Saturday, February 26, 2011

Review Activity-Back 2 School

For the last Sunday before school started I borrowed my sister's back to school singing time idea. Her idea was to bring a backpack full of school supplies. Each one would represent a song and a way to sing it. The ways to sing it would be actual musical terms. I like this idea because it allows for actually teaching about music.
These were the things she brought:(for each item we sang a song from the program)
scissors: these are to represent singing staccato (the notes are short, like they've been cut with scissors-so sing one of the program songs staccato)
glue: represents legato (the notes stick together nice and smooth like they've been glued
glasses: they represent a fermatta (because you have to watch the chorister with your eyes very closely to see how long to hold out the note--the kids loved singing the song with lots of added fermattas)
new school shoes:to represent allegro and andante (sing the song fast or slow)
a framed picture of mom and child: my son really takes a picture of me and him to school each day. This is to represent acupella. Just like the kids can't take their moms/families with them to school--they have to go on their own, we are going to sing on our own without the piano.

Review Activity-Song Hospital

I loved the song hospital idea I had read about (and will look up the source soon) and decided to adapt it a little bit for our primary. I dressed up as Dr. Sis. Larson and the primary room became a hospital.

In our waiting room each song was a patient and waited in a chair to be called back to the examining table.

Our examining table

While the song was on the table, the kids and I sang it and then assessed it using this chart. I had the older kids take turns filling it out themselves, and for the younger kids, I had them help with circling the numbers.

If the songs were healthy enough, they were discharged. Discharged songs were placed outside the door (as though they were going home). Songs that still needed some work were "admitted". I placed admitted songs on the board.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Review activity-Solar System

This idea was another one adapted from another singing time blog (it was so long ago, I can't remember the source). This was a review for primary program songs and also a way to learn a few more "little songs" (that the presidency wanted to throw in last minute-I really try to be accomodating.)
SO I made the solar system out of poster board and each one represented a song from the program. It's hard to see from the pictures, but all of the large planets have little flags on them with the letter "p" for primary. THese planets are ones that we have claimed with our flag because we know the corresponding song pretty well.
So to begin this activity I told them how much I had enjoyed flying all over the universe with them and visiting all these different planets and sticking our flag in them, but we still had a few more planets to visit that don't have flags. They are called dwarf planets because they are very small and the songs on them are very short and easy to learn. For this activity, I also had a little laminated rocket ship that we moved from dwarf planet to dwarf planet as we learned those little songs. And we also added a "p" flag to each of the little planets as we mastered them.
One thing that I added for Senior primary was some decoding. I thought it would be fun to pretend that one of the new songs we were learning needed to be decoded because some of the words were in a weird alien language (going with the whole outer space theme). So I gave them each a piece of paper and pencil with the words to the song. The fun was that the key words to the song were changed to wingding font. Using the key, also on their paper, they had to decode these words. Once they did, they had all the words to this new song right in front of them, so they had no excuse not to sing along.

Review activity-The Singing Bee (with a spin)

I saw two ideas online that I wanted to fuse together. The first idea was for picking a song to sing using a human spinner. You just use a spinny chair, tape the names of songs all around it, have someone sit in it with their legs out and toes pointed forward, and then give them a good spin. Whichever song their feet are pointing to when the chair stops is the song you sing.

So that was how we picked out which song to do for "The Singing Bee". For this game, whichever kid was the contestant came up to the front of the room and was given a hand held microphone (kids love to hold a microphone). The pianist would then start to play the song that was picked by our human spinner with everyone singing along. Then the pianist would stop playing somewhere in the middle of the song, and the contestant has to sing the next line of the song by themselves. This activity takes hardly any preparation and the kids loved singing little solos in front of everyone.

Come Follow Me-Follow the recipe

For teaching the second verse of Come Follow Me, for both junior and senior primary, we did "Follow the recipe". I can't remember where I found this idea, I just know it wasn't my own.
Each time the kids learned a line of the second verse, I called on someone to add an ingredient to our big mixing bowl for chocolate chip cookies. By the time they learned the second verse we had beautiful chocolate chip cookie dough. I then pretended that I had a magic oven hidden behind the piano where I placed the cookie dough, and brought out a big basket of already baked cookies. Each of the kids got to go home with some cookies, and I got to go home with not one, but two large mixing bowls full of cookie dough. Talk about a SWEET activity!

Come Follow Me-Crazy Chorister's "just follow the pattern"

There are so many wonderful singing time blogs that I love to visit, none more than the crazy chorister. She had this idea for teaching come follow me that I knew would be perfect for our senior primary, called "just follow the pattern" since the song is about following:)

So for teaching the first verse of come follow me to the senior primary, I first passed out a white piece of paper to each kid. Each time we learned a line of the song, I would instruct them on folding their paper. By the end of the first verse they each had an oragami white dress shirt. (for this activity you can go on youtube to watch how the folding is done.)
I loved this activity. Just something different.

Come Follow Me Fishing

For teaching the first verse of Come Follow Me to the junior primary I first taught them about when Jesus said these words to His apostles. I explained how they were fisherman and Jesus told them to follow Him and become fishers of men. So we did a fishing activity with this song. Pretty simple. Each time we learned a line of the first verse, I called on someone to go fishing. Each fish then had a question attached to it such as, "It's Sunday and your friend has invited you to go see the new movie you've really been wanting to see. What could you do to follow Jesus?" The little kiddos loved going fishing!

Ok, so far behind, I can't keep track of weeks anymore...but this one was for Pioneer Day

For the Sunday after pioneer day, I decided to get a bit theatrical by doing a singing time version of the pioneer trek. I used masking tape to make an outline of the US on the board and to show the route the pioneers took from Nauvoo to Salt Lake.
I looked up online how to make a paper bonnet for myself to wear, and found a big basket to hold supplies in and got up in front of the kids that Sunday pretending to be a pioneer. I jumped right into my role without any explanation to the kids. This was basically my script:
Okay, I think we're all ready to go. Well, I guess I'll never be totally ready to leave this place. I've loved living here in Nauvoo. Nauvoo the beautiful, this was Joseph's city. I'll miss this temple we worked so hard to build.

But now it's time to follow Brigham Young, to a new place, far far away, where no one will bother us anymore, where we can finally have peace.

(I look at the primary kids) Well, are you pioneers ready to go with me?

It looks like it's our turn to cross the Mississippi River. (tack picutre of mississippi river on the board next to its label, move paper wagon to this spot too). Everyone stand up. Climb onto the ferry, and now lets float across. (start pretending to swat bugs away) Oh, you know what I won't miss about this river? The bugs, the big, biting bugs. I'm always having to swat these things away. (reach into basket and inconspicuously throw out a plastic bug with song attached to it). Whoa, this bug has a song on it. It says, "Come Follow Me". Could you pioneers sing "Come follow me"? But remember we'll have to keep swatting the bugs away while we sing.

Sing Come Follow Me

That was beautiful singing, and look we made it across the Mississippi. Everyone step off the ferry.

Now do you know where we are? We're at Sugar Creek in the Iowa territory (add picture of sugar creek to board and move paper wagon to sugar creek). Let's start walking. We have to walk over a thousand miles. My feet are already hurting. I should have worn better shoes. (look at bottom of shoe-there's a song taped there:) There's another song here. It says, "The Holy Ghost". I guess we're supposed to sing this song too. Remember to keep walking while we sing.

Sing "The Holy Ghost"

Everyone can sit down. Now do you know where we are? We're at Winter Quarters in Nebraska. (Add picture of winter quarters to the board etc) Oh Max (or whatever child's name) you don't look like you're feeling well. You look pale. There's spots on your skin, your nose is bleeding. OH no. It's scurvy. Come lay down. (Have two chairs at the front with a pillow and blanket for him to lie down on). You haven't been getting good nutrition. Do any of you have any food for him? (arrange with a teacher in the audience beforehand to have an apple ready to offer, with a song on it, at this point). Oh thank goodness, here eat this apple. OH look, it has a song on it. It says, " I feel my Savior's love". Let's sing this song and oh, it's started raining. I hope we won't get rained on too much while we're singing. (use spray bottle and lightly squirt kids with water as they sing.)

Sing "I feel my Savior's Love"

The rain has stopped...and Max is feeling so much better. Well, do you know where we are now? We are at Rocky Ridge in Wyoming. (Add picture to board). There's huge rocks and boulders covering our path for miles. It's gonna be really hard to get our wagons over these rocks. (Again, try to be inconspicuous in reaching into basket and pulling out a paper snake and letting it fall to the ground) But what's even worse, I see a rattlesnake. (jump onto chair) It's best to just leave it alone and stay far away. No one get near the rattlesnake. But look, there's a song on it. It says, "Follow the Prophet". Let's sing it. Let's make our own rattling noise while we sing it. (reach into basket and hand out maraccas, tamborines, rattles and other instruments to the kids for them to shake while we sing.)

Sing Follow the Prophet

Hey guys, we made it to Echo Canyon in Utah. (Add picture). You know, it has h=this name for a really great reason, everything you say echos in this canyon. Echo echo echo. I'm gonna write in my journal about this place. (Open journal with name of song inside) OH look, it's another song to sing. It says, "The church of Jesus Christ". But remember, everything in this canyon echoes, so we'll have to sing each line twice. This side will sing first, and this side will be the echo. (Use whole sentences of the song to echo, as opposed to echoing after each small phrase which gets confusing)

Sing "The Church of Jesus Christ"

OH my goodness, guys, look up ahead, it's the salt lake valley, we made it, we finally made it! It took us over a year of walking across plains, and deserts, and mountains, but we made it. You all were such great pioneers, but did you know...

(go to front and pull our flip chart from jolly jenn of "to be a pioneer" and begin singing) You don't have to push a handcart...(Have kids sing along the second time).

The end!!!

The kids and I really enjoyed this and it gave them a good taste of a pioneer trek in that they were exhausted by the end of singing time.

And this is what the board looked like after all the pictures were added.