Easter FHE

easter visuals

So for Christmas this last year I put together 12 FHE lessons for my little sister’s family.  I put together a lesson plan for each month with visual aids, recommended opening/closing hymns, an activity and a recommended treat (I couldn’t exactly put together 12 months of treats and hope they’d still be good at the end of the year).  The idea was that she could pull out the lesson 5 minutes before FHE and be all ready to go (especially if she does like us and just goes with Oreos for her FHE treat).  I had meant to post all of those lessons after I gave her the present, but it hasn’t happened yet.  However, as I was getting ready to do the Easter lesson for tonight I thought it might be good to share what I put together with anyone who might be interested.

So, my favorite resource in putting together these FHE lessons was A Year of FHE – she puts together the most well thought out lessons that are just easy to do, spiritual and geared to kids.  For my Easter lesson I decided to use her lesson plan called Jesus is Resurrected.  I made some modifications to her lesson plan for my use.  She uses the Gospel Art Kit a lot, which is great, but my kids tend to like the flannel board style lessons better.  So, using her lesson plan I put together some visual aids that were more kid-friendly.  She also has her lessons organized on a month-by-month basis and has her recommended closing song be a song that the family is practicing for the whole month, and I wanted to pick something that associated with the lesson instead.  I also found an idea for a treat that I wanted to add into my own lesson.  Finally, because I’m a dork about things like formatting, I always want my lesson plans to fit on one piece of paper, or one piece double-sided at least, so I copied her lesson into Word and rearranged things so that I was happy with it.

Anyways, I’m not going to post my version of the lesson plan here because I feel like I did too much copying for it to be fair use.  I might contact the sister that runs the Year of FHE website and see if she would mind me re-posting it here, but in the mean time if you’d like the Brittny-approved copy leave me a comment with your email address or shoot me an email asking for it – my email address is my first name {at} byu {dot} net and promise me you’ll click over to her site and say a big thank you for the lesson plan.  Otherwise, her lesson plan is awesome and if you want my treat idea it’s these Resurrection rolls that were floating around Pinterest like crazy a few months ago.

The visuals I put together are what you see at the beginning of this post.  I got the colored in images of Christ and the tomb etc. from Chocolate on my Cranium and the other images were from Microsoft publisher.  Nothing too fancy, but it would save you the hassle of trying to gather all the items from around your house/yard.  I’ve uploaded a regular pdf copy here or a reversed copy here (so you can print it on an iron on transfer for a flannel board).

Prophets and General Conference FHE

So, after I finally finished last week’s lesson for this week… I decided I wanted to do something else for FHE tonight 😛  General Conference is coming up this weekend and I wanted to talk to my sons about that to get them prepared. So I started on it this morning and came up with what I wanted to tell them and some visual aids to go along with it.  It’s not as awesome as I would like, but for having decided that I wanted to do this earlier this morning and working with toddlers underfoot – it’s pretty darn ok 🙂   You can see a copy of the visual aids I created above.  The clip art I used is from a few different sources so it doesn’t match perfectly, but it was good enough for my purposes.  Maybe some day I’ll get everything in it that I want.  I’m also planning on using a picture of the quorum of the twelve apostles and the first presidency with this lesson if I can get my husband to pick them up on his way home.  Hope someone else’s family enjoys this too!

Prophets & General Conference Lesson Outline

Prophets Visuals – Reversed for Flannel Board

Prophet Visuals

Update: For my own family I made this lesson into a PowerPoint Presentation (because that’s just how I roll).  Anyways, if anyone else would like to use that I’ve included it here – Prophets & General Conference Slideshow.  I like this format personally because it has all the text of the lesson on the screen so you can pretty much just read from the screen, and have the visuals display as you go.  It also makes the prophets matching game a little more interactive.

Image Credits:

Noah and Ark from The Friend, November 2011

Nephi, Brass Plates, Moses, 10 Commandments, Samuel the Lamanite, star and manger from Chocolate on My Cranium

Daniel & Lions from Sugardoodle

President Monson speaking at Conference from LDSColoringBook.com (General Conference Coloring Book)

Joseph Smith’s First Vision from LDSColoringBook.com (Church History Coloring Book)

I Want to Be A Missionary Now

On Friday my little brother Cody opened up his mission call!  I can’t believe he’s old enough to be going on a mission but I’m very excited for him.  Since missions are obviously a topic that gets discussed a lot around our house right now I wanted to make it the topic of a Family Home Evening lesson for my kids.

I looked around the internet to see if I could find a lesson that was like what I wanted to do, but nothing quite fit the bill.  What I really wanted to do was discuss how mission calls are made and talk about what missionaries really do.  Since we have really young children this seemed like a good building block to have.  Most of the lessons I saw were about sharing the gospel, which is awesome just not what I wanted to do.  So I decided to make my own.

I put together a lesson plan but what I really wanted was to have a flannel board story to go along with it (that format works really well for our kiddos).  I searched high and low to find the type of clip art graphics that I wanted but really didn’t come up with anything.  I found one picture that I really liked but nothing that matched it.  So I decided to take the picture I’d found and use it to create my own clip art to fill in the rest.

(P.S. – I spent a lot of time coming up with the clip art so I feel the need to share the whole story, if you just want the fruits of my labors the lesson plan and graphics links are at the end of the post, feel free to skip the whole story 🙂 )

This is what I started with:

Bike Missionaries by Arie Van De Graff

I decided the missionary on the right would be the easiest to work with since he didn’t have a helmet on and already had hair.  So I cut him out, stole the other missionary’s left arm, took off his backpack and his tag and… 

Voila!  Now I have a pre-missionary who is ready to meet with his bishop.  Of course, that means that next I’ll need a bishop.  So I doubled that missionary, turned one copy of him to face the other way, added a door in the background and got to work editing one of the copies so that he could look like a different person than the original missionary (a little weird for him to interview himself to go on a mission).  I changed his skin tone a little, got rid of the Mormon wave, smooshed his head, changed his mouth, added a jacket (that was definitely the hardest part), and tried to make them look like they’re shaking hands.  I got pretty far through this process and then realized I had a problem –

I had accidentally amputated the bishop’s left hand!  Crap.  Eric also pointed out that I was having them shake hands very awkwardly, the Bishop’s hand should be on top instead of the prospective Elder’s.  A few more changes and…

Tah-dah!  Now he looks like he’s ready to give out mission calls.  This whole process was HARD (I’m not very artistically inclined, if you can’t tell from my Photoshopping efforts).  So I decided to dig a little more for some clip art that might match.  I found the original picture at MormonShare.com and it indicated that it had been submitted by Jenny Smith, but a perusal of Jenny’s site seemed to be a mirror effort of what was on MormonShare.  I had left a comment with Jenny to see if she could help me find more similar clip art, but I wasn’t too hopeful.  Then I noticed that while the image had been *submitted* by Jenny Smith, the artist listed was Arie Van De Graaff.  A quick Googling of that name led me to his website – The Mormon Cartoonist.  Jackpot!  I emailed Brother Van De Graff to check if it was ok if I posted my finished product on my website (it was) and if he had any ideas on where I could find some of the other pieces I was looking for.

While I waited for a response I went to Google Images and now that I had an artist name for the pictures in question I had a lot more success.  The next thing I wanted to make was a picture of an apostle reviewing the prospective missionary’s papers and issuing a call.  Not an easy bill to fill, mostly I was interested in finding someone sitting in an office chair since that was a piece I wasn’t keen on creating myself.  I found this –

Which I actually only just realized is not by Arie Van De Graff, but by Kevin Beckstrom, but he mentions Arie on his blog post so it came up in my search.  Anyways, I took the adult trekkie, turned him around to face the computer screen, shaved his head, put him in a suit, gave him a smile, and put the missionary’s information on the computer screen and…

Tah dah!  Our Trekkie is now an apostle!  The funny thing was I was having a hard time finding a scribble that I could use for the writing on the computer screen.  I didn’t want to have to come up with actual text, and drawing scribble text with a mouse is harder than you might think!  I had to go and find that scribble on someone’s MySpace page, and then I shrunk it and pasted it over and over 😛  Go figure.

My next step was to make a picture of our missionary receiving his mission call.  This is where I struck gold!  I found this digital coloring book which had almost all the rest of the images that I needed.  Plus, it was illustrated by none other than Brother Van De Graaff himself, so the theme fit perfectly.  Strangely enough the picture for the MTC actually came from the coloring book for The Proclamation on the Family, but it worked.  I put my missionary into all of the pictures and got the rest of my pictures –

So, if you survived through my long story of how I got all my graphics you definitely deserve to have a copy of this lesson.  I don’t promise that it’s the most amazing and life changing lesson, but I’m excited to do it with my boys next week (obviously I kinda missed getting it done for this week, even though I started on Monday with that intention 😛 )  I think it’s probably good if you have very little boys like I do.  I got some of my ideas from this FHE Lesson at A Year of FHE and I plan on printing out her map as well as the missionary tags to go along with the lesson.  So without further ado –

Let me know what you guys think of the finished results!  I’d love to know if there are things you think I ought to fix or change!


Angry Birds FHE

As I was playing on Pinterest a few months ago I came across an idea for a Family Home Evening lesson using Angry Birds as a way to teach children to control their emotions.  Since I have little children and a smartphone, Angry Birds is obviously something that gets played A LOT in our household and I knew this would be a hit.  I found the lesson on The Home Teacher and her original lesson plan is here.  She has also taken the time to put together some awesome resources, including a follow up post with more birds and lots of printables including posters and workbook pages.  The whole thing is awesome and I was excited to do it for my boys for FHE.

For Christmas this last year my sister-in-law gave us a flannel board and a bunch of flannel board stories for FHE.  Sam now thinks of FHE as a flannel board story time so I knew the lesson would go best if I were to make the Angry Birds into something that would go on our flannel board.  So I took all of the bird images and put them in a single page format so I could print them onto an iron on transfer.  The lesson that night was a little scattered because I was working off of my memory of what I had read in the blog posts.  As part of a project I’m working on right now I decided to write out a concise, easy-to-use FHE outline that had all the main ideas from The Home Teacher’s blog posts as well as an assigned opening and closing song, a shortened link for an idea to make your own version of an Angry Birds game using paint, cans and a dodgeball, and a treat suggestion.  Basically I wanted to make it so you could print out the outline and have an almost zero-prep FHE lesson.

Anyways, I finished that off and decided to share the fruits of my labors here.  I’ve included the outline, the single page formatted visuals and the visuals reversed (for iron-on transfer).  If you aren’t using the lesson on a flannel board or some other small format I really suggest The Home Teacher’s posters as they have a lot more detail and are just plain prettier.  I also highly recommend reading through her blog posts on the lesson as they explain her ideas in a lot more detail (my main goal was to make the lesson plan fit on one page front and back so I had to pare it down a lot).

This has become Sam’s favorite FHE lesson, whenever we pull out the binder he asks us to do the Angry Birds lesson again.  Not just because it’s a fun topic though, he really knows what we have each of the birds representing and names the birds by their lesson names when he’s playing the game too!  I hope you enjoy this as much as we have!

I just want to say thanks again to Keri at The Home Teacher for all the effort she put into putting this lesson together in the first place, and for the permission to share it again here!