Thursday, April 28, 2011
Choose eight to ten words that are related to the monthly theme. Write the words on large cards. On the reverse of the card, write the word again, omitting every other letter, starting with the first letter. For example, the word “reverent” would be written “ e e e t.”
On a word strip, write a corresponding clue or catchy definition for each word. For example, the strip for “reverent might be written “ e e e t --to show worshipful respect.” Assign an appropriate review song to each large word card and post these on the chalkboard. Put the clues into a basket or can to draw from. Invite a child to draw a clue and match it to a word card. Sing the song.
Obviously, this game is fun only for those children who can read and spell. However, if your group is separated, you could post the complete words for the younger children (some of them may be readers). Read the clues and challenge all the younger ones to listen closely to the song and stand up (or do some other action) when they hear the word in the song that matches the definition that was drawn from the can. The youngest ones probably cannot follow even this adaptation, so I would give them rhythm sticks or shakers to keep the beat as we sing.
This game can also work to help define and discuss some of the important keywords in one song. To use the game as a song review, choose several of the keywords in the song and write definitions for these. Post the incomplete words on the chalkboard. As you sing the song, challenge the children to see if they can identify words in the song that match these incomplete words. You can draw more than one definition at a time and let the children identify the words, then remove these cards from the board. This way, you wouldn’t have to sing the song for each word, but you would still be able to go through the review song several times. Again, for the younger children, post the complete words, draw the definitions and challenge them to listen for and stand up when they hear a word in the song that matches this definition.
I could use this activity with older children to help discuss and define all those difficult keywords in “Praise to the Man.” If I had a separate group, I would probably just use a different game altogether to help the younger ones focus on these difficult words. Because my group is combined, I will post the incomplete word cards as I’ve described and challenge the non-readers to listen for a word that matches that definition. I’ll give the youngest children rhythm instruments to use while we sing the song.
Thursday, April 21, 2011
"Who's Who" is a simple matching game for Choose and Review weeks. Choose several people from the scriptures or church history. Find a picture for each of these or make a small poster with their name. Assign a song to each picture or poster. Write a statement describing who the person was or is or what they are known for. For example, a statement describing Oliver Cowdery would read “He was a schoolteacher who felt inspired to investigate the claims of Joseph Smith. After gaining a testimony of the gospel message, he stayed to help Joseph as a scribe in the translation of the Book of Mormon.”
Assign an action or way to sing for each statement, (whisper sing, boys/girls sing, sing with actions, stand to sing, etc.) if you wish. Put these statements in a bag or basket to choose from. When it is time to sing, invite a child to draw a statement from the bag and challenge them to match it to a person. Then sing the song.
A ready example of this game is found on page 26 of the August 2005 issue of the Friend magazine. This example uses individuals from Church history and would match the upcoming theme for May. A second example is on page 26 of the May 2008 issue of the Friend. This example uses women who were mothers in the scriptures. This one might be fun to do near Mother’s Day.
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Make a list of songs you want to review. Draw a simple board game that has a space for each of the songs. It is easiest to quickly draw a simple track on the chalkboard and then just use a large seasonal magnet for a game piece. But, you can also make a reusable game board on a poster. Write questions that can be answered with specific words from the review songs. For example, you could ask the children “Why have we been saved for these latter days?” and someone would need to answer, “To build the kingdom in righteous ways.” (We’ll Bring the World His Truth, verse 2, CS-172).
Place the marker at the start. You can read the questions from a list or put them on word strips for the children to choose from a can or a basket. Give the pianist a list of the questions so she can find the page as quickly as possible. As each question is answered correctly, move the marker ahead one space and then sing the song.
If the children have trouble remembering the words from the song, especially in the beginning, as they learn how to play the game, it may help for you to sing the phrase that comes just before the answer as a kind of hint. Or, have the pianist play the phrase that includes the answer. Once the children know how to play this game, I insist that they give the exact words from the song. This helps me know whether the children know the words precisely or just “sort of.”
If you run out of time on the last couple of songs, sing just the phrases that include the answer, so that the marker can reach the finish. If you can see that you will be short of time before you even begin, you can say something like, “move ahead two spaces” on two or three of the songs and then sing fewer songs altogether.
Here is a list of questions for some random review songs.
- What did Jesus do a long time ago in a beautiful place to the children who were gathered round him? (I Know That My Savior Loves Me)
- I know something that the Spirit whispers to me and tells me it is true. What do I know? (I Know My Father Lives, CS-5)
- Who can name the whole list of things that we will bring thanks to our Father for? (Thanks to Our Father, CS-20)
- Where did the loving mother lay her baby? (Once Within a Lowly Stable, CS-41)
- Because Jesus is our loving friend, what will he do for us? (Jesus is Our Loving Friend, CS-58)
- Because saying “I’m sorry” is not easy, what will I try to do? (Repentance, CS-98)
- What do I like to do whenever there is rain? (When I Am Baptized, CS-103)
- If I listen to that still small voice, what will I do each time I make a choice? (The Holy Ghost, CS-105)
- How could the Father tell the world of sacrifice, of death? (He Sent His Son, CS-34)
- When the boat was tossed in a tempest on Galilee, what the Master do? (Tell Me The Stories of Jesus, CS-57)
- What marks are in the hands and side of the resurrected body of Jesus? (Did Jesus Really Live Again? verse 3, CS-64)
- It shouldn’t be hard to sit very still and think which two things about Jesus? (To Think About Jesus, CS-71)
- I feel my Savior’s love. What does he know I will do? (I Feel My Savior’s Love, CS-74)
- Because I’m trying to be like Jesus, what will I do at times I am tempted? (I’m Trying to Be Like Jesus, CS-78)
- What is the one thing I’m sure Jesus will do when He comes again? (When He Comes, CS-82)
- Where was Jesus baptized, long ago? (Baptism, CS-100)
- When Christ was on the earth, what did He promise to send? (The Holy Ghost, CS-105)
- If I listen with my heart, what will I hear? (If I Listen With My Heart)
- The Lord needs certain people to do something in the latter days. Who does he need to do what? (I Will Be Valiant, CS-162)
- When we all lived in heaven and the Father said He needed someone, what did Jesus say? (I Lived in Heaven, CS-4)
I could use this game for Easter by using plastic eggs as a way to deliver the questions. This game can be as generic or as theme-oriented as you might wish.
Thursday, April 14, 2011
The Memory Game is another classic game for singing time. You've probably seen it and perhaps even played it when you were in primary years ago. This game has been around a loooong time. It is based on a very old TV game show called Concentration. One advantage to the Memory Game is that the children have to pay attention the whole time in order to remember where the pictures are.
Prepare a set of 16 pictures, with sets of two pictures that make a match. Write a number on the back side of each picture. Choose a review song for each set of matching pictures. Post the pictures, number side out, on the chalkboard.You can place the pictures into a neatly squared grid, or you can just post them randomly on the chalkboard. Invite the children to call out two numbers at a time and turn the pictures over. If the pictures match, remove them from the board and sing the song. If the pictures don’t match, turn them face in again and call on another child. As the game progresses, with more pictures being removed from the board, it becomes easier to remember where the pictures are.
To make the game even easier for the younger children, I write a number on one picture and a letter on the matching picture. On a turn, the children would call out a number and a letter. This helps them to make matches a little quicker and speeds the game so that we can get to all of the songs.
For this month, I’ve prepared eight pictures which illustrate actions that Jesus did that he wishes us to do also. These pictures are matched to eight pictures of children today who are following the example that Jesus set. I’m planning to use the poem “I Will Follow Jesus Christ,” by Elizabeth Giles (the Friend, May 1999, pg. 24) as an attention getter for this singing time activity.
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
This number cube is used to play "Name That Tune." I have the sides marked with numbers 2-5. I write a list of songs that I want to review and give the list to the pianist. Then I ask a child to roll the cube. Whichever number is rolled, the pianist plays that number of notes from one of the review songs on the list and the children have to name the song. If the children cannot guess, the pianist keeps adding a note until the song is recognized. To increase the challenge, I have the pianist play the notes from random places in the song, rather than the beginning.
Thursday, April 7, 2011
This singing time is adapted from the sharing time ideas in the March 2005 issue of the Friend magazine. Select several pictures from the GAK that illustrate familiar stories from the life of Jesus. Choose review songs that match these stories. When it is time to sing, post the pictures on the chalkboard. Remind the children that when we take the sacrament, we promise to “always” remember Jesus. We can do this by thinking of stories we know about Jesus. Sing “Tell Me the Stories of Jesus”(CS-57).
Invite a child to choose a picture and briefly remind the rest of the children of the story. Sing the song with each picture. Finally, sing “To Think About Jesus”(CS-71). Remind the children of the promise in the sacrament prayer. “And if ye do always remember me, ye shall have my Spirit to be with you.” (3 Ne 18:7)
There is also a lovely poem called “The Sacrament,” by Leslie Neilson on page 16 of the February 2010 issue of the Friend. The poem would make a wonderful attention getter for this singing time. Ask the children to listen to the poem to discover what singing time will be about.
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Picture puzzles are another classic way to have the children choose songs for singing time. Just find an appropriate picture and cut it into sections. Put the title to a review song on the back of each piece. Put the pieces into a bag and invite the children to choose them one at a time. Sing the songs on the back of the puzzle pieces and put the puzzle together one piece at a time.
In addition to the title of the song, other things could go on the puzzle piece to add variety and interest to the activity. Quiz questions, case studies, scriptures, riddles, etc. could help reinforce the principle taught in the monthly theme.
For a Choose and Review week in April, I’ve used a picture of Jesus and cut it into eight squares. I’ve written scriptures on each piece. As the pieces are chosen, we’ll read the scripture and briefly discuss that aspect of Jesus and his mission.
Abr 3:27 - Chosen as Savior - “I Lived in Heaven.”
Jacob 4:9 - Creator - “I Feel My Savior’s Love.”
John 20:31 - Son of God - “He Sent His Son.”
3 Ne 27:21 - Example - “Tell Me The Stories of Jesus.”
Alma 34:8 - Atoned for our sins - “To Think About Jesus.”
John 15:26 - Gave the Holy Ghost - “The Holy Ghost.”
D&C 110:8 - Directs the Church - “The Church of Jesus Christ.”
John 11:25 - We can be Resurrected - “When He Comes Again.”