Sunday, July 4, 2010

Week 23- 4th of July review

How exciting to have the 4th of July be on Sunday! I was reading ideas online, and there was one chorister who was planning on sharing the story of how Willford Woodruff had a vision of the signers of the declaration of independence. Since the sharing time lady told me to take a lot of time, I decided I'd go ahead and give a little history lesson before we started singing today.
I started by telling the kids I was going to be their history teacher, and I grabbed a big, old book, that I had written "History" on, and pretended to start reading from it. (WHile I spoke, the pianist played "battle hymn of the republic" in the background.) I told them that over 200 years ago on this very day, the 4th of July, these men (I pointed to a picture of some of our founding fathers), men like Benjamen Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson, and John Adams, made this (then I pointed to my fake declaration of independence.) I took down the declaration of independence and walked around the room giving all the kids an up close look as I explained what these men wrote in the declaration, and how the declaration was so important to our country becoming free. Then I said, "What if I told you, that these very important men in U.S. history, who you'll learn all about in school, that after they died, THEY WANTED TO BE BAPTIZED INTO THIS CHURCH!"
I told them there was another character in this story, Willford Woodruff. I told them that he was the prophet of our church after these men had died and how he had a vision where the signers of the declaration of independence asked why no one had been baptized for them and that they wanted their temple work done. I told them how he was baptized for all the signers of the declaration, and that he baptized his friend for many presidents of the U.S. I ended with, "These men who were so important to this country, after they died found out what was most important of all...returning to our Heavenly Father. And that is why they asked WW to be baptized for them.

I then turned to another part of my "history" book and told them that I wanted to teach them about our flag. I told them what the colors symbolized and the stars and stripes, etc. Then I showed them the little flags I had made and told them that each one had a freedom written on it, that would tell us which song to review. For example, one of the flags read, "I have the freedom to be a member of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints". So then we reviewed our song, "The Church of Jesus Christ".

For the senior primary, instead of doing the bit about flags, I went straight from the WW story to our song review using POP-its! I asked permission from the primary president first to use these loud, kind of messy 4th of July things, and she said it was no problem. Clay helped me put the names of songs to review inside of each of the POP-its. The kids loved the POP noise and the flying mini streamers! I loved today and I was AMAZED at how reverent all the kids were during their history lesson. Bless their hearts!

Week 22-The Holy Ghost

The last Sunday of June, we finally got to our June song, "The Holy Ghost". To introduce the song, I found a sort of music video of "The Holy Ghost" that another lady put together to show to her primary. The video was so beautiful, and I felt the Spirit everytime I watched it, so I though what better way to teach about the Holy Ghost, than to have them FEEL the Holy Ghost as they watch the video. Clay was soooo wonderful to figure out how to burn the youtube video onto a DVD for the kids to watch. The kids loved the video, and I'll try to figure out how to download it here. It was nice to be able to bribe them, "If you guys sing really well, you can watch the video one more time."
Anyway, after they watched for the first time, I used another chorister's idea of having them clap the rhythm as I sang both verses. The idea is to point out that just like the song has a constant, steady beat, the Holy Ghost is constant in our lives.
To help them try to memorize the song, I made an interesting "comforter" that needed some fabric patches. The kids really had to use their imaginations, since I don't sew and my glue-gunned baby blanket wasn't exactly beautiful. As the kids learned lines from the song, I had them take turns picking out a fabric square to go on our comforter. They learned the first verse this week, so we'll finish filling in the rest of the squares another week.

Week 21-Cut the tie

When I saw this idea online, months ago, I knew that I HAD to do it for Father's Day. First, I made my own ties, with a song we've been working on on the back of each tie. I taped the ties up around the room, and I explained to the kids that they would take turns picking a tie. (I wanted them to think that this was all I had planned on doing). I let someone go pick a tie and announced which song was written on it and then said, "ok guys, I want you to sing really nice and loud and...". Then I trailed off and made an expression like I just had a great idea pop into my head. I said, "I just got an idea of how to make this a little more interesting". Then I said, "Brother such and such, could you come up here?" Before primary began I had given this brother a truly ugly tie to wear. I gave him a chair to sit in up in the front of all the kids and explained to the kids, "I hate to say it, but brother such and such's tie is kind of hideous." Then I pulled out a big pair of scissors and the kids all gasped. I told them that if they sang a song well, I would cut off a piece of his tie, and keep going until he was only left with the very top. I loved how shocked they all were, especially as they saw me actually snip snip away at his tie. Each piece I cut off, I then threw out to the kids and they liked trying to catch little tie souvenirs. This was such a fun day!!!

My paper ties

Week 20-Love is Spoken Here, Families Can Be Together Forever

I wanted the kids to learn these two songs to sing for Father's Day in Sacrament meeting. Love Is Spoken Here and the first verse of Families Can be Together Forever are both in the same key, so we could just go straight from one song to the next with no pause in between.

For Love is Spoken Here, I found an idea online called "What's behind door #1 and door #2?". I would sing to them part of a line from the song, and they had to pick a door and see if the rest of the line was behind that door. The other door had silly endings to the line. Here's what I came up with for the silly endings:
I see my mother kneeling:
1.) With her family each day
2.) As she scrubs the kitchen floor

I hear the words she whispers
1.) when she talks to herself
2.) As she bows her head to pray

Her plea to the Father:
1.) Quiets the neighbor's cat
2.) Quiets all my fears

And I am thankful:
1.) Love is Spoken Here
2.) Toothepaste was invented

Mine is a home:
1.) Where every hour
2.) that Santa Claus visits at Christmas time

Is blessed by the strength
1.) of Lysol disinfecting products
2.) of Priesthood Power

With father and mother
1.) tap dancing on the patio
2.) leading the way

Teaching me how to
1.) chop an onion without crying
2.) trust and obey

And the things they teach are crystal clear
1.) For love is spoken here
2.) because they never stop talking

For Families Can be Together Forever, I found a "repeat parrot" idea for the Junior Primary. I started by showing the kids a picture of a parrot and telling them some cool facts about parrots, emphasizing how they can mimic human sounds and actually repeat things you say. Then I told them I was going to magically turn them into parrots. Once I "transformed" them, I had kids take turns rolling a large dice, to see how many times they had to repeat what I said. Of course, the things I told them to say were lines from the song.

For Senior primary, I figured most of them already knew this song so I wanted to find some silly way we could sing it over and over again. I decided to make a paper family, and the kids would take turns picking a member of the family to sing like. Then that member of the family would be moved in front of the house. Here's how we sang for each of the family members:
Mom-sing the verse super fast (cause moms are always runny around, super busy)
Dad- sing each line twice (because dad's like to repeat themselves)
Teenage sister-insert the word "like" a lot. I made a sign with the word, "like" on it and held it up everytime I wanted them to sing it. It was funny to hear, "I like have a family, like here on earth..."
brother-sing staccoto (cause little boys are always "jumpy" and bouncing off the walls)
baby-sing in a baby/crying voice.