PRIMARY 5 LESSON 40 THE FIRST PIONEER COMPANY CROSSES THE PLAINS
image by j. ken spencer
1/Write PIONEER on the board with the definition underneath:
“Someone who prepares the way for others who will follow”
2/Hang up the 16 paper wagons mentioned in the manual’s lesson outline.
3/Hand out pioneer bonnets (either made from paper or fabric patterns online, or bought) and western hats and suspenders (made from ribbons and attach with safety pins?, or actual suspenders) for the boys.
Today we’re going to imagine that we’re traveling west across the plains with Brigham Young and that we’re the first pioneer company!
The journey for the Saints took almost 16 weeks!
See what we have around the room? 16 wagons
These wagons represent the 16 weeks!
Start off singing one of the pioneer songs in the Children’s Songbook or Hymnbook (hand them the words to whichever song you choose)
Play some sound effects that you’ve downloaded (phone/tablet/etc.) to set the mood.
These are sound effects for things mentioned in the 16 wagons answers.
When you mention these things in the answers, play the sound effect just for fun.
- Horse neighing
- Wagons rolling
- Other animals like oxen, mules, cows, dogs, chickens, antelope, deer, wolves, buffalo
- Water sounds (for when rivers, streams, and boats are mentioned)
First, we’re going to do a little activity
Choose one kid to represent the first group of pioneers
Have them close their eyes (or be blindfolded)
Have that child walk slowly from one end of the room to the other with the other kids set up as “obstacles” along the way.
As they run into the “obstacles” have them start again with eyes still closed.
This time, have the other kids lined up into two rows, allowing a pathway to form to the door.
Talk about how if this kid represents the pioneers, and the rest of you represents the obstacles and challenges the pioneers faced along the way, what happened when I rearranged you? It was easier for them to get there
How do you think the first pioneers helped the next groups coming through? They marked the route west, they learned what obstacles were on the way and how to deal with them
Remember a pioneer helps to prepare the way for others who will follow.
Follow the activity in the manual with the 16 wagons
As you mention anything that you have a sound clip for, pause and play it just for fun.
Be sure to show the images from the manual.
With remaining time, follow wagon #4’s ideas.
- You could create a fake campfire (ideas online) and have everyone sit in a circle.
- Play some of the sound effects again to set the mood.
- Sing “Come, Come, Ye Saints” (have words/hymnbooks) and bring a guitar if you can play, or invite a ward member to come in and play
- Bring in a checkers game or make your own with small discs of some sort (paper etc.)
- Pass around homemade (or bought) bread, biscuits, or cornbread and butter.
- Talk about how they made homemade taffy for treats (and explain how taffy is made).
- Find appropriate riddles to tell!
TESTIMONY / TAKE HOME IDEAS
What was the pioneer’s goal? To escape persecution and find a land where they could live in peace and grow the church!
What is our goal? To live with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ again
The pioneers encountered many obstacles and they overcame them with faith.
As we encounter the many obstacles in our way as we strive to live worthy of the celestial kingdom, we can show faith as well!
Send them home with a small bag of taffy with a note about how the pioneers’ road was very difficult, but their reward was sweet, and perhaps include some of the words to the hymn Come, Come Ye Saints.