Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Song Presentation - "One in a Million"

Some time ago I had a very nice e-mail from Kathy Wheeler. Kathy really liked the song "One in a Million" which was published in the February 2011 issue of the Friend. She taught the song to her primary children and wanted to share her presentation with me. She gave me permission to share it with all of you too. Her presentation is a great example of using discovery questions to teach a song. Thanks so much, Kathy!

(Supplies: Take a clock that has a minute hand or that you can hear ticking. Markers for whiteboard.)

Boys and girls, I would like you to look up at the white board with me as I write some numbers down. Now as I write them, I would like to hear you say the numbers in your very soft voices. (Write the number 1, 10, 100, 1,000, 10,000, 100,000, 1,000,000.)

Well I can see that you really know your numbers very well.

(Listening Activity)

Today I would like to sing a song to you that mainly deals with two of the numbers I wrote on the board. The number one and and one million.

I am going to sing a song to you now. The name of the song is ONE IN A MILLION. In this song you are going to hear the word ONE and the word MILLION several times. I would like this side of the room to listen as I sing and tell me how many times I sing the word (one) and this side of the room to listen and tell me how many times I sing the word million.

Sing the song and then ask for the answer.

• Million (3)
• One (4)

Sing the song again and invite the children to sing those words as they come up in the song. Have them stand as they sing the words.

(Listening Activity)

There is a very special word in this song that I love. This word is special because it talks about each one of YOU! In fact, I will give you a clue. This word begins with the letter “U”. Listen as I sing this song and if you think you know what the word is you may stand up when you hear me sing it. You may also join me in singing the numbers. Sing the song and ask for the answer (Unique)

(Listening Activity)

What does it mean to be unique? What does it mean to be ONE IN A MILLION? Spell the word Unique on the board. Now explain to the children that I wish that this word was spelled “Younique”, because each time I hear this word I think of each of “You” and how you are all blessed individually with qualities that no one else in the room has. As a matter of fact no one else in the worldwide primary has.

Boys and girls you are a UNIQUE member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Primary organization. This organization has over one million members. AND YOU ARE ONE IN A MILLION!!! (Mention here that if they have access to a computer at home they can log on to friend.lds.org and meet some of the one million Primary children in the world. )

Sing song again. (Invite children to sing as much as they can with you) Use a circle motion with your arm as you sing “around the world today” . I also used my fingers to “walk” as we sang “walking” and flicked my fingers (Like popcorn popping) on the word “light”.


How many is a million. Look at this clock at the front of the room. If you are very, very, quiet you will be able to hear the second hand tick. If you started to count one number for each second, and you counted eight hours a day (never stopping) seven days a week (no weekends off) it would take you a little over one month to count to a million.

(Listening Activity)

In this great Primary organization where you are one in a million we are growing together in some very special ways. The song tells us three different ways that we are growing together. Listen as I sing this song once more for the three ways.

• Faith
• Might
• Walking in His light

(Listening Activity)

The very last line of this song teaches us that we have a specific goal in mind as we grow together in faith, might, and walking in His light. What is the goal that we all have?

• We’ll be what Heavenly Father has in mind.

By now you have gone over the song enough that the children should have most of it. Along the way as you are teaching the song, add the clap and emphasize the staccato notes.

You can easily teach the second verse with similar listening activies i.e. What are we learning to be? (kind, obedient and true) What are we trying to show the Lord? (I try to show I love the Lord in all I say and do.)

NOW HERE IS THE FUN PART….There is so much you can do with this song. It is a great song to show the children how their voice can be an instrument. Right after the fermata have them slide their voice down the scale as they sing “We’re”. Then on the staccato notes have them pretend their voice is a basketball and bounce their voice. One the next phrase….”Growing in faith and might”…it seems like their voice is skipping down the stairs.

The Church news featured an article on this song in the February 12th issue. I cut it out and showed the children the article and we talked about the website. I printed mailing labels for each child to take home with the internet access for the special page that was created just for this song. We talked about children all over the world in primary and this special place where Primary children tell their stories.

I am working up a choosing time designed around the “Map” on the website. At present I am gathering from different people how to say….”You’re One In A Million” in many different languages. As they choose countries from the map with icons (on the back of the icons will be choose and review songs) on them depicting landmarks from different countries, we will learn how to say “You’re One In A Million” in languages from their “Friends” all over the world.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Choose and Review - “Jeopardy” Game

“Jeopardy,” based on the television game show, is a fun game that requires one to state a question for a given answer. The game is organized around categories with several “answers” under each category. The trick is to come up with the question. Primary choristers have been adapting this game for singing time for years! Depending on how you set it up, it takes a lot of time. The answer is given as a clue and the correct response must always include the words “what/who is...” Answers can include numbers which are used as points if you wish the game to be competetive.

Categories could include such things as “Picture That Song” where you use visual aids from songs you’ve taught for the answer clues. For instance, a picture or a simple line drawing of the golden plates should be shown. The child responds by saying “what is “The Golden Plates” and then you would sing the song. Correct responses in this category would be the title of the song. Another category could be “The Word is LISTEN” with answer clues such as “If I listen with , I’ll hear the Savior’s voice” and “He whispers ‘Love one another as Jesus loves you.” The answers would be “what is ‘my heart’” and “what is ‘the still small voice’.” A third category could be “In the Scriptures” with answer clues such as “The Lord commanded him to build a boat.” The answer would be “who is Nephi’.” The answer to “This day should always be kept holy” would be “what is ‘the Sabbath day’.”

Write category titles on small poster strips and position these along the top of the chalkboard. Write answer clues on other small posters and arrange these, face-in, under the proper categories. If you are playing for points, write the points on the front of the answer clues. Have the children take turns choosing a category and then an “answer question.” The children can choose any of the clues in the category; they don’t need to take them in order. You can divide the group into two, but I prefer to play with the whole group amassing total points. You could also play without using points for the questions, in a more “informal competition” between two groups. The junior primary could have two stuffed animals play, inviting the children to answer for “Bear” or “Rabbit.” This makes the competition less personal for these younger children.

“Jeopary” is the perfect game to play when you have lots of time, but if you don’t, you’ll have to shorten it dramatically. Try using just three categories with three questions in each. On a good day I can usually get through eight or nine songs, depending on the length of the song. You could also play the game over more than one week. It wouldn’t necessarily matter if you got through all the categories. Just write a “final Jeopardy” clue and declare an end to the game. If you are using points, add up the points at the end of your time and the game is over.

A really clear explanation of how “Jeopardy” can be used to review songs is given on page 18 of the September 2003 issue of the Friend magazine. Additional category suggestions you’ll find there are “Who is That Anyway” (using people from songs) and “It’s on the Program” (using clues from songs taught for the Sacrament Meeting Program.)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Choose and Review - “Definitions”

This activity is adapted from the August 2005 (pg.23) and the March 2008 (pg. 15) issues of the Friend magazine. Think of several words that have to do with the monthly theme. Write definitions or descriptions of each word. Write each of the words on a card to post on the chalkboard and then choose an appropriate song to sing for each card. Write the definitions on slips of paper and put these into a bag or can to draw from. Or, be creative in the way that you deliver the descriptions, such as using seasonal items.

Have a child choose a definition, read it and then choose the matching word card. Sing the song.

“Definitions” is a useful activity to examine the meaning of important words; words like faith, repent, and covenant. Discussing the word, then following up with a song that illustrates the concept, is an excellent example of how the Primary Chorister teaches the gospel to children, and how we offer support to Sharing Time. Both of the above links are perfect resources for our theme in June. You can easily choose words and definitions to expand the theme.

I like activities that help define the words we commonly use in gospel teaching because our teaching is centered on morality, with many abstract ideas and questions. It is easy for children to be confused and uncertain about what we really mean. Just think about the concepts we’ve sung about in “Praise to the Man” and “If I Listen With My Heart.” Children don’t often question us or express their confusion. Activities such as “Definitions” compel us to take the necessary time to make sure the children are getting the message.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Choose and Review - “Connect Four” Game

Prepare sixteen small pictures that match the theme in some way. Choose an appropriate review song for each picture. Don’t worry -- you won’t use them all! Choose a matching scripture, question, or phrase from one of the songs. Write these on wordstrips and put them in a basket to draw from. Prepare 8-12 colored papers to use as markers.

Draw a 4x4 grid of squares on the chalkboard and randomly place the small pictures inside the squares. One at a time, draw a scripture, question or phrase from the can and make a match to a picture in the grid. Replace the picture with a colored paper marker and sing the song. When four squares are connected, end the game.

This month I could use this game to reinforce the principle that many blessings come to us as members of the church. I would choose sixteen pictures that illustrate these blessings and choose a scripture that matches. For example, the scripture in Alma 9:27 could match a picture of baptism and we could sing “When I Am Baptized.” Exodus 20:12 would go with a picture of parents and we could sing “I Am A Child of God.”

In July I might use this game to help the children review My Gospel Standards and how these standards help us be worthy to go to the temple. I would write each standard on a wordstrip and find a picture and a review song that helps to illustrate the standard.

If I wanted to use the game for a general review, I would simply choose a picture to illustrate each song I wanted to review and write a phrase or keyword from each song on the wordstrips. After drawing a strip, the children would first need to guess which song the phrase comes from and then decide which picture matches the song.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Choose and Review - Pull a Picture

Find a picture that illustrates each song that you wish to review. If I used pictures to illustrate the phrases when I taught the song, I like to choose one of these. Put the pictures in a manilla envelope. One at a time, slowly pull a picture out of the envelope. Ask the children to stand when they think they recognize which song the picture represents. Sing the song and repeat with the other pictures.

If you’ve used a flipchart to teach a song, this activity can also be used to review that song. Just put all the phrase pictures randomly into the envelope and then draw them out, one at a time. When the children recognize the phrase, begin with that phrase and sing to the end of the verse (or chorus).

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Choose and Review - Primary Composer

The kids always love “Primary Composer.” The idea comes directly from the October 1984 issue of the Friend magazine, so it has been around for a long time now. Draw a large musical staff on the chalkboard. Make a variety of notes from paper, such as quarter notes, eighth notes, whole notes and half notes. Make a note for each song you wish to review and then make a list for the pianist. Post the notes underneath the staff on the chalkboard. Invite the children to choose a note and put it on a line or a space on the staff.  Sing the review song for that note. Then repeat with another note. Leave enough time at the end for the pianist to attempt to play the “composition.” Have someone keep track of the note placement on a piece of paper. This “music” can be given to the pianist to play.
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