This is our (almost) third year teaching the sunbeams at church up here in Spokane, and I will be the first to admit that I haven't been the best teacher up until this past Summer. Over the Summer, something in me just clicked, and I realized I needed to be putting much more effort into my calling if I was ever going to (1) make a difference in the building of these kid's testimonies, and (2) actually enjoy being in primary with these kids each week.
We have some wild hairs in our class, cute and well-meaning, but wild nonetheless. Consequently, I have to be pretty creative and on top of things if I'm going to get and keep their attention on the correct subject matter. Since I've begun planning more in advance and spending more time on each week's lesson, I've noticed a definite change. Yes, they are still rambunctious, but they participate more in sharing and singing time. One girl sang for the first time, at least that I've seen, last week. She sang! It was a BIG deal. In addition, I can tell they like us more. Who doesn't like to be liked?
I wanted to share some of the successes we've had in class over the past few weeks. I'm pretty proud of the work I've put into it so far and that they are responding so well. :)
In order to talk about the different homes Lehi's family lived in, I brought a sheet. When Lehi's family left Jerusalem to live in a tent, I covered the table with the blanket so we could all go inside the "tent" and talk about it more inside. Then when Nephi built the boat we flipped the table over, climbed in, and used the sheet as a sail. They loved it.
Last Sunday, the lesson was on love. I thought we would take them to heart attack the primary presidency and bishop, but Joe thought it would be good for us to first heart attack each child, so they would know how it felt. A capital idea (insert British accent here). We wrote short personal notes to each sunbeam on the hearts and left them at their homes. It was a hit, and they really enjoyed sneakily placing hearts on the doors at church.
This coming Sunday is about animals. We are going to hide a bunch of stuffed animals outside the church building, so we can go on an animal hunt and talk about each animal as we find them. Then we will bring the animals inside, so we can revive our "boat" and put all the animals in the ark as we talk about Noah. Wish us luck!