Lesson 13: I Am Thankful for Birds and Insects

Primary 1: I Am a Child of God, (2000), 38–41


Purpose

To help each child feel gratitude to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ for birds, insects, and creeping things.

Preparation

  1. 1.

    Prayerfully study Genesis 1:20–25 and 1 Kings 16:29–17:6.

  2. 2.

    Materials needed:

    1. a.

      A Bible.

    2. b.

      If possible, obtain pictures of birds, insects, and creeping things common in your area.

    3. c.

      Cutouts 1-20 through 1-25, birds and insects (similar cutouts can also be found in Primary Visual Aids Cutouts sets 4 and 5).

    4. d.

      Picture 1-31, Elijah Being Fed by the Ravens; picture 1-32, Miracle of the Sea Gulls (Gospel Art Picture Kit 413; 62603).

  3. 3.

    Make the necessary preparations for any Enrichment Activities you want to use.

Learning Activities

Invite a child to give the opening prayer.

Attention Activity

Give the following clues and have the children guess the answer to the question “What am I?”

  1. 1.

    I have a beak.

  2. 2.

    I have feathers.

  3. 3.

    I have wings.

  4. 4.

    I fly in the air.

When the children have guessed “a bird,” have them follow you and pretend to be birds flying around the room. Lead them back to their seats.

Heavenly Father asked Jesus Christ to create birds

Explain that Heavenly Father had Jesus Christ create birds for us to enjoy and to make the earth a nice place on which to live. Show the Bible and tell the children that the Bible tells us about the creation of birds (see Genesis 1:20–23).

Explain that different kinds of birds live all over the world. Show any pictures of birds you obtained and the cutout figures of birds, one at a time.

  • Is this a bird?

  • How can you tell? (It has wings, feathers, and a beak.)

Let the children talk about any experiences they have had with birds.

Birds can help us

Story

Show picture 1-31, Elijah Being Fed by the Ravens, and tell the story of the ravens feeding Elijah the prophet, as found in 1 Kings 17:1–6. Help the children understand that Heavenly Father and Jesus have power over everything, even the birds. Jesus told the birds to take care of Elijah when he had to hide from the wicked king Ahab.

  • How did the ravens know they should bring food to Elijah? (See 1 Kings 17:4.)

  • What kind of food did the ravens bring? (Bread and meat; see 1 Kings 17:6.)

Activity

Choose a child to be Elijah. Have the other children pretend that they are the ravens bringing food in the morning and again in the evening.

Story

Tell the following story of the seagulls and the crickets in your own words:

When the pioneers arrived in the Salt Lake Valley, they planted wheat and other grain. They needed the grain to make bread and cereal to eat. The wheat grew big and tall. Just before it was time to harvest the wheat, a big cloud filled the sky. It was not a rain cloud, but a cloud of thousands of hungry black crickets. The crickets landed on the wheat and began to eat it.

The pioneers did everything they could to stop the crickets from eating their wheat. They built fires, beat the crickets with brooms and blankets, and even tried covering the crickets with water. But the crickets did not stop. The pioneers were afraid that they would not have food for the winter. They knelt down in prayer and asked Heavenly Father for help.

Soon great flocks of seagulls came and began to eat the crickets. (Display picture 1-32, Miracle of the Sea Gulls.) Before long, most of the crickets were gone. The pioneers thanked Heavenly Father for sending the seagulls and saving their crops (see William E. Berrett, The Restored Church [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1961], pp. 283–85).

  • How did the seagulls help the pioneers?

Heavenly Father asked Jesus Christ to create insects and creeping things

Tell the children that Jesus Christ also created insects and creeping things such as spiders and snakes. These creatures are a part of Heavenly Father’s plan.

Activity

Have the children guess the insects and creeping things described in the following riddles. As each riddle is guessed, display and discuss the appropriate cutout figure.

  1. 1.

    I am yellow and I buzz.

    My tummy is covered with fuzz.

    I make honey for you and me.

    I am a honey _____. (Bee; make a buzzing sound.)

  2. 2.

    I spin a web to catch my food.

    I have eight legs just like I should.

    People often don’t like me.

    Can you guess what I might be? (Spider; move fingers like legs.)

  3. 3.

    I was once a caterpillar.

    I can fly up in the sky.

    I have beautiful wings.

    I am a _____. (Butterfly; softly move fingers like wings.)

  • What do you know about these creatures?

Explain that insects were created for many reasons. Some insects can be eaten

by birds, animals, and other insects; some can make pleasant sights and sounds. Honeybees make honey for us to eat, and they help fruits, flowers, and vegetables grow.

Activity

Show the cutout of a bee and any pictures of bees or beehives that you obtained. Describe how bees collect nectar from the flowers to use in making honey, and then have the children pretend they are bees going from flower to flower to get nectar to make honey.

  • Which insects do you like? Why?

Show any pictures you obtained of insects. Explain that some insects bother us. They eat our food and can bite or sting us. Remind the children of the story of the seagulls and the crickets. The crickets were eating all of the pioneers’ food.

Explain that usually when insects hurt or bother us, they are only trying to protect themselves.

Testimony

Remind the children that birds, insects, and other creeping things are an important part of our earth. Express your feelings of gratitude for these creatures.

Enrichment Activities

Choose some of these activities to use during the lesson.

  1. 1.

    Play the butterfly game. Have the children sit in a circle. Choose one child to be the butterfly. This child waves a paper butterfly over the other children’s heads while walking around the outside of the circle. As the child walks around the circle, recite this verse:

    One little butterfly flew away
    On a very bright, warm summer day.
    It flew up in the sky so blue,
    And when it landed, it landed on you!

    When you say, “It landed on you,” the child who is the butterfly places the paper butterfly in another child’s lap. That child is now the butterfly. Repeat the verse until every child has had a turn to be the butterfly.

  2. 2.

    Explain in simple terms how a caterpillar becomes a butterfly. Have the children pretend they are caterpillars spinning cocoons. Have them sit on their chairs or on the floor and wrap their arms around their legs, pretending to be asleep. Tell them that when a caterpillar changes into a butterfly, its wings begin to move and stretch. Have the children stretch their arms. Remind the children that butterflies are very quiet, even when they move. Have the children stand and pretend to fly silently around the room.

  3. 3.

    With the children, sing or say the words to “In the Leafy Treetops” (Children’s Songbook, p. 240) or “The World Is So Big” (Children’s Songbook, p. 235). Use the actions below with “The World Is So Big”:

    The world is so big and, oh, so round (form a large circle with arms),
    And in it God’s creations are found;
    Mountains (put hands in mountain shape over head)
    And valleys (put hands palms down in front of body)
    And trees so tall (stretch arms up tall),
    Animals big (reach up)
    And animals small (reach down).
    The world is so big and, oh, so round (form a large circle with arms).
    God loves us all; our blessings abound (grasp arms and hug self).
  4. 4.

    Sing or say the words to “All Things Bright and Beautiful” (Children’s Songbook, p. 231), using the actions indicated below:

    All things bright and beautiful (make a large circle with arms),
    All creatures great and small (extend arms wide, then bring hands close together),
    All things wise and wonderful (point a finger at head),
    The Lord God made them all (fold arms as if in prayer).
    Each little flower that opens (make fists, then open hands),
    Each little bird that sings (bring fingers and thumbs together like bird beaks),
    He made their glowing colors (wave arm in rainbow-shaped gesture);
    He made their tiny wings (flap hands like wings).
  5. 5.

    Bring a jar of honey for the children to see or taste. (Check with the children’s parents to make sure none of the children is allergic to honey.)

  6. 6.

    Help the children do one or both of the following finger plays:

    Two Little Tweety Birds

    Two little tweety birds sat upon a wall (place a finger on each shoulder),
    One named Peter (raise the left finger)
    And one named Paul (raise the right finger).
    Fly away, Peter (place the left finger behind the back);
    Fly away, Paul (place the right finger behind the back).
    Come back, Peter (place the left finger on the shoulder again);
    Come back, Paul (place the right finger on the shoulder again).

    Beehive

    Here is the beehive (cup left hand downward).
    Where are the bees?
    Hidden away where nobody sees (hide fingers of right hand under cupped left hand).
    Soon they’ll come flying out of the hive (bring right hand out and hold up one finger at a time as children count).
    One, two, three, four, five! BZZZ!

Additional Activities for Younger Children

  1. 1.

    Show a simple picture, cutout figure, or drawing of a bird. Tell the children that Heavenly Father had Jesus Christ create birds (see Genesis 1:20–23). Express your gratitude for birds.

  2. 2.

    Explain that birds have special beaks to help them pick up their food. Have the children hold their hands up to their mouths like beaks and pretend to pick up food. Explain that birds also have wings to help them fly. Have the children flap their arms and pretend to fly.

  3. 3.

    Sing or say the words to “Birds in the Tree” (Children’s Songbook, p. 241), using the actions indicated below:

    We will find a little nest (cup hands together)
    In the branches of a tree (hold arms up rounded over head).
    Let us count the eggs inside;
    There are one, two, three (hold up one, two, and three fingers).
    Mother bird sits on the nest (cup left hand; place right hand on top)
    To hatch the eggs, all three (hold up three fingers).
    Father bird flies round and round (move arms in a flying motion)
    To guard his family.
  4. 4.

    Help the children do the following finger play:

    Eency Weency Spider

    Eency weency spider went up the water spout (use two fingers of one hand to “climb” the opposite arm).
    Down came the rain and washed the spider out (raise hands above head, then lower while wiggling fingers).
    Out came the sun and dried up all the rain (make a circle overhead with arms).
    Then the eency weency spider went up the spout again (repeat action from first line).