Friday, February 25, 2011

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.