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Friday, October 14, 2011

A bad Case of the "Singing Bug" Music Time

With our Primary Sacrament presentation just a few weeks away, I need to really get some energy from the kids.  The kids in our primary are great but there are still a few that have yet to catch the "Singing Bug" :) so we are going to work on them this Sunday.

What to do:

I made a big 18" ladybug.   On the back of each spot on the ladybug , I put the name of the songs we're singing in the program.  I'll place the ladybug up front on the board.   I'll explain to the kids that while there are lots of cold and flu "bugs" going around this time of year, there's an even more contagious bug going around- the "Singing Bug".

I'll have one of the kids come up and pick a spot off the ladybug. We'll begin by singing that song. With the help of the Primary presidency, we will walk around the room with the dots (garage sale stickers) and place one on each of the kids who are really putting an effort into singing.  Once they get a dot, it means that they are infected with the "Singing Bug" and the only cure is the "S" pills (Skittles) in my jar.  We will continue to put a dot on each of the kids for each one of the songs we review.  I am hoping that even the kids that usually don't participate much will jump on board and become infected with the "Singing Bug" as well.

By the time we are done going through all of the songs, hopefully the kids will be covered with dots and they can trade those in for the "S" pills after primary. 

UPDATE:  Huge success today!  Kids loved it and sang their hearts out.

Lost Sheep Music Time

The Primary theme for September was on missionary work.  I was trying to come up with a fun way to help the kids understand the importance of spreading the gospel and finding Heavenly Father's lost sheep.  At the same time I also wanted to review all of our songs for the program, as time is winding down.

What I did:

I created sheep with the songs from the program listed on the back of each one.  I started out by reading the scripture that went with the theme,  "This gospel shall be preached until every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people" D&C 133:37.  A reverent child was invited to come up and pick a sheep off of the board.  Two other children were then called up to be our "missionaries".  The two missionaries were excused from the room for a moment while the first child hid the sheep.  After the sheep was hidden, we started to sing the song that was on that sheep. The missionaries were invited back into the room.  They had to stay together as missionaries always go out in pairs.  As they got closer to the object we sang louder/further from the object, we sang quieter (same as the hot/cold game).  We did this until the lost sheep was found.

We talked about how the missionaries throughout the world go about searching for the lost sheep the same way.  They use the spirit to guide them to the sheep, just as we guided our missionaries to finding our lost sheep. This seemed to be a very effective activity and one that the kids wanted to do again in the future.   

Dice Game Music time

We needed to learn one of the songs for the primary program and I was trying to think of a way to teach it that would engage the kids.  I saw an idea for the dice game on here that I thought would be effective.   I just took a square box (I used a tissue box), covered it in paper, and then added stickers onto each side of the dice (numbered 1-6).

I wrote all of the words to the song on the blackboard. I had to improvise a little with Junior Primary and use pictures (where many of the children don't read yet) but for the Senior Primary, we ran through the song a couple times until they felt comfortable with it.   I would then have a child come up and roll the dice.  Whatever number they landed on, we had to erase a word (so if they landed on a 5, we would erase every 5th word).  This worked so well and the kids didn't seem to tire of it.  By the time we'd rolled the dice several times and had the words erased, the kids had it mastered.  Very easy activity and yet so effective.

David and Goliath Singing time

On my second week as Chorister, I was trying to come up with a fun way to get the kids ready for our Primary Sacrament program.   To be honest, at the time the thought of the program felt like a Goliath to me as there was so much that needed to be done so I thought I'd run with the whole Goliath idea.

I'd found a 4-ft Goliath in one of the F.H.E. kits I'd made years ago (YEAH!).  I brought him out for the Primary kids and explained that we had a Goliath before us-referring to the Primary program.  I quickly shared the story of David and Goliath and how David had faith and the help of the Lord and he was able to conquer Goliath. I made sure to stress that our Goliath's are not always a bad thing. The primary program is a good Goliath but just a monumental, huge task that would require a lot of work on our part but just like with David, with the help of the Lord we would be successful.

I'd gathered up a bunch of stones from my back yard and numbered them 1-10, each one corresponding to one of the songs we're singing in our program.  I put the stones in a bag and let a child come up and pick a stone.  We then sang that song.

Here's the fun part, depending on how well they sang the song, they got to take a shot at the target on Goliath.  If they sang the song just okay, I let a child come up and try to hit Goliath with a small marshmallowt.  If they sang it really well, they got to use a large jet-puffed marshmallow.  If they did it perfectly, they could use one of the jumbo-sized marshmallows (these are kind of new but they are at a few stores here).

While this activity could have gotten a little rowdy, the kids were really good about keeping a reverent tone.  It definitely engaged them and got them singing. I think we did a pretty good job with conquering Goliath! :)

Celestial Singers Music Chart

I was just called as the Chorister in Primary.  I was a little overwhelmed by the timing as our primary program is coming up quickly.   I really needed to be able to gauge where the kids were at with each of the songs for the program.  I saw a "Celestial Singing" idea here and I thought it was the perfect way to help me keep track of the kid's progress, and a great way for them to have a visual of their progress as well.

What I did:

I created my own version of the "Celestial Singing" poster with the star (representing pretty good job), moon (representing very good job), and sun (representing excellent singing or Celestial Singing).  For each of the songs in the program, I also created a star with the name of each song.  At the beginning of singing time, I'd have a reverent child come up and pick a song for us to run through.

To engage the kids, I bought a couple star shakers from the dollar store.  I had a couple children who were being "celestial singers" come up and do the shakers while we sang the next song.  I also had a child that was being a "shining" example of a celestial singer come up and help me conduct using a glow stick.  I called up new children for each of the songs.  They all really seemed to enjoy getting to participate so much. 

After we'd sing each song, we determined where we needed to place it on our chart.  Over the weeks, the stars have started moving up the chart and we are well on our way to become "Celestial Singers".