Saturday, November 19, 2011

October - Week 4 - Pumpkin Tree

The last week of October was my first real lesson, since the weeks before that, we were perfecting some beautiful songs to share with the congregation during a special Primary-themed program.

I wanted to start out with something simple and fun to involve the children and thank them for what an excellent job they did singing for all the "grown-ups" in the congregration.

I was going to make a tree but realized I had the perfect tree in my Halloween decorations. Instead, I drew little pictures of pumpkins and leaves, numbered the backs, and then hole-punched them, before placing them on the tree.

During the lesson, I asked teachers to help me choose children to come up and pick a pumpkin. Depending on the pumpkin they selected, they were also invited to choose a leaf off the tree. The pumpkin indicated the song we would sing next, and the leaf indicated a special way that we would sing the song. I asked the teachers to help me choose children because they have a better opportunity to see which children are not being called on frequently to come up to the front of the room. I know this because in a prior calling, I was one of those teachers. It's impossible to see all the hands that shoot up when you're in the front of the room calling on people, but when you're sitting right next to the children, you have a closer view.

Overall, I think this went quite well. Some songs didn't have an associated leaf because the song was too reverent for some of the sillier options a child could choose. The children responded very well to singing in "staccato," and "crescendo" and "decrescendo." Some of the pumpkins and leaves said, "teacher's choice" or "child's choice," and in one case, the teacher chose, "marching." That was a very fun way to sing the song. Alternating by boy/girl or eye color, on the other hand, were my least effective "leaves" so I won't be trying those options for some time.

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