Saturday, January 29, 2011

Snowball Fight

Fifth Sunday tomorrow. We have worked so hard on If I Listen with My Heart, so its time for some easy going mid-winter fun!

First, I'll play the DVD I made of If I Listen with My Heart. I haven't played it for them since I introduced them to it the first week of January, so it will be a real treat for them to sing it with the music video and see for themselves how far they have come.

Then, Snowball Fight!

I'll give everyone a half sheet of paper and pencil, and ask them to write their favorite primary song on it. The teachers and presidency members will have to step in here and help the ones who can not write.

As soon as everyone has a song written on their paper, I'll tell them we are going to have a snowball fight.

(Then I am going to wait for the reverent calm goodness! They get so excited!)

On the count of three, I'll ask the children to wad up their paper into a "snowball" and get ready to throw me! I'll say something like this: "I'll count down from three, and when I say "snowball!" everyone throw their snowball at meeeee!" Of course, I'll give a few false starts, like, "3....2...1....macaroni and cheeeeeese!!!"....and then finally I'll brace my self mentally and say it!

With the mess of "snowballs" around me, I'll pick up one, open it, and we'll sing the song written on it. We'll continue opening snowballs and singing until we are out of time.

Can't wait!

Have fun!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Crazy Hat Day!

Tomorrow I am doing Crazy Hat Day! 

 Ususally for Crazy  Hat Day! I use my son's HUGE sombrero. I put all kinds of tacky items on it, dangling from it, all over it, you get the picture. I review the song and whichever class I judge sings the best, their teacher gets to wear "the hat". It's crazy fun, and we get a lot of repetition in. My hat usually ends up looking something like this, except huge, because of the sombrero:

However, I was scrolling through some other blogs and I really liked this version from The Crazy Chorister. I have a lot of hats collected, so instead of the one big hat, I'll have one of the children from the best singing class come to the front and choose a hat from my big green bag. Oh, I have three or four tacky wigs, too, I'll throw those in.

So tomorrow we are going to be reviewing verse three of If I Listen with My Heart. We will begin by singing the entire song all the way through for a refresher. Then I'll talk about the words in verse three and explain what they mean, and how they relate to the pictures in my flip chart. The children already know the song pretty well at this point, so we will then play Crazy Hat Day! to practice singing the third verse.

Have fun!

This was an absolute blast. We had reverence. We had fun. And what a fantastic song, right? I so love being chorister!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

If I Listen with My Heart Singo

This Sunday I want to focus on learning the second verse to If I Listen with My Heart.  I will begin by using the flip chart to sing the entire song to refresh their memories. Next I will show them the pictures of the second verse from the flip chart and talk for a minute or two how the living prophet (President Monson) speaks the things that Christ would say to us if He were on the earth now. I'll explain how sometimes the prophet might ask us to do something easy, like helping our neighbor, or something hard, like going on a mission. If we listen with our hearts we can imagine the words coming from Jesus.

We will sing the second verse once more, then play my version of SING-O!

You will need:
  • 1 six sided die. 
  • Something to mark the pictures on the SING-O Cards (M&M's, Cheerios, or a crayon to mark an X).
  • SING-O cards: Open this PDF to print your own cards:
This is what they look like:
    You will notice that the two cards are identical. Open the the pdf, then print one copy to photo copy for as many as you need. Cut each copy in half so each child has their own identical card.
    How to Play: Roll the die. If a 3 is rolled, choose 3 children to come to the front with their Singo cards and candy/cereal/crayon. Tell the children that everyone will sing the second verse to If I Listen with My Heart, and as they sing, the three children at the front will each choose one word from the song that matches a picture on the card. After they have revealed the word and picture, everyone marks the same pictures on their cards with a candy/cereal/crayon. 
    Repeat until all the pictures on the card have been "marked" and everyone reaches SING-O together! If you are using candy or cereal for markers let the children eat them as a reward. You will be able to sing the second verse at least 5 times. Remind the children each time to listen for words that match the pictures. 
     Finish by singing the all three verses to the song again. 
Here's a handy key of what each picture represents.
 Please note that there is not exactly one picture for every word in the song. I will ask the kids to interpret the pictures in their own way. If they use a different picture for the same word when sung the second time, that's okay!We'll just keep singing until we have marked all the pictures. Most importantly, there will be no wrong answers. 

    Have fun! 

I am writing this post script after having done this activity today. I have to say, Jr. Primary was a little rough! Haha!
  • Was it because I estimated that there were 60+ children between the ages of 3-8 in our Jr. Primary today? 
  • Was it because two new sunbeams on the front row were overlooked and didn't even get a hand-out until the last round of singing? 
  • Was it because I didn't explain thoroughly from the beginning what the crayons were for? 
 Maybe all of the above. YES it was chaotic with the noise of the papers, and not everyone sang because they were coloring and talking about their pictures.  But I didn't see any boredom or anyone napping, no Sunbeams crying for their moms and dads. *licking my finger and marking a point in the air*

Senior Primary went very well and just as I had hoped it would. And there were only about 30 some children in there so it made it a little easier. Even the boys on the back row participated, so that alone made me feel as if I had succeeded!

It was fun. :)

Saturday, January 8, 2011

If I Listen with My Heart (verse one) & The Iron Rod (chorus only)

This Sunday I am going to review the first verse of  If I listen with my Heart, as well as introduce the chorus of The Iron Rod (Hymns 274).  

The Iron Rod is suggested in the 2011 Outline for Sharing Time (page 3, “Week 3: The words of Christ will tell us all things we should do.”) for next week’s sharing time. I thought I'd get a head start on teaching it so the children will recognize it and be eager to sing it when they participate next week.

Here is my PDF for The Iron Rod flip chart:
The Iron Rod Chorus.pdf
Print and display these four pages at the front of the room:
4 Pages                                                              

Download* these four sound files:

Children’s Laughter (wav format only)
(picture of girl with Christ, "If I had been a little child when Jesus lived on earth,")

Walking (wav or mp3 formats) 
(Picture of Christ with children, "I would have liked to walk with Hm and listen to his words.")

Page Turn (wav or mp3 formats) 
(Picture of boy reading scriptures, "but as I search the scriptures I can hear His words of peace,")

Heartbeat (wav or mp3 formats) 
(Picture of girl with arms folded, "and if I listen with my heart I hear the Savior's voice.")
*I downloaded the wav files and I will play them from my laptop, holding a microphone to the computer speaker. You could do the same, or might want to download them in mp3 format, burn them to a cd, then play the cd for the children. Another option would be to download them as mp3’s into itunes and them play them from your ipod or other mp3 player. However, the Children’s Laughter link only has the wav file, and would not work in my itunes. It would have been easier to just take my ipod to church, but I really liked that particular file, so instead of searching for another sample of children's laughter in mp3 format, I opted to play them all from my laptop. 

You will also need a picture of Lehi's Dream. This is from the Gospel Art Book:


Sing all three verses of  If I Listen with My Heart using the flip chart to help the children remember how the song goes.

Ask if anyone remembers what verse one is about. (A: Listening with your heart to hear the Savior’s voice in the scriptures.)

Tell them you have some sounds you want them to listen to, and that everyone will have to be especially quiet so all will be able to hear.  After each sound is played, choose a child to come to the front and match the sound with the picture it correlates with. 
After all four sounds and pictures are matched, ask a child to come to the front and place the pictures in the order that we sing them in the song, If I Listen with my Heart.  Once the pictures are in order, sing  the first verse of the song

Next show the picture of Lehi’s dream. 

Briefly explain the dream found in 1 Nephi Chapter 8. Explain how Nephi wanted to see the things his father saw, so he asked God to show him. Jesus told Nephi that the iron rod in his father’s vision was “The Word of God”,  (1 Nephi 11: 25) Ask the children where we can read the word of God?  (A: In the scriptures.)

Introduce the song The Iron Rod (chorus only) using the flip chart below. Sing it to them once, then invite them to sing it with you the second time.
The Iron Rod Chorus                                                                                                                                   

Be sure to explain how the iron rod represents the word of God (the scriptures), and that as we hold on to the iron rod (by reading and studying the scriptures) we must also listen with our hearts to hear the voice of the Savior.  Sing both songs again if there is any extra time. 

Click here to open The Iron Rod Chorus.pdf  
Print one sided on white cardstock, laminate the pages, and bind across the top.

Have fun!