Saturday, January 31, 2009

Another idea for How Firm a Foundation

The art work is courtesy of Jeni at Singing time Helps, I just put two on a page, rather than one per page, I will cut them in half before using.

I am going to have the kids put the pictures in order as I sing the song a few times - to get them familiar with the song. Then I will give a picture, or two, to each class and they will be in charge of those words and we will go around the primary room with each class singing just their "part".

I've split songs up into parts like this before, having one class in charge of just one phrase, and we go around the room and have the class stand as they sing their part (the pianist has to keep watch to slow down between parts) and the kids really love it, and they really learn the song well using this method.

NOTE: In respect for Jeni's terms of use, you will need to go to her blog (following the link above) to view the visuals discussed in this post. Go there--they are great! Thanks for the reminder Jeni!

Monday, January 26, 2009

How Firm a Foundation

I don't know about anyone else, but I am really struggling with how to teach this song. I was trying to wait until I got other's ideas, but I'm leaving town in the morning, and had to get the lesson plan to my sub this morning. Anyway, this is my plan:

Show a picture of the Leaning Tower of Pisa and talk about the importance of having a firm foundation. (There is some cool info about the background and building of the tower that talk about how it was built on a weak foundation.)

Then, tell them they will be learning a song about having a different kind of firm foundation. Sing through the first verse with the pianist. I think the melody is a little tricky, so I have faces on sticks that show different ways of singing. For example, to sing "Ahh" they will hold up Ah-dree, to sing Lululu, they will hold up a stick that says "Loo-Loo", and the last one is hum-phrey. The kids can come pick the different faces so you can sing it at least 3 or more time, without having to learn the words.

Next, I'll have this poster on the blackboard with magnets.

Tell the kids that they will be building a foundation as they sing the song. There will be "pieces" scattered on the blackboard (held up by tape or magnets) that they will have to put in the right places. Kind of like a puzzle. One wierd thing, is that they will be starting at the bottom and work there way to the top. Sing through the verse while you point at the different spots on the poster, so they can start to get the idea of where the pieces will go. Then, start with the first line, or the "brick" foundation. After all the bricks are up, review the line a few times. Next, go to the next layer of the foundation, and repeat the process until the verse has been taught. Don't forget to explain tough words such as "refuge", the meaning of "his excellent word", etc.

I would still love to hear any ideas that you may have for teaching this song, especially the second verse! Anyone else having troubles?!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Another Motivator

Sometimes I feel like I'm overkilling songs we're learning - having the kids sing them over and over again until they hate the song. (Okay, hate may be a little strong, but I start getting that feeling too like they're dreading having to sing it yet again!)

I've recently discovered that often times it's just that they're singing very softly because they really do know the song well already. So I will just randomly tell them that on the next verse, next time through, or whatever, I'm going to be watching for the person watching me the best and singing (emphasis on actually singing!) the loudest and that person gets to pick their favorite song for us to sing. It's work wonders for me in Senior Primary especially!

Spaghetti Eddie

Audience: Both Jr & Sr

Preperation: Make a Speghettie Eddie poster. Put a hole in the mouth and string yellow yarn (speghetti). Laminate (I used clear contact paper).
In Action: I talked up my friend "Spaghetti Eddie" for two weeks. I told the kids that he loved music and when kids sing REALLY well, it makes him want to eat spaghetti and he LOVES spaghetti so they needed to learn the song. The second week, Eddie and I had a little talk and he didn't feel like they knew the song well enough for him to come, but he sent me with a coded message to help them better learn a verse that was giving them trouble. They were very motivated to really learn the song and sang their hearts out. Now he will come to church and the better they sing, the faster he'll slurp up his spaghetti. They will try to get him to finish the ENTIRE bowl before the end of singing time. You could incorporate other activities with Eddie (such as Don't Forget the Words or Keywords) at the same time.

Don't forget the words!

Audience: Sr. primary (though this would work for combined singing time, especially if you have the little ones roll the dice)

Preparation: Make a set of dice, one that has the different verses on each side, the other with dots/squares like a regular dice. I don't have a 1 or 6, so I just repeat numbers 2-5 until the sides are filled up.

How to play:
Have some children come up and roll the dice. You could have the same child roll both, or have two children to each roll one.

The "Verse dice" tells the children which verse they will be singing.
The "number dice" tells the children how many words they will have to remember after the music stops.

**In order to review the verses entirely, each time the dice rolls on a "new" verse, we'll sing that verse through as review, before we play the game.***

For example, the verse dice lands on "verse 2" and the number dice lands on 4. We will sing all the way through verse 2 for a quick review. Then, we will start back at the beginning, singing, and the pianist will stop at any spot of her choosing. From that stopping pont, the kids will have to remember what 4 words come next. I'll call on a volunteer for the answer, and if they get it right, they will get to tell the pianist where to stop in the next round. (I'll have them stand or sit by the pianist with a stop sign to raise when they are ready to stop the music.)

The dice are rolled again. this time it lands on "verse 1" and 2 words. We review verse 1, then the game begins again.

The goal is to repeat the song as many times possible while having fun and to really learn the words. :)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Keyword Game

This is an idea found on sugardoodle that I plan to use with my Jr's tomorrow.

preparation: Print out or draw, many images of a key. I found a clipart one, copy and pasted it to word, and adjusted it to the size I wanted. Cut them out and LAMINATE, so you can use them again. Write, with a dry-erase marker, key words to a song. I am only doing the verse we are working on.

Put into action: Ask a child to leave the room. Invite another child to draw out a key word. (I'll place a sandwhich bag with the keys inside, in a hat.) Have the child tell the rest of the primary what the word is. For example, "Father". Invite the other child back into the primary room and to come up to the front. They can put on the hat if they want. Have the primary sing the song/verse but leave out the "keyword". The child with the hat will try to guess which word is the keyword.

Because it's JR primary, and many of them may not understand the concept or have the ability to leave out the word, I'll have a stop sign on a stick, that I'll hold up for the "hat child" on the keyword, then put down again, so they'll know which word we were supposed to leave out. :)

Crack the Code

I saw somone from another ward do this, and it really helped me learn the song. I'm going to try it with my Sr. Primary tomorrow.

On a dry-erase board (I got mine from walmart for $9!), write out the first letter of each word to a verse.

In Action:
Each color represents a different verse, but I'm not telling the kids that. The numbers on colored paper on the left, corolate with the correct verse. When I first show the kids the board, these will not be on it. I'm just going to tell them that I have a code that I would like them to solve, and it has to do with the third verse of the song. (In this case, I Lived in Heaven (CS4)). I will sing it once, then ask if anyone knows how to crack the code? If they don't know, I'll sing it again until they do figure it out. (If I have to, I'll tell them that each letter stands for a word of the song). Then I'll ask them which is the line to the first verse. I'll sing the song while they decide. I'll call on a volunteer to place the "1" by the 1st line, etc.

To memorize,
I'll have a giant dice, acutally, this one, but I'll remove the words and put on dots to look like a real dice. I'll call on someone to roll the dice to decide how many letters to erase. That person will erase which ever letters he wants, and then we'll sing the verse, trying to remember what went in the blanks. We'll continue until we have a blank board.

visual story book

I bought a book at a church bookstore, that contained visuals for all of the 2009 program songs. I colored them, cut them out, and laminated them. We played games with them as we learned the song, so I liked having them seaparated. However, I'm done with them now, and since the kids pretty much know the song, I didn't know what to do with them.

I got the idea of putting together a book from this site, to put them in a book, along with the lyrics. This way, if we're singing the song as opening or closing, or a quick review, I don't have to fumble through a bunch of pictures. I plan on doing this with all of the "program" songs, to keep them in one book. The pictures are laminated, so I can just pull them off of the paper and use them without the book again. I LOVE LAMINATING! :)

Friday, January 16, 2009

Christmas Singing Time

I combined this with Snowmen Bowling. This time the kids have the option of singing the song on the back of the snowman or picking the number on the back. The numbers correspond to numbered sheets on the chalkboard. On the back of each sheet I've rewritten the Christmas carols from the hymnbook. (This has been another fun Singing Time in the past.)

Not sure how to link to my document so you'll have to retype them yourself. Here's what I came up with:

201 - Joint Tooth a Whirled - Joy to the World
202 - Oak Hum Haul Leaf Eighth Full - Oh, Come, All Ye Faithful
203 - Aim Jail Sweet Half Her Dawn Eye - Angels We Have Heard on High
204 - Sigh Lent Knight - Silent Night
204 - One Sinner Oiled Hay Fit Sit Tea - Once in Royal David's City
206 - A Weigh Yin Hum Age Her - Away in a Manger
207 - Hit Cane a Pawn Thumb Hid Mike Leer - It Came Upon the Midnight Clear
208 - Ho Lit Tall Down Dove Bed Luck Hem - Oh Little Town of Bethlehem
209 - Heart Duh Hair Old Day Gels Seen - Hark! The Harold Angels Sing
210 - Whisk One Drink Caw - With Wondering Awe
211 - Wild Shape Heard Swatch Sheriff Locks - While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks
213 - The Fir Snow Well - The First Noel
214 - Eye Herd Thud Elf Song Crisp Messed Hay - I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day

(Yes, I'm pretty proud of that last one!)
Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Give Said the Little Stream

I got this idea off of Julie's singing time blog. Thanks Julie!

This has been a favorite "wiggle" song for our primary.

Starting from a sitting position, tell the kids to stand up and sit down, evertime they hear the word "Give".

The next time, stand up and sit down on the word "Give", but also clap on any word that starts with the letter "S".

The third time through, stand up and sit down on every word that begins with "G" and clap on the words that begin with "S".

You'll most likely sing a solo as the kids are concentrating so hard...or just following your moves. And watch out, your quad's might be sore the next day! :)

Rain, Rain

Audience: Junior and Senior Primary
Preparation:: Bring a squirt bottle with water and an umbrella

Details:Use this activity to review a song they already know. Invite a child or primary leader to come up to the front (pick someone you know will ENJOY this and not get upset if they get wet). Have them hold the umbrella and tell the group that the better they sing the more it rains. . . and if they sing REALLY well, the storm just might blow under the umbrella. As they sing, squirt the umbrella and if they are doing super well, sneak a few squirts underneath on the child. It is also fun to surprise the kids by occasionally squirting those sitting down.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Mystery poster

Audience: Junior and Senior Primary
Preparation: On posterboard, write out words to a verse of a song. Then, prepare blank strips to cover up specific words. On one side, put a question mark, on the other, write the word it is to cover up, lightly in pencil. Tape the blank strip with the question mark over the word.

Put into Action:
For Junior primary, we reviewed the verse we learned last week. Then, I challenged them to see who really knew the song. We went in order of the words, but when we got to the question strip, I would ask who knew what word should go there. I had the sunbeams take off the strip, to keep them involved. After we uncovered a line, we would sing the entire verse. Then we would uncover more words.

For Senior primary, we did the opposite. I had 3 or 4 children come up at a time and pick up the question strips. They looked at the pencil word, then covered up that word on the poster board. Then we sang the verse, covered up more words, sang again, etc. We didn't cover up all the words, but you could certainly do that!

Singing Dice

I made these blocks from 8x8 boxes I got at a mail & packing store, for about $1 each. I covered the sides with card stock paper in different colors. Then, I put contact paper over that, with clea packing tape on the edges to seal it. Now, I can use them for practically anything! You just tape on whatever you want, and take it off when you're done.

Today I put the different verses on one. Each side was labeled either Verse 1 or Verse 2. (You can use as many verses as you want..well, up to 6 that is...)

on the other box, I labeled each side with a different way to sing the song. These include:
Girls Sing
Boys sing
Stand up
Eyes Closed
Stand on one foot
March in place
Sing standing backwards
Clap Pattern (You can make these up, but today I did a 3/4 pattern. Slap the knees on beat one, then clap twice for beats 2 and 3)

There are more than 6 ideas, so I can change them out and add new ones, thanks to the laminated box.

You can also put dots on each side, to resemble a giant dice.

Hello! Hello! (CS 260)

This is an idea I got from somewhere...

I printed out several flags from different countries, then wrote how that country says "hello" in their language. I stuck them on sticks, to resemble actual flags. Then, when we have visitors, a visitor picks a flag, and we sing the Hello song in that language. Some become a mouthful because of the multiple syllables, but the kids still love the challenge.

Here are a few we've done:

Italy, "ciao" (chow)
Greece, "Yia Sou" (yah-soo)
Germany, "Guten Tag" (gooten-taag)
Hawaii, "Aloha"
Franch, "Bonjour"
China, "Ni Hao" (knee-how)
Spain, "Hola"

cut up word strips


Print out words to a verse in large font, including correct punctuation. Then, cut into little word strips, containing 1, 2, or 3 words. Finally, place in a sandwhich bag. Make enough of these so that 2-3 children have one bag.

Senior primary

Put into Action:
I did this without even going over the verse once with the kids. I breifly gave them instructions that in each bag were words to the verse we would be learning. They were to assemble the wordstrips in order, while I sang the verse. I did not even mention anything about "finishing first". They were motivated enough!

Then I sang. And sang, and SANG! I wouldn't be suprised if I sang it 20 times! The room was silent as all 32 children worked hard to put the verse together. Once, I stopped to get a drink of water, and I heard cries of "sing it again! Sing it again!". My primary presidency was nice enough to come up and sing it with me. As they finished, I told them to sing along with me. By the end, I quized them with the "question poster". (See "teaching" on the side bar for a link to this post)