5 Minute Family Home Evenings

Follow the Prophet

This 9 week series is based on the song "Follow the Prophet" from the Children's Songbook.  Each week you will teach a different verse from the song and do an activity based on that prophet.

Learn the Song

Learn the melody and verses of the song "Follow the Prophet" in the Children's Songbook, page 110.  Click here to access the sheet music, lyrics and an mp3 of the song.  (Scroll down the page and find the song in the Alphabetical listing.  Click on the title to find the sheet music, or on the mp3 logo to access the recording).

 

The most effective way to teach music is in repetition.  The easiest way for children to learn the song is by simply hearing you sing it over and over again.  No need to speak the words or involve complicated actions or visual aids.

 

Sing the verse and chorus of the week together.  Then allow each member of the family to be the "prophet" and lead the rest of the family marching around the house.  Make sure Mom and Dad also get a turn!  Your kids may all want to go first, but you'll be surprised at how willing they are to let everyone have a turn.  Plus this means you'll sing the song at least two or three times.

 

For the second week, teach the new verse, repeating it two or three times.  Then sing the first and second verses.  As you add verses, you might lose the attention of your kids.  We sometimes skipped the chorus between the verses, especially as we reached week 6-9.  When you come to the end of a verse, simply call out the next prophet's name to cue your kids straight to the next verse rather than the chorus:

 

"Adam was a prophet, first one that we know
 In a place called Eden, he helped things to grow
 Adam served the Lord by following His ways
 We are his descendants in the latter days.
 Enoch!
 Enoch was a prophet, he taught what was good... (etc)

 

 You can change the leader for each verse.  Your kids will quickly learn the pace of the song and how to march and sing simultaneously.  If you find there is a verse they keep forgetting, you can sing that one a couple of times in a row.

 

Don't forget to periodically sing the song throughout the week.  I have used it to keep my kids all in a row while on a walk.  (They have adapted it to their own names at times like these: "Follow the Mommy, follow the Mommy.." or "Follow the Colin, Follow the Colin..." etc.)

Week 1 - Adam

SONG

"Adam was a prophet, first one that we know
 In a place called Eden, he helped things to grow
 Adam served the Lord by following His ways
 We are his descendants in the latter days.

 

 STORY

If you have a children's book about Adam and Eve, read it with your children.  Or read Genesis 1:28.

 

ACTIVITY

Gather a styrofoam cup, some earth, a seed, and a glass of water.  Talk with your children about what is involved in "helping things to grow."  Together add the earth to the cup, plant the seed, add water, and set the cup by the window for sun.

 

Sing the song "Follow the Prophet" verse 1, then sing it again while marching around the home, taking turns at being the leader.

Week 2 - Enoch

SONG

"Enoch was a prophet, he taught what was good
 People in his city did just what they should
 When they were so righteous that there was no sin
 Heavenly Father took them up to live with Him."

 

 STORY

 Watch the "Scripture Story Video" of Enoch, available on DVD or on the church website (http://lds.org/library/display/0,4945,8187-1-4473-5,00.html  Chapter 5)

 

ACTIVITY

Build a city out of building blocks or Lego.

 

Sing the song "Follow the Prophet" verse 2, then 1 and 2 while marching around the home, taking turns at being the leader.

Week 3 - Noah

SONG

"Noah was a prophet, called to preach the word

Tried to cry repentance, but nobody heard

They were busy sinning - Noah preached in vain

They wished they had listened when they saw the rain"

 

 STORY

If you have a storybook that contains the story of Noah, read it to your children.  Or read selected verses from  Genesis 6-8.  Or watch the scripture story video (see link above in week 2).

 

ACTIVITY

Go for a walk in the rain, with your umbrellas.  If it is not raining, you may choose to do this activity on a different day (check the weather reports), or get creative in making your own rain!  You could hook up a sprinkler or hose in the backyard.

 

Alternately, build and decorate an ark out of an old box.  If the box is big enough, your child might be able to get into it, along with various stuffed animals.  If it is a smaller box, find small animal toys to fill it with.  Another variation is to find a light plastic basket that floats in the water, fill it with small animal toys (and a few people to be Noah and his family) and send it off "in the flood" in the bathtub.  Who knows - the shower might even be able to act as the rain!

 

The story of Noah is very popular, which means you might have other activities around the home you could use.  We have a magnet board with the ark and all the animals, and I have also seen a "Little People" ark.  Be sure to use the resources you have at home, or have access to through friends and family.

 

Sing the song "Follow the Prophet" verse 3, then 1, 2 and 3 while marching around the home, taking turns at being the leader.

Week 4 - Abraham

SONG

"Abraham the prophet prayed to have a son

So the Lord sent Isaac as the chosen one

Isaac begat Jacob, known as Israel

Jacob's sons were twelve tribes, so the bible tells."

 

STORY

Read the story of Abraham and Sarah having their son, found in Genesis 21: 1-3.

ACTIVITY

Create two family trees, one for Abraham and his family, and one for your own.  Gather two large pieces of chart paper, brown, green and red construction paper, and a black marker.  Cut two large tree trunks with branches out of the brown construction paper, 16 wavy oval shapes (like clouds) out of the green for the leaves of the tree, and 18 red circles for apples for Abraham's tree, plus as many red circles to represent family members in your own family.  (We used about 16).  Glue one tree trunk to each chart paper.  Write the names of Abraham's family on the 16 apples: Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rebekah, Jacob, Rachel, Reuban, Simeon, Levi, Napthali, Issachar, Asher, Dan, Zebulan, Gad, Benjamin, Judah, Joseph.

 

For the activity, have your children glue the leaves to the branches.  Then, as you go over the song, glue each person to Abraham's family tree.  Next, ask your children to name people in your own family.  Write each name on an apple, then glue it to the tree.  In the end, you will have two trees, one of Abraham's descendants and one of your own.

 

Sing verse 4 of "Follow the Prophet," followed by verses 1-4 while marching around the home, taking turns at being the leader.

Week 5 - Moses

SONG

"Moses was a prophet sent to Israel

He would lead them to the promised land to dwell

They were slow to listen, or so it appears

They were in the wilderness for forty years."

 

STORY

If you have a children's book about Moses, read it with your children.  If you have several books covering different parts of Moses' life (ie: as a baby in the basket, leading the people out of Egypt, the ten commandments) read several stories, or assign different family members to read/relate them.  Or, watch the "Scripture Story Video" of Moses and the ten commandments, available on DVD or on the church website (http://lds.org/library/display/0,4945,8187-1-4473-5,00.html  Chapter 19.)  The activity is based on the ten commandments, so be sure to at least include this portion.

ACTIVITY

Cut out 10 pieces of construction paper like the tablets the commandments were written on.  Write one commandment on each paper.

 

Have one adult (Dad) stand at the top of a staircase to act as God.  Your children will alternately act as Moses.  Send up one child at a time to receive one commandment at a time.  Once they have all ten, sit as a family and read what each commandment says.  Explain each one in a simple way to help your children understand what they mean:

 

1) Only worship God.

2) Do not make anything more important than God.

3) Do not say bad words, or say bad things about God.

4) Do reverent things on Sundays.

5) Listen to and obey your Mommy and Daddy.

6) Do not hurt people.

7) Treat your family kindly.

8) Do not take things that do not belong to you.

9) Always tell the truth.

10) Be happy with the blessings we have been given.

 

Sing verse 5 of "Follow the Prophet," followed by verses 1-5 while marching around the home, taking turns at being the leader.

 

Week 6 - Samuel

SONG

"Samuel the prophet, chosen as a boy

Hannah promised God her son would serve with joy

In the tabernacle Samuel heard his name

He was called by God and answered "Here I am!"

 

STORY

If you have a children's book about Samuel, read it with your children.  Or, watch the "Scripture Story Video" of Moses and the ten commandments, available on DVD or on the church website (http://lds.org/library/display/0,4945,8187-1-4473-5,00.html  Chapter 19.)  Or read selected verses of the story from the bible in 1 Samuel 1-3.

ACTIVITY

Depending on your level of comfort with your video camera and computer editing software, you can either make a short movie about Samuel, starring your family, or put on a play.  Read the account of Samuel in the Old Testament, then write out a short script based on the abilities of your family members.  Be sure that the lines you write for your children are easy, short and few.  You can watch the video we made on You Tube by clicking here.  Our children love to do this kind of thing, so we were able to tape the children portions twice, once with each of our boys.  Conversely, you could have the youngest child/baby be given to Eli by Hannah, and an older child be Samuel in his bedroom.  Write the script before Family Home Evening, and plan out your video shots, sets and props ahead of time, since this activity can be a little more time consuming.  If you lose the attention span of your children, wait until the following week to pick it up again.
 

Sing verse 6 of "Follow the Prophet," followed by verses 1-6 while marching around the home, taking turns at being the leader.

Week 7 - Jonah

SONG

"Jonah was a prophet, tried to run away

But he later learned to listen and obey

When we really try, the Lord won't let us fail

That's what Jonah learned deep down inside the whale."

 

STORY

If you have a children's book about Jonah, read it with your children.  Or, watch the "Scripture Story Video"  (http://lds.org/library/display/0,4945,8187-1-4473-5,00.html  Chapter 38.)  Or read selected verses of the story from the bible in Jonah 1-2.

ACTIVITY

Before Family Home Evening time, cut out the shape of two large whales from blue construction paper.  (You need two whales per craft).  Out of one of the whale, cut various window flaps in different places.  Then glue or staple the window whale on top of the second whale.  You should now have one whale that has flaps you can open to reveal an empty space inside.  Next, cut from cardboard (cereal box) a small figure of a man (Jonah) that will fit inside the flaps you cut from the whale.


For the activity, play hide and seek with Jonah.  Someone can place the Jonah behind one of the whale flaps, and others take turns looking for Jonah.  If your children really like this activity, you may want to back the two whale cutouts onto cardboard to make it more stury.

 

Sing verse 7 of "Follow the Prophet," followed by verses 1-7 while marching around the home, taking turns at being the leader.

Week 8 - Daniel

SONG

"Daniel was a prophet, he refused to sin

So the King threw Daniel in the lion's den

Angels calmed the lions, and the king soon saw

Daniel's pow'r was great, for he obeyed God's law."

 

STORY

If you have a children's book about Jonah, read it with your children.  Or, watch the "Scripture Story Video"  (http://lds.org/library/display/0,4945,8187-1-4473-5,00.html  Chapter 43.)  Or read selected verses of the story from the bible in Daniel 6.

ACTIVITY

Play a game of tag, where one person is Daniel and the others are the lions.  Daniel tries to run away while the others chase him down.  Be sure everyone, including Mom and Dad, get a chance to be Daniel!

 

Sing verse 8 of "Follow the Prophet," followed by verses 1-8 while marching around the home, taking turns at being the leader.

Week 9 - Modern Day Prophets

SONG

"Now we have a world where people are confused

If you don't believe it, go and watch the news

We can get direction all along our way

If we heed the prophets, follow what they say."

 

STORY

Find a talk the prophet gave at the most recent General Conference.  Summarize the message to your children, highlighting what they can do to obey the prophet's counsel in this talk.

ACTIVITY

Before Family Home Evening time, gather all the conference talks the prophet gave over the last year (both spring and fall conferences).  Cut 8 1/2" x 11" sheets of paper into 4 squares.  Write out one sentence that summarizes the instructions from each talk.  For example: "Share the gospel with others" or "Read your scriptures."  Make two squares for each topic, for use in a matching game.

 

If your children are old enough to draw, let them draw something to represent that instruction.  For example, a picture of the scriptures, or them talking to their friends.  If they are too young, draw pictures yourself.

 

Play a matching game with your children.  If they are older, you can turn the cards face down and have them pick two at a time, trying to find the matching cards.  If they are younger, place the cards face up and have them find the matching pairs.

 

Sing verse 9 of "Follow the Prophet," followed by verses 1-9 while marching around the home, taking turns at being the leader.