Lesson 36

I Can Be a Good Example

“Lesson 36: I Can Be a Good Example,” Primary 1 (2000), 119–21


To help each child set a good example for others by following the example of Jesus.


  1. Prayerfully study Matthew 4:19; Luke 19:1–10; John 13:15; and 3 Nephi 17:11–24.

  2. Materials needed:

    1. A Bible and a Book of Mormon.

    2. Several footprints cut from paper.

    3. Picture 1-3, Jesus the Christ (Gospel Art Picture Kit 240; 62572); picture 1-63, Zaccheus in a Tree; picture 1-64, Jesus Praying with the Nephites (62542).

  3. Make the necessary preparations for any Enrichment Activities you want to use.

Learning Activities

Invite a child to give the opening prayer.

Attention Activity

Sing or say the words to “Do As I’m Doing” (Children’s Songbook, p. 276) with the children. Have the children follow whatever actions you do, such as rolling your arms, clapping your hands, or pretending to fly like a bird.

Do as I’m doing;

Follow, follow me!

Do as I’m doing;

Follow, follow me!

If I do it high or low,

If I do it fast or slow,

Do as I’m doing;

Follow, follow me!

Do as I’m doing;

Follow, follow me.

(© 1963 by D. C. Heath and Company. Reprinted by permission.)

Explain to the children that when they did the same actions you did, they were following your example. When we follow someone’s example, we do what they do. Tell the children that Jesus said, “Follow me” (see Matthew 4:19).

Heavenly Father sent Jesus Christ to earth to be an example for us

Display picture 1-3, Jesus the Christ. Explain that one of the reasons Jesus came to earth was to be an example for us and show us how to live. Jesus was perfect. That means he did everything the right way. The way he lived when he was on the earth is the way we should try to live.

Open the Bible and read John 13:15 to the children. Tell the children that these are Jesus’ words. Emphasize that we want to be like Jesus and follow his example.


Help the children sing or say the words to the first part of “I’m Trying to Be Like Jesus” (Children’s Songbook, p. 78).

I’m trying to be like Jesus;

I’m following in his ways.

I’m trying to love as he did,

In all that I do and say.

(© 1980 by Janice Kapp Perry. Used by permission.)

  • What kinds of things should we do if we are trying to be like Jesus?


Show picture 1-63, Zaccheus in a Tree, and tell the story of Jesus and Zaccheus, as found in Luke 19:1–10. Explain that Jesus set a good example for us when he was kind to Zaccheus. Even though other people did not like Zaccheus, Jesus wanted to go to his house and be his friend.

  • How was Jesus kind to Zaccheus? (See Luke 19:5.)

  • How do you think Zaccheus felt when Jesus was kind to him?


Sing or say the words to “Jesus Said Love Everyone” (Children’s Songbook, p. 61), using the actions indicated below:

Jesus said love everyone (spread arms out wide);

Treat them kindly, too (nod head up and down).

When your heart is filled with love (put hands over heart),

Others will love you (hug self).


Show picture 1-64, Jesus Praying with the Nephites, and tell the story of how Jesus prayed for the Nephite children, as found in 3 Nephi 17:11–24. Explain that Jesus showed by his example that we should pray for others.

  • Whom did Jesus pray for? (See 3 Nephi 17:21.)

  • How do you think the children felt when Jesus prayed for them?

  • Whom can we pray for?

Discuss people we can pray for, such as family members, people who are sick, the missionaries, and our Church leaders.


Display picture 1-63, Zaccheus in a Tree, and picture 1-64, Jesus Praying with the Nephites, on opposite sides of the room, and place paper footprints on the floor leading to each picture. Have the children sing or say the words to the first part of “I’m Trying to Be like Jesus” again as they follow the footsteps to each picture.

Stop at each picture and have the children retell as much of the story as they can. Help the children think of ways they can be a good example like Jesus was in each situation. For example, they can share their toys or play with a child who needs a friend (Zaccheus), and they can pray for someone who is ill or needs special help (praying for the Nephite children).

Help the children realize that when they show love for others by being kind and by praying for them, they are following the example of Jesus. They are also setting a good example for other people.


Sing or say the words to the chorus of “I’m Trying to Be Like Jesus” (Children’s Songbook, p. 78), using the actions described below:

Love one another as Jesus loves you (hug self).

Try to show kindness in all that you do (shake another person’s hand).

Be gentle and loving in deed and in thought (pretend one hand is an animal’s head and pet it with the other hand),

For these are the things Jesus taught (hold hands together, palms up, like a book of scripture).

(© 1980 by Janice Kapp Perry. Used by permission.)

We can be good examples to others

Explain that just as the children follow the example of Jesus, other people watch them and follow their examples.


Have a child come to the front of the class and be the leader. Have the child lead the other children in actions such as clapping their hands, turning around, or jumping up and down. Repeat the activity to allow other children to be the leader.

Explain that there are more important ways to be an example than by how we move our bodies. Tell the children they can be good examples by doing good things, such as telling the truth, obeying their mothers and fathers, sharing their toys, being reverent at church, and helping their families.

  • What can you do to be a good example to others?

Have each child think of a way he or she can be a good example and tell the class what he or she is going to do.


Tell of a time when you followed someone’s good example. Share your feelings about the importance of following Jesus’ example. Encourage the children to set good examples for others by doing the things that Jesus would do.

Enrichment Activities

Choose some of these activities to use during the lesson.

  1. Make a simple crown or hat out of paper for each child. On each crown or hat, write I can be a good example. Discuss ways the children can be good examples during the week.

  2. Sing “Jesus Once Was a Little Child” (Children’s Songbook, p. 55), “Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam” (Children’s Songbook, p. 60), or “I Am like a Star” (Children’s Songbook, p. 163).

  3. Show a flashlight or other small light. Turn it on and discuss how the light from the flashlight helps people as it shines. Read aloud the first phrase of 3 Nephi 12:16. Explain to the children that they are like little lights when they set good examples, because other people watch and follow them. Let one child hold the flashlight and lead the others around the room. Repeat until every child who wants to be the leader has had a turn.

  4. Have the children stand and do the actions to the following activity verse:

    Jesus Loves Little Children

    Some children ran down a dusty street (run in place),

    Hurrying fast on their little feet (point to feet),

    Through the crowd to find a place (pretend to push through a crowd)

    Close to Jesus, to see his face (stand on tiptoe and look around).

    Some grown-ups said, “Send them away” (hold hand out as if saying “stop”).

    “He is too busy for children today” (frown and shake head).

    But Jesus said, “Let them come unto me” (beckon with hands).

    “They are important and are loved by me” (hug self).

    (Adapted from Margaretta Harmon in Bible Story Finger Plays and Action Rhymes [Cincinnati, Ohio: Standard Publishing, 1964], p. 27.)

Additional Activities for Younger Children

  1. Ask the children to repeat the word example. Tell them that a good example is someone you want to grow up to be like. Our parents can be good examples to us. Ask the children to name things their parents do to take care of them or to make them happy.

  2. Have the children join hands and move in a circle while you sing or say the words to “When We’re Helping” (Children’s Songbook, p. 198). Repeat the song as many times as you want, replacing mother with father, brother, sister, grandma, or grandpa.

  3. Play “Follow the Leader” with the children. Have the children stand in a line. The first child in line runs, hops, skips, or does some other action to the other side of the room. The other children follow the first child, doing what he or she did. Then the first child goes to the end of the line, and the next child becomes the new leader. Continue until each child has had a turn to be the leader.