Sunday, December 13, 2009

Reverence is Love

Today I am teaching my junior primary kids the song, Reverence is Love. I found a flipchart for the song already made (on sugardoodle of course) and printed out 2 copies of each page. I'm going to have them up on the board, face down, and have the kids play the memory game. I am just going to start singing the song quietly and choose 1 child to start. I am not going to give any directions, just sing reverently throughout. I think the kids will catch on and hopefully be reverent also since I won't be talking. As they find each match, i'm going to put them on the edge of the chalkboard, out of order. After they find all the matches, I'll have them put the visual aids in order, then sing it with me with my ooh/ahh, lion/lamb, stand/sit signs.

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.

If I Had Been in Bethlehem

For Christmas I taught our primary the song If I Had Been in Bethlehem, by Sally Deford. It is a beautiful song and it's nice to learn a new song rather than singing one of the same songs they sing every year. Here's how I introduced the song:

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.

My Heavenly Father Loves Me

For Thanksgiving I taught them "My Heavenly Father Loves Me." To introduce it, I put all the pictures for the song up on the board in order. Then I cut the words of the song into strips, put them in envelopes, and taped them to chairs placed in a circle. Each envelope had a number on it. I had the kids walk around in a circle while the music was playing. When the music stopped, I called out a number and they had to match the words to the picture on the board. Then we'd sing that line of the song, then continue.

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.

Catching up!

Wow, nothing like taking a 3 month break from the blog! Here are some of the things I've been doing lately:

*Right before the primary program I did the "Primary Music Hospital." I've seen several versions of this and it was SO FUN! I decorated a tri-fold science fair board with red crosses, tongue depressors, cotton balls, a thermometer, a reflex hammer, medicine bottles, etc. I just raided my medicine cabinet and nursing school bag. Then I put the title, Primary Music Hospital, and 3 file folders with the words "patients" "emergency room" and "discharges." The patients were each of the songs we learned and needed to practice for the program. I had an awesome lady in my ward who played the part of the "Musical Doctor." I made her a nametag and she wore my stethoscope. I had a child come up and pull a paper out of the "patient" folder. It had the name of a song on it, which the child gave to the doctor. Then we sang the song and the doctor did an assessment. She rated the children 1-5 in difference categories, like watching the chorister, volume, singing the right words, melody, smiling, etc. If they scored all 4's and 5's they got to send that patient home (the discharge folder). If they were too sick to go home, like they got some 3's, the patient had to go to the emergency room (and then I knew which songs needed some last minute fine tuning). The lady who played the doctor did an awesome job. She was really silly, placing the stethoscope on their chest or head while they were singing for example. It was a ton of fun and a great motivator for the kids to sing their best!

*After the program I had to take the whole 40 minutes, so I brought in some instruments (sticks, bells, empty containers) and we just sang some fun songs while the kids got to tap out the rhythms with their instruments. Also I did a "Stump the Chorister" activity (idea by the Crazy Chorister of course-I love all her ideas!). I had a table full of silly costumes, wigs, hats, etc. and passed out a children's song book to each class. They had a few minutes to pick a song and then try to stump me. Most of them gave me a part of the song and asked me to guess the song. Some classes gave me clues about what the song was about. If I was able to guess the song, they got to pick out something silly for their teacher to wear. If they stumped me, they got to pick out something silly for me to wear. It was super fun. By the end I was wearing swimming goggles, a rastafarrian wig, an indian maiden vest, and a headband with wiggly antennas. The kids were just cracking up! I was too!