Friday, July 8, 2011

Pioneer Day!

Since i'll be gone on pioneer day, i decided to start our pioneer singing time next sunday the 17th and have it be something the substitute can continue to do on the 24th if she chooses. I saw this idea here and thought it'd work great for a 2 week pioneer singing time. I am making a wagon wheel spinner (as seen on various chorister blogs-if i remember when i'm done-i'll post a picture) Anyway, have different pioneer graphics on each wheel space that will indicate how the song is to be sung. (if you use the blue tack you can change the pictures without ruining your wheel) Here's the graphics i'll use(thank you ordinary adventures of a primary chorister!):

Ox-sing very slowly-pioneers used teams of oxen to pull their wagons and they went slowly since they were so heavy.
Rabbit-sing very fast-Pioneers saw lots of rabbits on the trail and they were fast!
Pioneer girl-girls only. (have a girl come up and wear a bonnet/apron etc.)
Pioneer boy-boys only sing. (have a boy come up and put on a vest, hat, etc.)
Snake-sing quietly. They encountered many snakes along the trail. sing quietly so you don't disturb the snakes!
Native American child-children trade seats during one phrase of the song. The pioneers saw many many indians on the trail and would often "trade" items for food or other things they needed.
Ax and chopped wood-sing "choppy" (staccato). Pioneer children often had the job of collecting firewood for campfires.
Beehive and bee-have a child hold a picture of a beehive in the air and everyone hums. when the child hides the picture, sing the words. The bee symbolized how busy the pioneers were, just like bees! Ant-children stomp to the beat. When their camps were invaded by insects, they'd have to stomp them off!
Cow-a child leave the room. Someone hides the cow. The child returns and the rest of the children sing loud/soft to indicate when he's close/far. If a cow wandered away from the camp, sometimes the children would help search for them and bring them back.
Mountains-echo sing. Divide the children in two and have the first group sing a phrase of the song, while the second group echoes them. (have the pianist play each phrase twice throughout the entire song) When the pioneers finally reached the mountains they discovered places in the canyon, between 2 mountains, that would echo what they said.

After each picture has been landed on with the spinner and used in a song, replace it with a new picture. (this is why i thought it'd work great for 2 weeks-there's enough pictures to use to keep us busy!) You can choose to sing pioneer songs or program review songs and you can even sing a song multiple times for different spins.

I also liked the idea of using "Fun to Do" by using pioneer phrases. For example, crossing the plains (pretend they are riding a horse), riding a wagon (hold on and bounce up and down or drive the wagon), forging a river (make swimming motions), milking a cow (hold hands in fists and move up and down), walking to zion (swing arms and pretend you are walking). Another fun song change i read about was, singing p. 261 Here we are together and change the words to "we're crossing the plains". I plan on using a combination of program songs and pioneer songs. Happy pioneer day!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Primary Fireworks!

I saw this idea on and knew i had to try it. It's a great idea for revealing what songs will be sung that day. I'll "light the firework" which will pop the balloon and reveal the song title inside. Here's how i made it: First, i bought a box of push-pops and told my kids to eat up but save the sticks. Then, i covered toilet paper rolls with shiny paper and attached 4th of july decorations on the ends. I put a push pin through the bottom of the push pop stick as shown here:
I attached a balloon to the top end of the roll, tied a string on the end of the balloon and pulled it through the toilet paper roll, stapling it at the end to hold the balloon in place. I'll push the stick up through the toilet paper roll until the pin punctures the balloon and it pops. I'm sure it'll keep the primary on the edge of their seat, not knowing exactly when it'll pop. I plan to sing the patriotic songs in the primary book as well as 1 or 2 from the hymn book. I made mini songbooks with the words since i don't expect the kids to know all these songs and there's not enough time to teach them. For junior primary, i am only doing 1 patriotic song and the rest are songs they know. Happy 4th of July!