Lesson 35: I Can Be Kind to Animals

Primary 1: I Am a Child of God, (2000), 115–18


Purpose

To help each child understand the importance of being kind to animals.

Preparation

  1. 1.

    Prayerfully study Genesis 2:19–20; 6–8.

  2. 2.

    Materials needed:

    1. a.

      A Bible.

    2. b.

      Picture 1-28, Creation—Living Creatures (Gospel Art Picture Kit 100; 62483); picture 1-30, Noah and the Ark with Animals (Gospel Art Picture Kit 103; 62305).

  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

Pretend to be an animal that is familiar to the children. Have the children guess which animal you are. Let each child have a turn pretending to be an animal while the other children guess which animal he or she is.

Adam gave each of the animals a name

Remind the children that Heavenly Father planned and Jesus created all the animals, fish, birds, and insects on the earth. Show the Bible and explain that the scriptures tell us that Adam named all the animals (see Genesis 2:19–20). Show picture 1-28, Creation—Living Creatures.

  • What are the names of the animals in this picture? (Let the children take turns pointing to an animal in the picture and telling its name.)

Heavenly Father and Jesus want us to be kind to animals

Story

Show picture 1-30, Noah and the Ark with Animals, and review the story of Noah and the Ark, as found in Genesis 6–8. Emphasize that at least two of every kind of animal were saved from drowning. Heavenly Father and Jesus love animals and want them to be on the earth.

  • Why did Noah put animals on the ark?

  • What animals are you thankful that Noah put on the ark?

  • How do you think Heavenly Father and Jesus want us to treat animals?

Story

In your own words, tell the following story about President Spencer W. Kimball, the twelfth President of the Church:

When President Spencer W. Kimball was a boy, his job was to walk the cows to a pasture about a mile from his home. One day he made himself a slingshot, a toy that he could use to shoot rocks at fence posts and tree trunks. He became very good and could hit a tree or a fence post that was far away.

Tall trees grew along the side of the road where he walked the cows. Spencer noticed that there were many little birds in those trees. When he saw the birds, he was tempted to shoot them to show what a good shot he was. But then he remembered a song that he sang in Primary. It said, “Don’t kill the little birds. … The earth is God’s Estate, and he provideth food for small as well as great.” Spencer thought of those words that he sang. He decided that the birds were important to Heavenly Father, and it was not right to kill them. So he was always careful to shoot his slingshot where he would not hit any birds (see Conference Report, Apr. 1978, p. 71; or Ensign, May 1978, p. 47).

  • How did Spencer W. Kimball show kindness to the birds?

Tell the children that Heavenly Father and Jesus want us to be kind to all animals.

Song

Sing or say the words to “Kindness Begins with Me” (Children’s Songbook, p. 145).

I want to be kind to everyone,
For that is right, you see.
So I say to myself, “Remember this:
Kindness begins with me.”
  • Do you have any pets?

Activity

Invite the children to talk about their pets and how they take care of them. Read the following statements and have the children put their thumbs up if a statement is a kind way to treat pets. Have them put their thumbs down if it is an unkind way to treat pets.

  • Feed them good food every day.

  • Forget to feed them.

  • Forget to give them water.

  • Have fresh water available for them to drink.

  • Provide a safe, comfortable place for them to sleep.

  • Keep them shut up in a hot place all day.

  • Give them love and attention.

Testimony

Remind the children that animals were created by Jesus and are a part of Heavenly Father’s plan. Heavenly Father and Jesus want us to be kind to animals. Share your feelings about a pet or about animals.

Enrichment Activities

Choose some of these activities to use during the lesson.

  1. 1.

    Make a copy of the rabbit at the end of the lesson for each child, and let the children color their rabbits. Glue a cotton ball to the tail of each rabbit to make it fluffy.

  2. 2.

    Sing or say the words to “My Heavenly Father Loves Me” (Children’s Songbook, p. 228).

  3. 3.

    Using the fishing pole from lesson 11 and the animal cutouts that came with the manual, let the children take turns fishing for an animal. When each child has caught an animal, let the children take turns showing their animals and telling what they know about them.

  4. 4.

    Make a badge that says I will be kind to animals for each child to wear home.

  5. 5.

    Help the children do the actions to the following finger play:

    My Little Kitten

    My little kitten ran up a tree (“run” fingers of right hand up left arm)
    And sat on a limb to look at me (let right hand rest on left shoulder).
    I said, “Come, kitty,” and down he ran (run fingers back down arm)
    And ate all the food I poured in his pan (cup left hand; pretend right hand is kitten eating food).
  6. 6.

    Have the children stand and do the actions with you as you recite the following verse:

    Noah

    Noah built an ark so big (hold arms outstretched);
    He knew just what to do (place finger on side of forehead).
    He hammered, sawed, and measured (make motions as indicated)
    As he’d been commanded to (nod head).
    And Noah called his family (beckon with arm)
    To march onto the boat (march quietly in place)—
    And, two by two, the animals (hold up two fingers)
    Came aboard to float (make floating motion with hands).
    The heavy dark clouds gathered (place hands above head),
    The rain began to fall (wiggle fingers imitating rain)—
    And all the earth was covered (make a sweeping motion with hand and arm);
    There was no land at all (turn head from side to side).
    The ark just floated safely (make a floating motion with hands)
    Many a day and night (put hands together on one side of face),
    Until the sun came out again (place arms in a circle above head)
    And shone so warm and bright.
    And all the water dried right up (cross arms across chest);
    Dry land did appear (open arms and extend hands).
    Noah’s family gave their thanks (bow head and fold arms)
    That God was always near.

    (Adapted from a verse by Beverly Spencer.)

Additional Activities for Younger Children

  1. 1.

    Let the children talk about any pets they have or would like to have. Discuss with the children how we should treat and care for pets.

  2. 2.

    Sing or say the words to “The World Is So Big” (Children’s Songbook, p. 235). Do the actions as indicated below:

    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).
  3. 3.

    Show a few of the animal cutouts, one at a time, and let the children tell you what they know about each animal, such as where it lives, what it sounds like, and what they like about it.