Saturday, January 7, 2012

January 2012 - Week 2 - More "As a Child of God" - Learn the song game

The primary children learned the words to "As a Child of God" by Janice Kapp Perry last week during singing time. This week, I want to help cement the words of "As a Child of God," in their minds but I want to do it in the form of a game, mostly because last week I said, "Great job. I'll see how well you learned the song next week. We'll play some sort of game."

I have been debating different approaches. I have some ideas I think would be super fun but it would be complex to "build" all the components so I need to plan further ahead. I might save them for later and share them later. For now, I think the baggy idea from Jenny Phillips sounds terrific. In short, you pass out the pieces for a flip chart to groups of kids and have them put it in order themselves.

Since I have already spent a Sunday with the children learning the song, I'm going to make modifications to her wonderful recommendations.

First, I loved all the pictures that Jenny found to make a mini flip chart (in the link above). However, I decided to substitute one of her pictures - a Mr.Smiley-type picture to represent, "I feel so safe and happy because ..." instead of her road sign that said, "Safe." The road sign was awesome but since some of the kids can't read yet, and because I used a smiling face in my object lesson last week, I thought that might resonate better with the great majority. I also added a picture of a girl being confirmed with the gift of the Holy Ghost for the line, "The Holy Ghost helps me to know what is right," since I had used that picture the previous week in my learn-this-song-with-objects lesson.

I might start out by using an entirely different flip chart, but one that is big enough (8x10) for everyone to see from the front of the room. I'll have several volunteers come up to hold the pictures, then I'll have the entire primary help the children to organize themselves into the right order, to see how well they remember the song from last week. We'll sing the song that way one time. Then, I'll pass out the baggies using Jenny's flip chart idea, and have the children sort the pictures again with their teachers. I think it's a little tough to keep switching out the images on them but I also think it'll keep it fresh and fun.

I think I want to take this a step further if there is time, by then calling on each class to bring up the next picture to see if we get them in the right order. I might just hold up each picture after each class is done and have the classes check their work to see if the song is in the right order - and then of course, we'll sing it again.

I think the following week, I might put sticks on these pictures so that I can pass them out. Children can then listen carefully and hold up their stick when it gets to their part of the song. I might do that this Sunday but of course, it means some children won't be able to participate since there are not enough pictures to go around ... so I might just wait until I can get them onto sticks so that I can specifically hand them to reverent children.

I am also considering another idea to make the teachers say the entire song, going around the room. This is tough because as a former primary teacher, I know it's not always easy to memorize all the words to the song that way. However, the fun part would be that I would ask the children to help their teacher remember the words to the song. Then, if the teacher gets the words right - which they will because the children have been motivated to help them - there will be some sort of fun reward for the children, for example, choosing a silly hat for their teacher to wear up front while they sing the song again. I'm not sure ... I'm making this up right now.

I usually make big changes on Saturday but I thought writing this out might help clarify some of my ideas with myself ... so this is just where I'm at so far.

Great resources I found online:

The Crazy Chorister also has a great new idea for this week but I'll have to consider whether I want to use it on a different Sunday or go with some other ideas I have been noodling over ...

January 2012 - Week 1 - Learn "As a Child of God"

I didn't want to start off the year with another flip chart but I did want to introduce the main new primary song, "As a Child of God," by Janice Kapp Perry. I was pondering different approaches when the Crazy Chorister posted her brilliant idea.

She is definitely one of my favorite singing time resources. It's too easy to spend a bunch of money to enhance singing time activities so I was also looking for an idea where I could rely on things around the house.

This was perfect. I followed her idea to use objects to introduce the song, but have the children choose between the wrong object and right object for each line of the song. I drew names from a jar to have each child come up and help. This is what I used for the "right" objects, except that I see that I left the frowning face that is a "wrong" choice in there.

The children laughed at some of the funny objects. For instance, for the opening line, "I came to earth from Heaven to choose," I had them select whether it was a chart with the word "choose" or if it was a paper airplane representing, "fly," as in "I came to earth from Heaven to fly." For strength, I used the weights and pretended to curl the weight, which amused them.

Just as the Crazy Chorister suggested, we sang each line of the song as we learned it.

Some variations I added to her wonderful suggestions:

I did one verse at a time in junior primary, but showed senior primary ALL of the options, to help make it more complicated for senior primary. I also had senior primary come up and help me hold up the objects to show how quickly they had learned the song once we had figured out all of the correct choices.

I feel like I really had their attention. I will find out next week how well they actually learned the song when I don't have all the objects to hold up for them to remind them about each line ... but I will also make up some other way to help cement the words to the song in their heads.