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Lesson 12: I Am Thankful for Animals

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“Lesson 12: I Am Thankful for Animals,” Primary 1 (2000), 35–37

“Lesson 12,” Primary 1, 35–37

Lesson 12

I Am Thankful for Animals


To help each child feel gratitude to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ for animals.


  1. Prayerfully study Genesis 1:24–25 and Genesis 6:5–8:19.

  2. Materials needed:

    1. A Bible.

    2. Cutouts 1-6 through 1-19, animals (similar cutouts can also be found in Primary Visual Aids Cutouts sets 4 and 5).

    3. Picture 1-28, Creation—Living Creatures (Gospel Art Picture Kit 100; 62483); picture 1-29, Building the Ark (Gospel Art Picture Kit 102; 62053); picture 1-30, Noah and the Ark with Animals (Gospel Art Picture Kit 103; 62305).

  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

Place the cutout figures of animals on the floor or table in front of the children. Help a child pick a cutout, identify that animal, and show it to the class. Continue until each child has had at least one turn.

Heavenly Father asked Jesus Christ to create animals

Review with the children that Heavenly Father had Jesus Christ create our beautiful earth, including the day and night, the oceans and land, and the plants and trees. Show the Bible and remind the children that we read about the Creation in this book. Explain that the Bible tells us that Heavenly Father had Jesus create all the animals and put them on the earth.

Display picture 1-28, Creation—Living Creatures.

  • Who created the things you see in this picture?

  • What are the names of the animals in this picture?

Explain that Jesus created all kinds of animals to be on the earth. Some animals live on farms and around our homes. Some animals live in the forest, some in the mountains, and some in the desert. Some animals live in the cold parts of the world and other animals live in the warm places.

  • What animals live on a farm?

  • What animals live in the forest, mountains, or desert?

  • What is your favorite animal?


Have the children stand and pretend to be their favorite animals.

Animals help us

Explain that Heavenly Father had Jesus put animals on the earth to help us. We use some animals for food, some work for us, and some are interesting to look at or play with.

  • How do animals help us?

  • From which animals do we get food, such as milk, eggs, or meat?

  • From which animals do we get material for clothing?

  • Which animals are fun to have as pets?

  • Which animals can we ride?

Let the children talk about experiences they have had with different kinds of animals.

The animals were saved from the flood

Tell the story of Noah and the Ark, as found in Genesis 6:5–8:19. Show picture 1-29, Building the Ark, and picture 1-30, Noah and the Ark with Animals. You might also use the cutout figures to illustrate the story.

  • How were Noah and his family blessed for obeying Jesus?

  • How were the animals saved?

  • When we see a rainbow, what does it remind us of?


Have the children stand and do the actions with you as you recite the following verse:


Noah built an ark so big (outstretch arms);

He knew just what to do (place finger on side of forehead).

He hammered, sawed, and measured (make motions as indicated)

As he’d been commanded to (nod head).

And Noah called his family (beckon with arm)

To march onto the boat (march quietly in place)

And, two by two, the animals (hold up two fingers)

Came aboard to float (make floating motion with hands).

The heavy dark clouds gathered (place hands above head),

The rain began to fall (wiggle fingers imitating rain)

And all the earth was covered (make a sweeping motion with hand and arm);

There was no land at all (turn head from side to side).

The ark just floated safely (make a floating motion with hands)

Many a day and night (put hands together on one side of face),

Until the sun came out again (place arms in a circle above head)

And shone so warm and bright.

And all the water dried right up (cross arms across chest);

Dry land did appear (open arms and extend hands).

Noah’s family gave their thanks (bow head and fold arms)

That God was always near.

(Adapted from a verse by Beverly Spencer.)


Share your feelings of gratitude for the beautiful world that Jesus Christ created according to Heavenly Father’s plan. Express how grateful you are for the animals that have been placed on this earth for us to use and enjoy.

Enrichment Activities

Choose some of these activities to use during the lesson.

  1. Play the game “Animal, Animal, Who Are You?” Have the children form a circle. Have one child stand in the center of the circle and pretend to be an animal. The other children raise their hands to guess what animal the child in the center is imitating. When a child guesses the animal correctly, he or she moves into the circle and imitates another animal. You might want to have each child first whisper to you the name of the animal he or she will imitate to be sure the child has the animal clearly in mind.

  2. Play the game “What Is This Animal?” Give the children clues about a certain animal. Clues might indicate where the animal lives, how big it is, what sounds it makes, what color it is, and how it helps people. Tell the children to raise their hands when they think they know which animal you are talking about. Repeat with different animals as many times as you want.

  3. With the children, sing or say the words to “The World Is So Big” (Children’s Songbook, p. 235). Do the actions indicated below:

    The world is so big and, oh, so round (form a large circle with arms),

    And in it God’s creations are found;

    Mountains (put hands in mountain shape over head)

    And valleys (put hands palms down in front of body)

    And trees so tall (stretch arms up tall),

    Animals big (reach up)

    And animals small (reach down).

    The world is so big and, oh, so round (form a large circle with arms).

    God loves us all; our blessings abound (grasp arms and hug self).

  4. Have the children talk about any pets they have or would like to have. Discuss with the children how we should treat and take care of pets.

  5. Give the children paper and crayons. Let each child draw a picture of his or her favorite animal. Write on each picture I am thankful for animals.

Additional Activities for Younger Children

  1. Show picture 1-28, Creation—Living Creatures. In your own words, tell the story of the creation of animals (see Genesis 1:24–25). Express your gratitude for animals.

  2. Choose a few animals that the children are familiar with. Have the children pretend to be each animal. Discuss what the animals look like and sound like and what they are useful for.

  3. Help the children sing the first lines of “All Things Bright and Beautiful” (Children’s Songbook, p. 231).