Sunday, January 18, 2009

Activity: I Lived in Heaven

I had planned on taking the words to the songs and having some words missing, then having the children fill in the blanks of the song. As I drove back home from spending the weekend in Phoenix, I had a lot of time to think (my husband was not feeling well and spent 2 of the 3 hour drive asleep). I then came up with a different idea for this week's activity.
To start this is my plan for Singing time each month: (See Previous Post)
Week 1- Learn the Song
Week 2- Continue to Learn the Song and start to fix it in their minds
Week 3- An activity focused around Making the Learning solid
Week 4- Free Activity

So this "Focused Activity":
For Senior Primary- I first reviewed all the verses. I took my book (the one I made for the song) and we sang the song, with the words showing, then once with only the pictures and then once with no helps. Then we re-sang where ever they were struggling. After that I gave each class an envelope that contained 2 of the lines from the song. Their job was to first put the line in order, and then to figure out where in the song the line belonged.
These lines I just printed out on the computer. I printed it out on landscape page format so the lines could be long, "Andy" font, and font size 120. I wanted them big enough to see from once we placed the lines on the board. The printing took all of 5 minutes to retype up the words, select all the settings, and print. I then cut the phrases out during sacrament meeting (not entirely recommended, unless it is the only time you have).
In each envelope, were two lines. There were next to each other in the song so as to not confuse the younger of the children. So each verse had two envelopes. They were to tape the lines together. That made 6 envelopes. Since we only had 5 classes with teachers today, I split the oldest boys’ class into two groups and their teacher oversaw both. I gave them a few minutes to put the lines in order, while my pianist played the song in the background.
Once all the groups were done, we were all say the next line and that group would come forward and put their line on the board. With each completed verse we'd sing the whole verse. All the children seemed to really enjoy the activity. I could hear each of the groups singing the song while working, and they all took it as a challenge.
For Junior Primary- we only did the above activity with the last verse. They hadn’t learned the last verse yet. Since they have been having so much of a harder time, I went much slower with them. Today while learning the 3rd verse we first said and repeated the lines a few times and them sang each line a few times. Since one of the suggested reasons why the very little children are having a hard time is the key of the song, I thought I would try just saying the line so the music didn’t get in the way of learning the words. I think I will try this technique while learning ‘How Firm a Foundation’ since it too is not going to be an easy one for the young children. Back to the activity part, I split the third verse into the 4 lines and then the children into 4 groups. They put the lines together with the help of their teachers. I was fearful that all words with no pictures would trip up those children that can’t read yet, but with the help of the teachers, no of them seemed intimidated at all. In fact, they seemed to really enjoy the challenge. I took the pictures that went with the lines out of the book and had two children from each group come up for each line (one to hold the line the other to hold the picture), and we sang the verse, then the whole song. I think it really helped the children become familiar with the words, the last verse I had more children singing then on any of the other verses.

Alternative Focused Activities (could be applied to many songs):
-Use the words of the book idea, but have the children make the pictures. Assign each class to draw a picture for a page in the book. Then sing the song with their pictures instead of whatever you made.
-Have the lines on the board. Either have them mixed up or cover some the words.
-Assign each class to learn a line. Then as the song is sung have that class stand and perform their line.
-Have colors on a sticks, or just large circles to hold up. As we sing hold up a color, the children who have the color on, then get to stand and sing while that color is being held up.
-Put the a picture (preferably the one you may have used to teach the song) on the board and also the printed line that goes with that picture. Have the children match the line of the song with the picture and sing the line once matched.

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