Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Adventures with Activity Days: Part 1 of 2

This post is the first of a 2-part series describing ways to bring Primary music into a weekday Activity Days meeting. Look for part 2 next week.

Create a word search on poster board
I love being with my eight to twelve year old girls! Their weekday Activity Days leaders occasionally reach out to me for help incorporating music into their activities.  One thing they wanted was help memorizing the Articles of Faith.  We decided to focus on learning the songs for the first four Articles of Faith.  I split the girls into four small groups (this worked well for our class size of 12), and they rotated through four stations.  Here's how it worked:

The Flow

I had each group choose one of the stations to start.  All the supplies, along with written instructions of the activity, were in separate corners of the room.  The pianist and I started playing and singing the first Article of Faith, while the Activity Days leader helped the girls understand the instructions and work on their different activities.  I basically just sang the song over and over for 10 minutes, with short pauses to answer questions, until I called out that it was time to switch stations.

Each station was focused on a different activity. We changed to the next Article of Faith song when we rotated stations, so that each group was working on the same Article of Faith at the same time, though they were working on different activities.  

Station 1:  Create a Word Search

I prepped a blank word search for each Article of Faith on poster board.  My local department store had poster board with grid lines already drawn, and that made my life a lot easier. :)  I chose key words from the Article of Faith and wrote them at the bottom.  Working as a group, the girls wrote the chosen words in the empty boxes first, and then they added random letters in the remaining spaces.

Station 2: Create Rhythm Patterns

I tasked the girls with working as a group to create their own rhythm patterns to go with the song. I had been thinking something like pat-pat-clap-snap/pat-pat-clap-snap, etc.  One of the groups did something similar, but the others were wildly creative. It was a lot of fun seeing what they came up with!  Lesson learned:  encourage them to choose actions that match the reverent tone of the song....:/

Station 3:  Make a First Letter Code

This activity is one I've used a lot in my Primary, so the girls were familiar with it.  You can find the description in my previous post, here.  This time, I had the girls work as a group to make their own codes by listening carefully to the words as I sang.

Station 4:  Draw the Melody

This station was very simple. I had paper and markers, and I asked them to individually draw a line to show how the melody goes up and down. Then they showed their papers to their group members and traced the line as I sang.

The Wrap-Up

After the girls had been through each station, they demonstrated their hand motions for each other, and we sang each Article of Faith as we did the motions.  Then we put the word searches up on the board, one at a time, and took turns solving them while we sang, until it was time to go home.  The first letter codes we saved for another day.  I had been worried about being able to fill the time, but the hour flew by!  I hope they call me to come visit Activity Days again. :)

Happy singing!

Looking for more?  Take a look at my post for a rhythm band activity, which gives older children the challenge they crave.  Or try some of these suggestions for having older children play prelude for Primary.

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