Thursday, June 28, 2012

"Nephi's Courage" Song Review and Learning "The Wise Man and the Foolish Man"

[Update - added green poster picture for the Wise Man song, and new comments in italics ...]

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.

Nephi's Courage
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 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:

Examples of a bad foundation:
(The duplicate picture is because I plan to use the silhouette of the child as the "house" and the other pictures as the 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.

My Testimony
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.


  1. I just stumbled upon your blog this morning--we must be on the same wavelength or something b/c we have been approaching songs at the same time, we did Dearest Names too, and Mrs. Potato Head in May...funny, huh?

    Anyhoo--you're doing a great job--thanks for sharing!

  2. Hi Alison. Thanks for dropping me a note. That is a funny set of coincidences - I guess when you are seeking inspiration from the same source ...! Isn't this calling FUN?!

  3. Hi Esther, I would love to get copies of your pictures. This sounds like a great idea. I'm also going to bring some sand and a rock and have the children create little lego houses and then pour or spray water on the sand or rock to see what happens to the houses. I love your idea of relating the concept into their own lives. Thanks!

  4. could you please send me those pictures for the song Wise man and foolish man. It would save me some time. Thanks

  5. Replies
    1. I'm so sorry. I don't have these pictures anymore. I just did a Google Image search if that helps. Good luck!