Friday, June 29, 2018

Short Attention Span Sunday School: Primary 6 Lesson 23 Joshua Leads Israel



Post up some or all of these: Joshua 1:9, Joshua 24:15, John 8:12

Post up any artwork about the Jericho walls that is available

Display of edible walls of Jericho (Rice Krispie Treats, graham crackers, etc.) for them to eat later


Pass out this quotation to everyone printed out, and talk about it:

“Think of a car driving through the night. The headlights only go a hundred or two hundred feet forward, and you can make it all the way from California to New York driving through the dark, because all you have to see is the next two hundred feet. That’s how life tends to unfold before us. If we just trust that the next two hundred feet will unfold after that, and the next two hundred feet will unfold after that, your life will keep unfolding." (From the book "The Secret")

In order to move forward without seeing everything in front of you takes what? (faith, obedience, courage, etc.)

We're going to watch a really neat video about this and I want you to pay attention to as many details as you can, as I'll have some questions for you to answer afterwards:

Pass out a sheet of paper and pencil or pen to each student and have them fill these out.

1. How do you think the bicyclist felt when he saw the dark tunnel?

2. What had he brought in case of darkness? How did those items fall short? (barely any matches, batteries old, phone low on charge and no extra charger)

3. What did he do when his phone ran out? (prayed, lit a match)

4. How do you think he felt when he saw someone approach?

5. How did the other bicyclist react? Was he kind?

6. Elder Stanfill says we must act, expecting the Lord will fulfill his promise to lift us from the darkness, if we _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _.

If we choose to follow Jesus, we are choosing to live in the light.

Today we're going to learn about Joshua, the next big prophet that we're learning about.
Joshua was asked to be strong and courageous.

We're going to learn today how he helped the children of Israel!


The Lord chose Joshua to be the next prophet after Moses.
Before Moses died, he ordained Joshua to be the next leader of Israel and help them get to the promised land.
The Lord tells Joshua to be strong and courageous four times! (Joshua 1:6, 1:7, 1:9, 1:18)
(you could print out these four verses and pass out to four kids or post them up etc.)

But there was one issue - people were already living there!

Joshua sent two spies and told them “Go view the land, even Jericho” (Joshua 2:1)
The spies entered Jericho and found somewhere to stay - a small house with a woman named Rahab.

But guess what, the King of Jericho heard about these spies!
He was told they came to spy!
The King told Rahab to bring him the men, but she hid them instead.
She lied to the King and told him she didn’t know where they were.
She told the King that when it was dark, they went out somewhere, she didn’t know where.
She said “pursue after them quickly!” So she sent them off on a wild goose chase.

But what really happened was that she’d brought them up to the roof of the house and hid them.
She told them she knew they were there to take over the land.
That they in Jericho had heard of the parting of the Red Sea.
That the people in Jericho knew God was leading them!
She said in 2:12 that she hoped they would show her and her household kindness since she is helping them, that their family wouldn’t be killed.
They agreed! “we will deal kindly and truly with thee” (2:14)
She led them down out of the house on a scarlet cord.
They said to leave the scarlet cord in the window as a sign to spare the people in that house.
That cord represented Rahab’s faith!

So the spies returned with good information about the walls, the soldiers, etc.
And that the people in Jericho are afraid of the Israelites.

The time had come to take Jericho!
Joshua said to the people “to morrow the Lord will do wonders among you” (3:5)
Where have we heard this before? With Moses the Lord promised to do wonders.

They came to the Jordan River, but how to get across a wide river with rough waters?
What had the Lord just helped them cross years before? (The Red Sea)

They gathered together and one man from each of the 12 tribes carried the ark of the covenant.

The water just simply stopped flowing.
The whole nation crossed!
The water started again.

What is the ark of the covenant?
(perhaps pass out a half-sheet with a bullet-point description and an illustration of the ark...this info is from the Seminary manual)
Well, after leaving Egypt, Moses was commanded to prepare a tabernacle.
A tabernacle is kind of like a small temple, and in this case it’s a portable one.
You know how you can go camping and set up a tent and stay in it, etc. and it’s kind of like a portable house?
The tabernacle was like a portable temple.
They used it until they could stay somewhere permanent.
It was divided into two rooms with a curtain called a veil.
One room was The Holy Place and the other was The Most Holy Place, which is often called the Holy of Holies.
Inside the tabernacle there were some furnishings.
The ark of the covenant was the main feature and it was in the Holy of Holies room.
It represented the Lord!
It was called the ark of the covenant because it represented the two-way promise with the Lord to obey.
It was a chest made of acacia wood and was approximately 4 feet.
It was covered with gold and they had rings on the corners so they could have poles go through to carry.
The lid was also made of gold and had two cherub angel figurines facing each other.
Inside this chest, the ark, were tables of stone, guess what those were? (Ten Commandments)
Other things were stored inside too including Moses’ writings.

Okay so now we know why it’s so important!
So they’ve crossed the river, they’re headed to Jericho!
Can you feel the suspense?
And sure enough, those walls were big and strong!

The city gates were closed so the Israelites couldn’t get in!
No one was getting in or out!
The Lord told Joshua how to capture the city.
(Read Joshua 6:3-5)

So Joshua gathered priests and told them the plan.

(Read Joshua 6:16 and 20)

Do you think the soldiers fully understood these instructions?
Why do you think they followed them?
We can show faith by choosing to obey, even when we don’t understand why.

Rahab’s house and family were spared! (verse 23 and 25)

It was a miracle and the Israelites captured Jericho!
The power of the Lord and the faith and obedience of the Israelites is what made those walls fall.
This was the land promised Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

He tells the people that they need to “choose you this day whom ye will serve” (Joshua 24:15)
“But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord”

This is something we all need to do - to choose who we will be obedient to.
The people said (24:24) “The Lord our God we will serve, and his voice we will obey.”

The land was divided into 12 parts, one to each tribe of Israel
They would get to keep that land if they were righteous, and if they were wicked they’d lose it.

Joshua then became very old and passed away.

(Discuss what they've learned and their impressions of Joshua as a prophet)


- A reenactment involving a tower of chairs and memorizing Joshua 24:15 (or some other scripture). Try to do so in seven tries, meaning the same number of times the priests circled Jericho's walls. So start off with everyone with ram's horns and carrying a makeshift ark (see idea below this one for more details).
Have the scripture written on the board in chalk.
Say the scripture, then take away a word and recite it with one word taken away off the board as you're circling "Jericho" with two carrying the ark.
Continue on, taking away one word before each time you circle and try to say it.
The seventh time around, "shout" the whole scripture as memorized as possible and that makes the walls fall (however you decide to make it fall, just don't have the tower of chairs fall! maybe have something else leaning up against the chairs to act as walls....tall cardboard or something like that).

- Head outside with a makeshift ark of the covenant (could be 2D paper or something 3D that you create out of a mini chest you have at home) and someone in your class or your ward that has a trumpet or trombone or some sort of horn (or use paper horns you create or little kazoos). Circle around your church building's shed or some other sort of part of your church building that's safe outside. Reenact the days leading up to the fall of the walls and the day of the fall! (circle around, play the horns etc. etc.)


Sometimes we’re like Joshua, asked to do something that takes courage.
Sometimes we’re like the soldiers, asked to do something we don’t really understand.
Sometimes we’re like Rahab, inspired to help others.
We have the choice each day who we are going to serve.

Take home ideas with Joshua 1:9, Joshua 24:15, or John 8:12 scriptures:
Red rope licorice to represent the scarlet cord
Spy glasses
Glow sticks to represent choosing the light
Lego brick candies to represent the Jericho walls
Bugles snack to represent the ram's horns

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Short Attention Span Sunday School: Primary 6 Lesson 22 Israel and the Brass Serpent



Post up a big portrait of the Savior (building’s library, gospel art book, etc.)

Write the word HUMILITY in big letters.
Draw a big snake underneath (with a cute face might be a nice touch)


(Pass out note cards and pencils.
Already have written at the top:
"Some of my talents are..."
Give them a few minutes!)

(Discuss the talents they wrote down.)

Can you be talented and humble at the same time?
Yes, definitely - those talents are from God and if you recognize that He has blessed you with talents and you can find ways to use your talents for God.

If you’re a good athlete, you can tell people it’s partly because you keep your body healthy and clean from bad things.

If you are a good artist, you can draw things that He created in nature, you can even do portraits of prophets or Biblical people.

If you play an instrument, perhaps you bless your home with beautiful uplifting music.

The four promises on the board are promised to those who are what? (humble)
Humility is what you say about humble people, he or she has humility because they are very humble.

What is a humble person?
Someone who is not too proud to get help and learn from others, teachable.
Does humble mean they put themselves down when they’re complimented?
Like, oh no, I didn’t really do a good job...etc.
No, a humble person will graciously accept compliments.


Okay, so let’s pick up where we left off.
So it’s been 40 years, and what have they been eating? (manna)
People are starting to really murmur.
Remember what that means? (complain)
They spoke against God and against Moses!

A lot of miracles had happened for them, but they were growing tired and discouraged.

Number 21:5 - they were even tired of the manna!

It had been 40 years and in Deuteronomy 8:2, it says that “the Lord thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments or no...and he humbled thee and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna…”

So what did the Lord do?
Well, the last time you complained did the Lord send fiery snakes to bite you?
Nope, but man, we can really feel for these Israelites, right?
Because the Lord sent fiery serpents and “they bit the people; and much of Israel died” (vs. 6)

The people came to Moses (vs. 7) and were repentant and said “we have sinned for we have spoken against the Lord” and they asked that the serpents be taken away from them.

Moses prayed for the people!
What does Moses teach us here? (when people are suffering, even if they have been doing bad things, we can pray for them)
But did Moses have the serpents taken away? No, he made it a teaching moment about faith.

The Lord said to Moses “make thee a fiery serpent and set it upon a pole” (vs. 8) and that everyone that is bitten, if they look upon the serpent up on the pole, they shall live! (fiery = painful burning from the bite)

What a promise!
Can you think of something more simple than being told to just look at something?

Moses did what he was told, made a serpent of brass, and put it up on a pole.
So what happened?
We know from the Book of Mormon that not everyone looked, so many died.
They had hardened hearts - they were stubborn, prideful, lacked faith.

(draw a pole in a cross shape)
Now I’m drawing the pole here without the serpent.
What does this remind you of? (Jesus’s crucifixion) (Alma 33:19)
What were people told, are people told, to do?
Look to Him and live…eternal life.

It’s not as simple, right? It takes hard work, faith, baptism, enduring to the end, etc.

(some of these thoughts below are adapted from a December 2010 Ensign article by David R. Smith)

You know what, we are so similar to the Israelites even though we might think man, they just needed to literally look at the brass serpent! They life depended on it!
But each day, do we keep our covenants to remember Him?
That’s kind of like looking at the brass serpent. 

The serpents for the Israelites were real, poisonous and could kill them.

What are the modern day serpents for us that can harm us? (bad music, bad movies, drugs, bad books, alcohol, etc.)

All of these things can harm us.

How can we look to Christ to be saved spiritually? (learn of Him through prayer, scripture study, reading the teachings of the prophets, have faith, repent, be baptized, obey the commandments, be humble)

How can you be humble?

What if you were in a play, won a race, got straight A’s, won an art contest...and a lot of people tell you how awesome you are and how wonderfully you did.

How can you react with humility?


Both manual ideas are great:
1/ The thumbs up/thumbs down activity in the manual with humble/not humble words
2/ The situations to act out, hand them out to different groups and go through them all after giving each group time to prepare. You could even video them to share with parents! This could easily fill the rest of the time.

My own idea:
Work together as a class to make a big snake that goes all the way around the room.
Bring wide and long strips of green paper.
Also bring a cute snake head for one end and a tapering shape for the tail end.
Make sure each strip is the exact same width so it can be easily put together like a puzzle.
Have painter’s tape too or something that won’t damage the walls.
Have them work together to put it allllll around the room with painter’s tape in a snake shape.
Then give everyone a marker of some sort and have them all at the same time write ways they can remember Jesus.
Depending on the dynamics of your class, they can each have their own section or they can work together in pairs, etc.
At the end everyone can read what was written.

Another idea:
If you have a toy snake, pass it around the room and the person with it can say ways they can remember Jesus but they have to HISS like a snake with every S sound. Or a variation of this type of activity.

Another idea found online - a snake from a paper plate:

You could write on the snake ways you'll remember to look to the Savior.


Each day we have the opportunity to choose to look to the Savior and live.
To do that takes faith!
I’m so grateful that we have a story like this to remind us of how easy it can be.
Moses was very patient with the Israelites and so is our Heavenly Father.
As we strive to follow our baptismal covenants to always remember Him, I know that we will be happier and feel at peace as we look to Him!

Take home idea:
Gummy worms to remind them of the serpents

Use a scripture from Alma 33:18-22 in your take-home

Or the quotation by President Hinckley in the manual

Or a quotation from here about humility:

Friday, June 15, 2018

Short Attention Span Sunday School: Primary 6 Lesson 21 The Ten Commandments


from the awesome Prince of Egypt, the very end


Manual artwork of Moses

You could draw the tablets, perhaps even learn some Paleo-Hebrew to write on there (many schools of thought about what language was etched into the plates!), or even just regular Hebrew.


Hand out paper for each kid that’s numbered 1 to 10.

Tell them you want them to come up with 10 good rules for life, like a manual for life.
What 10 rules for everyone in the world to live by? Remind them that they need to be universal.

Have everyone share their thoughts and discuss a little.
Only God can come up with a “list” for life that applies to all.
The 10 Commandments are inspired, are from God, and are for the world!
And that’s what we’re going to be learning about today!
By the end of our lesson today, you’re going to know them better than you do right now.


There’s also a great video that would work as a nice intro to this lesson:


Okay, so the Israelites crossed through the Red Sea and then what?

Raise your hand if you know what happens next?

The traveled in the wilderness for two months!

Finally they reached Mount Sinai.
When they arrived, Moses went up the mountain to talk with Jesus Christ.
He told Moses to tell the Israelites how they’d been blessed.
And indeed they had!
Think of all the ways the Lord had preserved them through those plagues etc.
The Lord told Moses that they should obey his commandments and he would bless them.
Moses went down the mountain and told the Israelites what Jesus had said.
They said they would obey!

(and continue on with all of the story, lots of great LDS resources out there)

A good one:

Lessons 48, 49, 50, 51 here:

Part of learning the 10 commandments could be to have the summary of each printed out and use the two categories mentioned in the manual - love God and love neighbors - and categorize them as you're learning them, or do it all after.

Be sure to also use the great discussion questions in the manual.


There’s a really cute song in the Children’s Songbook called The Ten Commandments that is definitely lesser-known but covers them all, and has a really cute tune!

You could have the Commandments posted and as you sing it, point to each one. Or have props for each one, or assign a commandment to each kid and have them stand and hold up a piece of paper with that commandment number when you sing it...maybe sing it faster and faster so they have to stand up faster and faster!


This is an awesome video of a Christian-lady with hand motions (with meaning behind it) for each commandment! I think kids will really learn from this!
We’ll go through this as a class and see if they can remember them.


Using a tablet-shaped cardboard covered in foil and some sort of toothpick or wooden skewer, have them etch on their own tablets the ways they will strive to follow the 10 commandments, perhaps they write one sentiment/sentence or maybe they make a short list.


The 10 Commandments are our “manual” for life - including the commandment to love one another.

I am so grateful for Moses and the sacrifices he went through to receive those sacred tablets, grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who helps us to know how to be happy, and grateful that we can try hard every day to follow those commandments….even though it’s hard!

Take home idea:
Make treats with this neat chocolate mold (or others like it found on Amazon or online)