Friday, June 12, 2015

Puzzle Pictures

I nearly failed art class in both junior high and college.  My home is only sparsely decorated.  My husband has had to remind me to put photos in my blog posts.  I'm not a visual learner!  However, I've realized that many of my Primary children learn best through interacting with colors and pictures, so this activity is for them.

Preparing the Puzzles

A four-piece puzzle keeps things simple for Junior
I normally use this Puzzle Pictures activity with a song that lends itself well towards concrete representation.  This week, I'm pairing it with "Tell Me the Stories of Jesus" (p.57).  I print off 4 pictures from the Church's Gospel Art collection, here, onto card stock.  Then I cut each picture into four puzzle pieces and put the pieces for each puzzle into separate plastic baggies.  When I get to the Primary room, I put little rolls of masking tape on the back of each piece, making sure to keep each 4-piece puzzle separate from the others.

For Junior Primary

My intro to the activity is simple.  "Will you help me put together a puzzle on the board?"  Then I start singing while I walk around the room.  For Junior Primary, I hand out the pieces to the first puzzle to various children, and I motion them forward to tape their pieces in place on the board.  When the puzzle is complete, I start on the next set of pieces.  

For Senior Primary

A mixed-up challenge for Senior
For the older kids, I want to make the activity more challenging.  I deliberately mix all 16 pieces together, and I tape them up around the Primary room, making sure to place some in the back of the room.  I give two rules:  no talking, and raise your hand if you see a piece you'd like to place on the board.  I start singing, pointing to individual children or tapping them on the shoulder when they raise their hands.  Sometimes children need to rearrange a piece or two, and that's fine.

This activity is great at engaging the children.  They want to figure out what each picture is, and when they do, the applicable story of Jesus pops to the front of their minds.  Right as they're finishing the last puzzle is a wonderful time to bear a one-sentence testimony of the Savior.  The children's minds are already turned to Him, and you can echo what they're thinking and feeling.

Happy singing!

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