I would like to continue learning/reviewing "Nephi's Courage" this Sunday, since I just introduced it/reintroduced in last Sunday. I also plan to introduce the July theme song, "The Wise Man and the Foolish Man," since I believe I will have time for both.
I will simply use the same actions as I did last week, which I basically let the children help invent. I only made it through the first two verses for junior primary, so I will have them help me make up the motions for the third verse, too.
To keep things interesting and fresh for this song, for the "I Will Go and Do" part of the song where I have them swing their arms back and forth (a motion I picked up from SugarDoodle), I will have them actually stand up and march back and forth across their own row. I will have them practice marching to the beat to the rhythm of the song though, to get them to thing about how some notes are longer and some are shorter. I think I will have them clap out that part of the song to help them recognize how they will have to march carefully to march to the right beat.
I also plan to talk about President Monson's quote about Nephi's Courage to help the children to further think about this song and what it means to obey the commandments and trust in the Lord.
The Wise Man and the Foolish Man
I found really fun flip charts that a previous chorister had made, where she (or he?) glued cotton balls (for clouds) and other three-dimension objects to boards, and then to paint sticks, depicting the story of the wise man and the foolish man. I want to take advantage of these, even though the children love the motions for this song but there's so much I could do with this song that I will have to be careful about watching the time. Here's the plan:
1. Read the scriptures for this song. (Matthew 7:24-27). Ask the children to identify what song we are singing based on this scripture.
2. Talk about what this scripture means. Have them also read Helaman 5:12. I am considering telling my own story or finding one on LDS.org that might make them relate better to the wise man and the foolish man in their own context, that goes with this scripture. I may do that instead, or in addition to, but right now, I have drawn a picture of a house with a foundation, so that I can talk about how we literally build our houses upon the a rock (and not on a sand) and then talk about the foundations in our own lives.
I ended up switching how I presented the pictures I dug up around the Internet. I talked about how the silhouette in the middle is "YOU" the child, read Helaman 5:12 a second time and asked children who the foundation (the ROCK that the wise man built on) was (answer: our Savior), and pointed out how our foundation helps us combat the storms that the devil throws our way. I then asked them to think about how we are the wise man building our house on a rock, and to sing the song again. I had several teachers comment that they appreciated helping make this song meaningful, beyond it being a fictional story about a wise man with a house.
Use visuals to help the children see the foundations in our own lives. If you comment with your email address below, I'll email you the PDF of these pictures that I gathered around the Internet.
Examples of GOOD foundation:
3. If time, hand out the flip chart pages of the song to children to hold up for the rest of the class, and sing the song.
4. Get the children out of order and see if they get in the right order while we sing the song again.
5. Sing the song again, this time with the standard hand motions for this song.
Ever since our stake primary chorister reminded me, I have been trying to bear my testimony at the end of each sing time lesson. I don't always do it, but I will try to feel the spirit of the Lord and share a heartfelt testimony. I want the children to love the music and love the gospel it teaches them, the way I love it and the way it helps my own testimony of our loving father in heaven and his plans for us.
Next Week ...
Stay tuned. I am super excited about the various singing review activities I have coming up for the next five Sundays. That's right, I already have a whole month planned out. I am trying to time around Pioneer Day, the Olympics, and a general need to review all the songs we have learned since we have not had a chance to sing some of the songs for many Sundays now.