Sunday, July 26, 2009

Lift Up Your Voice and Sing

Today I taught a fun song. I spend so much time on program songs it was nice to teach something fun to sing. I told the kids I had a surprise for them if they sang well. This is a really catchy songs and I only used the pictures for about the first four times they sang it. Once they had it down I pulled out my surprise, a song in a bag - see the next post. After Popcorn Popping I used one of the arms that I had made and we sang this song some more by hiding the arm and having a child find it by singing louder when they are close and softer when they are far from it. One child leaves the room and another hides it. One boy pulled his arm into his shirt and stuffed this arm up into it. What a fun singing time. They sang the last three "Lift up your voices" each louder than the last so it was a really great song for a Summer day. We did this about four times so that we ended up singing the song about 20 times, a great way to learn a song is by repetition.
After this I started calming them down with Book of Mormon Stories, I love to See the Temple and Love is Spoken Here. By the time we got to the last song the spirit was back and the room was quiet.

A Song in a Bag

Nat asked if I ever used props for songs that the kids know, or just when I teach new songs. I got the props together for Popcorn Popping, a song they already know really well so they weren't expecting what I did. It was a big hit! In fact, there was applause, that's never happened before. One of the teachers told my husband I was "the Master". Anyway, doing it at home wasn't nearly as exciting as watching the kids faces while I did this. This was their big reward for learning a song today - I taught "Lift Up Your Voice and Sing".

Friday, July 17, 2009

Little Pioneer Children hunting chips for fuel

Thanks to my fabulous brother Nat, and his clever ideas, i'm making Buffalo chips for singing time. Not real chips of course but something the kids can actually gather. The chips appear in the Little Pioneer Children song and I love to explain to the kids what chips are and how they were used. Finding real ones would be impossibly difficult (and a little gross) so my brother invented a recipe.

Making Buffalo Chips
Make a recipe of salt dough. I then poured it into a big bowl. I added very dried weeds that I had torn into pieces. I also added a few cups of coffee grounds that were donated by Starbucks (apparently all you have to do is ask and you get them free! although they didn't seem super excited that I was using it to make "poo" if I ever go in again i'll just say it's for the garden).

I also added some lentiles and oatmeal and mixed them up. It looks pretty bad in the picture, and smelled like the dried dill and coffee grounds and salt, not very appealing.
I sort of shaped them into nuggets and placed them in the backyard. I figured the sun would pull all the moisture out of them by early afternoon, Nat baked his in the oven.
This is how they looked after a few hours of desert sun (it's about 113 degrees today).
I am going to have the children gather the chips as we sing. I have this great apron that my mom made when I was a little girl and I often pull it out in July for pioneer occasions. It is a small apron that converts to a bonnet using only two buttons. It's perfect to put on the bonnet, talk about pioneers and collecting chips and berries, then take it off, tie the apron on and I have the perfect place to put the chips as the children gather them.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Guess the Song

This week I wanted the kids to guess the song. I made up pictures for the Jr. primary that they could use to guess the song. I backed the pictures with cardstock so the kids couldn't see through to the next picture since they were in a stack. Some were easier than others but it was still really fun. They loved that the Book of Mormon was for Scripture Power and we sang it twice. It worked out perfectly with Sharing time because that was about scripture study, so we sang it again before dismissing for class.

For the Sr. primary I made clues for each song. Things like the scripture reference, who wrote the words/music for the song, and clues about the content or principles. They were a lot more challenging but I was pleased to find that they enjoyed the challenge.

Monday, July 6, 2009

It's July! Time for fun songs!

Okay, I know i'm a little behind. It's been a holiday weekend and even though we didn't go anywhere I have no idea how the time passed so quickly and how so many dishes ended up in the yard. Somehow though, I managed to find the time last week to get the next three months scheduled.
I don't teach songs for the program in the summer, we are in year round school and the kids are in and out all summer long and I just feel like summer is the time for review. Each song for the program is now scheduled to be sung twice a month. This way it stays in their minds and we still have time to sing lots of fun songs during the summer. I have mostly incorporated them into opening and closing songs, but also reverent songs.
The kids had a blast singing the Patriotic Songs again this week and I let them take their booklets home. They asked to sing "It's a Grand Old Flag" three times! I love to sing it so it was wonderful! We also raced Brother C. at Popcorn Popping - he beat me again. Honestly, I just don't know anyone with fingers faster than his.
We had two kids who are moving this week (it's always devastating and I love them dearly) and the President said that we were going to sing a goodbye song to them. I looked at her blankly. Goodbye song? Okay, I do hello, welcome, birthday, baptism, etc., but goodbye? What's a goodbye song I asked? Apparently, it's when you let the child choose their favorite song. I can do that. They chose the Snowman song - naturally because it's July. So what is a goodbye song? Because I still have no idea what I would have picked. Maybe Onward Christian Soldiers? Maybe Nephi's Courage? Home? Sing Your Way Home? Help!