Thursday, January 29, 2009

Let the kids make the visual aids!!!!!!!

Home is where the heart is, and warmth and love abound. Home is where warm circling arms go all the way around.
Home is where there's father with strength and wisdom true. Home is where there's mother and all the children too.

I think I spend a great deal of time making visual aids. These were made by the activity day girls in the ward. I have another song that the CTR6 class made for "This is God's House".

These visual aids are for the first two verses of Home, which we did last year, they made pictures for all three verses. The kids absolutely love seeing the pictures that they have drawn and it helps them learn the song faster when they are personally invested in it in some way.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Singing Stars

I made the Singing Stars (basically laminated stars with a popsicle stick handle) to help enforce reverence. During singing time children who are being reverent singers get a Singing Star. At the end of singing time, when we sing a reverence song to get them ready for sharing time, all the children with stars can come to the front of the room and hold them up while we sing. They really love this, and it helps them stay reverent during singing time because they all want a Singing Star.

The stars came from the Super Little Singers book (Covenant published it), and it would also be great with "I am like a Star", or "Stars were gleaming" at Christmastime, or even "Shine On".


Here is my plan for January.

The first sunday we sing a lot of songs that the nursery kids are familiar with, and we sing them throughout January. This helps the little ones acclimate, also when they are having fun, the crying slows down. We already knew Families can be together forever so we reviewed that on the first day and I crossed it off the list, then we sing that about once a month or so until the program. The second Sunday I began teaching I lived in Heaven (a song I taught in primary in the 1990's) I taught the first and third verses, and the third week we learned the second verse. This year we are learning four new reverence songs so on the last sunday of the month I teach a reverence song. I had one of the classes make the visual aids for me, the kids love to see thier own drawings. Then we sing the song as the opening song for the whole next month to make sure they know it. You can see that the song for January was Reverence, and we sang that every Sunday. The closing song is just listed once, and it's the same for each week as well, our primary tends to run long, and we don't always get a closing song (although I wish we did), I use opening and closing songs as a great time to review songs without having to do it in singing time.
Each singing time is divided (loosely) into sections:
  1. Activity songs: They have to wiggle, so I plan to wiggle every week.
  2. Gospel Review songs: What's the point of teaching program songs we never sing again, we review one previous year's program songs, or a gospel review song (such as Book of Mormon Stories) each week.
  3. New song or program review: We are learning a new song each month, so we at least go through it once or twice, without overwhelming the children.
  4. If there is time left over, I choose out of the reverent children to pick a favorite song.

I always incorporate some kind of eye catching activity, just to be interresting. If I am bored, I know they are ten times more bored than I am. The more I put into it, the more I get out. I'll find a way to make February's calendar better.

In the beginning

I want to document one year of Primary Singing/Music time. If I go through the year showing props, ideas, plans and everything it will be a great help in designing and planning a year of music for the primary. This year (2009) the theme is:

My Eternal Family

What a great theme! This year the program is even complimented by songs of the music leaders choice, this is a great opportunity to select songs that are memorable and appropriate for the specific group you are teaching.
This year's songs include:
Families can be Together Forever
How Firm a Foundation
I lived in Heaven
Seek the Lord Early
My Eternal Family
The Family is of God
Plus two songs of choice
We only have until the fourth quarter. Let's get going.