Lesson 44: I Can Show Love for Animals

Primary 2: Choose the Right A, (1995), 240–46


Purpose

To encourage each child to show respect and kindness to all living creatures.

Preparation

  1. 1.

    Prayerfully study Genesis 6:11–7:24, Isaiah 11:6–9, and Luke 12:6.

  2. 2.

    Make a copy of the animal squares found at the end of the lesson (if it is not possible to make a copy, carefully remove the page from the manual). Cut the squares apart. Save these squares for use with future classes.

  3. 3.

    Prepare to sing or say the words to the refrain of “All Things Bright and Beautiful” (Children’s Songbook, p. 231).

  4. 4.

    Prepare to tell about a time when you showed or saw someone else show kindness to an animal.

  5. 5.

    Materials needed:

    1. a.

      A Bible.

    2. b.

      Paper and crayons for each child.

    3. c.

      Picture 2-72, Noah and the Ark with Animals (Gospel Art Picture Kit 103; 62305); picture 2-73, Creation—Living Creatures (Gospel Art Picture Kit 100; 62483); picture 2-74, Salt Lake Tabernacle (Gospel Art Picture Kit 503; 62490).

  6. 6.

    Make the necessary preparations for any enrichment activities you want to use.

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.

Animals Are Important

Attention activity

Mix up the animal squares and lay them face down in a grid on the table or floor. Invite the children to take turns turning over two squares, one at a time, and placing them picture side up. If the two animals match, have the child put them together in an “animal parade” to the side of the grid. If the two animals do not match, have the child turn the cards back over in the same places. Continue until all the animals have been matched and placed in the animal parade.

Ask the children if the pairs of animals in the parade remind them of a story in the Bible. If the children do not think of the story of Noah and the ark, give them a few clues such as the following:

  • The Lord told someone to build something.

  • The animals came in pairs.

  • It rained for forty days and forty nights, flooding the earth.

Scripture story

Show picture 2-72, Noah and the Ark with Animals, and review the story found in Genesis 6:11–7:24. Explain that Jesus Christ wanted the animals to be saved from the Flood. He told Noah to put the animals on the ark and helped Noah know how to take care of so many different animals.

Jesus Christ Created the Animals

Picture discussion

Display picture 2-73, Creation—Living Creatures.

  • What animals do you see in this picture?

  • What do you like about these animals?

Let the children talk about the animals for a few minutes.

  • Who created these animals?

Remind the children that under Heavenly Father’s direction, Jesus Christ created all the animals.

Song

With the children, sing or say the words to the refrain of “All Things Bright and Beautiful.”

All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful,
The Lord God made them all.

Scripture

Remind the children that they learned in the previous lesson about Jesus Christ’s second coming. Remind them that when Jesus comes again, the animals will all be friendly and peaceful. Read aloud Isaiah 11:6–7 to describe how the animals will get along when the Savior lives on the earth again.

Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ Love All Creatures

Scripture

Explain that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ want each creature, even the smallest ones, to be happy. They consider every living creature to be important.

Read aloud Luke 12:6. Explain that this scripture tells us that even though sparrows are very small birds, Heavenly Father and Jesus still care for them.

Story

Show picture 2-74, Salt Lake Tabernacle.

  • Have you ever watched general conference on television or on a satellite broadcast at a church building?

Explain that general conference is broadcast from this building, called a tabernacle. This tabernacle, in Salt Lake City, Utah, was built by Latter-day Saint pioneers.

Point out the high roof and the many doors of the Tabernacle, and tell the following story in your own words:

One spring evening the doors of the Tabernacle were left open to cool the building. A small bird flew inside without anyone noticing. The bird was still inside when the doors were closed and locked.

When workers arrived the next morning to set up for a concert, they found the bird and spent several hours trying to remove it. They called specially trained people to try to capture the bird with long-handled nets.

When the manager, Brother John, arrived, he found people chasing the bird with the nets. Each time the people ran to one end of the building with the nets, the bird flew to the other end. All the doors of the Tabernacle were open for the bird to escape, but it was too terrified to notice.

The specially trained people had brought pellet guns, and they suggested using the guns to shoot the bird. Brother John did not like that idea. The gun could damage the building or the equipment inside it. More important, he did not think they should kill the bird. He remembered a talk given by President Spencer W. Kimball, the twelfth President of the Church, about not shooting little birds.

The specially trained people also suggested putting out poisoned food for the bird to eat. Brother John did not want to do that either. But he knew the bird must be removed quickly, because there was an important performance that evening.

Brother John turned away and said a short prayer: “Heavenly Father, if this sparrow is important to you, could you please let us know how to safely remove it?”

As Brother John finished his prayer, he knew what to do. He told the workers to turn off the lights in the building and close all the doors but one.

The bird had been sitting on top of the organ, but when they turned off the lights and shut the doors, the bird flew off the organ and straight out the one open door. (See Ronald D. John, “A Sparrow in the Tabernacle,” Ensign, June 1989, pp. 24–25.)

  • How did Brother John show he cared for the little bird? (He prayed about it instead of shooting or poisoning it.)

  • How do you know Heavenly Father cared about the bird? (He helped Brother John know how to get it out of the Tabernacle.)

We Can Be Kind to Animals

Discussion

Explain that Heavenly Father and Jesus want each of us to care for the animals as they do.

Invite the children to talk about any pets or other animals they or their families have. (If the children do not have animals at home, they may talk about what kind of pets they would like to have.) Ask the children to tell about how they help take care of these animals. Let the children pantomime some of the things they do to care for animals, such as providing fresh water and healthy food, grooming the animals, or speaking to them kindly.

Story

Explain that the Prophet Joseph Smith, the first President of the Church, also taught kindness to animals. Tell the following story in your own words:

The Prophet Joseph Smith and some other men were camping on the bank of a small river. As the Prophet pitched his tent, he found three prairie rattlesnakes. The other men wanted to kill the snakes, but the Prophet stopped them and told them not to hurt the snakes. The men picked the snakes up with sticks and carefully carried them to the other side of the river. The Prophet told the other men that they should not kill any snakes, birds, or other animals while they were on their journey unless they needed them for food. (See History of the Church, 2:71–72; see also Spencer W. Kimball, Ensign, Nov. 1978, p. 45.)

Summary

Remind the children that Jesus Christ created all the animals and that all creatures on the earth are part of Heavenly Father’s plan.

Activity

Have the children stand, and help them say the words and do the actions to the following verse:

Jesus loves all creatures (hold arms outstretched):
Elephants, big and tall (stretch up tall with arms above head),
The fishes in the ocean (clasp hands and move them like a fish swimming),
The little mouse so small (crouch down).
He loves the creeping insects (make fingers of one hand “crawl” on other hand),
The birds that fly above (flap arms like wings).
Gentle deer in the forest (place thumbs to head with fingers spread like antlers),
All feel the Savior’s love (place hands over heart).

Testimony

Tell about a time when you showed or saw someone else show kindness to an animal. Testify that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love all creatures on the earth and want us to be kind to animals.

Encourage each child to do something kind for an animal this week.

Art activity

Give the children paper and crayons and let them draw pictures of what they might do to be kind to animals.

Invite a child to give the closing prayer.

Enrichment Activities

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.”

  1. 1.

    Tell in your own words the story that Brother John remembered from President Spencer W. Kimball’s talk:

    “I remember many times singing with a loud voice:

    “Don’t kill the little birds,
    That sing on bush and tree,
    All thro’ the summer days,
    Their sweetest melody.
    Don’t shoot the little birds!
    The earth is God’s estate,
    And he provideth food
    For small as well as great.

    (Deseret Songs, 1909, no. 163.)

    “I had a sling and I had a flipper. I made them myself, and they worked very well. It was my duty to walk the cows to the pasture a mile away from home. There were large cottonwood trees lining the road, and I remember that it was quite a temptation to shoot the little birds ‘that sing on bush and tree,’ because I was a pretty good shot and I could hit a post at fifty yards’ distance or I could hit the trunk of a tree. But I think perhaps because I sang nearly every Sunday, ‘Don’t Kill the Little Birds,’ I was restrained. … I could see no great fun in having a beautiful little bird fall at my feet” (Spencer W. Kimball, in Conference Report, Apr. 1978, p. 71; see also Ensign, May 1978, pp. 47–48).

  2. 2.

    Give each child a small piece of salt dough from which to mold a favorite animal (a salt dough recipe can be found on page 43). Let the children take their animals home to show their families.

  3. 3.

    Allow each child to take a turn pantomiming the actions of a favorite animal. Have the other children try to guess which animal is being imitated. If the other children cannot guess the animal from the actions, the child may provide spoken clues.

  4. 4.

    Give the children clues about different animals. Tell the children that when they know the animal you are describing, they should raise their hands but not say anything. Ask a child with a hand raised to tell what animal the clues are about. Use the following clues or create some for animals in your area:

    • I have six legs, my coat is green;

      I’m the very best hopper you’ve ever seen. (Grasshopper.)

    • I’m small and wiggly with lots of bends;

      I look just alike on both my ends. (Worm.)

    • My home is in the nice cool pond;

      Of croaking and jumping I’m very fond. (Frog.)

    • When spring has come you look for me

      In my red-feathered breast high up in a tree. (Robin.)

    • I have a round face and two large eyes

      That can see in the dark; they call me wise. (Owl.)

    • I have feet and hands, eyes, ears, and nose;

      I can hang from a tree by my tail or my toes. (Monkey.)

    • If you climb on my back, I’ll give you a ride.

      Hold on to my reins; I’m easy to guide. (Horse.)

    • I can run up a tree before you can think;

      My bushy tail waves good-bye, quick as a blink. (Squirrel.)

    • I live on a farm and have a short curly tail

      That goes wiggle-waggle for my dinner pail. (Pig.)

    • I love to run and jump and play;

      “Baa” is the only word I can say. (Lamb.)

    (Clues adapted from “Who Am I?” Children’s Friend, May 1956, p. 208.)

  5. 5.

    Review the story of Warren from lesson 2 (see page 7).

    • How did Warren show kindness to animals?

  6. 6.

    Repeat the matching game from the beginning of the lesson as many times as you or the children want.

  7. 7.

    Help the children make a simple bird feeder to take home and hang outdoors. Spread peanut butter on a pinecone or a piece of bread cut into an interesting shape. Dip the pinecone or bread in birdseed. Use string to hang the bird feeder from a tree, bush, or post. (You may know how to make other simple bird feeders using materials available in your area.)