Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Gifts

I am excited to begin teaching March's song: My Eternal Family. I've been pondering how to teach this one for a long time.

Every 1st Sunday of the Month is "Discovery Sunday". We always get to discover what the new theme and song for the month is going to be. I try to come up with an activity that will stick in their minds so it will help them recall the words and meaning of the song as we progress through the month. So, here it is...

Prep:
  • 5 card board boxes that have been wrapped or gift bags. I plan to make them bright and exciting to look at. It will be much easier if you have a removable top to the boxes so they don't have to unwrap it (they can be of varying sizes depending on the object that will go within them)

  • All the following items will be wrapped in an individual box: VERSE #1 A Hard Hat and tool box (these were all out of my kids toy box), a picture of a family, a serving tray with a paper heart taped to it, a paper growth chart (you can make your own by taping several pages together and marking height marks on the side), a picture of smiling lips with kind words surrounding it, a small hammer, and a child's toy, a picture of the council in Heaven, a small hand dumbbell, a picture of a family standing by the temple. You can make boxes for the second verse; however, I don't believe time will allow for it...at least in my situation. I plan to cover the second verse if I have time by just using the props we've already discovered and through the picture prompts I will bring that I will be using the rest of the month.

  • Picture Prompts from the Jolly Jenn web site....or you can make your own.

Presentation:


I will line up the boxes and tell them that I have brought the Primary some special gifts to open. Each Gift has a clue to a part of the song we will be learning this month in Primary, but before we open them we need to close our eyes and listen to the music of the song. After the song has been played once through slowly, I will then allow one child at a time to come and open a box. As we open and discover what is inside each box we'll discuss what the object could possibly represent. (you should really guide this discussion with the Jr. Primary so time isn't taken up on certain objects). As we decide what the objects represent, I will show my picture prompt for that line of the song and we'll say it and sing it two times.


After we have learned the entire first verse, I will tell the children that our families are a precious gift that Heavenly Father has given too us, and that we need to be good builders in our families to keep them strong and keep them full of love so we can be together forever.


*Originator: The Crazy Chorister

PS. I apologize to those I promised that I would post "pictures" that I made for this. Honestly, I really just drew a silly picture of lips with some nice words surrounding it. And, I used pictures of my family and other pictures I had around my home for the other pictures involved with this activity. It wasn't something that I thought was actually worth putting on this page. I'm sure you all could do much better. I did however find a terrific flip chart for this song on the Sugardoodle site. The link is in the comments section of this post.


Friday, February 20, 2009

Punch It! --the new and improved posting

Hey,

Sorry it took me so long to post this week. Here is my Challenge/test activity that I will do this week so the kids can pass off their song for the month.

Prep:

1 Heavy Duty poster board (cut 12 holes in the board the size of your containers)
12 small plastic containers (I am using small XS Ziplock plastic containers)
12 Strips of paper with challenges on them
12 small sheets of Tissue paper to cover the containers
Picture helps for the song
1 tape and tape recorder for challenge 12

Cut 12 holes in your heavy duty poster board. Make sure that the hole is big enough so the container can easily fit into it, but small enough where the lip of the container will hold it snugly in place.
Place your challenge papers inside the containers. Here are the challenges that I came up with...
Challenge 1: Sing second verse without picture helps (4pts)
Challenge 2: Sing the line that comes AFTER these words: "Is Laid For Your Faith" (5pts)
Challenge 3: Choose a different song to sing (2pts)
Challenge 4: Sing either the first or last verse without Chorister helping with words (6pts)
Challenge 5: Automatic 10 pts!
Challenge 6: Sing the Line that comes BEFORE these words: "and cause thee to stand". (5pts)
Challenge 7: You have 20 secs to put picture helps in order. (5pts)
Challenge 8: Whisper sing 1st Verse/ Staccato second verse (5pts)
Challenge 9: Teachers have to say the first two words of the last verse (3pts)
Challenge 10: Watch Chorister for cut off, if you cut off correctly (4 pts)
Challenge 11: Stand on one foot while singing either 1st or 2nd verse double time (6pts)
Challenge 12: Have your voices recorded while singing your best. Listen if you got it. (8pts)


Cover each container with tissue paper. I decided to go crazy and cover each one with a different color of paper. I held the tissue to the container by putting a rubber band around each one. Remember to bring extra tissue sheets so you can redue the board for Sr. primary.

Here is a picture of the board I made. (Note-I did add the words "Primary Punch" to the top of the board later on)

Front View

Back View (you can see the challenge paper in the containers)

Okay, so simply explain that you will call upon a child to come and punch one of the holes. Have them remove the paper and read it. It will contain a challenge on it that the kids will participate in . Go until time runs out. You should be able to get through all of them in the 20 min time period.

I hope that makes sense.

*Originator: The Idea Door

**Adapted by The Crazy Chorister

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Getting Families involved...

I've decided that every month I will hand out a invitation to the children to give to their parents. This will invite them to sing our current primary song in FHE that month. I will provide the words to the song for them on the invite. This month, I bought those craftstore foam cutout hearts and pasted the invite onto them so it's more sturdy and they won't loose it as easy. I might stick a magnet strip on the back so they can hang in on their fridge, but...we'll see if I get to that this week.

I am a true believer that what is reinforced in the home will stay with the child for a life time. And, I think it will truly help the little ones get the words perfect.

This along with the CDs that were made should be a powerful teaching boost to knowing the songs for the program.

*Idea by The Crazy Chorister

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Ward Conference

Hi everyone. First, thank you so much for all the positive feedback that you are giving me. I really just started this blog to keep track of what I was doing for myself, but I am so happy that my blog and other wonderful blogs dedicated to primary choristers are helping so many of you. Thank you to many of you who are sharing your ideas as well.

Second, just so you know..."The Brick Wall" idea I posted this past week went AMAZING! I am shocked too say it, but my primary kids know all the words to this song and sing it out. I feel really blessed because the first week was sort-of rocky. I always encourage the kids to go home and ask their parents to include the song of the month in FHE so they can learn the words better. I think its working because there was a marked improvement.

Third, my ward conference is this coming Sunday. The Stake has asked that all the Primary leaders attend RS/EQ/HP, so I get a break. I hope the stake has them sing the song at least once, but I might have to do a bit of reviewing on week four.

I will be working on and will post week four probably sometime later this week. I always do a Test Day on the fourth Sunday of the month, and this one is a good one.

Thanks again for all the support.

Hang in there, do your best, and the Lord fills in the rest.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Brick Wall

First, I would like to say this is one of the hardest songs I have taught to Jr. Primary. There are a lot of difficult words to understand, but I think they'll get it with time and repetition. Also, if you are looking at this sight and are NOT a member of the Primusic group on Yahoo...go get on. It's a great forum for many brilliant chorister minds. I was inspired by some of the comments and of course had to twist it into something totally crazy....so here it is.

How Firm a Foundation week #2
My second week of the month is always "Repeat Week". So I find interesting ways to help the kids repeat the song as many times as possible so it's burned into their minds.

Prep:
Card board bricks: I know this isn't a resource that most people have. I happen to get these at a garage sale last summer. If you do not have these and wish to do this, I would suggest possibly getting some Styrofoam bricks from the craft store, you could use baby wet wipe boxes (if you have enough of them)...or possibly even those plastic zip lock containers....or you could do a smaller version of this using children's wooden building blocks. (I was inspired by the Jenga idea so you could do this with a set of Jenga blocks as well.) **Stacy in the comment section suggested Kleenex boxes. I love it! It would be such a great substitute for these blocks. She also put a great link for the bricks...go check it out.
Action strips: Type out some different ways to sing the verses such as: Boys sing, Girls sing, Hum the song, change the tempo, you lead....etc. The idea here is to give variety, but to allow the repeated singing of the same song so it doesn't get boring.

So, before primary..build the wall. The Word strips can be facing the kids or you could hide them on the inside of the bricks so they don't know what they are going for. I am going to leave several bricks without a action strip so they can get a bonus try if they don't get a word strip.

Basically you'll ask someone to come up. They have to try and remove a brick from the middle or side of the wall and place it on top of the wall without it falling. I had my four year old try this by herself and she did very well so I am confidant that we would be able to go several rounds before it would spill over. You could assist Jr. Primary to remove the bricks if you're nervous about it. The motivation here is...if it spills over we have to sing the entire song straight through...so they will be very careful.


I will sum it up by saying that when you are not careful with your testimony (if you don't pray, read scriptures, obey mom and dad...etc) you will leave holes in your testimony that eventually will cause your FOUNDATION to collapse. You need to always be working on making it strong .

Some bricks removed

*Originator: The Crazy Chorister

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