I taught this song a few years ago with a really simple lesson plan if you'd prefer that as opposed to the one I've posted below. You can find it HERE. It follows along with what is suggested in the 2014 CSMP outline. I just wanted a change this year so here's what I came up with:
A version of a Chutes and Ladders Game Board:
Find the grey board HERE. I printed mine in black and wish I had done grey...so use the grey one! If you'll notice on my actual poster below, the clip art of the heaven and earth are a bit blurry but the game board seems to be fine. I couldn't find clip art with a high enough resolution to not be blurry.
I took the above image and printed a 20x30 collage poster at Costco for $9.99 (do not simply print this as an 20x30 picture - it won't fit!). You must title it "I Will Follow God's Plan" or again, it won't fit. Here are detailed instructions on how to print a poster at Costco:
- Go to costco.com and click on photo at the top
- Login or create a login
- Upload Photos
- Upload the image that I have linked above (you will need to download it to your computer first)
- Click on "Photo Gifts" and select "Collage Prints"
- Choose the 20x30 collage print for $9.99, "vertical," "lustre" and "Get Started"
- Select your photo and "create now"
- On the left it says "add title." Type in "I Will Follow God's Plan" and add it to the top. You can also change the font theme. I chose "Garamond"
- Add a border if you like - you can determine how thick you want it by clicking the "+" and "-"
- Click "Continue" in the upper right hand corner
- It will take you to your cart where you can check out
If you don't have access to Costco, or it's late Saturday night or early Sunday morning (I wouldn't recommend this lesson plan if that's the case, however!), you can print my tiled version HERE (grey version only). It will print on 9 sheets of paper. I'd recommend printing it on card stock and laminating it.
When I got my poster back, I hand drew in the ladders and chutes with a thick black Sharpie marker (this is why I wish I had used the grey poster as opposed to the black one - too much black). I'm not very techy on the computer and the ladders and slides were driving me CRAZY digitally. The hand drawn ones didn't turn out as cute as I had hoped but whatever at this point (don't judge as I'm really putting myself out here!):
(just make sure each colored square has a ladder and a slide attached to it. They can end up anywhere you want!)
The colored squares will contain key word pictures where the kids will have to pick the correct one (to begin, have them all hanging randomly next to the poster on the board). Emily on LDS Chorister's page made these fabulous images HERE that I resized to be a little smaller (see her original post on Facebook HERE). I printed them on card stock, cut them out and should laminate but I'm feeling lazy!
The game markers are from Susan Fitch Design HERE (it's the last link), and I'm using my big foam dice I purchased from Amazon here:
I've also seen individual die at Zurchers and a reader once mentioned they saw them at Dollar Tree.
Before primary, hang the poster on the chalk board using heavy magnets and then hang up the clip art images, randomly and out of order next to the poster and game marker(s) blue painters tape (if you'll be re-using the board as regular tape may rip your poster).
To start, tell the children that God has given us a very special gift. Ask them to listen for what it is as you sing the first line of the song (a plan). Show the game board, and compare playing it to following God’s plan to return to Him. Explain that this song teaches us about the plan and tells us how we can return to live with Heavenly Father. When we choose to follow his plan, we are blessed. When we make mistakes, there are consequences but the Lord always allows for repentance, again similar to this game.
To play, one team will roll the die and move their marker. We'll sing the song to wherever they land. If they land on a colored square, they must choose the correct key word picture. If they choose correctly, I'll insert the image on the game board, they will then go up the ladder and we'll sing up to that point. If they choose incorrectly, they will go down the slide and only sing to that point. Once clip art is up, it remains up so if another team lands on a colored square already filled in with an image, they will simply go up the ladder. If a team will be passing over an empty colored square as part of their die roll (and did not land on a colored spot), the team cannot advance until they can insert the correct picture even though they will not be going up the ladder or down the slide. However, if they go up a ladder which leads them to surpass several blank colored squares, they do not need to fill those in.
For Jr. I will modify it a little bit...with just the one game marker, everyone will just get a turn to roll the die. Whenever we pass over a colored spot, we'll stop and find the clip art that goes there. When we sing, we'll sing the key word clip art pictures with a little more gusto :). We'll only go up the ladders (maybe down the slides if they really can't figure it out) when we land on the actual colors.
As we play the game, I'll try to pose questions that relate to the song and key words as we get to them:
Who is our life a gift from?
Why do we have this gift?
How can we: work? pray? walk in his way? be happy?
Where is my home above?
Sr. Primary I will play against teams (probably only 2 teams, using 2 markers) and for Jr. we'll just play the game together, using only 1 marker.
Here's what the finished game will look like:
Okay, still with me? Kind of a lot of prep as I usually don't go to this amount of work - but I had an idea and ran with it. I hope it's fun! I'm planning on it taking 2 weeks to complete as we learn the song, teach the gospel, feel the spirit, all while keeping the little people engaged. Phew!!
UPDATE: This was SO fun! I even had my Sr. Primary so involved. Everyone wanted to sing and listen for answers. We only got about half way through the game in both primaries so I'll be using it again to finish teaching.