Saturday, January 28, 2012

It's a zoo out there!

I used this idea a few months ago (and the kids loved it!) I decided to use it again tomorrow in junior primary...with a few additions.

See this cool sticks pictured above? I was volunteering at the school book fair last week and they were for sale on the table that's full of silly gadgets that gets more sales then the know that table? Yup, I thought so....Anyway, since i got $10 of bucks to spend just for volunteering, i decided to donate it to primary music and i bought these. I thought they'd go perfect with The Crazy Chorister's idea of primary gone wild. Here's what i think i'll do:

We'll use our puppets/stuffed animals to choose songs, here's the ones i'm using, a few of The Crazy Chorister's ideas and a few of my own...

Lion: Leonard Lion likes to be loud but is learning to sing reverently at church. Start by singing as loudly as you can. Then gradually get softer. Next, try to sing each phrase in one big breath.

Chipmunk: (Hinges) Charlie Chipmunk loves primary teachers. Have the teachers stand up and do hinges as the children sing it. Have the teachers pretend they are very old and slow. Then have the kids stand up and do it as fast as they can.

Dog: (Popcorn Popping) Donald the dog is always running fast. He likes us to sing while playing hot potato. We'll pass around a bean bag (one for each side of the room) as fast as we can while singing and try to make it all the way around before the end of song.

Owl: Oscar Owl is not used to the light. He likes the dark. Sing with the lights off.

Parrot: (As a Child of God) Polly Parrot likes to hum while we're learning the tune of a new song..we'll hum the song until Polly lands on someone's head and then we'll sing the words, then hum again when she flies away...

Tiger- Tim the Tiger loves to sneak up on people and loves the game “hide and seek". I'll give a bean bag to someone and have a child come and find it while you sing song. (play just like hot/cold-sing loud when close, soft when far away)

Giraffe- Gerald the giraffe loves to be goofy. Tell the children that Gerald loves to play “teacher guess the song”. If the teacher can guess the song in a few notes, the chorister "gets" to wear goofy's hat (my son got it at Disneyland years ago). If they guess it wrong, the teacher "gets" to wear the hat during the song.

Elephant-Eddie the Elephant likes to poke people with his long trunk. We'll sing staccato with Eddie.

Monkey-Marvin Monkey likes to climb trees. Sometimes he climbs high, sometimes low. When he is up high, we'll sing loud, and we'll sing soft when he's low. Watch out though-he likes to be tricky! *If he lands on your head, you'll have to say the next few words in the song before he'll start climbing again...

Frog-(The Church of Jesus Christ p. 77) Freddy Frog is so excited to be in primary that he just cannot sit still. He hops right out of his seat every time he hears the word “I”. (primary stands when sing “I”)
*if you don't have the same animals, just change the animals but you can still use the same actions do my animal wands fit in with all this? Good question!!! I'm not entirely sure yet but i think i'll select 5 children to use my wands...maybe with Leo the Lion and Eddie the Elephant, or maybe even Oscar the'll be like jeopardy-not knowing which animal has double jeopardy (or the surprise) behind it....maybe i'll use the wands with all 3 animals, that way i can use 15 children and that's always a plus when i have so many who want turns!

Anyway, i'll have the 5 kids come up and either lead the music or have a parade up and down the aisle, or have them mimic me while i lead in a rainbow pattern or staccato, etc. All while singing the song.....I have the entire time for music tomorrow...i think this will keep them least i'm hoping it will!

*You'll notice i haven't chosen all the songs yet...i'm working on that part still...
*Sr. primary will be doing musical scripture chase from my earlier post...i'll post the scriptures for that soon....

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Chinese New Year

So, while perusing other chorister blogs, I read this post by "I heart primary music". I wanted to post it here in case some of my readers aren't familiar with that blog....I thought her idea was great for several reasons.
#1-it engages the children. I've noticed my senior primary LOVES to learn about things, like trivia or other tidbit information and if i can find a way to relate that to singing, then it's golden. This idea is great for that...i mean, how many children are going to know much about the Chinese New Year?
#2-i like to recognize different holidays during singing time since sharing time tends to focus more on other things. Singing time facilitates itself well to doing a fun holiday activity while at the same time being able to bring in the spirit through the song. With this activity, they can not only practice our new song, but also learn that "tidbit" information they seem to crave, all while trying to recognize the spirit through singing.
#3-It's simple!!
#4-It's new and different enough to capture their attention
#5-It's easily adaptable for junior and senior primary.

That being said, here's what i plan to do:
For senior primary: we'll play that famous Chinese game, Rock, paper, scissors. We'll do it one of 3 ways. Or a mix of all 3. I'll probably play it by ear and do it depending on how reverently they respond....

First option: i'll have one child play against me, like "I heart primary music" suggests. If I win, we review "As a Child of God", it they win, they pick a coin that has a song title on the back.

Second option: (this one uses all the primary children at the same time and therefore may be less reverent so make sure you state explicit expectations of their conduct for playing it this way) Anyway, I'll have each primary child turn to their neighbor (and have the teachers make sure they all have partners) and play rock, paper, scissors. Before we start i'll tell them the rules, "no shouting when you win, hands stay down, stay in your seats, we do it together, etc". Then i'll count to 3 and say "rock, paper, scissors" so we're all doing it at the same time and it's not chaotic. Then i'll say, "if you won with paper, raise your hand", or "if you won with scissors, raise your hand". If there's exactly 8 winners for whatever i called out (8 is a lucky number for chinese), then i'll call on one of the 8 to pick their favorite song for us to sing, (or pick a coin with a song on it). If there's not 8, then we'll review "As a Child of God". (This might be tricky to get exactly 8 so be prepared to be flexible and if there's never 8 but you really want to give them the chance to pick the song, you can do like "The Price is Right" game show and say, 8 or less but not more)
*A tie voids that partnership from having a winner. No "do overs".

Third option: I have a dragon beanie baby (since it's the year of the dragon) and we'll pass it around while singing. (if senior primary can handle it, sometimes they get too out of control with this kind of thing...) Whoever ends up with it at the end of our song will be the one to play "rock, paper, scissors" with me next.

For Junior primary: My daughter made 4 dragons (as shown) Here is the link for the chinese dragon craft.

We'll play rock, paper, scissors as listed above (most likely option #1 or #3), and I'll choose 4 children at a time to have a chinese dragon parade while we sing each song. I like using 4 children so that several children get the opportunity to participate (we have a large primary) yet it's not too many to get out of hand. They'll go up and down the aisles...walking, not running. I don't want to detract from reverent songs so we'll probably sing songs like, "Wise/Foolish Man", "Fun to Do", "Book of Mormon Stories", "I hope they call me on a mission", etc.

When/if I win "rock, paper, scissors"-we'll review "As a Child of God", and i'll have them hold the dragons up front standing by me and practice waving them to the melody.

Anyway, thank you "I heart primary music" for sharing your ideas! You have certainly helped me!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Musical Scripture Chase

Remember the good ole days of seminary when we had scripture chases? Where i grew up, we had them every Friday and I loved those a couple weeks ago, while watching senior primary get completely engaged in a scripture activity for sharing time, I decided there had to be a way to utilize that interest for singing time. So here it is:

Pick the songs you want to sing and look them up in the songbook. Most songs have at least one scripture listed and sometimes several-located at the bottom right had corner.

Once you have your songs and scriptures, determine how you want your scripture chase to go, here's a few ideas:
1-write the reference on the board and have them raise their hand when they find it. (Either wait several minutes for more kids to locate the scripture or choose the first hand you see). Have the child read the scripture and guess what song it applies to. Whoever guesses correctly gets to come lead the song or hold visuals or whatever.
*only write one scripture reference at a time to keep the over zealous ones from jumping ahead :)

2-Tell the primary the song you want to sing and write 2-3 different scriptures on the board (with only 1 of those relating to the song). Have them look up the scriptures and guess which one relates to your chosen song. The correct guesser can lead or pick a "how to sing" card.

3-for a really ambitious activity, tell them what song you want to sing and ask them if they know a scripture that might relate...(i have a feeling those with songbooks may catch on quick and notice the scripture references which would be great too)

4-Can you think of other ways to do a scripture chase? I'd love to hear your ideas too!

*these ideas might work best if you have a lot of time, maybe for a 5th sunday if you're given the whole time for singing on those days...

Hello flags and other files.....

I need to apologize to those of you who asked for my hello flags. (and other files) I replied to you right away but apparently, it was to a "noreply" blogger address that i just now discovered. I am relatively new to this blogger thing and even more unexperienced with computers. I'm so sorry for not paying attention to where my reply was going. If you'd still like the flags or anything else you've asked for, please email me again with your email included and i will make sure to get you the files you want. Again, i apologize......

good thing i wasn't called to be the ward computer specialist huh??? :)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Song Writing

The primary is doing great learning the words to "As a Child of God". They loved the tic tac sing today and did great. (in fact, they were only stumped once) However, I want to use one more week to learn the phrases...

I'm going to assign each class the task of writing a particular line of the song; i.e. "i came to earth with power to choose", "good choices bless me and my family too"...anyway, with all 3 verses and the chorus, there are 8 phrases and we have 8 classes so it's perfect. (if you have more classes you can combine a couple classes or for fewer classes, have them each write 2 phrases or don't do the chorus since they most likely already know that)

Anyway, i'll give each class a paper, they'll select their scribe and then write what they think the correct words are. I'll give them a few minutes to do this then have each class come up (depending on time, I may have them write it on the board) and sing (with the piano), their assigned phrase. The rest of the primary will determine if they got it right or not.

Our SR. primary loves doing things like this that challenge their memory and I'm hoping this activity will help solidify the phrases of the song.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Melt a Snowman

This idea is from here...i think it's a darling idea-especially for junior primary. I mentioned this in my last post and had a couple people ask for snowman, here is my snow guy. I think i'll bring real twigs for his arms and tape those on. I'll probably jazz up the hat too (the night's still young right?) :) I have the buttons and scarf in a word doc. if you want them....
*depending on time, i may have 2-3 children take off snowman parts to make him melt after they sing a song real "hot". I want to use as many children as possible which is why i made the mouth have so many pieces.

Tic Tac Sing

I saw an idea similar to this somewhere, only i can't remember where.....(So sorry-i'll try to be better at bookmarking ideas i see) Anyway, i am doing this for senior primary tomorrow although my daughter said i should do it for Valentine's day since they are X's and O's (hugs and kisses) but....maybe i'll just have to use it then too! :)

Last week, when i taught, "As a Child of God", i had each phrase of the song on separate poster board strips...those will come in handy again tomorrow.

I'll invite a child to come up front and choose a piece of paper from a jar. On these slips of paper i've written each phrase to the song and below it i wrote an example of the phrase with one or 2 words changed. Here's an example:

I came to earth with power to choose
(I came to church with power to love)

Good choices bless me and my family too
(Good friends bless me and my family too)

I feel so safe and happy because
(I feel so safe and happy today)

Anyway, you get the idea. I didn't want to make it too hard or change too many of the words because i really want the right words to stick in their heads and if i use too many wrong words, i think that's what they'll remember.

So....the child will pick a paper strip and decide if he/she is going to read the right phrase or the wrong one. Their team will then decide if they told the truth or not. (kind of like that game show, i think it's called Hollywood squares) After their team guesses, i'll post the picture phrase from last week that i used to teach the song and we'll see if they guessed correctly. (you can still play the game without the pictures...we've only learned the song for 1 week though so we'll use them) Anyway, if the team guesses correctly, they get an X or O in a square. If not, the play moves over to the other team. Each time a team has a turn, we'll sing that verse and the chorus as a way to "prep" them for the next round.

For junior primary, we are playing the melting snowman game found here. Happy sunday!
*I laminated the X's and O's as well as the snowman parts so they can be re-used.
*I have word files of the snowman parts, the song phrases and the X's and O's. I can email them to you if you want them.

**Another way to use this game: Draw tic tac toe board and place 9 pictures (one in each spot). Have 3 teachers sit in chairs in front of the board. Choose a reverent child, they pick a picture, ask them the question on it (the question will relate to the song that is pictured), the child asks an adult for the answer. The adult either gives a right or wrong answer and the child decides if they agree. If they’re right, they get an X or an O. Sing the song, then keep playing.