Sunday, May 24, 2009

Teaching scramble game

I'm excited to share something that worked AWESOME for me today. This can be used with ANY song, but worked particularly well with this one, since it wasn't "wordy" and on the slow side.

(This was for SENIOR primary. I'm working much more slowly with the Jr'.s and have been doing more basic activities with simple visuals. I think Jr.'s could do this if there were pictures, rather than words)

Last week I introduced this song with this awesome idea from this blog
Some changes I did were: My pictures were on half a sheet of colored paper, I didn't use Popsicle sticks (just the picture backed on colored paper), and I changed some of the words that were colored to fit the visuals I could find...not change the words themselves of course, but which words were colored. :) For example, I didn't color the word "Obedience" as that was a visual I found hard to find, but colored "Father" instead. I tried to have the same amount of colored words per verse. I hope that wasn't too confusing! :)

Anyway, I felt this song was simple enough to introduce ALL three verses at once. Then I could work on individual verses as needed.

This week, I wanted to focus on the 2ND verse of Baptism.

I cut out 2 1/4" in. strips from a poster board (4 of them) and wrote the four phrases on them, like this:

I took the four strips to church with me. We sang through the 3 verses, using the idea from last week, where the kids stand up on the words of the picture. Then I posted the four strips on the blackboard with magnets, in a mixed up order. I called on a volunteer to put the strips in order while the rest of the primary sang with the poster.

She was able to do it, no problem. So then I challenged them to do something harder. I took a pair of scissors and chopped a few of the phrases up like this:
Then the first volunteer and I mixed up the phrases again and called on another volunteer to come up and put the phrases together and in the right order. They started rearranging the pieces the same time we started singing the verse.

If they were unable to put the pieces back together before we finished singing the "round" was not mastered. I would let them finish putting the pieces back together while we waited (usually just a few seconds), we'd mix them up and call on another person to try. If they DID succeed in putting the phrases back together before we finished singing, it was too "easy" so I chopped a paper or two to make 1 or 2 more pieces.

We have more than 20 kids in Sr. primary and everyone who wanted to have a turn (which was all but one or two) got to have a chance at unscrambling the phrases. They loved it! Sometimes I had to remind the others to keep singing as they were caught up in the volunteer's efforts. I held up the poster with all the words until I noticed that the kids were singing, but no longer looking at the words. YAY! :)

This is how the pieces looked on the board after every turn. I'd have the volunteer who just finished rearranging the pieces, help me mix them up again.

***Towards the end, when there were the most pieces, I brought out my conducting baton (I never use this...I still have it from my band directing days...) and they could just point to the scattered pieces as we sang them. I've heard of people using fly swatters and swatting the phrases...but as this is a more reverent song, I didn't feel that was appropriate.****