Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sabbath Amusements XI

Yesterday it was my turn to teach Sharing Time during Primary, at church.

I invited the junior primary to sit in a circle while I explained the purpose of the lesson, and that we were going to play a game to help us remember what we were learning. I clutched one of my many, many pillowcases from home, filled with objects, and slowly retrieved one item at a time, reciting what each represented - every object was associated with one of the "Gospel Standards". Once all of the items were spread in the circle's centre, I checked the group understood by picking up the odd item and checking for its attached standard - yep, they got it. Then I allowed 15 seconds of silence for the group to examine the display before returning the stash to the pillowcase and playing "Memory"; to make an item reappear, one child had to name it, and another child had to name which Gospel Standard the object could be used to remind us of.

Yes, there is a DVD in my bag to remind us to only watch good movies and read good books.

Uhuh, you're right, there's an orange in here to remind us to only put good things into our bodies. "Yeah, like no drugs!" cried Melody.

About midway through my bag of tricks, I invited the group's youngest (3), Rogan, to name an item from memory. (The little guy's attention span was holding up alright, but he was getting a little squirmy - evident by his having scooted forward to sit close to the middle of the circle, so other children were craning left and right to see around him.) "What's something else in my bag, Rogan?" He bit his lower lip and blinked. With large and exaggerated movements, I peered into the pillowcase (even thought I knew its contents), then looked back at Rogan, wide-eyed. I then mimed placing a ring on my finger - to remind him of the CTR ring within the bag (to represent the standard of "Choosing the Right"). Rogan blinked again. I then slid my wedding ring up and down, and pointed to it, nodding. Rogan's lashes were his only animation. "Hmmmm, maybe someone could whisper a clue in Rogan's ear?" I suggested, smiling at the other little ones. I had scarcely offered peer-help when three juniors leaned in and loudly whispered "Ring!" in Rogan's ear. Rogan's bite turned into a smile, but his mouth remained sealed. I pecked the air once with my chin to cue Rogan's response. His smile was all he offered. The same three children leaned in to repeat the answer, but this time they were joined by two more well-meaning souls - now hissing the answer; "CTR ring!" and "A riiiiing!" I smiled, twisted my head, and nudged Rogan along, "Now do you know what's still in my bag?" The boy's silence must've been too much for the bulk of the group, because all but three or four of the group leaned in to whisper the answer - to me it appeared as though all of these little, leaning bodies formed petals of a "helping flower" centered around little Rogan's head. Rogan's eyes flew open wide as the petals returned to their places in the circle. And then, the boy spoke;"A reeeng!" to which the circle responded with a sigh of relief.

During Closing Exercises I set about the agenda - which was to include a brief sum-up of the message - how we can be examples by living certain gospel standards. I had not yet reached this point, when none other than Rogan - the formerly mute one - began calling out "EXAMPLE!" intermittently. I think he must have made the word his cry at least 30 times before the time was up.

Hoorah, Rogan found his voice.
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