Sunday, November 27, 2011

November - Week 4 - "I'll Walk with You" and "Picture A Christmas"

I wanted to do something that took minimal planning, since this was the Sunday after a very busy Thanksgiving weekend.

I ended up making my own flip charts for two songs. One was "I'll Walk with You," which I had read in the lesson manual and knew that the teacher would be having the children sing to discuss, but which I also knew was a song they didn't know. So, I planned to teach them that song right before their lesson about it.

The second was "Picture a Christmas." I actually planned to play "Name that Tune" to get an idea of how well the students knew the various Christmas songs. However, it because very clear to me very fast that they knew the songs, but didn't remember them very well from the previous Christmas. I'm glad I had made a "Picture a Christmas" flip chart "just in case."

I used this idea from Primary Singing Ideas because the blogger was so kind as to let her readers know that it was a big hit. She was sooooo right. The children LOVED it. We sang it over and over because they were so eager to get a turn with holding the frame and positioning it over the picture. The first child struggled a little bit (I helped by pointing to the correct picture). The second child struggled a little less. The third child framed every picture perfectly. This wasn't a reflection on the children's individual abilities, so much as a confirmation that they were learning the words better and better each time. It was so great! I used a mixture of whatever pictures I could find that were relevant. I found some off a Google Images search and some in a primary picture packet that I had purchased at the distribution center. You can see the frame I used on the left.

I made "I'll Walk With You" a very interactive experience for the children. First, I held up each piece while I said the words of the song to them. Then, I brought up volunteers. In junior primary, I just had the most senior class in the group come up because I was worried it would be too difficult for a younger class to follow. In senior primary, I brought up a mix of reverent volunteers, then had them hand their pieces to all new kids. This worked out really well because everyone that was too shy or didn't have an opportunity to go up the first time really wanted to go up the second time.

Most of these pieces have a back side with a different but related picture. Also, many of the words in this song get sung more than once throughout the verse. So, children had to pay attention to know when to hold up their piece, or flip their paper to the other side.

For example, these are the first lines of the song:

"If you don’t walk as most people do,
Some people walk away from you,
But I won’t! I won’t!
If you don’t talk as most people do,
Some people talk and laugh at you,
But I won’t! I won’t!"

So, two children holding the pictures of the children walking would pretend to walk the "walkers" away from each other. Then, the child holding the "I won't" sign had to remember to hold it up every time we reached an "I won't" part of the song. 

I was worried that this would be too complicated for the children but it turned out to be a lot of fun. It worked better in senior primary where the children caught on faster, but it was a success in junior primary too. Well, I think it was anyway. I don't think the children entirely memorized the song this time, but they could at least keep up with it pretty well. There was a lot of rustling while I gave the children their pieces and organized the song so there was also more prep time than usual. However, I think this was a good post-Thanksgiving activity because the children were definitely more wiggly than usual. It is better for senior primary as well ... but worked okay in junior primary.

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