Thursday, April 23, 2015

Outline for Singing Time on 4-26

Problem 1: My oldest class in junior primary gets bored with my "little kid activities."  Problem 2:  My youngest class in junior primary gets lost with my "little kid activities." *sigh* My friend Sharla, over at, suggested a solution that I tried this past week.  After one repetition through our activity, the oldest class had it down pat.  So I asked them to go stand among the youngest class (who had been standing around, bewildered) and show them how to shake their instruments along with the beat.  It worked like a charm! The older kids had a new challenge and purpose, while the younger kids received one-on-one help and the repetition they so desperately needed.  I'll definitely be revisiting this one...probably this week. :)

Junior Primary

"Follow the Prophet" (p.110)-Verse for Pres. Monson-sand blocks.  See my tutorial for making your own sand blocks here.  I learned from experience that clapping the sand blocks is deafening.  I use mostly scrapes and taps on one edge now. For these little guys, I repeat one action 8 times, then switch. The younger kids need that much time to process the change and catch up. To keep it interesting for the older kids, I change where I'm holding the blocks (up in the air, by my knee, behind my back, etc.).  

"The Church of Jesus Christ" (p.77)-Concentration with pictures. The classic matching game! For junior primary, I'm putting 6 matches, so 12 pictures total, up on the board.  The game will be happening silently while I sing the song over and over. I'll tap a child on the shoulder to indicate it's his turn.

"Mother, I Love You" (p.207)-Charades. The classic silent acting game!  I prepare strips of paper with a short phrase, describing some action that a mother would often do. My pianist plays the melody line in the background while I read and explain the action to a child, and then I join in singing while the child acts out his part. The music stops as I hear the children's guesses, and then the music starts again as that child returns to his seat and I call another one forward.

"I Know That My Savior Loves Me"-ASL

Senior Primary

Playing sand blocks
"Follow the Prophet" (p.110)-Verse for Pres. Monson-sand blocks & write-your-own-verse challenge. I'll provide a more complicated pattern for these older kiddos as they play their sand blocks.  Afterwards, I'll issue them an at-home challenge: write your own verse of "Follow the Prophet" for a different prophet.  Two rules: 1) the verse has to mention the prophet's name and say he's a prophet and 2) the verse has to tell something good he did that we could imitate. When they complete the task and get it to me to check it, then we can take turns singing their verses in primary in future weeks. I'm really excited for the potential this has to make the music more real for these children.

"The Church of Jesus Christ" (p.77)-Concentration. To step this up a notch, I'm taking an idea from and using only half pictures. The other half will be pairs of phrases that are similar but not identical.  One phrase will be from the song, like "I know God's plan," and the match would be something like "I know God sent me to earth, and I can return to Him."  This game sounds so fun that I want to sit around and play it by myself!

Diving with sea turtles
"Help Me, Dear Father" (p.99)-Sea turtle imagery to find the down beat, then lead music.  I struggle to find ways to bring nature into my singing time, but I know that some children learn well as they connect more with God's creations.  (See my post here on learning styles.)  So, I'll tell the story of my SCUBA diving with sea turtles and how amazed I was, watching how they moved in the water as if they were flying. I'll compare that to the feeling of our song, how there is something in music called a down beat that feels to me very much like a sea turtle looks as it swims. I'll ask the children to tap their knees on the downbeats, and after that, I'll show how to conduct a song in two beats. We'll conduct the song together as we sing.

"I Know That My Savior Loves Me"-ASL

Happy Singing!

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