children to say “thank you”).
Show the illustration on page 67. Tell the children that we show our love to Heavenly Father by thanking Him for all the things He gives us. Point to one of the illustrations and invite the children to do an action related to that item (such as raising their hands above their heads to make the roof of a house, pretending to pick fruit off a tree and eat it, pretending to put on shoes, and so on). Repeat for each of the illustrations.
Sing or say the words to verses 1 and 2 of “Thanks to Our Father” (Children’s Songbook, 20) and do the actions below. Invite the children to join you.
Thanks to our Father we will bring, (fold arms)
For he gives us everything. (spread arms out)
Eyes and ears and hands and feet, (point to eyes, ears, hands, and feet)
Clothes to wear, (point to clothes) and food to eat. (pretend to eat)
Invite a child to give the closing prayer.
For the pictures activity: Bring pictures of things you are thankful for; you could use pictures in this manual or in Church magazines, or you could draw your own.
For the coloring activity and the matching game: Copy the illustrations on page 67 for each child to color. Bring small bits of paper or something similar for the children to use as markers for the matching game; bring enough for each child to have at least four markers.
Tell the children we are thankful to Heavenly Father for our bodies. Invite the children to stand and do the following activity verse with you. Improvise actions suggested by the words.
Touch your eyes, touch your nose,
Touch your ears, touch your toes.
Stretch your hands way up high,
Even higher, toward the sky.
Put your hands on your hair.
Sit down quietly on your chair.
Point to your mouth and say, “I am thankful for my mouth.” Ask the children to repeat the phrase and the action. Repeat for eyes, nose, ears, hands, and feet. Invite the children to suggest things they are thankful for, and repeat the phrase for the things they mention.
Show the children the pictures you have brought and briefly explain why you are thankful for these things. Invite the children to name something they are thankful for.
Let the children color a copy of page 67. While they are coloring, point out details in the pictures and explain to the children what they are coloring. Read the words on the illustration to them.
Give each child four small bits of paper. Display the illustrations on page 67, point to the illustration of the family, and read the caption to the children. Invite the children to put a bit of paper on the family on their own copy. Invite them to repeat the phrase on the illustration with you. Repeat this activity for the other illustrations.