Primary Olympics: 2 weeks

I’m going on vacation for the next two weeks! Yay!

So I’ve planned an activity for my sub that will carry over both weeks. Thanks to all the people online who posted ideas for Olympic Games! Here are the two I used for inspiration:

I started by checking up on what games will be played in the 2012 Summer Olympics (You may notice that baseball is not going to be included for the first time). Then I made a list of games I thought could be adapted to be appropriate for Sunday.

Idea List:
Archery: Throwing something at a target
Silly walking
Relay: Pass this around
Hurdles: Jumping over things
Discus Throw: Frisbee
High jump
Long jump
Marathon: Can you do this for the whole song?
Triple Jump: How many jumps can you do?
Tennis/Badminton/table tennis: Racquet game
Basket ball: Throw things into a basket
Kayak: slalom (whitewater kayaking)
Equestrian: Pretend horses
Soccer: Kick things
Gymnastics: Ribbon, hoop, balance beam, creative or synchronized movement to music
Marital Arts
Sailing: Toy boat
Synchronized Singing
Volleyball/water polo: Ball toss
Weight lifting: Can you lift this for the whole song?
Wrestling: Thumb Wrestling

I took the list of songs we need to practice for the program and matched them with games that I thought would be appropriate to my goals and the sacredness of the song.

Croquet was an Olympic sport for one year in 1900

Goals for this lesson:

  • Practice the words to the primary songs
  • Practice appropriate volume for the chapel
  • Plan a fun lesson so the substitute has a great time!

Here’s what I came up with:

  • As a Child of God 3 verses Synchronized swimming: everybody stay together while you change the ‘how to sing’ signs (loo/la, hum/words, everyone/only kids)
  • H 239 Choose the Right 3 verses Relay: (This is going to get a little crazy) Pick 4 kids. Have them each stand in a corner of the room. Assign the rest of the kids to one of those corners/teams. The team captains get to walk the torch from group to group (you’ll have to walk with them the first time). The group whose captain is holding the torch sings; everyone else hums. Continue for all 3 verses.
  • 159 Stand for the Right Wrestling: Thumb wrestle with your neighbor
  • 103 When I am Baptized 2 verses Volleyball/water polo: Balloon toss (make it water polo by spraying the kids with a squirt bottle). Blow up a balloon. Let the kids “keep it in the air” but they have to stay sitting in their seats or you’ll take it away. It is very hard for the kids to sing and play—so make them do it again without the balloon if needed.
  • 82 I wonder when He comes again 1 verse Gymnastics: Have 8-10 kids come up front to wave streamers during the song. Everyone else can do free-form arm movements.
  • 120 Nephi’s Courage 3 verses Marathon: can you do ___ for the whole verse? (jumping, standing on one foot, hold your hand in the air, spin) have three kids some up front and each picks a different action for each verse.
  • 281 The Wise Man and the Foolish Man 2 verses Weight Lifting: can you hold this heavy thing for the whole song? Have one or two kids come up to the front and hold a heavy book for the whole song.
  • 78 I’m Trying to be like Jesus 2 verses Archery: throw a bean bag at the target drawn in chalk on the board to determine how you’ll sing the song (fast, slow, loud, quiet)
  • 276 Do as I’m doing  Swimming, Rowing, Whitewater Kayaking, High Jump, soccer, Ride a horse, Martial Arts, etc. (Bonus song!)
  • Jr only: 266 If you’re happy Racing: do it as fast as you can (Bonus!)
  • Sr only: 158 Dare to do Right Racing: do it as fast as you can!

The songs can be done in any order, hopefully getting through 5 per week. If more songs get done then they can repeat their favorites the second week.

See you in August!

Props/items needed:

  • Torch
  • Ribbons
  • bean bag
  • chalk
  • how to sing signs
  • balloon
  • squirt bottle
  • heavy book (scriptures)
  • stopwatch (optional)

Teaching songs during prelude time

I’ve been introducing “The Handcart Song” during prelude time for the past few weeks, and I think it’s time to teach it to the kids.

On the sheet I give the pianist every week I have a section for “prelude suggestions.” I’ll write down the songs we’re singing that day that the kids haven’t sung in a while, or use it to slowly introduce new songs. Sometimes I let the kids chat because I want them to be able to make friends. Probably 75% of the time I’ll bring out the Loo and La pictures so the kids can practice the melody without words. If it’s a song they know pretty well I’ll use the “hum/words” or “everyone/kids only” signs.

Two weeks ago the pianist played the song and we clapped the rhythm “one two-and” with out hands on our thighs. One two with the right hand, the and with the left hand. It’s the rhythm of “some must push” and “some must pull.” Then I asked them what that rhythm reminded them of. I got various answers: horses, walking, etc. I sang them them words and we talked about the feeling the rhythm gave, of moving forward.

This week I’ll teach them the actions and we’ll sing it together a few times. We’re not singing this in sacrament meeting so I’m not worried about getting it polished.

Thanks Nalani for your post about this song! It’s almost the same as what I was doing, and I like yours better! I love the big “V” and “O” at the end :0)

Last week we learned “Kindness begins with me” since the lesson specifically asked for it. I did the same process just sped it up to one week: listen to the piano, loo and la with the piano, listen to me, then I sing and you repeat. I used ASL signs that we had already learned:

I want to be kind to ev’ryone, (kindness)
For that is right, you see. (right)
So I say to myself, “Remember this: (say)
Kindness begins with me.” (kindness)

We repeated the sign in time with the music for the whole line.

The kids picked it up really fast since it’s such a simple song, and I think they had a good time.

More Rocks!

Last week I taught the meaning of “The Wise Man and the Foolish Man,” talking about building our lives on the rock of the Gospel of Christ. In Sr Primary I had the kids “find a rock” by telling me a gospel principle they heard in the song we just sang (we sang some of the program songs)

I want to do the same kind of meaning review this week, so I thought some more about rocks.

I’m going to bring in a container of crystal-cut beads. You can buy a package of 300 in almost any variety of colors for about $3 at a craft store and use a coupon to bring the price down even more.

I’m going to introduce the beads by explaining that gems are rocks. I’ll probably bring in another garden rock just for comparison. Some rocks are harder than others. If I can find a soft rock I may break it with a hammer. Some people think that Diamonds are the hardest rock in the world. Diamonds are the hardest rock to scratch. However, they are not the hardest rock to smash. Corundum gems (sapphire and ruby) are almost as hard to scratch, but they resist smashing much better. Man-made sapphire is used to make windows for airplanes and armored cars. I’ll ask the kids if they’ve ever seen a car windshield with a crack in it and explain that sapphires are so hard that you can hit them with a hammer and they won’t crack. I’ll ask them, “Would you like to be protected by something that hard and strong?”

So, now that I’ve made gems interesting to the boys as well as the girls, I will compare the Gospel of Jesus Christ to this kind of rock. A pure, sparkling rock, very hard and able to withstand all the problems and trials of life. Then we’ll sing “The Wise Man Built his house upon the rock.”

For the rest of the time we’re going to review the program songs we didn’t get to last week. The kids will get a rock (bead) for every gospel principle they can identify in the songs. In Jr primary I’ll try to give each kid one bead. For Sr I’ll let them earn as many as they want.

For Jr Primary I haven’t decided if I’ll give them their rocks at the beginning or the end. Sometimes having something to play with helps them focus, but sometimes it’s distracting. I’ll take the mood of the group and decide what to do, but I think I’ll give each of them a bead when I start talking about rocks. I can always have them put them under their chairs.

If we had fewer kids in the primary (we have about 75) I would bring some thread and needles and let the teachers make each kid a necklace.

The WIse Man Built His House

In a clear plastic tub I’ll put some sand.

I’ll make two tiny houses made of 2″ square foam sheets glued together with hot glue.I may make three, one to pass around the primary.

I”ll glue one to a large rock.

The other I’ll “glue” to a small hill of damp sand.

We’ll sing the song, “The Wise Man and the Foolish Man”

Then I’ll use a watering can to “rain” on the houses and watch what happens.

We’ll read the scripture references that go with the song and talk about what it means to “build on the rock”

Then we’ll review the program songs and try to find ‘rocks’ in them (gospel principles). The kids can come up and pour a little water on the houses for every gospel principle we discover. (I’ll have a presidency member help them)

Since I’ve been teaching the kids sign language I’ve become very sensitive to actions we do. I don’t want the kids going out in the world thinking that every action they do is a sign. So, I’ve pointed out to the kids that the sign we traditionally do with “foolish” is the ASL for crazy, which is very different from foolish. Then I taught them the sign for foolish which is really quite fun to do. And, the traditional action for wise is ASL for think, which we learned in another song this year, but we also learned this sign for wise. You might also want to know the signs for sand, rain, flood, rock, house.

I plan on encouraging them to make whichever action they want, but I’m going to do the ASL signs that occur in the other songs we’ve learned since that’s what they are used to seeing from me. I think that by the time we get to the program they will all be doing the same thing I am.


Other References:

Scroll down to see the answer to the question: “What it the symbolic meaning of the word Rock in the scriptures?”

Upon this Rock” 1981 April Conference talk Bruce R McConkie