Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Red Rover

I was asked a few weeks ago to post some ideas that would work specifically for small primaries.  Although many ideas can be adapted to fit smaller groups, this is one idea that would be great to involve everyone in a small primary.

-Choose several pairs of song titles or lines/phrases of songs.  For example:  I'm following in his ways & I'm learning to love as he did.
-Write each word on a 3x5 card or piece of paper, write large enough that the word can be read from across the room.
-Scramble the words, and tape a word on each child's chest.  (you could also hang them from yarn or string, but this would take longer).
-Divide the kids into 2 groups.  Their job is to keep the words that belong in their sentence, and Red Rover over the words that belong to them from the other side.  If it's a really hard one, give them clues such as the title of the song, or a visual aid that you used when you taught it.
-"Red Rover, Red Rover, send Suzy right over!"  Suzy runs to the other side to join her real sentence, and the kids place her in the correct spot.

This is particularly good for lyric recognition, and for the kids to put the lyrics in context.  As they sort out the sentence, they will actually remember it better than just having it told to them.  Depending on the number of kids in your group, everyone can participate at least once or twice.  You may be able to get through 2 or 3 sentence pairs, I would guess, depending on how quickly they catch on!

More ideas for small primaries to come, but for those of you who work with small numbers, what are some things that work for you?

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  1. This is a great idea! My primary splits into junior and senior and the senior is usually pretty small, like 8 kids or so, so I'm always looking for things that will work with them! I have some ideas that work well with small primaries on my blog as well: http://sunbeamsinging.wordpress.com

  2. I love this idea!!!
    How would you adapt it for Junior Primary who often can't read?

    1. You could use pictures. For instance, for The Wise Man/Foolish Man, you could have a picture of a rock, sand, rain, house, wave, etc. Some of the JP kids can read at least simple words, so this would be a great time to assign older and younger kids together. The little ones love to participate, even if it means an older child is whispering in their ear everything they need to say!

      If you don't want to use song titles, just put different pictures with songs assigned on the back. When the person reaches the other side, just sing the song that's on the back. If you're smart, you'll just put a number, that way you can get to the songs that really need it! "oh, we got #6...#6 is the hardest song in the program!" Aren't we clever?

      Those are just a couple of things that pop into my head. Anyone else? Thoughts?

  3. Please keep the ideas for a small primary coming!! Thanks!

  4. Hi! I just found your blog after looking for ideas on how to teach singing time to a small primary. I was called as primary chorister a couple of months ago and it is the hardest thing that I have ever done! I have two kinds in my primary, yes, you read that right... TWO. One is brand new from nursery and the other is a five year old who HATES all of primary and most Sundays has to be sent to her parents because she starts hitting people. What can I do?!

    1. Wow! 2 kids! That might be a record! One thing that immediately pops into my mind is to take music out of the equation for a couple of weeks. I know, that seems weird, but hear me out. If you're having trouble with a 5-year old, chances are she is bored, over stimulated, doesn't trust you, lacks confidence, feels threatened, or some combination of those things (among others, I'm sure). If I were you, I would take a few coloring sheets and some crayons, move the chairs back, lay (lie?)on your tummy and color with her. The 3 year old will like this too, for a few minutes at least. Ask her if she's excited to start school, if she thinks Justin Bieber is cute, etc. Get a conversation going, then work in what her favorite primary song is. "I love that song! We should sing it together." Then sing. Maybe even have your pianist (if you have one) play some songs softly on the piano. That's it, then singing time is over. If this works, do it again or something similar the next week. Once she knows you love her, she might be a little more receptive to your musical advances. I would also encourage you to involve the parents as much as possible - talk to them about your concerns, ask them their advice on dealing with her. They don't want her in their class any more than you do, so work together to find a solution. Email me and let me know how it goes - if we need to brainstorm a little bit more, let's do it. Pray, pray, pray, and love that girl to bits. I hope to hear from you!


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