Monday, August 29, 2011

Picture Taboo

Sometimes, it's fun to have a cute way to pick the songs you want to sing for the day.

materials needed: a picture to represent each song (i.e. Scripture power=scriptures; praise to the man=Joseph Smith; Search, Ponder and Pray=magnifying glass

Call a child up to the front and then hang a picture up behind them so that only the children sitting down can see it. Call on 6 kids to give clues about the picture and then let the child up front guess what it is. To go the extra mile, they can try to guess what song it represents. (for senior primary, write "Taboo" words on the chalkboard-these words cannot be used by the children giving clues) I was impressed by what good clue givers the children were! Especially junior primary!

You be the judge poster

So yesterday we began with our "judging". We sang each song while i recorded it then I played it back for them. They got to rate themselves on most categories. I rated them on eye contact and smiling. They seemed to like it and it's a good way for me keep track of what we need to work on in the next couple weeks. (notice we have a few half stars....we have a little work to do there) We actually sang 2 more songs but didn't have time to put the stars on so we'll add those next week. We'll also finish up next week using opening and closing songs in order get them all sung and rated next week.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Be your own judge!

Our program is in about 5 weeks. I decided today that i am going to record them singing all the program songs and then I'll play it back and have them rate themselves on how they did and what we need to work on. Here's some rating categories i'm thinking of: volume, enunciation, in tune, song familiarity, and blending. I'll chart this on a posterboard, and after they rate themselves, we'll spend the following couple weeks perfecting the songs according to their own ratings. I'm hoping that having them hear themselves sing will help them know if each song is program ready or not and will empower them with more of a desire to perfect the songs. I'll let you know how it goes....

Fill in the Blank

Today i just wanted to review "Search, Ponder and Pray". Our primary only sort of knows the song. I wrote the words on the board and left several blanks. We sang it through once and i told them to pay attention to words that would go in the blanks. Then, I had 4-5 children come and write in the right words. We sang it again and i had 4-5 children come up to either erase and correct a word (there were a few mistakes from the 1st round) or fill in a blank. Then we sang the song again. What i liked about this is 1)the simplicity, 2)it involved several children and 3)they learned the song great!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

i know the words, do U-NO them?

Our ward knows Scripture Power but mumbles their way through the 2nd verse so i decided to spend most of our time working on that song. I decided to play UNO. I saw the idea somewhere several months ago but couldn't remember where i saw it so i just came up with my own version. This works GREAT for learning (or refreshing) a verse or new song. Basically, the idea is you sing whatever phrase is on the poster color that matches the card played. I laminated the colored squares on the poster so that i could easily interchange song phrases without ripping the poster. In senior primary, i gave each row (whether there was a teacher on that row or not) 7 cards. We played just like the game. Each row took a turn placing a card on the board. If red was played, we sang the phrase on red. If a green was played, we sang the phrase on the green. I had them sing fast, slow, just boys, just girls, etc. just to shake it up. When the "specialty" cards were played, this is what we did: DRAW TWO: the class that played this card chooses 2 classes to sing that phrase with the matching color. SKIP: Sing the phrase skipping every other word (this was HARD!!) WILD: the class that plays this card gets to pick what color to sing and also chooses a "sing like A..." card to determine how we sing it. (eyes closes, holding tongue, etc) DRAW FOUR: Choose the color and begin singing the song (from any point in the song) and when you cut off in the middle of the song, the next class has to sing the following 4 words. REVERSE: Sing the line previous to the one that matches the color played OR start singing and cut them off and the next class sings the previous phrase from where you cut them off.
I prepared several word strips for different songs so that we could switch up the songs we were working on. You can just use words but i used pictures since i already had the pics for junior primary.
For junior primary, i had taped colored squares of paper under each chair. They found their papers and we did diff. activities for each color. Ex. those with blue papers sing the words on the blue line, while those with red papers hum. Or those with yellow papers sing words on yellow line while those with green papers clap. I tried to involve all the children so they wouldn't get bored. We have a VERY young junior primary and keeping their attention is difficult. You could even have them swap colors with their neighbor. We also sang songs like head shoulders knees and toes and they could only use their hand that was holding the paper to touch the diff. body parts. Anyway, there's so much you could do with this for junior primary!
I was impressed with how quickly they learned the 2nd verse of scripture power using this method. And they seemed to have fun. I will use this method again to teach other less known verses. Although, next time i'll probably "stack the deck" better for senior primary and put all the specialty cards in the stacks i give each row. It made it more fun to have those cards played yet we never seemed to have enough of them played. Anyway, have fun!!!