Friday, January 18, 2013

Key Word Game

Here is a game that I have been playing with kids for a really long time. The kids ask for it all the time! I have recently come up with a few fun variations.

This game is to draw attention to key words in a song. It is also a good way to sing a song over and over without the kids realizing they are singing it over and over again.

Prep: Laminate a card, key, mustache, Santa beard or anything that you can write and erase. Here are a few pictures of the things that I have done. I cut them out on the Cricut and then laminated them. (The key was in the Disney princess cartridge and the mustache and the beard were both on the paper doll dress up cartridge.) 

Crazy hat and a key. Hence the name "key words"
 Santa Beard
The mustache is a favorite!!!

Here is how to play:

Choose a key word that is in the song and write it on the key (or whatever). Choose a child to be the guesser.

Directions: The object is to get the guesser to guess what is written on the key, so the group should sing all the words in the song except the one written on the key.  Now in Junior Primary I will have the guesser step out of the room for a moment since not all the children can read and I will tell the group what is on the key. Also if a child doesn't know the word they can silently raise their hand and a teacher will whisper it in their ear.

In Senior primary once they have a pretty good grasp of the song I will pick a really minute words like "a" or "the" or something like that. It makes it harder to guess and they think it is really funny. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

I Am a Child of God

Print off the words to the 3rd and 4th verses of I Am Child of God and cut up each word and on the back number them so that I easily put them in order again. I will then laminate the words as well. (this isn't necessary but makes it so that it will last) Or if you are really lazy like me or don't have time, sometimes, I will just write the words on the chalk board and then the kids will get to erase them. Either way is fine just you will have to write the words up twice if you have junior and senior primary. 

Junior primary prep :You need to bring a pair of dice (I got a fuzzy dice from the dollar store and cut them apart)
Senior Primary prep: Have a bag of laminated paper letters or fridge magnets would work as well.


Junior Primary: Stick up the laminated words or pictures on the board.  Have a child come up and roll the dice. The number on the dice tells the child how many words they can take off the board. Sometimes if the number is only one I will let another child come up and roll the dice again. This song is familiar enough that I might let two kids roll two dice at the same time. Then see if the children can sing the song with the missing words. Sing until they have the entire song memorized.

To change things up sometimes, I will have the kids not sing the words that are there and sing the words that aren't on the board. The kids love it when the teacher messes up, which I do a lot. They think it is really funny plus it keeps them paying attention to the right words.

Senior Primary: The game is played the same as junior primary  but usually with senior primary I will have a bag of letters and they erase the word that starts with the letter that was chosen in the bag. If I want to erase words faster I will say that any word that has the chosen letter in it will be erased. So, if the letter is an "a" you can either erase all the words that begin with "a" or erase all the words that have an "a" in them.

This activity can be used for any song that you need to sing over and over again to learn the words.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

I am a Child of God

I had a really hard time figuring out what I was going to do to teach, I am a Child of God. I read a lot about the song and other people's ideas on what they were planning on doing. I came up with a combination of a few ideas. Please forgive me, I read so many different websites last night I might miss one to give them credit.

Here is what I did.

For Junior Primary I talked about the song a little and about how this song really sums up the gospel in its simplest form. We are all children of God and we are learning how we can return to live with him. I think that is why this song is always so powerful.

So, after we talked a little bit I told them there are a lot of things that can lead and guide us to our Heavenly Father. Before primary I cut out a bunch of footprints and laminated them. On the back of the footprints I put a piece of masking tape and wrote on them a bunch of ways that lead us to our Heavenly Father. Now I can't remember where I saw the footprint idea but I thought they were so cute. I then chose a child to walk on the footprints and we all sang I am a Child of God while the child walked around on the footprints. When the music stopped we looked under the footprint to see what would lead us to our Heavenly Father.

Now this next idea came from She then had the child make up an action and lead the primary in "Do As I'm Doing." So if the footprint said read your scriptures we would open and close our hands like we were reading the scriptures. This was really nice because it broke up singing I am a Child of God over and over again. Towards the end I even let two children walk on the footprints and had two kids leading Do As I'm Doing. The kids really seemed to enjoy this game.

As for Senior Primary we worked really hard on the descant. I just taught them the descant for the chorus. It actually went really well.  First I talked to them about the importance of the song much like Junior Primary. I also talked to them about the word harmony and the definition is when two people are singing two different notes at the same time. I asked them to listen as I sang and see if they could hear when we started to sing harmony. I then sang a duet with another member of the primary presidency. She sang what was written and I sang the descant so the kids could hear how pretty it was. They thought that was really cool. They could all tell that we started singing harmony at the, "lead me, guide me," part. I always think that it is important that the children always have something they are doing or listening for.

After the duet I then taught the descant a small section at a time. I also did the ever popular pitch leading where I hold my hand level and when the pitch gets higher then I raise my hand higher and so on and so forth. Sunbeamsinging had the cutest idea to instead of using her hand she used Popsicle sticks and held them between her hands. She even gave one to each child so they could follow along. I wished that I would have remembered my Popsicle sticks. Oh well. :-)

After we learned the descant we split into groups and I lead the descant and someone else lead the normal  group. Then we switched. The kids were so excited to be singing harmony. It was really beautiful and it gave me goosebumps every time.

We had a little extra time so I played the footprint game with the senior primary but this time we didn't read out loud the footprint. The kids had to guess what the leader was doing when we sang Do As I'm Doing.

All in all it was a really awesome day.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Primary Preview

Today at church I did a Primary Preview. It was awesome!!! I got the idea from this blog I love this blog. It has really great ideas. I read her blog on a regular basis.

This is what happened in my primary. I asked a bunch of different people to come in and sing all the songs that we will be learning this year. One of the things that I needed to tell people was that singing perfectly was not a requirement for singing in primary. One women (who is on the more mature side) brought in her guitar and sang, "I am a child of God." It was really awesome.

So we had our opening exercise just like normal. I talked to the kids about proper audience etiquette. I told them that at church we don't usually clap after a performance because it can distract from the Spirit. I told them that they could do the sign for clapping or they could do a marshmallow clap. They thought that was really fun. Then I had the kids file out the back door and gave them tickets for the show. I set up a red carpet (I used felt but you could probably get a cheap red plastic table cloth.) I had the presidency usher the kids to their seat and took pictures of the kids on the red carpet. That part was really funny. Each of them felt pretty special. Even the ones that are generally really shy. Then I started the show.

The kids were mesmerized the entire time. So were the adults. It was nice for the kids to see and hear different people singing. They were so good and the spirit was so strong. The kids seemed really excited about the upcoming year. I am really excited as well. 
Pose for the camera!
Even the teachers got into posing for the paparazzi. 

Let me tell you a little about myself and why I am starting this blog. I am a wife and mother of 3. I teach music to preschoolers and at the elementary level. I also teach primary music at my church. I have also started a craft shop on Etsy called Handcrafting Harmony. So I love family, kids, music and crafting.

On this blog I am hoping to post what I did at church on Sundays and new crafts that I am making and working on.