I love when appropriate holidays tie in so well with the lessons for the month. I have been talking to the children quite a bit all year about how all the beauty in the world around us reminds us that our Father in Heaven loves us - as we sing "My Heavenly Father Loves Me," and "I Think the World is Glorious," among other songs.
This month, as the sharing time lessons focus on our spiritual blessings, temporal blessings, and how we can be grateful for them, I have loved the idea of bringing out my thankful turkey (shared earlier this month), and other fun things. Some new twists that complement the lesson:
Option #1 - Build a Turkey Snowman
Rather than add feathers to a turkey, build the whole turkey with cut-outs for the face, body, etc. I'm envisioning a turkey snowman so it's kind of silly and fun. Since this week's sharing time lesson is on how we thank Heavenly Father for our blessings, each time they are called up, each item will have one scenario, like "My parents," and they have to name one way they can show gratitude for that item. If they get stuck, give them an example, like "I show my mom gratitude by planting flowers for her in the spring time." Every other item also has a song about gratitude on the back (can be subtle, like "My Heavenly Father Loves Me"). This way, you can sing a variety of songs but make sure they are thinking about gratitude and learning while they sing.
Option #2 - How Does this Song Show Gratitude?
Place 10 songs on the chalkboard behind 10 different pictures. Children stand 5 feet back and thrown a bean bag at the chalkboard. Whichever item they hit or comes closest to, is the item they have "chosen." You can either have the songs out so the kids can see them and aim at them, or hidden so it's a surprise. If the song is hidden, you can even have the children guess the song based on the picture. Either way, once you name the song, either ask the child to name one way this song is about gratitude or that you can show gratitude to the subject of the song, or you can ask the question so the children are all thinking about it, and then have them raise their hands after they sing the song. I like the latter option better because it helps them to concentrate on the words and meaning of the song.
Option #3 - I Waited Until Sunday Morning to Plan for Singing Time
All right, didn't plan ahead? Throw 10 items from in the house into a bag - a wooden spoon, scriptures, a bottle of dish washing soap, scriptures, a picture of the temple, etc. Children can pull the item out of the bag, then they have to identify one way they can show gratitude related to the item. If you have a cornucopia sitting around, find items that will fit inside of that for a better presentation. Better yet, wrap 'em. Something as simple as a paper bag will do though ...
And Lastly ... A Not-Quite-Good-bye Message
Last week was my first Sunday in my new calling. I am no longer the primary chorister for my ward! I am going to deeply miss being the primary chorister because I have loved teaching the gospel through music to these wonderful children. I love the gospel. I love the children. I love to sing. I love being creative. This was a great calling for me. I love how I was uplifted every week.
Thankfully, I do not have to grieve too much because my new calling has some similarities. I am super happy to say that I will still be in primary with these wonderful children. I was called to be primary president, because I conducted last week, I can already say that there are some similarities that made it feel like "home."
Hopefully as choristers you are providing your presidency with support anyway, and singing reverence songs when you feel they are needed, and helping the children recognize when they need to be reverent. As a chorister, if a teacher was late coming into sharing time, and the children took advantage of it, I would get up and sit with that class. I know the presidency appreciated my help, and now as president, I am seeing how having "practice" with that kind of participation will aid me in learning the best way to carry on the work in the Lord's primary.
I have to add that the departing president is a good friend of mine and a wonderful example to me. I am sad that we will no longer be in primary together but I'm excited to watch her hasten the work in other callings. The new chorister has been my visiting teaching partner for years, and I already know she is a gifted musician and very creative. She has a wonderful heart and will be a great addition the primary. I am excited for the children to get to know her.
I have loved watching readership on this little 'ole blog grow - and I don't think I can part with it, so I'm going to try to keep sharing ideas. With that said ... as long as you keep visiting, I'm not likely to quit posting!