Sunday, January 29, 2012

Project Primary!

A year and a half ago I got attacked by a dog while out on a run.  I was stuck in bed for several days.  While in bed there happened to be a Project Runway marathon on the satellite.  I had never seen this before but since I had nothing else to do or no where to go I watched.  So this week when I was planning my music lesson, memories of that show came back to me.

On 5th Sundays, our Primary Presidency gives me the entire time, no sharing time.  I love having the extra time for singing!!  I always use these as a review and remember day.  We review any program songs we have already learned and we remember songs that we learned years past.  This is a long explanation.  Sorry, I am trying to make sure it's detailed enough so it makes sense!! :)

To prepare for this activity I first made game cards.  The front said "Project Primary" and on the back was a question.  I made them about 5x7 in size. My questions were as follows:

In the song As a Child of God, what power did we come to earth with?
In the song Hinges, what would happen if we did not have any hinges?
In the song Listen, Listen, who do you listen to?
In the First Article of Faith, who are the three people we believe in?
In the song Scripture Power, what does scripture power keep you safe from?
In the song When I Am Baptized, what do you like to look for?
In the song As a Child of God, what does the Holy Ghost help you do?
In the song Stand For the Right, what words does the Prophet have for you?

In the song As a Child of God, recite the third verse.
In the song When I am Baptized, what do you ponder on?
In the song Seek the Lord Early, where do you find the Lord?
In the song The Family is of God, what are the four things a mother teaches?
In the song I Pray in Faith, what is the third part of a prayer?
In the song Praise to the Man, who reveres him?
In the song As a Child of God, why do you feel so safe and happy?
In the song Stand For the Right, how many times do you sing the word "true'? (10 seconds)

I also had a garbage sack full of various "fashions":

South of the Border-- Sombrero and maracas
Sporty look--football jersey
Day on the town--red hat and cheetah shawl
Hit the Slopes--scarf, gloves, and ski goggles
Cow Poke-- cowboy hat and western vest
Pioneer-- Bonnet and apron
Island Days-- Grass skirt and lei
Bedtime wear-- robe and stuffed animal

To set up the activity I had all of the cards on the board, so that the words "Project Primary" were showing.  I explained to the kids that we were going to have fashion challenges and at the end of primary we would have a fashion show!!  Their models were anyone over 20 years old in the room.  This got a big laugh from the teachers when they realized it would be them! (side note here, I have very fun and cooperate teachers in our primary.  They are willing to do all kinds of crazy and funny things for me!)

I started by announcing the first "fashion challenge", for example Island days, and took out the corresponding attire from my sack.  Then I drew a child's name from the choosing jar.  That child got to come up and pick a card.  I read the question (in senior I let them read their own).  They had to then answer the question.  My pianist would play the song softly in the background to help.  If they were stumped they got ONE help from their class.

If they answered it correctly (which they do, we make sure they get to the right answer somehow) they then get to pick an adult model to come put on the fashion!  That teacher comes to the front of the room and puts on what matches that challenge, for example the grass skirt and lei.  They then stay p front with me while we sing the song that went with the  question.  The catch is, they have to sing clearly, with volume and then reverence when the song is over, to keep that teacher dressed this way!   This was how I enforced the reminder to be reverent.  If they passed, the teacher "model" sat down in their fashion.

We continued this until all the questions were asked or until we were almost out of time.  Then it was time for the fashion show!!  I used our new song As a Child of God for the show since that is the one we need to be reviewing the most.  As they sang the models walked around the room (some did so in a very silly way).  As long as we sang good the models kept walking.  If we mumbled our words or sang too quietly the models would stop.

I'm not sure who had the most fun, our models or the kids!  It was a big hit!!  We had a lot of fun and got a lot of good singing time in!  I definite one to do again another 5th Sunday!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

"CHOOSE" a door

I have tried to make my singing time activities match the theme for this year about Choices and choosing the right.  Tomorrow I plan on doing an activity that I did last year and it was a big hit!

I used two poster papers to make Door #1 and Door #2.
Since I am teaching the THIRD verse of As A Child of God tomorrow, I took the verse and omitted some key nouns and verbs.

In my own ___________, I'll happily ______________.  I'll ____________ my ______________ by my _______________   _________________.   You could either have this on strips of papers or write it largely on the board.

To begin we sing the first two verse for review.  Then I tell them we have one more verse and they get to "choose" doors in order to build it.  I choose a child from my choosing jar to come up.  They get to pick a door to fill in our first blank.  Inside the doors are words that could fit in the blanks.
I then cover each word with numbers that match which blank they could fit into. Then I cover then with the numbers 1-6.

If the child picks Door #1 they lift up the flap for space one, in Door #1.  If they picked Door #2 they lift up the flap for space one in Door #2.
So for example, if my first child picks door number one, our song would be... In my own DONUT.  We talk about why that would not work.  Then we get the right word out of the other door.  Notice I made sure that the words are placed randomly in the doors.

We continue to do this until the entire verse is built.  After each word is added we sing what we have built so far, until finally we are singing the entire verse.  This activity really emphasizes the words in the song and I get a chance to clarify their meanings and the importance of having them there.

Happy singing!

Monday, January 16, 2012


Yesterday we did one of my all time favorite review activities.  I've seen it on lots of other blogs, so I can't remember who to give credit to.

This is a great activity to do once the kids have learned the verse of a new song and you want to reinforce that they understand the words and meanings of the songs.  I am blessed to have wonderful teachers in both our Junior and Senior primary who always willingly participate in my crazy ideas!

To start I have a swivel chair (borrowed from the clerk's office) and the numbers 1 through twelve placed around it like a clock.  I draw a child's name from my choosing jar.  That child gets to pick which teacher they want to spin.  The teacher sits on the chair and puts their legs out like a spinner.  When the piano music starts the child gets to spin the teacher matching the tempo of the song.  My pianist does a great job with this, really mixing it up.  When the piano stops so does the teacher.  Wherever their feet land is what number card the child picks up.

Each card has a different question or singing challenge. some of mine yesterday were:

1. Sing first verse and chorus of As A Child of God
2.  Fill in the blanks: I feel so _____ and _______because
3.  How do good choices bless your family

I think you get the idea.  The great thing about this activity is that it works for any song and my primary LOVES IT!!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Building A Child of God

Today was SO much fun!  We are working on the second verse of As a Child of God.  I teach the verses in sections.  Then build the song as we go.  Today was a reverse version of Hangman.  We did girls against boys, which aways works great in our primary.  I had the kids move so the girls were on one side of the room and boys seated on the other (in junior I did leave the Sunbeams where they were).

Here are the finished bodies.

After I taught the first portion of the second verse we sang it together twice:
"I feel so safe and happy because."

Then it was contest time!  The girls sang, then the boys sang it.  Who ever sang it loudest and pronounced the words the most clearly got a body part on the board.  I then did this for the second portion of the verse:
"such feelings of peace come from family love."

Contest again.

Next we sang those two phrases together twice.  After that it was contest time again.  Following that we added the chorus and etc.  I hope you get the idea.  It was a blast.  All the kids enjoyed it! Eventually we were singing the first and second verses with the chorus to earn the final body parts.

Girls won in junior, boys won in senior.

Some added extras.  If they were irreverent when the other side was singing they could lose a body part.  I sometimes ask visiting parents to help judge because it can get too close to call!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


One more post for today.  My wonderful, talented, giving, fantastic, fun, adventurous, inventive, spiritual, awesome, Primary Pianist has been released!  Alisha Gearhart was so amazing to work with and I reluctantly raised my hand when she was sustained to be the new Relief Society secretary!  I am sooooo sad to have her grow up and go to class with the mommies now!  She is irreplaceable and I don't know what I am going to do without her!! :(


Choose Your Own Journey

Since this year's theme is all about choices, I planned a fun way to learn the first verse of our new song, As A Child of God.  I told the kids we would be going on a journey together and that they got to "choose" what and where we would be going.  I taught them the first line of the song with some sign language to help (I will post about those later).  Once they sang it well they got to make their first choice.  After each choice was made we would then add the next line to the song.  So it went song, choice, song, choice, etc.  By the end of singing time today both junior and senior have the frist verse and chorus down perfectly!  Here is how our journey turned out!

I would read the three choices, then I would put thenm in a bag.  I chose a child from my chosing jar and they got to reach into the bag.  I then pinned up what they drew on the board.

Choices:   The Beach, Disneyland, The Dentist

Choices: Toothbrush, Piano, Mayonaise

Choices: Our pet, Our Primary Teacher, The Boogey Man

Choices: Jump on a pogo-stick, Fly, Pull A Handcart

Choices: 5 minutes, 5 hours, Forever

By the end of primary our journey was decided.  Senior primary's was the best!  They ended up with this:
We are going to the dentist with our pet. We will take our toothbrush in a handcart.  We are staying there FOREVER!

After the kids laughed I then asked them how they felt having someone else make their choices for them.  We had a great discussion about free agency and choosing the right!

What's even better is this could be used with ANY song!