Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Choose and Review - Name That Tune

“Name That Tune” is a classic singing time activity. Primaries all over the world have surely played the game by listening to the pianist play a portion of a review song and then guessing the name of the song. The children then sing it together.

There are so many variations to “Name That Tune.” I’ve written already about a few on my list. (see Name That Tune - by humming, Name That Tune - by rhythm, Name That Tune - numbered cubes, and Name that Word) Here are three more.

  • I sometimes just write one line from anywhere in several review songs on a strip of paper and put these in a can or basket to choose from. The children draw the strips out and read it to the other children. I accept only first lines or titles for answers and then we sing the song.

  • Similar to the number cubes, I also use a spinner with numbers from 2-6 on it. The pianist plays that many notes of a song on my review list and the children guess the name of the song. It can be more challenging when the pianist plays the notes from the anywhere in the song.

  • Finally, I sometimes have the pianist play the song backwards by playing the last measure first, then the second to last, then the third from the last. The children try to guess the song a measure at a time.

Thank you so much for your comments on the question I posted most recently. What a lovely community we have. I appreciate all of you!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

What Would You Do?

I am hoping you will help me with a question. I received an e-mail describing the following situation. Would you consider leaving a comment and help this sister with your ideas? Thanks so much!

After Primary ends, all of the Sr. Primary children have to wait in the primary room for up to 15 minutes until their parents come to pick them up. We have a large primary, so there are typically 50 children waiting. For the past 6 months or so, we have been reading the Book of Mormon aloud. This was working well for a while, but it has gotten old, and the Primary presidency wants to go back to singing while we wait for parents.

In the past, the singing-after-primary did not work at all. Usually right after the prayer the children would start talking with their friends and walking around the room, and a few would sing. It was basically a free-for-all. I don't want this round of after-primary singing to be a repeat of what used to happen. So I'm trying to think about what I could do differently to make it work. I know there needs to be a discussion of what behavior is appropriate. I'm wondering what can be done to help the kids sit through another 10 minutes of singing when they have already been through 3 hours of church.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Choose and Review - “Password” Game

From each song that you wish to review, choose a keyword that will identify the song to the children. Write these words on colorful cards to post, face-in, on the chalkboard. Invite a child to choose a card. They will need to give the rest of the primary either a synonym or another word associated with the secret word as a clue. Be prepared to help with clues by using the dictionary and the thesaurus to find synonyms for the keywords you have chosen. Also use other words from the song as clues to the secret word.You can even write these on another small card, or on the bottom of the large word card. Tell the primary to think of songs that we know and then think of words in the songs that might match the clues given. If the child finds the word too difficult, they can ask for your help. When the word is guessed, sing the song from which the word originates.

Set a time limit for guessing and then give more obvious clues. The first time you play this game be prepared to help whisper clues. The older kids will catch on, but may still need lots of help.The younger kids will almost always need help.

These are examples of keywords and clues: repent=sorry, change, remorse, shame, confess (Repentance -CS-98) popcorn=white, fluffy, yummy, apricot, blossoms (Popcorn Popping -CS-242) valiant=courageous, bold, servants, determined, latter-days (I Will Be Valiant -CS-162) stand=upright, firm, fixed, immovable, true, not sit (Stand for the Right - CS-159) faith=belief, seed, knowing, grow (Faith -CS96) foolish=folly, silly, thoughtless, rock, sand, not wise (The Wise Man...CS-281) family=kindred, relations, household, forever, eternity (Families Can Be...CS-188) Jesus=Savior, Lord, perfect, died (Tell Me the Stories...CS-57) reverent=worship, quiet, awe, humble, bow (Reverently, Quietly -CS-26) covenant=promise, pledge, binding, obey, temple (I Love to See the Temple -CS-95)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Choose and Review - “Categories” Game

Write categories related to the monthly theme on word cards that can be posted on the chalkboard, or put them on slips to be drawn from a basket or can. If the theme were “service,” for instance, the categories might be Items Used in Service, People in the Scriptures Who Served, Ways That I Can Serve, How People Serve Me.

Begin by singing a song about your theme, in this case, service. Then go up and down the rows, asking the children to give one example of something in one of the categories. The children give examples until someone is unable to answer. Stop and sing another song or two about service. Using a different category, begin with the child who couldn’t answer before, and continue to give examples until they are stumped again. Sing songs about the theme between categories. If one category seems to go on for too long, don’t be afraid to cut it off by saying something like “Wow, you really know a lot about...let’s stop and sing...” Then you can move on to the next category.

This month, it might be fun to play this game with the restoration theme, always assuming that I can actually finish teaching and reviewing “Praise to the Man.” The categories could be something like People Who Appeared to Joseph Smith, Books in the Book of Mormon, Places Joseph Smith Lived, Things Lost in the Apostasy, Ways I Am Blessed by Our Church, People in the Early Church, Offices in the Priesthood.

This idea comes directly from the sharing time ideas in the August 2003 issue of the Friend magazine. Those folks were so clever! I adapted to remove the group competition and so that I could cut it off, if necessary, to be able to do more singing.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Choose and Review - Sing A Story

Sing a Story is a fun activity that joins songs in a certain arrangment in order to tell a story or amplify a theme. The story is told mostly through the words of the songs. All you need to do is provide a bit of connective narration in the form of scriptures or brief interpretation. This narrative is read between each song.

I thought it might be fun to do a Sing a Story this month, with pictures and songs about Joseph Smith and the restoration of the church. We could sing songs like “The Golden Plates” or “An Angel Came to Joseph Smith,” “Stand for the Right,” “The Priesthood is Restored” and “Book of Mormon Stories.” We could end with “I Will Be Valiant.” It wouldn’t be hard to find the narrative part in the verses of Joseph Smith-History in the Pearl of Great Price.

The following pictures illustrate a Sing a Story that I made years ago in the form of a book, with pictures from the Gospel Art Kit that I could remove. You don’t need to make a book, you could just post pictures in order on the chalkboard.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Song Review - “Everyone Who”

“Everyone Who” is another way to choose who will sing as you review a song. Write the phrases on slips of paper and put them in a basket or can to draw from. Do the actions while you sing the song, yet one more time. If there are just a few children who stand to sing, have everyone else hum while you help those few sing. If you can think of another example to add to the list, please leave a comment.
  • Everyone who has a pet at home stand and pretend you are petting your pet while we sing.
  • Everyone who likes to play soccer stand and swing you leg back and forth while we sing.
  • Everyone who plays a musical instrument stand and pretend to play it while we sing.
  • Everyone who wants to go on a mission stand and “knock” the rhythm on a pretend door.
  • Everyone who likes to take a walk stand and walk in place while we sing. Swing your arms.
  • Everyone who goes to bed by 8:00 come up and pretend to sleep while we sing the song to you.
  • Everyone who likes to swim stand and pretend to swim while we sing.
  • Everyone who likes to read a book stand and pretend to read while we sing.
  • Everyone who likes to build a snowman (or sand castle) stand up while we sing.
  • Everyone who likes to ride a bike stand and pretend you are riding your bike while we sing.
  • Everyone who likes to paint stand and pretend to paint the melody of the song while we sing.
  • Everyone who likes to draw stand and pretend to draw the melody of the song while we sing.
  • Everyone who wants to grow to be tall stand on your tip toes while we sing.
  • Everyone who likes to make mud pies stand and sing.
  • Everyone who likes to rake leaves stand and pretend to rake while we sing.
  • Everyone who has to set the table for dinner stand and sing.
  • Everyone who has to pick up their toys at home stand and sing.
  • Everyone who has to fold their own laundry stand and pretend while we sing.
  • Everyone who likes to cook stand stand and pretend to stir a pot while we sing.
  • Everyone who likes to eat pizza stand and pretend to toss pizza dough while we sing.
  • Everyone who has a birthday in the summertime (winter, spring or fall) stand and help me lead.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Choose and Review - Picture Puzzle

A picture puzzle makes an easy singing time using a phrase from the theme or an appropriate scripture. A great example is found in the Funstuff feature on page 13 of the March 2009 issue of the Friend.

Choose a short phrase (or a word) that matches the theme. Choose several pictures that correspond to the phrase. If, for instance, the phrase were “Come unto Christ and be perfected in Him.” I would need eight pictures that show ways we come unto Christ, such as praying, service, baptism, scriptures, temple worship, testimony, attending church, and singing. Next choose a scripture that matches each picture and write these scriptures on slips of paper. Place them randomly in the scriptures so that the strips can be pulled out. Write each word in the phrase on a small card or paper and attach to the bottom of each picture. Choose an appropriate review song to sing with each picture. You should have as many pictures as you have time to sing songs. If the words in your phrase are more than you have time to sing, just double up on the words that you attach to each picture.

Post the pictures randomly on the chalkboard. Invite a child to choose a scripture slip and read it. Ask all the children to study the pictures to find which one matches the scripture. Place the picture on the chalkboard tray and sing the song. After all the pictures are chosen, invite the children to unscramble the phrase.

As the picture illustrates, to teach the theme on the fourth week in May, I could use the phrase “The power of the priesthood blesses our lives.” I could choose scriptures and pictures that would help the children understand this principle. Healing the sick (James 5:14 -“Faith”), passing the sacrament (3 Ne. 18:7 -“To Think About Jesus”), counseling with the bishop (D&C 107:74 -“Our Bishop”), a father’s blessing (3 Ne. 18:21 -“Fathers”), home teachers (D&C 20:53 -“I Will Be Valiant”) , missionary service (D&C 84:63 -“Called to Serve”), temple sealing (D&C 132:19 -“I Love to See the Temple”), and service projects (D&C 121:45 -“Love One Another”) are examples of pictures and songs that help illustrate the effect of priesthood in our lives.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Choose and Review - "Titles and Tricks"

I’ve gathered several “blossoms of blue” for a Mother’s Day choose and review. Some flowers have titles of review songs with the phrase “Help me lead         ." I'm wanting to review the four songs we've learned so far, plus the first part of "Praise to the Man." Attached to other flowers are tricks such as “make your funniest face!” or “name a prophet.” I’ll scatter the flowers around the primary room and invite the children to gather them into a bouquet. I've tried to include several tricks because the children love to get these. After we sing, "I Often Go Walking," we’ll sing the other songs as directed. If a trick is chosen, the child does the trick and a different child is chosen to gather another flower.

This activity is on my master list, under "Titles and Tricks." The activity is similar to and actually adapted from “Follow the Directions” which reviews just one song. You could put the titles and tricks on any seasonal die-cut shape and post them on the board. You could put together a mixed bouquet of flowers for springtime and choose them out of a vase. You could gather up items to pack a missionary’s suitcase. You could tie the instructions to firecrackers or flags for the Fourth of July, snowflakes for the winter season, blue ribbons from the county fair, or put them in a plastic pumpkin and do “trick or treat” at Halloween.

These are the tricks I'm using this week:

  • "swim" back to your seat
  • rub your belly and pat your head
  • say an article of faith
  • mime one of your chores at home
  • name a prophet
  • make your scariest face
  • tell us your favorite food
  • sing "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" while we sing "When We're Helping."
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