To help each child appreciate his or her eyes and what they can do.
A spool with a large hole and a shoelace or piece of string. (If you have a large class, you may want to bring more than one of each.)
A scarf or cloth for a blindfold.
Picture 1-43, Jesus Healing the Blind (Gospel Art Picture Kit 213; 62145); picture 1-44, Jesus Teaching in the Western Hemisphere (Gospel Art Picture Kit 316; 62380).
Make the necessary preparations for any Enrichment Activities you want to use.
Note to the teacher: Be sensitive to the feelings of any children in your class who have physical disabilities. Focus on the things their bodies can do, not on their disabilities.
Invite a child to give the opening prayer.
Show the children how easy it is to thread the shoelace or string through the spool with your eyes open. Then close your eyes and try to thread the shoelace through the spool. Give each of the children a turn to try.
Our eyes are a blessing to us
Explain that we have eyes so that we can read and learn, work and play, and see the beautiful earth.
Discuss with the children how their lives would be different if they could not see.
How would you eat your food?
How would you know what clothes to wear?
How would you find your way around your home?
Help the children sing or say the words to
(From Merrily We Sing, © 1948, 1975 by Pioneer Press, Inc. [a division of Jackman Music]. Used by permission.)
Have the children look out the window (or at a beautiful picture) and pretend it is the first time they have been able to see. Invite them to talk about what they see. Talk about colors and shapes. Help the children realize what a blessing it is to be able to see.
What are some of your favorite things to see?
Explain that some people’s eyes do not see very well. These people have to wear eyeglasses or contact lenses to help them see. Some people are blind and cannot see anything.
Discuss how blind people can learn to walk places by themselves with a guide dog or a cane. Blindfold one of the children and pretend that you are a guide dog. Hold out your arm for the child to hold like the dog’s leash. Lead the child around the room. Let the children take turns pretending to be blind or a guide dog.
Show picture 1-43, Jesus Healing the Blind, and tell the story of Jesus healing the blind man, as found in John 9:1–7.
I am thankful to Heavenly Father for my eyes
Have the children stand and repeat the following verse with you, pointing to each body part as it is mentioned:
I Am Thankful for My Eyes
(Adapted from a verse by Lucy Picco.)
Pass around picture 1-44, Jesus Teaching in the Western Hemisphere, and ask each child to tell one thing that he or she sees in the picture. Tell the story of Jesus’ visit to the western hemisphere, as found in 3 Nephi 11:1–17.
Whom did the people see?
How did the people feel when they saw Jesus? (See 3 Nephi 11:16–17.)
What color was Jesus’ robe? (See 3 Nephi 11:8.)
Explain that we may not be able to see Jesus in person like the people of Nephi did, but whenever we see the beautiful earth, we can remember his love for us.
Share with the children your gratitude for your eyes. Tell how the beautiful creations that you see each day remind you of Jesus’ and Heavenly Father’s love for you. Remind the children to thank Heavenly Father for their eyes.
Choose some of these activities to use during the lesson.
Invite the children to look carefully at each other’s eyes, eyelids, eyebrows, and eyelashes. Explain that our eyelids, eyebrows, and eyelashes help keep dirt, dust, and perspiration out of our eyes.
Before class, use a sharp object such as a pin to poke holes in a piece of paper in the outlines of a circle and a square. In class, blindfold the children one at a time and ask them to feel the bumps on the paper and tell what shapes they are. Explain that this is like braille, which is how blind people can read.
Using paper bags, make eyes that open and shut (see illustration below) for each child. Write on each paper bag I am thankful for my eyes. Have the children color the eyes and draw hair on their paper bags. Using the paper bag eyes, pantomime with the children times we open and shut our eyes, such as when we wake up or go to sleep, when we pray, and when we are frightened.
If possible, take the children on a nature walk outside. Ask them to fold their arms and be very quiet as they walk, so they can concentrate on using their eyes. When they come back to class, invite them to take turns telling what they saw.
Additional Activities for Younger Children
Sing or say the words to
“Popcorn Popping” (Children’s Songbook, p. 242). Explain that the blossoms on an apricot tree look like popcorn.
If you looked out the window, as it says in the song, would you see popcorn popping on an apricot tree? What do you see when you look out the window?
Let the children look out the window, or take them outside for a moment. Return to class and review what they saw.
What did you use to see these things? (Eyes.)
Explain that we should be thankful to Heavenly Father for our eyes.
Have the children stand and say the words to “Touch Your Eyes,” doing the actions indicated by the words:Touch your eyes,Touch your nose,Touch your ears,Touch your toes.Stretch your handsWay up high,Even higherToward the sky.Put your handsOn your hair;Sit down quietlyOn your chair.
Show the children a small object. Explain that you are going to put it somewhere in the room, and they will have to use their eyes to find it. Have the children close their eyes, and put the object where it is visible but not too obvious. Have the children open their eyes and find the object without moving or making noise. Tell them to fold their arms when they have found the object. Remind the children they must be quiet and let others find the object with their eyes. Repeat as many times as desired.
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