Friday, August 21, 2009

Program Review Activity #10--All Business

This activity doesn't sound fun on the surface, but it will really polish up those kids for their program. I do this activity the Sunday Before the Program. Most of the time this ends up being in the chapel, so it needs to be as reverent as possible.


Two Gigantic Elephant ear cut outs

Huge Smile cut out

Big Sunglasses (dollar store)


Explain to the children that their program is next Sunday! Tell them that today we are going to pretend its the real thing. Focus on Dynamics today, posture, and keeping your eyes on the chorister.

Start with warming up their voices. Have them begin with breathing. Have them breath in for 4 counts and out for 6. Do this a few times until everyone is very calm. Take one of the program songs and sing it in Oohs, aahs, mmms, eees, lalas. Talk to them about opening their mouths and throats to sings the music.

Practice the stand and sit together. Have them watch you for the cue. This can be fun. Don't get out of hand by doing it too much.

Take each song in turn and start some where in the song. You don't have to do the beginning. Perhaps start in the part of the song where they are having the most trouble or you want them to change the dynamic. Work for 2-3 min only on a song. Go through it quickly, stopping every third song or so to check the stand and sit reflex with a quick wiggle song for the little ones.

Use the ears to have them sing louder. Use the mouth to prompt them to smile. Use the Glasses to get their eyes on you.

You can do this so many ways. I plan on really winging it. It should be great. Good luck.

Program Review Activity #9--Concept Challenge

I want to make sure the kids remember the whole purpose to our program by reviewing the meanings of our songs. I believe if the song is sung with the concept understood...we'll have a successful program.


Chalk to write the Titles of the program songs on the board.

8 Concept Questions on 3X5 cards --one for each program song (You might have to make two sets -Jr and Sr.)

Questions Examples:

1. My friend asks me if I think we lived before we came to earth and what our purpose is here. (Name the song that could BEST answer your friends question. 'I lived in Heaven')

2. My Mom asks me what I know about the Baptism of Jesus Christ. (Name the song that could BEST answer your mom's question. 'Baptism')

3. My Friend wants to know why I like my church so much and why I put my faith in God. (Name one of our program songs that could help answer his question. 'How firm a Foundation')


Explain to the children that our program songs have taught us some very important concepts of the Gospel that can help them be better family members and missionaries. Tell them you will ask each class a question. Have the children figure out which program song will Best answer the question they have been asked. Go over the words of that part of the song that would answer the question. Sing the song.

Continue through the questions until time is over.


After the program celebration Idea #2-- Stump the Chorister

My primary kids love to see me be silly and mess up. I do it all the time with songs just to see if they are paying attention. That's kind of where this idea stemmed from.


Several funny dress-ups (ties, hats, shawls, wigs, glasses...etc)

3-4 children's Hymn books


Congratulate the children on a fine program. Explain that in order to celebrate you get to play a game called "Stump the Chorister". Pass out the children's Hymn books to a few of the teachers. Tell them to have their class look through the Hymn book and come up with a question about a song. (Rules: No questions on page numbers, no obscure hymns that they themselves don't know the words to, no questions such as "what is the 5th word in this song"...etc)

Have a one child come up from each class (in turn) and ask you their question. Explain that if you get the question right, you get to pick a dress-up that their teacher has to wear. If you get it wrong, they get to pick a dress-up that you have to wear. Have fun with it. Most likely you'll end up looking really funny...but that's the whole point. The sillier you end up looking, the more reward the kids end up getting.

Sing the song that the question was about, and then call up the next child. Continue until time is up.


After the program celebration Idea #1-- Play it again

I like to have a really fun activity to celebrate the success of our program. Our program is set for the end of October, but I know a few of you have it coming up in September. I have a few ideas this year, and haven't choose between them you get to read my ramblings as I figure it all out.

This first idea is really pretty simple. Two weeks before your program, hand out a paper to all your teachers with three to four activities that you've done throughout the year that the children really enjoyed. Have the teachers quickly take a vote in their class. Collect the papers from your teachers the following Sunday, and choose the activity based on the majority vote. If there is an obvious tie between two activities...try and combine them.

Instead of singing the program songs...have the children pick their favorite songs to sing during the activity.


Monday, August 17, 2009

Program Review Activity #8--Ideas from last year

Hey guys,....

I hope you've found some ideas you could use for this years program review. I hope the next few weeks are fun and productive for your primary, and that you can look forward to the great privilege of helping the children bring the spirit to your Sacrament meeting through this beautiful music.

If you haven't found anything that works for you or you need more than what I've listed in the past few weeks...let me direct you to last years postings around this time. I think most of them will be in September of '08. Some of my favorites were:

1. Singing Olympics
2. Song Hospital
3. Bishop's Tie
4. Walkie Talkies
5. Spin the Teacher

All of them worked very well and were a lot of fun. I plan on posting ideas for "after the program" celebration activities shortly. I hope you all have a great time.

Way to go! It's been quite a year.


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Program Review Activity #7-- Eternal Family Fun!

This is a spin on the traditional game of "Family Feud". You could use this for a normal 20 min time frame, or it can easily take the entire time if you wish.


2 flyswatters

8 questions written out that coincide with the program songs.

1 table set at the front of the primary room


Divide the room into two. Call one child from each team to the front. Give them each a flyswatter. Tell them that you are going to ask a question. If they know the answer they need to quickly slap their fly swatter on the desk. Then the child answers the question. If they are right, then they get a point. Then their team sings the song for an extra point....or they can choose to have the other team can sing it for no extra points. You could even make it teachers vs. kids if you want for added fun.

Make sure and make your questions very, very simple for Jr. Primary. You could even have the pianist play part of the song while you ask the question. Keep it very positive and don't worry about points so much as getting them to sing the songs.


Program Review Activity #6-- 8 Questions

This is a pretty simple and easy game for quick reviewing. I'll use it for a normal 20 min singing time in September.



8 Pictures that coincide with the program songs (you could just use one picture from your past picture prompts.)


Jr: Call up a child. Have them face the primary. Tell them that you are going to put up a picture that goes along with one of the program songs behind them where they cannot see it but the rest of the primary can. The rest of the primary is going to give you clues to what the picture is. You have 8 guesses. Have the children raise their hands if they want to give a clue. When the child guessed correctly what the picture is, help them figure out what song it goes to, and then sing that song. If they don't guess correctly, just pull the picture down and let them see it.

Sr: Call up a child. Explain that you will write a phrase on the board that they will not see, but the rest of the primary will. Tell them that they have 8 guesses to try and get the correct answer. The primary kids cannot say any of the words in the phrase to describe what it is. If they get it in 8 guesses or less, sing the song. If they do not, have the pianist play the notes to that part of the song and give them one last guess. Then sing the song. Remember to have the children raise their hands in order to give a clue (no one should be shouting anything)

*the crazy chorister

Friday, August 7, 2009

Repeat Week--Surprise Sunday

Okay, so I didn't even think I would be in my ward on Sunday and even got a Sub. However, plans just changed a bit so I will be there, but have no time in between to plan's the plan.

I am going to go early to church and check out all the "stuff" in the primary closet that former choristers have left. I think I'll pull out some random things. I'll have the kids come up and choose an object. We'll create a game on the spot and sing our song over and over.

I'll have to do a follow up on this to let you know if the crazy chorister finally had a major disaster or if it pleasantly and crazily worked out. Wish me luck.

For those of you who are more prone to plan and have more time than I, I suggest checking out one of the other repeat week activities on the blog and see if that works for you.

Have a great Sunday!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Program Review Activity #5--Tic-Tac-Sing!

I know, I're wondering if I ever sleep? Well, I should be...but this idea just jumped into my head and I thought I'd post it before it left ...what can I say, I'm crazy.

This is a 20 min singing activity that can be expanded if needs be.


Colored Chalk

3 willing Teachers/parents/bishopric members/young men or young women. Pretty much anyone willing to give up 40 minutes of their Sunday to help ya out.

9 question cards (1 for each of the program songs and then a random one) These cards will have a question relating to each individual song. Examples: In the song "I lived in Heaven"...What does it say you did in Heaven?" or In the Song, "How Firm a Foundation" how many times is this phrase said..'upheld by my righteous hand'. ETC. You can make the easier or harder than that depending on your primaries needs.

Before singing time begins, draw a tic-tac-toe board on the chalk board and tape the song cards to the spaces. Arrange three chairs at the front of the room.


Tell the children that today we will be playing a fun game called Tic-Tac-Sing! Introduce your helpers, and tell the children that you will be asking for the help of reverent children that are really listening and singing their best.

Explain that one child will come up. He/She will choose a card from the board. The child will then choose on the of the helpers to answer the question. The chorister reads the question to the helper, and the helper will either tell the truth or a false answer to the question. The child will then decide if they were telling the truth or being false. If the child gets it right, they get to put an x in that space. Sing the song. Then have another child come up and continue the process until a tic-tac-toe has been achieved.

Continue through the songs until you are finished or time has run out.

I expect this one will hold their attention nicely.

* based on the Hollywood squares concept from the primusic group
** adapted by the crazy chorister

Program Review Activity #4--Blast To The Past!

Out of all the review activities, I think I've been anticipating this one for months ever since I saw the concept on the primusic site (thanks so much to whoever posted it). It just sounds fun to the kid side of me.

This will be an activity that reviews all 8 program songs in 20 min.


1 time machine (haha.. now you can call me crazy! I mean one home-made time machine. You can use a big refrigerator card board box..just call your local furniture store and see if they have one you can have. Then go crazy decorating it anyway you wish to make it look cool. I just happen to have a stroke of luck this past week when a family member gave my kids a really cool space ship made out of heavy card board that I'll be using. This is what it looks like before I make it cool..

8 objects that were used to teach the program songs this year. Example could be ....a brick: "how firm a foundation"--A builders hat--"My Eternal Family".....I don't know what you used, but find something that the kids would recognize goes to that song. You could bring different objects for Jr. vs Sr. to make it easier or harder for the kids. Have a fun way to sing the song on the object.

Before primary, set up time machine and put the objects inside it.


Tell the children that they get to take a trip back in time to retrieve objects from the songs we have learned. Call someone up. Tell them to go inside and find one of the objects and bring it back out. Have the pianist play a fast version of a fun wiggle song while you wait. When the child brings out the object, have them tell you which song they think it is from. Sing the song the way the object's paper suggests.

I'm so excited, I can't wait!!!

*original concept by the primusic site
**adapted by the crazy chorister

Program Review Activity #3--Sundae Sunday

All year my primary kids have been working towards a goal. For every song they memorized word perfect, I have added an ice cream scope to a cone (see post entitled "motivation for the new year" under other in the label section) We are on the last song, and when that it finished they have earned an ice cream party around the time of the primary program.

So, to celebrate the conclusion of our goal and to have some fun, I came up with a way that we can polish up the songs a bit, and keep the motivation and fun going. I will use this for the 5th Sunday of Aug, and I have permission to have the entire time so this will include all of the program songs.


8 Ice cream scoop cut outs on white paper with a different program song listed on the back.

1 bowl cut out (rather large to hold the scoops of ice cream)

8-12 different cutouts of ice cream toppings (sprinkles, peanuts, whip cream, bananas, chocolate sauce, hot fudge, strawberry topping, cherries, crushed candy bar, carmel, m&ms...etc)...have a different way to sing the song on the back of each topping.

1 marker

A box of crayons

Mount all the ice cream scoops, toppings, and bowl on the board randomly.


Congratulate the children on making their goal Tell them to prepare for the program and their ice cream party they need to make some choices. You will choose reverent children that sing their best to come forward and pick out an ice cream scoop and a topping to put in the bowl. When they choose the flavor they want that ice cream scoop to be, have them take a moment to quickly color it to look like the ice cream flavor they want. Sing the song how the back of the ice cream topping suggests. Don't be afraid to take some time with the songs and point out spots that really need attention. When you have gone through all eight songs, tell the children that they have just picked out the ice cream and toppings that will be at their party.

If you haven't used this as a motivator all year you could just tell them that its a fun game to review the program songs. They have to see just how yummy they can make their Sundae.

*idea by the crazy chorister

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Program Review Activity #2-- Back to School

I will be using this activity to review the last four songs of the program. Again, this activity can be expanded for a longer time frame. I will keep it to 20 min. This activity will be the Sunday before school begins.


1 Backpack

4 school folders with the titles Math, Reading, Science, and Geography. Inside the folders have a song title and the activity listed for the subject.

4 Bright colored paper apple cut outs with numbers on the 1-4 (tape them to the bottom of four random chairs in the primary room)


small bell (if you have it)

Poster Board with the song names on them and a Box next to the name of the song


1 3X5 index card laminated (If you don't have laminating sheets, just cover it in scotch tape)

1 Small glass of water


Tell the kids that it's an exciting time of the year because we get to start a whole new school year. Tell them we will be attending the Primary Musical School today. Write your name on the board, and put up the poster with the song titles on them. Tell them they will get a letter grade for each song after we have sung the song.

Tell the children to look under their chairs. If they got an apple, ask the child with #1 on the apple to come forward and ding the bell and give you (the teacher) the apple. Have them open your back pack and pull out a folder. Open the folder and read the song and the activity. Do the activity and then have the child with #2 come to the front.....etc. Continue until all songs are reviewed. Make sure and give them a letter grade reflecting how they sang. Be positive.


Math: "Seek the Lord Early" --Have the children count on their fingers how many times in the song they sing the phrase "Seek the Lord Early". You could even have them stand up and turn around every time they do sing that part of the song. Ask them to tell you the answer they came up with.

Reading: "Jesus once was a little child"-- Write the letter "C" on the board. Have the children clap every time they sing a word with the letter "C" in the song.

Geography: "Baptism"---As the children sing the song, start to spin the globe. Have the pianist stop the music suddenly. Have one of the children stop the globe with their finger. See if they are close to Israel or the river Jordan. If they are way off, pick up the song where you left and have them sing it the best they can for a good grade. If you actually do get close to it (within a few countries) , they get an automatic A+.

Science: "Families can be together Forever"--Tell the kids how grateful you are to know that you have been sealed to your family (if you haven't, just express your gratitude for the knowledge that you can be together forever.) Take the glass of water and put the index card over it. Turn the glass upside down. The card will stay. Point out that the air pressure has caused a sealing of the card to the glass so it defies gravity. Have the children sing the song, and tell them to watch and see if the card will stick to the glass through the song. If they sing well, and the card stays put (which it will)....give them an A+

Are we having fun yet?

*concept by the idea door
**adapted by the crazy chorister