Thursday, March 31, 2011

Song Review - Name That Word

After the children are familiar with the words of a new song, you can review it with “Name That Word.” Simply have the pianist play the melody and ask the children to sing the song in their mind. This will take some concentration for some of the children. The younger ones will have a harder time, so I stand by them and mouth the words. When the pianist stops the music, ask the children to name the word. You may find that the children name the next word! It seems to be easier to do. ;o) You can repeat the process for as long as interest continues. This activity is easily combined with another review activity if or when the children become restless.

It is most effective to emphasize the keywords in the song. If you work with the pianist ahead of time, she can mark these in the music and stop on (or just before) these words. If you use colored chalk on a Q-Tip, you can easily erase the mark later from the music.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Teaching Method - Turns With Phrases

Turns With Phrases is a teaching method that forms groups of children to sing each phrase of the song. A child is chosen from each group to help you lead that group. Teach each group one phrase of the song. Alert the children that the groups will switch phrases later, so they should listen to all the phrases as they are taught. Sing the whole song, with each group singing their phrase. Then switch phrases and groups and sing the song again.

Our song for April is “Did Jesus Really Live Again?” and I’m planning to use Turns With Phrases to teach it. I'm planning to use three groups and teach each group the phrases that answer the question in each verse. Because the song tells a story, it seems incomplete without singing all three verses. I want to teach the three verses together as if they were one verse. So, I’ll teach the phrases of each verse to each group. For each verse, I’ll sing the questions and then I’ll teach the answers to each group. I’ll sing the questions again and they can sing the answers back to me. I’ve prepared pictures to give them visual clues for the phrases. A couple of children in each group can hold these up as their group sings about them. Then we’ll switch phrases and sing the song again.

This song bears a beautiful testimony of the real events of the Savior’s resurrection. It tells how the Savior spoke to Mary in the garden and to others. These became witnesses to the reality of his resurrection as they watched him eat and felt the physical wounds in his body. The final phrase testifies that because Jesus lives again, we will also be resurrected.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Name That Tune - by Humming

Make a list of songs you want to review. Tell the children that you are going to play a musical guessing game. Explain that you will begin humming a song and when they recognize the song, they should stand and join you in humming. When a fair number of children are standing, ask one of them to name the song. Invite this child to use the music baton to lead the rest of the primary in singing the song. I have a bee “fancy” that I like to add to the baton with this activity. You could also use a bee puppet to lead. Or, use the bee and bird animal shapes to indicate when to sing and when to hum during the song.

This activity works well with songs that have not been sung for awhile. It also works great if you just want to review one of the new songs before moving into a different planned singing time activity.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Song Review - Everyone Can w/ Case Studies

Case studies and the "Everyone Can" work perfectly to review a song like "Stand For the Right.” Case studies help the kids see how to live the principles that we sing about in our primary songs. The situation, along with a question such as “What can you do to be true to the prophet’s teaching?” or, “What should you do to follow the prophet?” go into the can to draw from. After a child draws the case study, but before he gives an answer, sing “At work or at play, in darkness or light, Be true, be true and stand for the right.” If there is time, after the child answers the question, sing an additional review song to reinforce the principle taught by the case study. Depending on how long it takes to discuss the situation with the children, there may not be time to sing the additional song. So, judge the time and sing the extra songs as you can fit them in. I don't necessarily sing with each case study. In the bottom of the can, put smiley face stickers to give to each child to remind them that “everyone can” stand for the right. (Give the strips to the teachers to pass out.)

Here are examples of case studies and songs that we might sing. You should re-write and adapt them to your primary.

Your mom asked you to come straight home after school, but your friend has the neatest new computer game he wants you to see. It will only take a minute to show you. What can you do to stand for the right? “Quickly, I’ll Obey” (CS-197)

Your dad wants you to be finished with your homework before family night. You got distracted playing with the dog and now everyone else is eager for FHE. You could tell your dad that you are finished or admit that you are not ready. What can you do to be true? “Choose The Right Way” (CS-160)

Your best friend came over to play and your little sister wants to play with the two of you. She sometimes gets in your way and you would rather play with your friend alone. What should you do to stand for the right? “Kindness Begins With Me” (CS-145)

Some of the older boys at school like to call people names. This makes you feel sad and kind of angry and you feel like calling them names too, just so that they know how it feels. What can you do to stand for the right? “Smiles” (CS-267)

You are trying to do your homework and your little brother wants you to play a game with him. He keeps bugging you and you keep telling him to go away. What should you do to be true? “Love One Another” (CS-136)

Your very favorite top is becoming too small. Every time you lift your arms your stomach shows, but just a bit. You want to keep wearing it. It’s your favorite! What can you do be true? “I Will Be Valiant” (CS-162)

You stopped at the playground on your way home from school and accidentally tore your pants on the slide. You know your mom will be upset about the pants. You could just change them and put them in the laundry bin. What should you do to stand for the right? “Listen, Listen” (CS-107)

Your mom asked you and your brother to clean up the toys in the living room. You were tossing them back and forth to each other and accidentally hit the lampshade. Now there is a little tear that your mom probably won’t notice for a long time. What should you do to stand for the right? “I Want to Live the Gospel” (CS-148)

You are playing ball in the backyard and hit a home run for sure. The ball hits the window in the neighbor’s garage and now there is a small crack in the window. You resolve to be more careful. What should you do to be true? “Nephi’s Courage” (CS-120)

Your lesson in primary was all about being kind, but one of the primary kids keeps pestering you and you just want him to leave you alone. Besides, you are trying to listen. What can you do stand for the right? “I’m Trying to Be Like Jesus” (CS-78)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Choose and Review - Feast of the Prophets

The cutest idea, easily adapted to singing time, is "Feast of the Prophets" found on page 24 of the August 2001 issue of the Friend magazine. Those people are ingenious! Each of these paper plates holds a teaching, an experience, or a revelation from a prophet. The plates represent a feast of counsel and direction from both ancient and modern prophets. Their teachings nourish our souls the way food nourishes our bodies.

I chose from among the many quotes and typed them into my word processor. Then I printed the quotes, cut them out and glued them to inexpensive paper plates. Fruit and veggie stickers dress up the plates just a bit. I thought about using pictures of food cut from magazines, but the stickers were easier. I have made a plate for each child, and some will have the same quote. I have ten quotes altogether with ten songs. I did not list the title on the plate. This may be too many songs to get through in twenty minutes. So, if time is short, I can use fewer quotes by removing those plates.

When it is time to sing, I'll give the plates to the children and ask them to read the quote. Teachers will need to quietly read the quote to those that cannot read and I’ve included the very short quotes to give to the youngest kids. I'll ask the children to listen carefully during singing time to find a song that matches the principle taught by the prophet on their plate. After we sing a review song, I’ll ask the children to stand up if they think the song matches the quote on their plate. We’ll read the quote and then repeat with another song. These are the quotes I’m using:

“Children, obey your parents in the Lord.” (Paul - Ephesians 6:1)

“And he commandeth all men that they must repent, and be baptized in his name, having perfect faith in the Holy One of Israel...” (Jacob - 2 Nephi 9:23)

“Every member a missionary.” (David O. McKay)

Keep the commandments of God. That is my keynote speech, just those few words: Keep the commandments of God.” (Heber J. Grant)

“Treat one another aright. Have you sinned one against another? Have you spoken unkindly to your brother or sister? Then go and acknowledge your wrong and ask to be forgiven, promising to do better in the future.” (John Taylor)

“We should at every opportunity ask ourselves, ‘what would Jesus do?’ and then be more courageous to act upon the answer.” (Howard W. Hunter)

“Let us continually reread the Book of Mormon so that we might more fully come to Christ...” (Ezra Taft Benson)

“Mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort.” (Alma the Elder - Mosiah 18:9)

“I kneeled down before my maker, and I cried unto him in mighty prayer... for mine own soul; and all the day long did I cry unto him.” (Enos - Enos 1:4)

“Dwell together in love.” (Joseph Fielding Smith)

The matching review songs are:

“Quickly, I’ll Obey”
“When I Am Baptized”
“I Hope They Call Me on a Mission”
“Keep the Commandments”
“I’m Trying to Be Like Jesus”
“Book of Mormon Stories”
“Kindness Begins With Me”
“I Pray in Faith”
“Love One Another”

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Choose and Review - "Follow the Prophet"

Find eight or nine pictures of children from magazines (or use the cut-outs of children from the visual aids kit) and write the titles of primary songs that teach the principles that prophets have asked us to do on each of the pictures. Try to think of the ones most likely to be named by the children in your primary.

Introduce singing time by asking the children to name some things that prophets have asked us to do (pray, serve others, have FHE, be a friend, read the scriptures, keep the Sabbath day holy, be kinder, be modest, be clean and virtuous, be honest, etc.) List these things on the chalkboard. Post the pictures of the children on the edges of the chalkboard and explain that the pictures on the board represent children, all over the church, who are also following the prophet. Ask a child to choose a cut-out and help you lead the song on the back. Discuss with the children what the song says this child is doing to follow the prophet and see if it matches any of the things they may also doing. Place the cut-out on whichever teaching it matches. If there is time, ask the children to further identify a way that they can live that principle. Repeat with the other songs.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Choose and Review - Finding "Peace"

This idea comes directly from the Sharing Time ideas on page 36 of the May 2001 issue of the Friend magazine.

I’ve prepared 5 cutout letters that spell “peace.” The letters are hidden in the primary room. Give directions to find each letter, such as “go directly to the piano bench and look under the lid.”  Choose review songs that teach a way to follow the prophet and that match the letters in the word. For instance, PRAY - “I Pray in Faith” CS-14. EAT healthy food - “For Health and Strength” CS -21. “ATTEND church - “The Church of Jesus Christ” CS -77. “CHOOSE the right “Choose the Right Way CS -160. Be an EXAMPLE - “I Will be Valiant” CS -162.

Invite a child to follow the directions to find a letter and post it on the chalkboard. Challenge the children to listen to the words of the song on the letter to discover how to follow the prophet. When we are obedient to the principles of the gospel and follow the direction of the prophet, we will find peace. Because there are only five songs, ask the children to think of other ways we can follow the prophet and sing songs that reinforce these principles. End by singing “Keep the Commandments.” (CS-146)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Choose and Review - Example of Prophets

This singing time uses stories in the scriptures of prophets who set a good example for us by the things they did. Prepare word strips with the following scriptures and put the strips in a can or basket to draw from. Prepare separate word cards with the following words to post on the chalkboard: OBEDIENCE, PRAYER, WORK, FAITH, REPENTANCE, COURAGE, TITHING, REVERENCE, TEMPTATION, SCRIPTURES. Choose an appropriate review song to sing that reinforces the principle on each card.

For singing time, invite a child to choose a scripture word strip and read it. Have the group identify the principle lived by the prophet and choose the matching word card. Sing the song on the card. Testify that we can follow the example of these prophet and live these principles in our own lives.

Genesis 7:5 “And Noah did according unto all that the Lord commanded him.”

Genesis 28:20-22 “And Jacob vowed a vow, saying if God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, So that I come again to my father’s house in peace; then shall the Lord be my God...and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee.”

Exodus 3:5 “...God called unto [Moses] out of the midst of the bush...And he said, Draw not nigh hither; put off thy shoes from off they feet, for the place whereon thous standest is holy ground.”

Enos 1:4 “And my soul hungered; and I kneeled down before my Maker, and I cried unto him in mighty prayer and supplication for mine own soul; and all the day long did I cry unto him; yea, and when the night came I did still raise my voice high that it reach the heavens.”

Mosiah 2:14 “And even I, myself, have labored with mine own hands that I might serve you, and that ye should not be laden with taxes, and that there would nothing come upon you which was grievous to be borne...”

Daniel 1:8 “But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank; therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.”

Joseph Smith History 1:13 “At length I came to the conclusion that I must either remain in darkness and confusion, or else I must do as James directs, that is, ask of God.”

Mormon 6:6 “I, Mormon, began to be old..., and having been commanded of the Lord...therefore I made this record out of the plates of Nephi, and hid up in the hill Cumorah all the records which had been entrusted to me by the hand of the Lord.”

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Choose and Review - "Words for You"

This idea comes from the Sharing Time page in the October 2001 issue of the Friend magazine. It works perfectly with the song and the theme in March. The activity will allow me to review the song “Stand for the Right” and then reinforce the principle of following the counsel of the prophet.

The suggestion is to display a picture of the prophet and to post statements of his counsel around the picture. I can explain that “ whenever we choose to do what the prophet asks us to do, we are being true and are standing for the right.” I chose several statements from President Manson in recent General Conferences and typed them on conversation balloons. I included a picture for the benefit of the younger children and to make the visuals more appealing. I will choose an appropriate review song for each statement. I can use my apron, the grab bag or the “everyone can” and invite a child to choose the statements one at a time. We’ll discuss it briefly and post it on the board. Then we'll sing the song.

I like that the activity is flexible, depending on how much time I have. I don’t have to use every statement, but I made several extra. If I want to use more of the statements, we could read and post them without singing a song for each one. Here are the statements that I’ve prepared:

“I testify that our promised blessings are beyond measure. Be of good cheer. The future is as bright as your faith.” (April-2009)

“Children, let your parents know you love them. Let them know how much you appreciate all they have done and continue to do for you.” (April-2009)

“He will help us and bless us as we call upon Him in our prayers, as we study His words, and as we obey His commandments. Therein in found safety; therein is found peace.” (Oct-2010)

“Young men, I admonish you to prepare for service as a missionary. Keep yourselves clean and pure and worthy to represent the Lord. Maintain your health and strength. Study the scriptures.” (Oct-2010)

“Do we remember to give thanks for the blessings we receive? Sincerely giving thanks not only helps us recognize our blessings, but it also unlocks the doors of heaven and helps us feel God’s love.” (Oct-2010)

“May we show increased kindness toward one another.” (Oct-2010)

“Constantly nourish your testimonies of the gospel, that they will be a protection to you against the buffetings of Satan.” (Oct-2010)

“If you will study the scriptures diligently, your power to avoid temptation and to receive direction of the Holy Ghost in all you do will be increased.” (April-2009)

“Prayer is the means by which we approach our Father in Heaven, who loves us. Speak to Him in prayer and then listen for the answer. Miracles are wrought through prayer.” (April-2009)

“Give your parents a hug; say ‘I love you’ more; always express your thanks.” (Oct-2008)

“May we be found among those who give our thanks to our Heavenly Father. If ingratitude be numbered among the serious sins, then gratitude takes its place among the noblest of virtues.” (Oct-2008)

“May we live together in peace and harmony and love. May we strive each day to follow the Savior’s example.” (Oct-2008)

“Don’t be afraid to walk out of a movie, turn off a television set, or change a radio station if what’s being presented does not meet your Heavenly Father’s standards.” (April-2010)

“The ordinances performed in our temples are vital to our salvation and to the salvation of our deceased loved ones. May we continue faithful in attending temples.” (April-2010)

“Each of us has come to the earth with all the tools necessary to make correct choices.” (Oct-2010)

“Keep the commandments of God...Happiness comes from living the way the Lord wants you to live and from service to God and others.” (April-2010)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Song Review - "Five Smooth Stones"

“Stand for the Right” is such a straightforward song to teach and most of our children know the song already. So, all this month I can have fun with review activities that focus on prophets and following their counsel and direction.

The theme of following the prophet has come up so many times over the years. I have quite a number of things in my music box that match this theme. I’ve decided to post the ones that I actually have things prepared for. So, please don’t wonder how I’m able to do all of this in a month of four Sundays. I’m not actually using all of them this month, just passing the ideas on, so that you could add them to your list, if you wish. The yearly theme for 2001 was all about prophets. So, if you check the Sharing Time pages in the back issues of the Friend magazine for the year 2001, you'll find lots of great suggestions for activities that can be adapted to singing time.

In the September 2006 issue of the Friend magazine there is a wonderful sharing time feature titled "Comfort and Courage from the Scriptures." The article is based on a message from President Monson in which he refers to the story of David and Goliath. President Monson uses David's five smooth stones as metaphors for defeating the challenges in our lives. He talks of the stones of courage, effort, humility, prayer, and duty.

So this first week, I'm putting these five stones into a bag to pass as a way to review "Stand for the Right." I'll ask the pianist to stop randomly and the child holding the bag will draw out a stone and name a way they can use the principle on the stone to meet a challenge. I'll have some challenges in mind, just in case the child needs help. For instance, I could ask the child "How can prayer help you in school?" Or, "What can you do at home to fulfill your duty?" The stone can go back in the bag and we'll keep singing for as long as there is interest in the activity.
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