Monday, January 21, 2008

Lesson 3: Heavenly Father's Plan for Us

So I posted what my lesson plan was but like Napoleon said, No battle plan survives first contact with the enemy. I'm telling you, I'm no miracle worker. This is how it went down.
My husband decided to stay up until 2 and I succumbed to temptation and was up way past midnight. That made for a tense and testy morning. We have 8:30 church and I woke up at 7:50. To get to church in time to set up, I went shower-less, dressed ugly, ate only a granola bar, and tried very hard to not say things to my husband that I would need to repent of.
At the last minute I got the idea to make mobiles from the circle diagrams. I snagged ten cheap wire hangers from our closet. The Swimmy book, the big people shoes and my lesson outline got left on the table where I set them out. Sigh...
When it came time to do the lesson I realized I forgot a cardinal rule of lesson giving: Open BIG! I found myself stuttering out, "Hey, Hey, over here!" I needed an attention getter. I pulled out the circles. I got some attention. I talked about having a plan and how nursery had a plan. I showed them the first circle and told them about living with a loving Heavenly Father and how he had a plan for all of us.

I gave them the whole overview using a story about myself. Miss Kate lived with Heavenly Father in the pre-mortal life (hold up circle 1), then Miss Kate came to earth to get a body (circle 2), Miss Kate and her husband are going to live happily in heaven (circle 3). I picked a kid to help tape up each of my circles to the wall. I passed out the blue circles to everyone and let them start coloring as I pulled out the earth circles.
I held up the earth circle and talked about how we lived on Earth now where we have bodies and get to grow up to be big and more like our Heavenly Father. Steve and baby Eliza knocked on the door just then. Perfect timing. I thought, I have them now, they'll see the baby and be interested. I was SO wrong. I asked them about the baby and the daddy and I got BLANK stares and no response. I was so sad. I really expected them to like the baby. At this point I would have pulled out the big shoes to play with but they were not to be had. Instead I passed out the earth circles to each of them with a handful of stickers in the middle of the table that they could decorate their earth with.

I told them about heaven and how Heavenly Father wants us to come back and be with him with our families. I asked if they loved their family and who the loved in their family. Then I passed out the heaven circles and helped some of them draw their families in. Others were happy to have their Heavenly family be composed of horse stickers. At that point I was fine with that too.
I and the other nursery workers went around and helped each kid tape their circles to strings attached to the hanger. They seemed to like their mobiles okay. They really liked playing with the tape. The ones who finished got up and started swinging their mobiles around. They were having a great time, but I started to worry someone was going to get a hanger in the eye. I confiscated the mobiles and we danced the last five minutes of class away. That might have been enough, but grown up class went ten minutes over again. I pulled out the bubbles. And everyone survived.

If any of you are wondering why I didn't rock all three degrees of glory it's because I got tired of cutting circles and I figured that all of these kids "are redeemed from the foundation of the world through the atoning sacrifice of Him who died to save us all." I was willing to be optimistic in the case of myself and my husband.

I'd give myself a 6 out of 10 for how well it went this week. Sort of disappointing. Hopefully next week will be better. It's Lesson 4: I can pray to Heavenly Father. I'm thinking about letting the kids make a phone call on my cell phone. Is that a bad idea?

I'm telling you, this is the only time I spend with kids. I feel a little out of touch so your advice is appreciated/LOVED.


katie said...

oooh man, do I know how you feel! It's frustrating to plan and plan and never be able to predict exactly how kids will react. What's more, we have to adapt lessons to a 18 month old and 30 month old? That's like teaching calculus to fourth graders.

I say keep all the materials bring up the lesson next week during snack time or when play time quiets down. Just getting the "plan" idea in their heads is enough. And seriously, repetition is KEY with these little ones. (Notice how they love to sing the same songs over and over?)

And can I say that I love you use bubbles as the ultimate placater. Works every time!!

jenmomrn said...

You are so visual, that will help you with your lessons. Have visuals and "manipulatives" (we are talking Montssori terms here) for every concept you want them to understand. Show lots of pictures. Do you have the gospel art kit? We should get that for's worth it to have your own. And I think kids love story books, so use stories to reinforce the concepts to the older kids during free play time...they may be ready for more in-depth teaching.

jenmomrn said...

I forgot to say, that just by having organization and a plan and a "good attitude" about being in the nursery, you will be an answer to many parents prayers. They want their kids to enjoy nursery and be happy learning at church. They will be very grateful to you...and the kids will think nursery is a fun place...and there will be "no crying"...

Jared Scott said...

I love to look on here to see what Bree's lesson was on. She talks about her last art project every day. She will tell me that she did it all by herself.


The Fear Fam said...

I am inbetween having kids in nursery (2 in primary, one of which is a Sunbeam, and one 9 month old) but I enjoy looking at your blog. It gives me ideas on how to do FHE lessons, plus it just makes me smile to see how hard you are working at your calling. It's great!

Found you via Mormon Mommy Wars, btw. Keep up the good work!

Toby and Emily said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Toby and Emily said...

I teach Sunbeams in Gilbert, AZ. I totally understand the helpless feeling when you're really trying and it's just not getting through. I keep telling myself it will get better. I'm not really sure what "it" is. Will I get better at this? Will the kids get better at listening? Teaching is not my thing and kids are not really my thing either. It's not the best combination but I keep trying. So like it says in Finding Nemo - just keep swimming.