Sunday, September 9, 2018

Primary Program Song Review - New twist on "Name that Song" and "Opposites" sides singing!

Our Primary chorister made up two fun activities to review lyrics today, to get ready for the Primary Program (which is at the end of this month in our ward). This was such a fun activity.  The kids loved it, and it made them think about the lyrics. He combined two fun activities, one to decide on the song, and then another to sing the verse of a song.

First, to choose a song, a children came to the front of the room and pulled a slip of paper out of a box. The paper listed a line from a song. The Primary then had to identify the name of the song and the verse in which the song came from!

To make it easier, our chorister (Blake), made three different sets of slips that he rated as "easy," "medium," and "hard." This way, he could choose which box to let people choose from based on his assessment of how well they were doing with guessing.

For example, can you guess the song and verse for this line?

Answer: "I am a child of God" verse 3! Here are the other two sets of slips.

Blake kindly let me take a picture of all of the lines he chose so that if you do this, you can use the same set!

Blake put opposing sides on each side of a stick. He flipped the stick back and forth as the children sang. I've seen and personally done different versions of this too, but the way he chose to do it was just super fun for the kids. It worked really well. So, in the pics below, I've taken the pic from one side, then flipped all the sticks. East vs. West (different sides of the room), Back vs Front (back two rows vs. front two rows of the room), etc. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

The Big Review!! Getting ready for the Primary program. Working on trouble lines.

Our ward's Primary program is coming up at the end of this month! Do you feel like your children know the lines of each song well?

The key to working on trouble spots is to find fun ways to get children to think about the words of the song and fun ways to practice repetition with a trouble spot. From personal experience, these were all particularly effective and fun song reviews for working on lyrics and memorization.

Senior Primary

Helmet Hero - This way, Primary kids were all staring at the phrase and thinking about it, and the kid in front was concentrating heavily as well. (Could be used in Junior if you have the child leave the room and tell the other children what the word says - since they can't all read.)

Senior or Junior Primary

Echo Chamber - This gets all the children out of their seats and focuses on repetition in a fun way. Also, this one takes NO ADVANCED PREP!

Secret Word - In the version I shared in this old post, I was going for words that were repeated often. However, if you have a song with trouble spots, I would focus on that word being the secret word. Even if it only gets said once, children will notice if a class suddenly does something funny or interesting right when that word or phrase is sung. Again, this gets children to concentrate. You can also modify this and use an image that might not be obvious but is a secret image that goes with the mystery line.

Red Light, Green Light - This one is great because it's easy to re-use, and makes the children think about the words of the song as they are humming or not singing.

Junior Primary

Singing Elephant - This one is only effective if you pull it out rarely so it's a special treat, and I would use it once children know the words fairly well.

What are your most effective song review activities?

Thursday, April 19, 2018

General Conference Cards

I cut out General Conference cards for each of my Primary kids (even though Sunbeams - though I'm guessing these won't last long for them) and am still referring to them in lessons.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Getting Ready for Father's Day and Mother's Day!

You have four Sundays left to practice Mother's Day songs, and then it's Father's Day!! Ah, Primary chorister life.

Just wanted to remind you (as my Primary counselor reminded me on Sunday) that there are also some great grandparent songs in the Children's songbook!!!

I'd love to sing a Mother's Day song and a Grandmother song to honor all of our mothers that are grandparents, too.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

My Book is at Deseret Book!

A little detour from Singing Time to share an exciting moment for me.
The book I wrote for my Primary kids, "My Nativity ABCs," is at Deseret Book!

And, if you receive the Deseret Book catalog in the mail, you might have seen it right in the middle of the nine featured bedtime Christmas books!

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Body Parts Candy for Singing Time Fun!

I was just at Harmon's Grocery store in the candy aisle and I found this awesome bag of Halloween candy:

Normally, I discourage bringing candy to church but I think for the Sunday before Halloween, when the candy is shaped like body parts, it's way too tempting to use in a bunch of different scenarios. Use the wrapped candy for choosing songs, then give each child a piece at the end of Primary! 

The bag says there are five shapes: feet, thumb, brain, ear, and eyeball

Some ideas for how to use this bag of body parts in Singing Time this Sunday:

Tell the children that they are going to reach into a bag with pretend body parts. Maybe leave out "pretend" for senior primary, but don't scare the Sunbeams!

For each body part they lift out, they have to pick a song that uses or describes that body part. You can make a menu for them if they have trouble deciding. In fact, I'd say you should go ahead and associate each body part with a song for Junior, otherwise they will keep choosing the same songs that have nothing to do with the game. In Senior, you can challenge them to think of a song that uses that body part and explain why they think it it's a fit. Then, if they struggle, also point them to the menu where they can pick a song that has to do with the body part.

To make singing the song fun, each candy body part topic should have a motion that carries to the next song. So, for instance, if you are singing, "He gave me my EYES that I might SEE" every time you sing a word that has to do with sight, maybe everyone has to point straight up and turn once. 

Menu could be:

Body Part
Song Option
95 – I Love to See the Temple (“SEE the temple”)

268 – Two Little Eyes

228 – My Heavenly Father Loves Me (“He gave me my eyes that I might SEE”)
107 – Listen, Listen (“LISTEN to the still small voice, LISTEN, LISTEN”)

268 – I Have Two Ears

228 – My Heavenly Father Loves Me (“He gave me my EARS that I might hear the magical sounds of things”)
122 – The First Article of Faith (Because it’s the first digit of your hand)

136 – Love One Another (Because you have ONE thumb on each hand)

253 – Fun to Do (Sing “Giving a thumbs up is fun to do, fun to do, fun to do …”)

271 – I Wiggle (“my fingers”)

272 – I Have Two Little Hands

274 – Roll Your Hands

31 – Reverence is Love (“It’s THINKING of Father above”)

228 – My Heavenly Father Loves Me (“He gave me my life, my MIND, my heart”)

109 – Search, Ponder, and Prayer (“PONDER”)
202 – I Often Go Walking (use feet to walk)

271 – I Wiggle (“my toes”)

270 – Two Happy Feet

275 – Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes
(Could change words of songs to “Brain, Ears, Eyes, Thumbs, and Foot”)

Another idea would be to buy some pumpkins and have the children decorate a pumpkin with the body parts and maybe some other options that you have around.

I did this many years ago but now with body part candy!

You could actually use the candy to learn a song, like "I Wiggle My Fingers"

You can use the candy not to choose songs to reviews, but to choose how to sing the song. For instance, if they get a ear maybe they have to show how well they can sing the song without your help. Or, maybe if they choose an eyeball they have to sing the song with their eyes closes. Or if the choose a foot, they have to sing it while standing on one foot.

About me:
For those of you that have been following me at @iliketocreatestuff, I just wanted to share that my new Christmas children's book that I wrote for my Primary kids is now available at Deseret Book!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

My Nativity ABCs by Esther Yu Sumner

My Nativity ABCs

by Esther Yu Sumner

Giveaway ends November 20, 2017.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads. 
Enter Giveaway