Friday, February 26, 2010

Test Sunday-- Odd Ball Out

Okay, So my kids know this month's song really, really well...and I know they will pass it off first time through, so I'm going to quickly have them pass off their song by singing it through "program perfect" (standing, all eyes following me, no picture prompts, smiling, singing out, following chorister dynamics). Then we'll move on to the fun stuff. I realized last week after singing the "Hello" song for the 20 billionth time (a different way to keep in interesting) that there are so many great songs to sing that they don't know and that I never have time to teach them...as well as birthday songs...so this week seemed like a perfect opportunity to fill our song buckets.

Prep:

4 different shaped balls with a small tag on it with song title and pg # (tennis ball, baseball, football, wacky ball...whatever you have available)

1 Large, empty bucket with a sign that says "Song Bucket" (25 gallon preferred)

Pick 4 songs out of the children's Hymn book in the "welcome" and/or "birthday" section that your primary has never sung.


Presentation:

Have the children pass off the monthly song. Tell them they did so well learning the song this month, that we get to move on to other great songs. Bring out the bucket and place it at the head of the room. Bring out your bag (or basket or whatever) of odd balls. Tell them that there are some songs that we sing over and over again because we just haven't had time to learn other songs. Sometimes new songs sound odd to us because we've never heard them, and we tend to stick with things we know becasue they are more comforatable. Tell them that today, were going to take some of these "odd balls" (songs we've never heard) and put them into our song bucket (our rapporteur) so we can use them in opening exercises.

Have a child come forward and pick one of the balls. Give the tag to the pianist. Have her play the melody of the song once through. Sing the words line by line to the children, having them repeat the line back to you after each one. Sing the song all the way through with them. Ask the children if they think they have it. Have the children sing through the song, and have the child with the ball try to make the ball into the bucket before the end of the song.

Don't bother with picture prompts. These songs are fast and simple and can be easily learned just by singing the line and having them sing it back too you. If you choose a song that is longer, you could use picture prompts to help...or any other technique that you have found is most effective with your kids.

Have a great day!

*thecrazychorister

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Don't under Estimate yourself....

Before you scroll down and read this weeks idea, I need to to suggest something.

I am so grateful for the Internet and the opportunity we all have to benefit from each other and to have so much fun in our callings. When I started this blog, I had no idea there were so many out there that had the same need for ideas for a primary chorister as I had. I was simply trying to find a way to record what I had done for some future date if I ever have this calling again. I am so happy if I've helped you in even the smallest way.

My hope for this blog is not to be the end all say all to what you do in your calling. I don't post many pictures because I really would hope that you take these ideas as simply suggestions that can be improved upon, changed, and adapted to fit your situation. I would hope that I'm not the "Saturday panic" blog...your primary deserves more. Although, we all have those weeks...me included. I really believe that each of us was set apart in our own wards for a reason. We can be inspired for what our specific primary children need. Some of the ideas I post simply will not work for you.... at times, some of them haven't worked for me either.

I encourage you will all my heart to pray and ask for guidance in your calling. Rely on Him who inspired your calling to this position. He knows how they learn, how they feel, and how best they will take these precious songs into their hearts. Never under estimate your own abilities to bless their lives or to receive inspiration from Heavenly Father. He called You because You had what they need right now.

I hope your day is wonderful. Thank you for inspiring me to be better.

-Melanie

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Program Review Week--You've Got Mail!

Boy, I'm very late with the post this week. To much to do. Anyhow, This activity with help review Jan and Feb program song as well as get the machine going to tackle the up and coming "Follow the Prophet" song for March. Many of you are feeling worried about teaching this song. I hope this gives you some ideas you can use.

Prep:

1 Mail Box. You can make your own, use a real one, or perhaps you picked up the mail box that I suggested in the last post.....anyone will work just fine.

2 Envelopes per primary class..make them look as real as possible. Address them to specific classes (1 envelope will contain the review of the program songs or some other song that go with the message for the month, the other envelope will contain that Classes "Piece of the Puzzle" for March's song, and will be handed out at the very end....so keep them separate.

1 song picture to go in each envelop (Use your Jan and Feb song for two of the songs and then pick out a few other songs that match the monthly message. It would be easy if you just went to the Jolly Jenn site (on the side bar) and printed up one page to the song of your choice...it has pictures and words...and then they can guess what it is.)

1 very wonderful person who is willing to play the part of the mail carrier. It would be wonderful if they could carry a satchel, wear a hat, and really act the part.

Before Primary, set the mail box up at the front of the room. Give the letters to your carrier and make sure they know what order you want them delivered in. Have them totally out of site.


Presentation:

Tell the children that you wanted to start out with a wiggle song. Choose a favorite song or have a child pick their favorite wiggle song. At the very end of the song, have your carrier march very happily to the front of the room. Greet the Mail Man by saying, "Why hello, Brother/Sister so in so...how are you today?" Have them respond, "I'm doing great. Primary songs always make me feel happy. I just had some mail to deliver. " Have them put it in the mail box and then say, "See you later, Jr Primary (or Sr. Primary)" and then they should walk out of the room. Ask the kids if we should see who the mail is for....Call up a child to open the mail box and then read who it is addressed too...it should be something like:

Sister Smith's CTR 5 Class
Jr. Primary
(Ward and Stake)
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
Have the child hand it to that classes Teacher. Have them pull out the picture and guess what song that words and picture go too. Then sing the song. After the song, have your carrier come back in with another letter...go through the same process. At the very end, after each class has received a letter, have the carrier come back in for a final delivery. Have Him put an envelop for each class into the mail box. Have a child from each class come to get theirs. Have them open it. It will have a prophets name on it, as well as the words for the "Follow the Prophet" song for each child to take home with them. Each class will have a different prophet. Explain that next month we will be learning this song. Encourage them to learn the song as a class in the next two weeks and to practice their verse at home.
*******
The idea here will then help tackle the enormity of the song. Each class will either sing their verse or help teach that verse in the process and all the children will sing the chorus. Two weeks is a great amount of time for them to at least be familiar with the words. Encourage the teachers to take a little time to review the words with the kids.
I will be picking specific prophets to "highlight" along the way for specific activities in march (I am so excited about the first one) to learn the song and the reasons why we love these men so much.
Have a great week.
*thecrazychorister

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Good Things To Come....




If you're looking for the repeat idea for this coming Sunday, keep going...it's just below this post. I just wanted to give you a heads up so perhaps you could go and find what I just got and I am totally thrilled about.

I've been planning an idea to do in the near future called "You've Got Mail", but I hadn't figuared out how to create my mail box. Yesterday, I was buying Valentine Cards for my kids at Walmart (the only store we have around this area), and I saw this on the shelf. It's perfect...and it was only $3.00. It even lights up when you open the door (totally my style). So, just in case you're interested, go see if your local Walmart is carrying these and grab one. They are in the Valentines section. They might even go on sale the Monday after Valentines and be even more affordable. Most of them have Spiderman or Tinkerbell on them, but there was this great design too that was so perfect for Primary and the theme of the activity I'll be doing. I'll be posting the idea soon.
Have fun!
-thecrazychorister

Monday, February 8, 2010

Repeat Week--Sing Your Heart Out!

I love the theme for this week in our Outline, "Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, all mankind may be saved" and I love the theme for February, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." Can you not think of a Greater expression of Love? And, since this coming week is Valentines, I thought it would be wonderful to associate this holiday with the Love our Father has for each of us...and also the love we have for our Primary kids.

Prep:

Picture Prompts (I highly recommend printing these from the Primary Singing Ideas Blog link I have on the side bar...She's a Genius Flip Chart creator and I Love, Love, Love her charts.) After printing them, mount them to some heavy paper and cut them out into heart shapes.

10 Red, white, and/or Pink Valentine hearts that have different ways to sing the song. (I'm going to try and put a list together of my favorites that work best for our primary...especially for more reverent songs such as this one.)

****Not to do with the review, but if would like*****
1 paper or foam heart cut out for each primary child that has the following saying on it, "Thanks for Singing Your Heart Out Each Week." Love, " . I will attach 1 Hershey Hug to each Heart.

Before Primary: Put The Picture Prompts in Order on the Chalk board or the front of the room with the words facing out. Put the Little Hearts with the ways to sing the song on the board below them turned around so they cannot see what is written.


Presentation:

Begin by bearing your testimony of the Love the Savior and Heavenly Father has for each of them. Tell them that Valentines is a holiday to express our love for others in special ways, and that the biggest and most special way love was ever shown to anyone was the giving of God's only begotten Son to save the world. Tell them it is a precious gift that we have the choice of accepting or rejecting, and it was given to all the world

Point to the song on the board. Tell them for Repeat Week we're going to play a game called "Sing Your Heart Out." Call two children to the front. Designate one child to go out in the hallway for a moment with another leader. Have the other child choose one of the picture prompt hearts to take out of the song. Have the other child come back into the room. Have them try and say the line of the song that was removed (encourage them to get help from teachers and other children if they looked worried or scared). Once they have guessed correctly, have them choose one of the smaller hearts. Have all of the children sing the line that was taken out...(hence, sing your heart out) in the way the song suggests. Repeat the process, but each time a heart is removed...have the children sing all the lines of the hearts that were removed...eventually you will end up singing the entire song and they should have it memorized. Don't worry too much if time runs out before you get to the end, but really it should work time wise if you go quickly.

At the end, again emphasize that Father and Jesus Christ showed love for us. Encourage them to in turn show love to others by doing something extra specially kind for someone today. Give them the hearts you made. (If you choose to do this, I would suggest giving it to their teachers to pass out after church is done so you don't have any distractions for sharing time or class.)

Happy Valentines!

**the crazy chorister



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