Sunday, May 30, 2010
Saturday, May 22, 2010
I LOVE my primary kids and I LOVE those moments when you feel the spirit in singing time and you know the kids feel it too. They make all the hard work worth it.
I am in need of a serious over-haul in my calling. Not in visual aids or ideas or anything, just in personal motivation and dedication to serving the Lord through this calling. I have made some short term and long term goals and hope that they will make a difference in my approach to teaching.
First things first: tomorrow I have a very simple activity planned that I hope will help reinforce the gospel principles taught in the songs, not just memorization of the words. I usually like to plan a game or project--something to help them be motivated to participate. I never do competitive games (like one team against another) but try to have the whole primary work together toward a common goal.
But I noticed in the sharing time outline for tomorrow it specifically says to try to create a reverent atmosphere so the children can focus on feeling the Holy Ghost and discussing how it helps them. I don't want to do a rowdy game and then turn them over to the Primary Presidency all wired, which can definitely happen when I have a fun game for singing time.
For tomorrow, I have simply printed out in big letters HO-L-Y-G-H-O-ST. On the back of each letter (or group of letters) is a question that reinforces a gospel principle from one of our 5 program songs we've learned so far. The songs with multiple verses I've split up into one question per verse. Senior primary will also have a scripture to look up that goes with the song. The 7 pieces will be scattered around the room. I'll invite a child to go pick one and read the question on the back. We'll sing the corresponding song, then discuss the gospel principle taught in the song. Once all the pieces have been collected and put up on the board, we'll unscramble it to spell out HOLY GHOST. I'll end by talking about the Holy Ghost is a gift Heavenly Father gives us to help feel his love and help us know what to do to return to live with Heavenly Father and Jesus. I'll bear my testimony ( I always do) and hopefully this will be a good segway into sharing time.
These are the questions I have planned:
1.What did the Nephite children feel while Jesus was blessing and teaching them? (I know that my Savior Loves Me 1st verse)
2. Even though Jesus isn’t here with us like he was in the Book of Mormon story, he gives us special people to help guide us. Who are they? (I know that my Savior Loves me, 2nd verse)
3.How did Heavenly Father show us what we are supposed to do on earth so that we can return and live with Him? (He Sent His Son
4. JR:How did the prophet Adam serve the Lord? (Follow the Prophet, vs 1)
4. SR: Where did the prophet Daniel get his power? (Follow the Prophet, vs 8)
5. Why does Heavenly Father give us prophets on the earth today? (Follow the Prophet, Pres Monson verse)
6. Whose church do we belong to? (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints)
7. What blessing will we get if we live by the teachings of Jesus Christ? (Choose the Right Way)
Friday, April 16, 2010
So every now and then I try to come up with activities where every child can participate in someway, even if it's just holding something. I did this for teaching the President Monson verse of Follow the Prophet and it worked great. Here's what I did:
"Heavenly Father loves us and wants us to return"-each of the Sunbeams held a stuffed felt heart (I made these for the nursery a while ago, and I use them ALL the time. Anytime you need a visual aid for love)
"He blesses us with Prophets who help us all to learn"-each member of the CTR 4 class held a picture of a modern day prophet from my gospel art kit
"President Monson humbly leads God's church today"-each member of the CTR 5 class held a popsicle stick with a thumbnail size pic of President Monson on it (I also made these for my nursery babies to hold while singing the chorus of Follow The Prophet, and they come in handy in primary too)
" If we heed his words, we'll walk a righteous way."-each member of the CTR 6 & CTR 7 held a shoe (i just raided my little boy's closet)
I just taught them one line at a time and gave each kid their visual aid. Then when we put it all together, they would hold up their prop as we sang their line. It really kept their attention well because they got to hold something and feel involved, plus they had to pay attention to what we were singing so they knew when to hold it up!
This week, I am going to review The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, but I also have to teach a Mother's Day song to Jr. (and review it with Sr, who already knows it pretty well). I am going to draw our chapel building on a poster board. I'll make sure the name of the church is clearly visible. (Hopefully I can get my artsy husband to help with this, because my drawing skilss are limited!) I will give each child a little simple drawing of a child (a boy for the boys and a girl for the girls). I'll give them a few minutes to color the child to look like themselves. While they're coloring I'm going to give each teacher a slip of paper with a question on it to reinforce the principles in the song. They will discuss with their class while they're coloring and come up with the answer. Then we'll come back together and start the review.
I'll ask each class to share their question and the answer. (For Junior it will be simple things like, "What church to we belong to?" or a fill in the blank question. Senior will be a little harder, like a line from the song with the words scrambled that they have to put in order). Then we will sing the song in a fun way (clap the beat, stand on one foot, march in place, etc) or just the line of the song that applies to their question. Then each child in the class will come up and put their replica of themself up on the posterboard by the picture of the chapel. When we're done I'll reinfoce how we all belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints , what we know, and what we will do with the truth that we know.
My objective is, of course, to repeat the song lots of times so they learn the words and the principles in the song. I think the children will enjoy that each and every person will get to participate and have fun.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
For Senior primary, I'm also teaching them Reverence is Love in the same way as junior primary. But since there are only 8 pages (4 matches) they will be able to do it faster. Plus I bet many of them already know it. (But I am going to teach it anyway because our primary pres wants us to focus on reverence in primary this month). After we do the memory game and practice it, I am going to transition to teaching "The Sacrament" since that's the weekly gospel principle. I have printed out 4 pictures that illustrate the 4 lines of the song. I cut them into puzzles and am going to have each class put together a picture, glue it on cardstock, then bring it to the front. I have never heard this song before so I'm guessing many of the children have not either. I'll sing them 1 line of the song and have them guess which picture goes first, then we'll sing it. We'll continue through the whole song that way.
I told the children we were going on a long trip. I asked them to stand up, pick up their suitcases and walk (in place) with me to the plane. Then I looked at my watch and realized we were running late so we had to run in place. Then we dropped our suitcases and sang "Hinges" to bend down and pick them up. When we finally got to the plane, we sat down and buckled our seatbelts. Then I pulled out my globe and showed them that we were flying alllllllllll the way from Texas, over the whole US, over the Atlantic ocean, over Europe, and landing right here (I put a star over Bethlehem, but didn't tell them where we were). While we were pretend flying, I had them look out their window and look at the ocean, etc. (You know, just make it fun. They were really paying attention by this point!). Then I turned off the lights and told them that we had landed and it's night time now. I asked them to listen to me sing the first line of the song and see if they could tell me where we were.
Then I sang, "If I had been in Bethlehem the night of Jesus birth" I called on a child to tell me the answer, that we were in Bethlehem. Then they sang that line with me.
I went through the whole song that way, asking them a question and then singing the next line of the song and having them listen for the answer, then sing it together.
I tried to keep it reverent and really have them focus on what it would have been like if they had been in Bethlehem the night Jesus was born. I asked them what they might have heard ("And heard afar the angels' joyful song of peace on earth"), seen ("If I had seen the shepherds come to seek the baby fair") and done ("I think I would have followed them and knelt beside them there.") Even the little ones were really into it. I had my nativity from home and as we learned each line of the song, we added another piece to the nativity. Having the lights out and really pretending like we were actually there really helped invite the spirit and the children learned the song really fast!
*To review the song, we played games the following weeks. For Junior primary, I cut out all the pieces to a snowman and laid them out on the floor. I cut enough pieces so each child could put a piece on the board (since there are so many kids that get super disappointed when they don't get to help me. This way I didn't have to listen to any complaining that they didn't get a chance to help!) I had made up several questions/fill in the blank/what word doesn't belong slips of paper and put them in a can. One child from each class had to draw out a paper and answer it, then each child in the class got to put a piece of the snowman up on the board. By the end we had the snowman all put together and had sung through the song several times!
*To review for Senior primary, we played tic-tac-toe. They had to answer a questions/fill in the blank/whatever to earn their X or O.
To review the next week, I printed a bunch of keys and cut them out. Then I wrote the key words to the song on the keys. I had a child go out in the hall while another child picked a key and all the children got a chance to read or hear what they key word was. When the first child came back in from the hall, he put on a hat with the key word taped to the front so all the children could see. We sang that line of the song, but left out the key word. Then the child with the hat on had to guess what the key word was. I made the key words harder for senior primary than for junior.