Lesson 26: Ruth and Naomi

Primary 6: Old Testament, (1996), 114–16


Purpose

To help the children have the desire to follow the example of righteous people and to be good examples themselves.

Preparation

  1. 1.

    Prayerfully study:

    • Ruth 1:1–5—Naomi and her family move to Moab. Her husband and sons die.

    • Ruth 1:6–22—Ruth stays with Naomi when Naomi returns to Bethlehem.

    • Ruth 2—Ruth gleans in the fields of Boaz.

    • Ruth 4:9–17—Boaz marries Ruth and they have a son named Obed.

  2. 2.

    Additional reading:

    • John 7:42—Christ was to be a descendant of David and be born in Bethlehem.

  3. 3.

    Study the lesson and decide how you want to teach the children the scripture account (see “Preparing Your Lessons,” p. vi, and “Teaching from the Scriptures,” p. vii). Select the discussion questions and enrichment activities that will best help the children achieve the purpose of the lesson.

  4. 4.

    Materials needed:

    1. a.

      A Bible for each child.

    2. b.

      Several large paper footprints. Before class arrange these footprints so they lead from the door of the classroom, around part of the room, and then to where the children will be sitting.

    3. c.

      Picture 6-33, Ruth Gleans in the Fields of Boaz.

Suggested Lesson Development

As the children enter the room, direct them to walk on the footprints you have placed on the floor around to where they can find a seat.

Invite a child to give the opening prayer.

Attention Activity

  • What did you walk on as you came into class?

Explain that we all leave footprints as we travel through life. Sometimes we follow in someone else’s footsteps and try to do as they do. But others are watching us, and they may try to follow in our footsteps. Everything we do leaves an impression on someone, just as our step would leave a footprint in soft ground. When we do something good, we set a good example for others; when we do something wrong, we set a bad example.

Tell the children that they are going to learn about two women who knew the importance of both following and being good examples.

Scripture Account

Using the picture at an appropriate time, teach the children the account of Ruth and Naomi from the scriptures listed in the “Preparation” section. (For suggested ways to teach the scripture account, see “Teaching from the Scriptures,” p. vii.) Help the children understand that Ruth followed the good example of Naomi, and then she set a good example herself that others could follow.

Discussion and Application Questions

Study the following questions and the scripture references as you prepare your lesson. Use the questions you feel will best help the children understand the scriptures and apply the principles in their lives. Reading and discussing the scriptures with the children in class will help them gain personal insights.

  • Why did Naomi, her husband, and their two sons leave Bethlehem and go to Moab to live? (Ruth 1:1.) What happened while they were there? (Ruth 1:3–5.)

  • When the famine was over and Naomi decided to go back to Bethlehem, who started the trip with her? (Ruth 1:7.) Why did Naomi ask her daughters-in-law to leave her and go back to their mothers? (Ruth 1:8–13.)

  • How did the two young women respond to Naomi’s request? (Ruth 1:14–17.) Why do you think Ruth chose to stay with Naomi? Explain that Naomi was of the house of Israel and understood the gospel. Ruth was from Moab, where they did not worship Heavenly Father. Ruth was not only showing love for her mother-in-law, she was accepting the gospel of Jesus Christ. She wanted to follow Naomi’s good example and worship Heavenly Father as Naomi did. Whose good example do you try to follow? How do they set a good example for you? (See enrichment activity 1.)

  • What did Ruth volunteer to do so that she and Naomi would have food to eat? (Ruth 2:2.) Explain that glean means to go into the fields after the grain has been harvested and pick up what is left.

  • Whose field did Ruth glean in? (Ruth 2:3.) Who was Boaz? (Ruth 2:1, 3.) How did Boaz help Ruth when he first met her? (Ruth 2:15–16.) Why did he do this for her? (Ruth 2:11–12; explain that Ruth’s example of taking care of Naomi made Boaz realize that Ruth was a very good person.)

  • Why did Boaz feel even more of a responsibility to help Ruth? (Ruth 3:11–13.) Whom do you have a responsibility to help? How can you help your parents, brothers, and sisters? How can you help grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins?

  • What kind of example did Ruth set for others? (See enrichment activity 4.) How can you be a good example to others? (See enrichment activity 2.)

  • Whom did Ruth marry? (Ruth 4:13. Help the children understand the information in chapter 4 by explaining the marriage customs in Israel. Because Ruth’s husband had died, the closest male relation in the family was expected to marry her so she could have children. Boaz was not Ruth’s nearest male relation. Her nearest kinsman said he did not want to marry Ruth, but Boaz wanted to because he knew she was a good, kind, caring woman.) What was the name of their first son? (Ruth 4:17.) Who was Obed’s grandson? Point out that Ruth’s great-grandson was David, the boy who fought Goliath and who later became king of Israel, and that David was an ancestor of Jesus Christ (see John 7:42).

Enrichment Activities

You may use one or more of the following activities any time during the lesson or as a review, summary, or challenge.

  1. 1.

    Have the children think of righteous people who have been good examples to them. Ask them to identify outstanding traits of these people and write these traits on the footprints used in the attention activity. You may want to put the footprints back down on the floor so the children can take turns following the footsteps. Say the trait written on each footstep as each child steps on it.

  2. 2.

    Give the children each a piece of paper and a pencil and have them trace their own footprint. Have them name traits they would like to develop so they can set good examples for others. Write these traits on the chalkboard. Have them choose one, or more, they want to work on and write it on their footprint.

  3. 3.

    Who set a perfect example for us? If available, show pictures of Jesus Christ helping others and discuss how we can follow his example. Or invite the children to each choose an incident from the Savior’s life and talk about what we can learn from it that will help us set good examples for others.

  4. 4.

    Assign each of the following scriptures to one or more children to look up:

    Then read the following statements about Ruth, one at a time, and let a child read the scripture it applies to:

    • Ruth was kind. (1:8)

    • Ruth was loyal. (1:16)

    • Ruth wanted to worship Heavenly Father. (1:16)

    • Ruth worked hard. (2:2)

    Discuss how Ruth can be an example for us. Help the children decide which traits of Ruth they want to develop.

  5. 5.

    Sing or read the words to “I’m Trying to Be like Jesus” (Children’s Songbook, p. 78).

Conclusion

Testimony

Express your love for the Savior and your gratitude for the perfect example he set for us to follow. Express to the children your desire to be a good example for them in all you do and your hope that they too will be good examples. Testify of the importance of their choosing good examples to follow.

Suggested Family Sharing

Encourage the children to share with their families a specific part of the lesson, such as a story, question, or activity, or to read with their families the “Suggested Home Reading.”

Suggested Home Reading

Suggest that the children study Ruth 1:16–17, 2:1–18, and Ruth 4:13–17 at home as a review of this lesson.

Invite a child to give the closing prayer.