I have two options below:
- a memory game with a fun twist - better for a longer sharing time (40+ minutes) but can do the bare bones version in 20 minutes
- a matching game that challenges children to really understand their lyrics - i plan to do this one in 20 minutes but I know that means that I will really have to watch the time in junior primary.
I will be playing the matching game with my primary children this Sunday (option #2).
Option #1 - Pick-a-Song: Memory
I have not yet played the classic Memory game with my primary children but I have prepared the pieces. To play this game, I glued two identical pictures to represent each song, card stock. I used the same card stock for every picture so that when the pictures were turned around, people would not know where to find the match.
I will use the "Singing Time" jar to fairly choose a child to guess which two pictures to turn over, or I will go back and forth across the room, from class to class, and have the teacher choose a reverent child. Once a child correctly finds a match, we sing that song.
To add a bit of fun to this, and also to help the children improve how they sing each song, time pending, I will introduce a fun way to sing each song, that I will have pre-selected for each song. I'll put a little symbol on each matching picture to add some mystery, because they'll be trying to guess what "fun" way to sing the song that the symbol represents.
For instance, here are some fun ways I might sing each of the following songs:
- I'm Trying to Be Like Jesus - Have them sing crescendo and decrescendo (get slowly more loud, then slowly more quiet)
- Stand for the Right - Have everyone stand and take a step to the right when they sing "right." Then, have everyone turn and face the back of the room and sing the song again with the same rules, to get back to their seat.
- Choose the Right - I am doing this song in sign language so for me, I will have them alternate between singing the aloud and thinking it in their head while they sign a few lines silently. Another option to make them listen to the words carefully is have them stand up every time they hear "choose," spin around once and sit back down every time they hear "right," and stand on one foot every time they hear the word "light."
- As a Child of God - Have different sides of the room sing different lines, or boys vs. girls sing different lines. This helps them listen to each other and to the words. I may also have boys sing one verse during the program, and girls sing another verse, so I'll want to try just to see how they sound.
- Nephi's Courage - Sing staccato.
- When I Am Baptized - Echo chamber game, as described when I did this to review for the Mother's Day program. This one is great because it needs no advanced preparation.
- I Think When I Read that Sweet Story - How loud can you sing? game, also described when I did this to review for the Mother's Day program. This one also needs very little advanced prep - just a piece a paper and some tape so that children can see how far down the hallway their voices reached when they sang.
- The Wise Man and the Foolish Man - Follow the Leader game - ask them to watch you and deliberately have them sing loudly, softly, quietly, etc. This is good practice for teaching them to watch you, and to remind them that we don't actually use the motions when we sing this song in sacrament.
Option #2 - Pick-a-Song: Matching the Meanings
I will tell the children that one thing that will help them to sound amazing when they are singing these beautiful songs in church on Sunday is to really think about the words that they are singing, and what they mean. I will then have children match up pictures and/or scriptures on the board. We will sing the song when the children successfully make a match.
I haven't quite finished fine-tuning this part yet, but I want to use both scriptures and pictures (which I found all over Google Images and on the LDS.org GAK image database). The tricky part is that many of these pictures can go with more than one song, so I plan to explain some of the pictures a bit beforehand. Also, I will modify this to be easier for junior primary vs. senior primary.
Another option is to cluster the pictures together for each song. Then have children match the scripture to the cluster of pictures. This makes it easier to find the match and puts even more focus on the doctrine on which the music is based ...
These are the scriptures I plan to use, so far:
- I'm Trying to Be Like Jesus -
- Stand for the Right -
- Choose the Right -
Joshua 24:15 - And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom he will serve; whether the gods which your father served that [were] on the other side of the fllod, or the gods of the Amorite, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
- As a Child of God -
D&C 93:40 - But I have commanded you to bring up your children in light and truth.
- Nephi's Courage -
1 Nephi 3:7 - And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord had commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.
- When I Am Baptized -
Alma 7:15 - Yea, I say unto you come and fear not, and lay aside every sin, which easily doth beset you, which doth bind you down to destruction, yeah, come and go forth, and show unto your God that ye are willing to repent of your sings and enter into a covenant with him to keep his commandements, and witness it until him this day by going into the waters of baptism.
- I Think When I Read that Sweet Story -
Luke 18:16 - But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for such is the kingdom of God.
- The Wise Man and the Foolish Man -24 ¶Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, anddoeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
And here are some examples of some of the pictures:
As a Child of God, for instance, might focus on a picture that represents "light" and one that represents listening to the Holy Spirit: (I found these all over the Internet, just Google terms like "child light" and "child listening")
Nephi's Courage I wanted to show pictures of youth being courageous, which was a difficult term to search on Google, so I finally landed here, along with the obvious pictures of Nephi:
David and Goliath
We sing the song once the children have correctly matched two or more items (time pending) for one song. I might have a child talk about each picture and why it goes with the song ... you get the picture.