To encourage each child to remember to thank others for their acts of kindness and love.
Note: Make a special effort during this lesson to say “thank you” to the children when it is appropriate.
Suggested Lesson Development
Invite a child to give the opening prayer.
Follow up with the children if you encouraged them to do something during the week.
We Can Use Two Special Words
Tell the children that there are two special words you want to share with all of them. These special words can be used by everyone, but they are not used often enough. Whisper “thank you” to one of the children, and have him or her whisper “thank you” to another child. Continue until every child has heard the words. Have the last child stand up and say the words out loud.
When do we say “thank you”?
Explain that we all like others to do kind things for us, but sometimes we forget to thank them.
Show picture 2-45, Ten Lepers, and ask the children to tell you what they remember about the picture from the previous lesson. You may want to have the children role-play the story of the ten lepers (see Luke 17:11–19).
Referring to the picture, point to the leper thanking Christ.
Why did this man come back to Jesus?
What did the other men do?
Remind the children that Jesus Christ healed all ten lepers, but only one remembered to thank him. Jesus must have been happy that one person remembered, but sad that the others did not.
What should we thank Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ for?
Whom else should we thank? (Our families, teachers, friends, anyone who does something kind for us.)
We Can Thank Others
Story and discussion
Tell the following story in your own words, illustrating it with simple drawings on the chalkboard (such as a fishing pole, a fish, and a cake):
Carlos enjoyed camping and fishing and liked to spend almost every Saturday fishing on the nearby river. But then his father died and many things changed for Carlos. He no longer had anyone to take him fishing.
Carlos felt sad and lonely. His Primary teacher, Brother Taylor, noticed how sad he was and wanted to make him happy. Brother Taylor invited Carlos to go fishing.
Carlos was very happy to go fishing again. He was ready and waiting when Brother Taylor came to get him. Carlos and Brother Taylor had a wonderful day at the river. They caught several fish, and that night they ate the fish for dinner with Carlos’s mother and brothers and sisters.
Carlos wanted to thank Brother Taylor for taking him fishing.
What could Carlos do to thank Brother Taylor?
After the children have responded, thank them for their suggestions and tell them what Carlos decided to do:
Carlos decided that to thank Brother Taylor, he would do something nice for him. Carlos helped his mother make a cake, and the next day he took the cake over to Brother Taylor’s home. Carlos gave Brother Taylor the cake and said, “Thank you for taking me fishing.”
How do you think Brother Taylor felt when Carlos brought him the cake?
How do you think Carlos felt?
Read aloud Doctrine and Covenants 78:19. Explain that this scripture says that if we are thankful, we will be happy.
How do you feel when you say “thank you” to someone?
How do you feel when someone says “thank you” to you?
Invite the children to tell about times when someone thanked them for some-thing they did and explain how they felt about being thanked. You may want to relate a personal experience of your own.
We Can Say “Thank You” in Many Ways
Tell the following story in your own words:
Sister Wells was a Primary teacher. She enjoyed teaching and loved the children in her class. She tried to have a good lesson prepared every Sunday. She loved Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, and she told the children of her testimony and how much Jesus loved each of them. She showed love and attention to the children in her class. She always remembered their birthdays and other special occasions.
One Sunday after church, someone knocked at Sister Wells’s door. It was Rebecca, one of the girls from her class. Rebecca gave Sister Wells something in a pretty pink envelope.
Can you guess what was in the envelope?
Bring out the thank-you note you have prepared and read it to the class.
How do you think Sister Wells felt when she read this note?
How did Rebecca say “thank you” to her teacher?
What are some other ways we can express thanks?
Who does kind things for you?
List the children’s answers to the last question on the chalkboard. After all the children have had an opportunity to respond, refer to the list on the chalkboard and ask the children what they could thank each person for. For example, ask the children:
What could you thank the members of the bishopric for?
What could you thank the Primary chorister or pianist for?
Give the children pencils or crayons and paper to make thank-you notes. Print or help them print Thank you on their notes, and let them decorate the notes with the pencils or crayons.
Explain that they can give this note to someone they want to thank. Let the children tell who they will give their notes to. Remind the children that thanking others not only makes those we thank happy, it also makes us happy.
Just before the end of class, thank each child for something he or she has done well during Primary. Be sincere and specific. You might thank a child for—
Sitting reverently during class.
Listening to the lesson.
Saying the opening prayer.
Treating others kindly.
Singing in opening exercises.
Raising a hand before speaking.
Answering a question.
Having a happy face during class.
Express your gratitude for having each child in your class. Remind the children how happy a simple “thank you” can make someone feel.
Encourage the children to see how many times they can use the special words “thank you” during the week with their family and friends.
Invite a child to give the closing prayer.
Choose from the following activities those that will work best for the children in your class. You can use them in the lesson itself or as a review or summary. For additional guidance, see “Class Time” in “Helps for the Teacher.”
Ask the children to stand and move their chairs apart so they will have room to walk around their chairs.
Help the children sing or say the words to the first verse and chorus of
“I Have Two Ears” (Children’s Songbook, p. 269), using the actions indicated below:I have two ears to hear the truth (point to ears),Two eyes to see the good (point to eyes).I have two feet to carry meTo places where they should (walk around the chair).Chorus:I’ll try to use them wiselyIn my work and play (pretend to bounce ball).I thank my Heav’nly FatherFor making me this way (sit down, fold arms, and bow head).
Thread a button or ring on a piece of string or yarn long enough for all the children to hold, and tie the ends of the string together. Have the children sit in a circle and close their hands over the string. Have them pass the button or ring from child to child until you say, “Stop.” The child who has the button or ring at that point says, “I am thankful to (person’s name) for (something).” Continue the game until every child has had at least one opportunity to respond.
Sing or say the words to
“I’m Thankful to Be Me” (Children’s Songbook, p. 11).At night, when I’m alone in bed,I close my eyes and seeThe many things I’m thankful forThat God has given me.I see my friends and teachers, too,And others who love me.These many blessings make me feelSo thankful to be me.
Prepare salt dough for the children to make into the shape of something that they are thankful for (a salt dough recipe can be found on page 43). Ask them to take their creations home and put them close to where they say their prayers. Then they will be reminded to thank Heavenly Father in prayer for their blessings.
Ask the children to imagine that the Lord has told them and their families to build barges like the Jaredites’. Ask them to pretend they have been out on the ocean in these small barges for almost a year. They have been tossed in the ocean and at times have been totally submerged. There are many animals in the barges as well.
How would you feel about taking a trip like that?
Read aloud Ether 6:9 to see how the Jaredites felt about their trip. Help the children understand that even when we are going through difficult times, we have many things to be thankful for. If we are sick, for example, we can be thankful for the people who take care of us. If we are always looking for things to be thankful for, we will see our many blessings.
During the next week, send thank-you notes to the children in your class, telling each one how much you appreciate having him or her in your class. Mention something specific that each child has done that has helped the class.