Monday, February 27, 2012

Music Mix - Reviewing "Choose the Right," "As a Child of God," and Mother's Day Songs

This last Sunday, I planned the music lesson with three objectives in mind:

  • Review "Choose the Right"
  • Review "As a Child of God"
  • Start practicing songs to sing on Mother's Day
In addition, our ward has a "Missionary Month" every February where every Sunday in February has a special missionary theme, so I wanted to incorporate that missionary theme into the lesson to help support and lead into the sharing time lesson. You could just say the shirts represent reverence in church though, which would also be appropriate for helping to set the tone for the rest of primary.

I think both the children AND the teachers found quite a kick out of the little shirts (judging by some of the responses). The point is to grab their attention, so mission accomplished, right?

Here's what I decided to do:

1. I chose six songs I wanted to work on and hid them inside little missionary shirts I made out of origami. I found a tutorial for how to make a dress shirt that was quite easy and quick. I then glued on the little missionary tags.

2. I told the children that there are many ways that music can help us prepare for a mission or help us to serve a mission. I hid these ways inside the origami tie that I made for each shirt. The ties were easy to make and took very little time. I used a paper clip to attach the tie to each shirt. Each tie had one of the following items on it:
  • Music can help us by inviting the spirit of the Lord into the room.
  • Music can help us to build our testimony and faith.
  • Music can help us to learn and remember gospel principles. I gave as an example that when we sing an Articles of Faith during opening exercises every week, we are memorizing the article that we sing.
  • Music can comfort us.
  • Music can give us a way to sing praises to the Lord.
  • Music gives us a way to express ourselves in ways we cannot always do with words.
3. I used the "Helping Hands" jar (a jar with all the primary names in it) to fairly choose a name to come up and select from one of the six shirts that I propped up against the chalkboard. The child's selection determined what song we worked on next. In junior primary, we only had time for four songs. In senior primary, we just barely managed to squeeze in all six.

These are the six songs we worked on, and what I did to make each unique:

1. Page 239, "Choose the Right." I had this song listed twice.

First time - I had the children move to the next chair (in senior primary), or spin (in junior primary), based on this idea from Teaching LDS Children and Monica Hudson as posted on SugarDoodle. Honestly, though this was a lot of fun, it was also chaotic, and children weren't singing very much when I had them move to the next chair during senior primary. I ended up revising the activity and just having both senior and junior spin after suffering through two verses of watching senior primary switch chairs and have so much fun with that, that they weren't really singing.

Second time - Since I had the children learn this song in sign language, I had them "sing" the entire first verse without singing aloud or using the piano. I told them I wanted them to "hear" how deaf people experience this song. I reminded them that since it was sign language, that means I shouldn't hear any sounds. This was my favorite singing activity of the day, and it was fun to see them reverently and quietly signing with me. They were very participatory. If you choose to teach the children a song in sign, I think it would be great to have them do this last so they are very quiet and very reverent when the teacher begins her lesson.

2. "As a Child of God"

In Junior, I passed out sticks that represented lines of the songs and let the children hold them up.

In Senior, I discussed how many of the signs I had taught them for "Choose the Right" (see the previous week's post - this was a VERY successful activity with the children for having them learn, and keeping their attention) were also in "As a Child" and had them see if they could pick out the signs.

3. Page 169 - "I Hope They Call Me on a Mission"

I used a badge, a tie, two rulers, and two sets of scriptures. I called children to come up and hold these items up and then had them sing this song with these reminders.

4. Page 202 - "I Often Go Walking"

I had children help hold a flip chart and sang this one time through. We did not have time for more than a cursory introduction of the song.

5. Page 190 - "Love is Spoken Here"

I made a poster board and reviewed the words with the children, then sang this one time through. We did not have time for more than a cursory introduction of the song.

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