New and refurbished ideas for LDS Primary Music Leaders (a.k.a. Primary Choristers)

Saturday, June 2, 2012

NEPHI'S COURAGE: IDEAS



"Nephi's Courage" is a fun and easy song to teach without a flip chart. It is what I consider to be an action song that you can put some fun movement to. So I'm Excited to work on this action song because I know I could use a bit more exercise and singing time seems to be the only time I can find time for a WORKOUTif you know what I mean. Here are some ways I've used before to teach other songs that have worked well that I am implementing in introducing or rather reintroducing this month's song.

(Sorry this is so late. Although I have my plans pretty well outlined weeks in advance, finding time lately to formalize it in writing and to post it has been difficult. When I started this blog, I knew it would be difficult with my busy life schedule, but I am determined to keep going because I have so much I want to share.)


GUEST APPEARANCE & SONG SKIT 
With guest appearances, I've used the interview method to introduce songs before and the children always seemed glued to listening to what is being said. I'm going to do a similar take on this by doing it more as a song skit " Guest Apperance".


Doesn't my son make
a great Nephi?!!!

Kids were just mesmerized
by his storytelling.


ITEMS NEEDED
  • Book of Mormon with 1 Nephi 3:7 marked
  • Pictures for each story or the flip chart (optional)
  • Ask an adult to come and play Nephi
  • Have "Nephi" dressed in a simple costume and props to help set the stage (optional)
    • Costume/Props Suggestions: Outfit, leather belt, sword, bow and arrow, headband, wristbands, sandals, brass plates, boat, etc. (mine is simply put together with just some pieces of fabric and safety pins; one to wrap around the waist and then over the shoulder, another to wrap around the waist, then some vinyl for a "leather" belt tied around the waist to help hold the "wrapped skirt" part up and more vinyl cut into a slight cone shape to fit the forearms for the wristbands using some self-adhesive Velcro to help keep them closed and some sandals on the feet—was quick and easy to put together—nothing fancy, but it turned out surprisingly well—the kids recognized who he was instantly, so I guess we copied the picture pretty well.)
  • Make sure your Nephi is familiar enough with both stories told in the song so that he will be able to tell the stories to the children.
    • 1 Nephi 3-4: Nephi obtains the brass plates.
    • 1 Nephi 17-18: Nephi is commanded to build a ship
SCRIPT
  • Start off by showing the Book of Mormon and ask them who the first person that is mentioned in the Book of Mormon.
  • Read 1 Nephi 3:7 (Have SR look up the scripture so they can look at the words as you sing.) 
"And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I awill go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no bcommandments unto the children of men, save he shall cprepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them."
  • Ask the children to listen as you sing the chorus to see if they hear some of the same or similar words (different but with the same meaning).
  • Teach the chorus using the ASL/Actions Combo listed below.
  • While you are singing the chorus with the children the 2nd time, have your "Nephi" walk in towards the end of the chorus and come up front. Act surprised and after you stop singing, you can use some dialog like this:
NEPHI: Hello boys and girls. I heard you singing the words I said to my father, Lehi about being courageous and obeying Heavenly Father's commandments. You sounded really great singing those words to music.

YOU: (Acting a little surprised to see him) Oh, my goodness! Children, do you know who this is?

CHILDREN'S RESPONSE

NEPHI: Yes, that is right. I am Nephi.

YOU: Nephi, we are just learning a song about you and your courage. What do we need to have and do to be courageous like you? 

NEPHI: You need to have FAITH first and then OBEY to go and do the things the Lord commands. If you are faithful and obedient to His commandments, the Lord will provide a way for you to follow those commandments because He truly wants wants whats best for you. And your FAITH grows stronger making it easier to obey.

VERSE 1

YOU: To help us understand about FAITH and OBEDIENCE, will you please share with us your story about getting the brass plates from Laban?

NEPHI: Yes. I would love to.
  • Nephi tells the story. Try to keep it to around a minute or two making sure to point out the key points of the song and story and his faith and obedience.
YOU: Let me make sure we understand what you did Nephi. Let me sing the story to you and the children. Children, when I get to the chorus part that we just learned about Nephi's courageous answer, will you please join in and sing it with me?  (For SR, if they are already familiar with the song, let them go ahead and sing the whole verse with you.)
  • Sing the first verse using the actions so that the children have the opportunity to hear the song and see the actions, then have the children come in on the chorus.
  • Have the children sing the whole verse and chorus with you this time.
  • Repeat singing the verse if time permits.
NEPHI: That sounded wonderful.

VERSE 2


YOU: Nephi, will you please share with us another story that shows us how you had faith and obedience?


NEPHI: Yes. This is when the Lord commanded me to go and build a ship.

  • Nephi tells the story. Try to keep it to around a minute or two making sure to point out the key points of the song and story and his faith and obedience.
YOU: Let me make sure we understand what you did Nephi. Let me sing the story to you and the children. Children, when I get to the chorus part that we just learned about Nephi's courageous answer, will you please join in and sing it with me?  (For SR, if they are already familiar with the song, let them go ahead and sing the whole verse with you.)

    • Sing the second verse using the actions so that the children have the opportunity to hear the song and see the actions, then have the children come in on the chorus.
    • Have the children sing the whole verse and chorus with you this time.
    • Repeat singing the verse if time permits.
    NEPHI: Again you all sounded great!

    VERSE 3

    YOU: Nephi, in these two stories you have shared with us, what would you say is the message you want to leave with us?

    NEPHI: The message is to have FAITH when the Lord gives us commandments and asks us to obey.

    YOU: But you know, sometimes I am tempted to choose another way. When I’m discouraged and think I cannot try, what can I do Nephi?

    NEPHI:  Do what I did. Have FAITH and be OBEDIENT to the Lord's commandments and you will find happiness. (Nephi then sings the chorus.)
    • I will go; I will do the thing the Lord commands. I know the Lord provides a way; he wants me to obey. I will go; I will do the thing the Lord commands. I know the Lord provides a way; (short pause for emphasis) he wants me to obey.
    Depending on time, you may only be able to have the children sing each verse through one time so that you can get through the whole song skit. This skit is to mainly help introduce the song and to help give the children a better understanding of Nephi's scripture stories in the song. Next week you can focus more on learning it. I will only have my Nephi there this Sunday (thanks to my youngest son's help with playing Nephi—he is going to look so Nephi—tish with his dark tan and strong muscles), but if you only want to work on a verse a week and are able to to have your Nephi there each Sunday, you could split this up.

    ASL AND ACTIONS 

    This is a fun one to use actions with in telling the stories in the song. Action songs are great to use as a warm up in singing time and in getting wiggles out.
    I have used both ASL and miscellaneous actions in this song. Here is my version.


    (Do these actions "left-handed" so the children can mirror you)


    VERSE 1
    For the ASL links, click on the word.
    • The Lord [ASL: God] I use "God" instead of "Lord" since we have used it a lot in many songs and I like how pointing up to heaven helps to point out better who it is.
    • commanded [ASL: Commandment] (I chose to use commandment instead of command since we have already used commanment in other songs like "Love One Another" and it will be consistent with the third verse as well as command is the same as reply that I will be using for reply.)
    • Nephi [ASL: the letter "N"]
    • to go and get the plates [make book with hands.]
    • From the wicked Laban [make a mean look on your face and place your fists on your hips as you pan the room while singing]
    • inside the city gates. [with palms facing you, touch the finger tips of both hands together and open and shut like a gate]
    • Laman and Lemuel [as you sing each name, extend left hand out to the side palm up and then the right hand]
    • were both afraid to try. [turn hands palms down and shake both hands like they have the "shakes".]
    • Nephi [ASL: the letter "N"]
    • was courageous. [flex your arm muscles showing strength with arms bent at the elbow into a 90 degree angle.] 
    • This was his reply: [ASL: Reply]
    CHORUS
    • "I will go" [with your index finger, point to self on "I" then extend the arm out front keeping the finger pointed]
    • "I will do"  [with your index finger, point to self on "I" then point up in the air keeping finger pointed] 
    • the thing the Lord commands. [ASL: Thing—can do with both hands if you want to involve the other hand in the action]
    • I know [ASL: Know
    • the Lord provides a way; [ASL: Way]
    • he wants me to obey.  [salute]
    • Repeat chorus actions but fold arms on the last "obey"
    VERSE 2
    • The Lord [ASL: God]
    • commanded [ASL: Commandment]
    • Nephi [ASL: the letter "N"]
    • to go and build a boat. [pretend like you are hammering something in your other hand or waves.]
    • Nephi's older brothers [as you sing each name, extend on hand out to the side palm up and then the other hand] 
    • believed it would not float. [wiggle your hand with palm down as if a boat floating on the waves of the ocean and then on the word "float", have your hand sink downward like a sinking ship—could also at the same time shake head in "no" fashion" depending on how coordinated you and the children are]
    • Laughing and mocking, [with one hand slightly in front of mouth, pretend to laugh and point your finger with the other hand]
    • they said he should not try. [shake head and finger in a "no" fashion"]
    • Nephi [ASL: the letter "N"]
    • was courageous. [flex your arm muscles showing strength with arms bent at the elbow into a 90 degree angle.] 
    • This was his reply: [ASL: Reply]
    CHORUS

    VERSE 3
    • The Lord [ASL: God]
    • gives us commandments [ASL: Commandment]
    • and asks us to obey. [salute]
    • Sometimes I am tempted to choose another way [do each action pointing your index fingers in order to the tempo as you sing keeping the elbows close to the body and using the elbows to pivot back and forth on: 
      • Sometimes: extend left arm out to the side
      • I am: extend right arm out to the side
      • tempt—: pivot left arm back to cross in front of your body
      • —ed to: pivot right arm back to cross in front of your body
      • choose an—: pivot both arms back out
      • —other: pivot both arms back in to cross in front of your body
      • way: pivot both arms back out
    • When I'm discouraged [frowny face and pretend to cry and rub fists on eyes]
    • and think I cannot try, [shake head and index finger in a "no" fashion"]
    • I will be courageous, [point to self first then flex your arm muscles showing strength with arms bent at the elbow into a 90 degree angle.]
    • and I will [point to self]
    • reply: [ASL: Reply]

    INTERVIEW VERSION
    Here is a synopsis of how I would do an interview version.
    • Introduce to the Primary that you have a special guest that has come a long way to visit us and to teach us about following the Lord's commandments.
    • Introduce Nephi.
    • With a toy or real microphone and clipboard in hand with your questions to help you look more reporter-like (optional), pretend to interview Nephi asking questions with Nephi answering to help tell the story that correlates with the first verse.  
    • Make sure to keep this to the point, quickly moving along and keep it to about a minute to two for each verse interview. 
    • You can repeat back to the Primary what Nephi said by singing the first verse so that the children have the opportunity to hear the song. Before you sing, you could say, "So let me make sure I understand your story and what you did" or "Children, this is what happened" and then start singing the first verse with actions. Have the children come in on the chorus.
    • Have the children sing the whole verse and chorus with you this time. Repeat a 3rd time if time permits.
    • Repeat the process with the second verse.
    • You can repeat the process with the third verse but instead of telling a story, continue the interview by summarizing the message of the song in the third verse, for example: 
    REPORTER: Nephi, in these two stories you have shared with us, what would you say is the message you want to leave with us?


    NEPHI: The message is to have FAITH when the Lord gives us commandments and asks us to obey.

    REPORTER: But you know, sometimes I am tempted to choose another way. When I’m discouraged and think I cannot try, what can I do Nephi?

    NEPHI:  Do what I did. Have FAITH and be OBEDIENT to the Lord's commandments and you will find happiness. (Nephi sings the chorus.)

    • I will go. I will do the thing the Lord commands. I know the Lord provides a way. He wants me to obey. I will go. I will do the thing the Lord commands. I know the Lord provides a way. (Short pause for emphasis) He wants me to obey.
    Another way to introduce this song is by doing a dramatization.



    DRAMATIZATION & STICK PUPPETS

    • Assign each verse to a group of children along with a bag of simple props that go with their verse. You don't have to use costumes and props.
    • Post all the words on the board. 
    • Have the children review their verse in their group and figure out how they can pantomime the song when it is sung.
    • Sing each verse at least a couple of times while the group of children pantomime the song.
    • You may want to sing the song slowly so the children will have time for their acting.
    • Make sure to tell them to keep it simple.
    • After your initial intro and song acting with your groups, if time permits you could take turns having a few children come up and put the props on and act out the song story while you sing. This will give you several opportunities to get in that repetition singing.
    • Instead of physically acting the song out, you could use stick puppets. Here are some figure drawings that you could print out on card stock, laminate if you prefer and adhere them to the craft stick tongue depressors from various issues of The Friend magazine.
      • Colored Drawings for verse 1 & 2: page 1page 2page 3 from the Feb. 2008 & Feb 2012 issues.
      • Line Drawings for verse 1 & 2: page 1page 2page 3 from March 1996, Nov 2000 and March 1992 issues.

      BELOW IS THE LINK TO THE SCRIPT AND ACTIONS
      Gotta go! My daughter just called and she is in the hospital in labor! YIPPEE!






    Nephi's Courage Script-Nalani

    7 comments:

    1. Thank you for the direction. I'm going to use a puppet for the guest speaker who will be Nephi since I can't find someone on the fly. I have a huge muppet puppet with arms. You're the best! I appreciate you!

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    2. You are AMAZING! I cannot thank you enough for all the time and effort into posting all these wonderful ideas on your blog. It has helped me so many times. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!!

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    3. Wow! What a FUN shinging time you prepared! You are amazing! Thanks for your wonderful ideas! We all appreciate your willingness to share your ideas and talents with us! Now I just have to figure out to do this in Spanish...I live in Peru...and don't speak Spanish! VERY difficult to do singing time in a foreign language! :) Thanks again!

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    4. This is just awesome! I wish I had your son for my Nephi! :) His costume was absolutely perfect!

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    5. Uh, is your son a body builder or something?

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      Replies
      1. Yeah, he looks pretty good doesn't he! He doesn't do body building per se, but he does like to work out, but mostly he does martial arts. He is a 2nd degree black belt. Now if I could only be in as good of shape as he is or I was once upon a time. SIGH!

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    6. LOL Angela :)

      Your blog is great, thank you so much for all of the creative ideas!

      ReplyDelete