Saturday, April 30, 2011

Praise to The Man

So, here we are.  The song that we've all been worried about since we first opened the 2011 primary outline last fall.  The big one.  The hard one.  The big words.  The challenging music.


I'm going to start things really simply with this one, given the complexity of it and also knowing that I really need to review Mother's Day songs with them and I haven't even seen them in almost a month!  (General Conference, vacation, Stake Conference - phew!)

I'm going to start by playing them an MP3 of Scotland the Brave, played on bagpipes and drums.  I've been listening to it on my phone now for a couple of days and man! - that song is amazing!  It gets me excited.  You know the kind of excited you are when you can't figure out why you're excited?  It's a great, triumphant feeling.

Here is a link to a youtube video that is kind of fun to watch.

So I'll start by playing the music, and I'll turn the volume up so they can really feel it.  Then I'm going to ask them how it made them feel.  I'll share with them that this song is a song of victory, of triumph over enemies.  At that point, I'll retell the story of Joseph Smith and how this song was written after he died as a song of triumph - Death shall not conquer the hero again!

All of this should only take a few minutes, then I'm going to pass out the following cards to each class.  Here is the link.  (Because my primary is combined, I always ask the oldest class to come up and sit with the 2 youngest classes and help them participate.  This keeps them engaged, and helps the little ones keep up with the rest of the primary.)

They are for the chorus only, and that is all I plan on teaching them tomorrow.  I'm just going to sing the chorus a few times while they put the words/symbols in order.  This type of activity works really well for my primary, so I do similar things quite often.  But hey, if it ain't broke, why fix it?!

So what are YOU doing to tackle this doozie?  Have you already had success?  Share with us!  We'd all love to hear, and it's never too late to share ideas.  Some people are still a few weeks away from this one, and our plans can always change with the  right inspiration!

{added Sunday after church}  The mp3 was a total hit.  The arrangement I have is by the Nashville Pipes & Drums, and it starts out very reverently, so the kids were just listening quietly (I told them that if they got restless I would have to turn it off).  Then there's a pause and the drums start in and the pipes get really loud.  The kids were visibly excited, and most of their little heads started bobbing up and down with the rhythm.  When the song was over, they wanted to hear it again!  I asked how the song made them feel, and some of the comments were amazed, excited, like I want to march, like I just won a race, like crying, reverent, hopeful.  It was awesome.  I didn't have time to do the chorus activity I had planned, but I decided to sing the entire first verse alone and if any of the kids knew the words have them join in.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that most of the kids knew most of the words, especially the chorus!  We're going to have a lot of fun with this song, and I know that they felt the Spirit today as we sang about our Prophet Joseph Smith.  Oh, how I love this calling!!!!!  And be sure to read the comments, one has an excerpt from a letter from Joseph to W.W. Phelps that is so tender it gave me chills.  Thank you, Trish!
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  1. Thank you! I've been pouring over ideas until my lesson plan was way too complex for today! I love the simplicity of your idea and think it will keep their attention much better for introducing this song.

  2. I am having my 10-11 boys class sing the first verse and then all together we will do the 3 verse. This makes it so much easier and I do love so much when the priesthood sings. I have 6 boys who are very eager to help, and it doesn't hurt that they have been bribed with Candy bars :)

  3. I find the history of W.W. Phelps and Joseph Smith very powerful, especially when you think of this song. W.W. Phelps turned against the brethren, was excommunicated and testified against Joseph Smith in court. Joseph Smith was sent to Liberty Jail following the testimony of W.W. Phelps and others. A couple years later, W.W. Phelps wrote a letter to Joseph Smith asking forgiveness and asking to be admitted back into the church. W.W. Phelps letter is powerful. Joseph Smith's reply is even more powerful. In the letter, Joseph says, "It is true, that we have suffered much in consequence of your behavior-the cup of gall, already full enough for mortals to drink, was indeed filled to overflowing when you turned against us....However, the cup has been drunk, the will of our Father has been done, and we are yet alive....We say, it is your privilege to be delivered from the powers of the adversary, be brought into the liberty of God's dear children....'Come on, dear brother, since the war is past, For friends at first, are friends again at last'." (HC, Vol. 4, pp. 162-164) (W.W. Phelps letter is found in HC, Vol. 4, pp. 141-142.) After reading the letters, I think it gives SO much more meaning to the song.

  4. Can you explain the order that the signs for the chorus go in?

  5. Here is the order for the chorus:

    __ (pro-o-phet)

    __ (hea-ea-ven)

    hold please symbol (for ty-raaaaaants)
    __ (va-a-a-ain)
    __ __
    __ __ (he-e-ro a-gain)

    On the last one, you may want to draw on the board the correct orientation - otherwise they may look at it upside down and get confused.

    Have fun, I hope that helps!

  6. OK, the dashes didn't work on that comment. Grr. It's pretty much in the same order that they are on the PDF, though.

    Auto-formatting. Sigh.


  7. Can you explain the card? I don't get the dash thing and words. Thanks


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