Friday, March 22, 2013

Song Review - Rhythm and Beat Robot/Machinery with Egg Chute

** Post-singing time review about the post further below :)
I had so much fun in primary today. I made some modifications to my original plans. In Junior Primary, I didn't think we would have enough time so I just worked with them on the third first of "If the Savior Stood Beside Me," but I brought out all the percussion eggs I had made (see bottom of post) and told them that I would pass them out once the children could show me by volume that they knew all three verses. Great incentive, and a lot of fun! I had different types of beans in different eggs and let them hear how they made different sounds. This was a great way to grab their attention, practice rhythm, beat, and lyrics.

In senior primary, I had five volunteers come up to do the human machine together. Then, after the song ended, I had the last person flap their wings or make a bird sound, and dropped an egg through my "chute," before I had the classes get together and plan their own machines. I told them that the machines were operated by reverent voices to encourage everyone to sing. It was a lot of fun, and a nice break to make sure we don't unintentionally fall into bad patterns when teaching. The key to keep it reverent was to have the fun bird/egg part AFTER they were done singing, but to relax and let them giggle a little.


I ended up slicing up a bunch of my Singing Time plans this month and only have had two weeks to work on  "If the Savior Stood Beside Me" so I want to work on it again this week. This plan could easily be adapted as an overall song review to sing a lot of different songs, which is how it was originally designed, but I am focusing it on mostly to review this one song.

First, some background on this idea: I have two good friends, Rob and Chris(tine) Davis that are married to each other and very creative. They have several children, and both parents have or do teach children in various church jobs and professionally over the years. The children love them. They taught primary music for a while, and in a conversation with them when I was first given this calling, they mentioned this as one of their all-time favorite singing time activities. This is their original idea.

This is an interesting way to engage the children and focus on repetition without feeling like it's repetition!

Explain to the children that they are going to be singing robots/machinery today. Then, have the primary presidency work together to give an example of how you can work together to move like a robot/machine.

It will work like this, for example:

Person #1 pretends to be a human hammer and  repeatedly (gently) pound their fist on the head of the person in front of them to the rhythm of the song.

Person #2 pretends to be a spinner. Every time the "hammer" hits them, they spin but with one hand out that gently smacks the person next to them - again to the beat of the song.

Person #3 has one hand sticking out. Every time the "spinner's" hand hits their hand, they jump up and down once, or kick their foot out, etc.

You basically have a chain of actions, to the rhythm of the music, and when it gets to the end of the song, the person at the end clucks and waves their arms like a chicken. The chicken lays an egg, which happens when the teacher drops the plastic egg down a chute, which is a wrapping paper roll that comes out from the stool that is sticking out from under the chair that the "chicken" is sitting on. The egg is a plastic Easter egg that when opened will have some direction or message in it, like what song to sing next. I'm going to have the message be which class goes up next, and if all goes well, have the children sing the same song each time. If they get bored, we'll change it up.

After giving the children this example, have each class get together for a few minutes to discuss and plan out how they can pretend to be one giant human robot. You can even give them general suggestions to help them with their planning.

Then, take turns with one class in the front being a giant robot together. When the song is over, drop a plastic egg down the robot chute. When it gets to the end, open the egg to reveal what it says inside the egg.


I made egg rattles that I will use to help the children practice rhythm and beat. I will probably save these for the following week but I like having a back-up activity.

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