First of all: We’re going to sing all three verses of Choose the Right for our opening song!! Wahoo! The kids did great last week! I’m going to give it a few months before I ask the teachers to stop singing though.
Second of all: The Primary has been asked to sing on Sacrament meeting on Easter Sunday. I love my ward! I am so glad the leadership appreciates that the kids are a very important part of the church! In other words, although I didn’t plan in singing during Easter because of conference the week before…how can I refuse a request?
However, it needs to be something simple and spiritual since it’s Easter Sunday and we only had two Sundays notice. So we’re going to sing “Love one Another.” It will incidentally go along very nicely with the talk I’m giving that Sunday…
I am hoping to get an instrumentalist to play the obbligato part. If we do, then we’ll sing the song like it suggests in A Children’s Songbook Companion: First verse kinds sing, second verse instrument plays and kids sign, Third verse kids sing and sign and the instrument plays the obbligato. I want to add a crescendo on the first time through so that the whole song builds up to the line “ye are my disciples” and then decrescendos to the end. 3rd time through I’m focusing on the ASL signs
All that is well and good (and will be beautiful by itself), but I want to take it one step further. I want the kids the understand what they are singing and recognize the Holy Ghost confirming the truth of the words as they sing it.
Goals for March 25:
- polish the words and signs for “Love One Another”
- gain a testimony of the words.
- Remind the kids to follow me as a conductor (at minimum volume-wise)
- Explain and testify that the Holy Ghost will use their singing to touch the hearts of the people in the congregation if they are singing with pure intent.
Things I will need to bring:
- White fuzzy gloves
- piano/forte staff
- word strips
How I will accomplish my goals Jr Primary:
First I’m going to show some pictures of Jesus. I’ll tell them Jesus loves us very much and we’ll talk about what he did for us. Next, I will show the picture of The Last Supper and explain it (Jesus wanted to have all his apostles together for the Passover feast before He had to leave them alone. He also wanted to tell them some very important things because they would not be able to see Him anymore. One of the important things Jesus said to his disciples was…) then I will sing the song for them acapella.
Then I will not ask them to sing it with me but I’m sure some will and while the intro is playing I’ll ask: “What did Jesus tell his disciples?” and we’ll talk about the answer when I’m done. Then I will teach them the signs we don’t know (explaining what the words mean as we go along) and we’ll practice with the piano/forte staff, singing the song in groups of three (once with words, once signs alone, once words and signs. I’ll have an adult helper changing out the kid who does p/f for the 1st and 3rd times.)
When they’ve got it down pretty good I’ll put on my white fuzzy gloves. I’ll remind them that the gloves mean that we need to listen for the Holy Ghost inside of us. Time permitting we’ll sing the song here. Then I’ll pull out the p/f staff and explain that, “Just like the staff, my hands will tell you when to be loud or soft” (big gestures=loud and small gestures=soft plus I’ll use my left hand to shh and encourage them to be louder) then we’ll practice being loud and soft. “Being loud and soft can help the people in the congregation to hear the Holy Ghost better.”
If my instrumentalist is ready to go, we’ll practice with her for the closing song
First we’re going to learn the song, “The Books in the Book of Mormon.” Because the kids are learning from the Book of Mormon this year, I thought it would be good to have them able to find things in the scriptures quickly. The lesson is on “Following the Prophet,” so I’m going to mention how these books were written by the prophets and apostles in ancient times. Just like when we watch conference and listen to modern prophets. I’ll teach it by having the kids open their scriptures to the index. And I’ll have cheat sheets handy for those kids who can’t see any scriptures. The tune is “ten little (fill in the blank, angels, Indians, etc) so I’m confident they will remember it and be able to sing right away. This should take 5 minutes to get ready for and sing it two or three times. Then I will ask them to turn to John 13:34 in their (already open) scriptures.
Here is where the word strips come in. The text for Love one Another comes from John 13:34-35 almost verbatim. I’m going to print the words out. The words that are in common will be on colored paper and the words that aren’t in common will be on white paper. I will put the words up on the board in two columns–one labeled “Love one Another” and the other labeled “John 13:34-35″The words on white paper will stay where they are and the colored paper will be moved from one column to the other. I’ll start out with all the words on the “Love one another” side. As we sing the song I’ll have one or two helpers move a word group from the song side to the scripture side. (Sort of like when you put all the words on the board and then erase them one at a time). The Sr. kids already know the song, (we learned the signs for it last week when I had extra time) so this is mostly a distraction so I can get them to sing the song again and again while we work on the spiritual aspect. Same as Jr primary for the rest.
Wow that was a lot of explaining. I hope it makes sense to you, because I feel much better about my plan having written it out and worked through it all. Thanks for helping me with my calling!