Begin the class with opening prayers, and then help the children continue to memorize the prayer introduced in Lesson 4.
You may put the following explanation into your own words to present the quotation for the lesson:
By following God's commandments, we show our faithfulness to Him, that we desire only that which He desires for us. In our daily lives and through our interactions with others, we strive our utmost to put into action His teachings. To pray daily is one of the commandments of God, and we observe it under all conditions, even, for example, if we are tired. We are told that we should not speak ill of others, that backbiting is not acceptable. So if people around us are gossiping, we do not take part in such conversations (HowToStopBackbiting). To treat animals with kindness, to be courteous and hospitable at all times, and to engage in a worthy profession or trade are also commandments of God. We are exhorted to think each day about what we have done and consider what more we can do so that our actions increasingly come to reflect the teachings of God. There are, of course, many other commandments that have to do with the material and spiritual life of the individual, as well as those pertaining to the life of the community, for example, marriage, education, and burial of the dead.
O Son of Man! Neglect not My commandments if thou lovest My beauty, and forget not My counsels if thou wouldst attain My good pleasure.” (listen HERE)
(Alternative explanation of the quotation HERE)
Some sentences are provided below to assist you in explaining the meaning of words in the above quotation that the children may find difficult. They are already familiar with the word "counsel" from the quotation they memorized in the first lesson of Grade 1 and "commandments from the preceeding lesson; however you may wish to review the words with the children today.
1. Krista has a beautiful plant, which she looks after. If she does not water it and put it in the sun, it will not grow anymore Krista knows that if she neglects the plant, it will die.
2. Ho crossed the street without looking to see whether any cars were coming and almost got hit. Ho neglected to look before crossing the street.
Today you can tell the children the following story which will reinforce in their minds the importance of observing God's commandments at all times.
You will remember the story of Haji Muhammad from our last lesson, how obedient he was to Baha'u'llah and what strength he drew from trust in God. But Haji Muhammad was not always so quick to obey. Perhaps you know that he was an excellent marksman. His bullets never missed their targets. He could even hit a small bird in full flight while galloping on horseback. One day, with his rifle on his shoulder, he came upon a group of Baha'is who were on an outing with Baha'u'llah and decided to join them.
When Baha'u'llah saw that Haji Muhammad was going to use his rifle, He told him not to kill innocent birds. Haji Muhammad did not pay any attention to what Baha'ullah said because his mind was on shooting, which he loved very much. So, he continued shooting at every bird he saw. But he was quite surprised to find that none of his bullets hit. He shot once, he shot twice, he shot many times - but did not bring down even one bird. He shot at big birds and at little birds, without any success.
The group was returning from the outing when a large, beautiful, white bird caught Haji Muhammad's eye. It was so big that it could not fly quickly, and Haji Muhammad thought that surely it would be easy to hit this one. His first shot missed. Then he fired four more times, but he missed every time. In a panic the frightened bird flew near them. Haji Muhammad thought that now he could not possibly miss. He fired two more shots, but the bird escaped.
Haji Muhammad was astonished, and he began to think about the whole incident. All of sudden, he understood something very important. He realized that Baha'u'llah had given him a clear command, byt in his preoccupation with his own wishes and desired, he had ignored Baha'u'llah. That day Haji Muhammad made a firm decision to obey the commandments of God at all times.
The following activities with strengthen the children's skills and abilities of drama:
- As always, start by having the children stand in their imaginary squares and do the stretching exercise.
- Now explain to your students that, for the next activity, they are going to communicate using only the movement of their bodies. To begin, ask them to say "stop!" with their hands. You may ask them to do the following: "Yes" using head, "I don't understand" using eyes, "I hear something" using ears, "I'm surprised" using jaw, "I smell fresh bread" using nose, "come here!" using finger, "I'm running" using arms, "I bump into a wall" using shoulder, "I'm slipping" using legs, "I'm tired" using whole body, "I'm waiting" using whole body and "I'm looking for someone" using whole body.
- Divide the students into groups of five or six. Have the children in each group stand in a row, front to back, with their hands on the shoulders of the child in front of them. All the children should close their eyes except the child at the very end of each row. This child is the "driver" and the otehrs are the "bus". When you say "Go!" all the "buses" should start moving foward. The "driver" steers the "bus" to the right or to the left by gently pushing the corresponding shoulder of the child in front of him or her, who does the same to the next child, and so on. To stop the "bus", the "driver" gently pulls on both shoulders.
Tell the children to imagine that they are living in the mountains, in a small place that is far from the local market. One day, their mother asks them to do to the market to buy some vegetables and return home straight away. Soon after setting out, they encounter a herd of sheep blocking the road. Rather than waiting for the sheep to move, they gently steer their way through the herd. Next, they come to a river, where they must get into a boat and row their way across. If they stop rowing even for a moment, they will start to go downstream. Finally, they make it to the other side of the river and continue their journey. As they are walking, they meet some friends who ask them to join in a game of football. At first, they think about stopping to play but then they remember their promise to their mother to buy the vegetables and come home without delay. On their return from the market, they think about taking a different path, one that is more beautiful, with flowers to pick along the way. The other path is much shorter, but not as pretty. They decide to take the shorter path, and soon reach home with the vegetables requested by their mother.
Today you could have the children draw a picture of someone carrying out one of the commandments mentioned in your introductory comments, for example, someone being kind to animals or engaging in a worthy profession or trade.
After reviewing the quotation from today's lesson with the children, remind them of the qualities of steadfastness and faithfulness and the related quotations they memorized in Grade 1:
"Supremely loftly will be thy station, if thou remainest steadfast in the Cause of thy Lord."
"Happy is the faithful one who is attired with the vesture of high endeavour and hath arisen to serve this Cause." (Listen HERE)