Guest Author - Terrie Lynn Bittner
Purpose: To help family members feel gratitude for their family and to become aware of the gifts they have received from them.
1. Ask older children to prepare a very brief description of a scripture hero who inherited good qualities from a parent, such as Nephiís emulation of his father. Little children might partner with someone older and provide an illustration to accompany the older childís presentation. The family can also divide into teams. Have a list available in case children cannot think of anyone, if your children are young. Invite each family member or team to present their description.
2. Read The Family Gift Tree from the November 1998 Friend. In this story, a child learns that he has received many traits, qualities and appearance factors from members of his family, including his ancestors.
3. Bring out family photo albums, Books of Remembrance and anything else you have that tells you about your family. Allow the children to look at the pictures and find out what they might have inherited from various family members, focusing primarily on physical traits.
4. Give each family member a sheet of paper and have him list each member of his family. For younger children, write the names on the papers in advance. Have each one list what they inherited from that person, or what qualities they have in common. They can also list what qualities each person has that they would like to emulate. (For an example, if family members are unsure what to do, read my article, Welcome to the World, Ashilyn, in which I tell my goddaughter what qualities I would like to see her emulate from each of her family members.
5. Younger children might enjoy making a chart of what they have inherited. Give them a large sheet of paper and ask them to draw themselves. Then place labels around the picture showing what they inherited from various people or in what ways they look the same or are the same. (For example, a child might write dad with an arrow drawn to his eyes, to show he has his fatherís eyes or put a baseball bat in his hands and place his sisterís name on the bat.)
6. Encourage family members to write to someone, perhaps a family member who lives away from your home, and thank him or her for the example that person has set. This lesson can also lead to a study of genealogy, especially exciting when relatives gather for Thanksgiving and tell stories of the past.
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