Dear Primary Presidencies and Music Leaders,
This year we will have the sacred blessing and opportunity to help each child in Primary come to know that he or she is a child of God. We hope that the children will learn this important truth as they feel our Heavenly Father’s love for them. As you prayerfully teach the doctrines in these sharing time lessons, you can help the children understand their divine identity, purpose, and potential. You can help them increase their faith in Jesus Christ and their testimony of our Heavenly Father’s plan for them. And you can give them hope for their future and strengthen their desire to stay on the path back to our Heavenly Father.
Seek the help of the Spirit as you prepare, teach, and testify of these truths. Families will be blessed by your devoted efforts. We love you and extend our gratitude for the dedicated service you are giving to fortify and protect our precious children.
The Primary General Presidency
Use this booklet as you prepare to teach a 15-minute lesson each week during sharing time. You may supplement the weekly lessons with other Church-approved materials, such as the Friend or the Liahona. The following guidelines will help you plan and present lessons.
Love Those You Teach. Show your love for the children by learning their names and being aware of their interests, talents, and needs.
Teach the Doctrine by the Spirit. As you prepare lessons, pray for guidance and strive to strengthen your testimony of the principles you will teach. This will help you teach by the Spirit.
Invite Learning. This booklet is designed to help you know not only what to teach but also how to teach and invite learning. You will teach the doctrine more effectively as you do the following three things in every lesson:
Identify the doctrine. Clearly introduce the doctrine that the children will be learning. Consider ways to do this verbally and visually. (For some examples, see the lessons for the fourth week in February and the third week in July.)
Encourage understanding. Ensure that the children gain a deeper understanding of the doctrine through a variety of teaching methods that engage them in learning, such as singing songs, role-playing, and reading scriptures.
Encourage application. Give the children opportunities to apply the doctrine in their lives. Consider how they can express feelings about or set a goal related to the doctrine.
This booklet provides complete lessons for some of the weeks in the year. Ideas, but not complete lessons, are included for the other weeks. Supplement those ideas with some of your own. You can get ideas by reading other lessons in this booklet. When there is a fifth Sunday, use this time to review previous lessons. The Spirit can guide you as you plan and prepare activities for lessons.
Work with the music leader as you prepare your lessons. Singing songs will help reinforce the doctrines you are teaching. Occasionally you may invite teachers and their classes to help you with parts of the gospel instruction.
Some lessons suggest inviting guest speakers to participate in Primary. You should get the approval of your bishop or branch president before inviting these individuals to participate.
Accompanying the lessons are several teaching tips that will help you improve your ability to teach. The lessons also include pictures that will help you see what an activity looks like. Although developing teaching skills is important, your own spiritual preparation and testimony are what will invite the Spirit to confirm these doctrines in the hearts of the children.
Music in Primary should establish a reverent atmosphere, teach the gospel, and help children feel the influence of the Holy Ghost and the joy that comes through singing. A 20-minute segment of sharing time should be devoted to singing and teaching music. This will ensure that you have enough time to teach new music and to help the children enjoy singing.
This booklet includes a song for the children to learn this year (see page 28). It also includes a section titled “How to Use Music in Primary” (see pages 26–27) and additional ideas for teaching songs to children (see pages 3, 11, 17).
Under the direction of the bishop or branch president, the children’s sacrament meeting presentation is normally given during the fourth quarter of the year. Meet with the counselor in the bishopric or branch presidency who oversees Primary early in the year to discuss preliminary plans. Obtain his approval when the plans are completed.
Plan for the children to present the program based on the monthly sharing time themes. Throughout the year, keep notes of children’s talks and personal experiences for possible use in the presentation. As you plan for the children to share what they have learned about this year’s theme, think of ways they can help the congregation focus on the gospel doctrines they are teaching. A member of the bishopric may conclude the meeting with brief remarks.
As you prepare the presentation, remember the following guidelines:
Practices should not take time away from classes or families unnecessarily.
Visuals, costumes, and media presentations are not appropriate for sacrament meeting.
The following abbreviations are used throughout the booklet:
Gospel Art Book
Many lessons include suggestions for using pictures. You can find pictures in the Gospel Art Book, Primary manual picture packets, and Church magazines and online at images.lds.org.
Nursery: Behold Your Little Ones; Sunbeams: Primary 1; CTR 4–7: Primary 2; Valiant 8–11: Primary 6
Sunbeams: Primary 1; CTR 4–7: Primary 2; Valiant 8–11: Primary 5