Thursday, July 16, 2009

Program Review week: Pioneer Singing Game

I decided to combine our Program Review this month with a Pioneer theme. It should be fun.


1 large poster board or a large piece of butcher paper in the shape of the USA with the Mormon Trail outlined on it (so it looks like a map). Today, I just drew it on the chalk board free hand. If you happen to live outside the could use a boat or ship to outline the voyages the pioneers took across the Oceans.

7 small cutouts of covered wagons, handcarts, horses, people...etc (anything you want really)

4 pictures that go along with pioneer stories

4 short pioneer stories that involve children

picture prompts for you program songs (if needed)

Pioneer Honey Candy (if you want to include this aspect the recipe will be at the bottom of this post)


Begin by explaining to the children that pioneer children did a lot of walking. They walked with their friends and family. As they journeyed together across the plains, heading a prophet's words, they were strengthened as individuals and families. One of the things little pioneer children did to strengthen each other and their families was to sing. Singing made them happy and helped them endure their hardships. Music can strengthen your family.

Have a child come to the front and choose either a wagon to go across the trail, or a picture with a story. If you are going to sing a song...point out your map and explain that as they sing the song they will be helping the pioneers across the plains. Move the wagon closer and closer as they sing well. If they do a great job...that wagon make it to the end. If they don't sing or don't know the song that well have the wagon stop in the middle or such. If you have time at the end....try and rescue the stranded pioneers by singing that song again. This will be a great indication of which songs need more work. If they choose a story, tell the story quickly and sing a pioneer song that goes with the meaning of the story.

When time is up, tell them that you have a special reward for singing so well. Then hand out your pioneer honey candy. (if you feel this is appropriate)

This activity worked very well. We were able to get through almost all of the program songs and several stories.

Honey Candy
2 cups honey
1 cup sugar
1 cup cream
Combine all ingredients and cook slowly to a hard-ball stage. Pour onto buttered platter. When cool enough to handle, grease hands and pull until a golden color. Cut into pieces.

Happy Pioneer Day!

*original idea from idea door
**adaptation the crazy chorister


Shari said...

I am going out of town in a couple of weeks, so I wanted to leave my sub a prepared singing time. I will be gone on intro week for, "Families can be together forever". I put a singing time together if you want to use the idea. You can email me if you want it. (a fellow inland northwestern).

Ashley said...

awesome idea!! I wish i had read this earlier in the week, so I could do it today. Maybe next week. Thanks for all your great ideas!

Chanda said...

Thank you so much for sharing your ideas. I teach singtime in a primary in the state of Texas. Your idea of the Pioneer singing game was a great way for me to review/ teach more about church history and find out which songs still need more work. I drew the map you suggested and following the trail in the back of the Doctrine and Covenants I drew the path of the early saints starting in New York and ending in the Salt Lake Valley. With the Jr. primary we reviewed where the gold plates were found, and the name of the place Heavenly Father prepared for the saints to travel. With the Sr. primary we discussed important events that happened in New York, Kirtland Ohio, Nauvoo, the Exodus and why the pioneers moved to the the Salt Lake Valley. We also talk about the different methods use, wagons, handcarts, walking and sing around a campfire. I put all songs, review songs, action songs and previous program songs on the back of each numbered paper. After a number was read I had all the children step inside the circle of numbers, sit down and pretend we were around a campfire sing our songs. I told them that since the pioneers did not have any singing prompts neither would we this week. This was a great way for me to test not only their memories but mine as well. Thanks for being willing to share. I had several children come and thank me for such a fun singing time.

Ashley said...

Would you be able to email me your pioneer stories? I'd love to do this next sunday!

Scooterdoodah said...

Melanie ~

Thanks again and again! We had a fun singing time this week. I am feeling a little worried about having everything learned by program time. Our bishop wants to do the program in September(!). I talked him into the last week, but I would welcome any of your best review activities. The Primary presy will give me the entire time whenever I want, but I want to make it interesting - and you're the best for that! Thanks, Carolyn