With the 4th of July happening this weekend, I thought I would teach My Flag, My Flag. I've always wanted to do a 4th of July themed singing time but I never had enough time to teach both a 4th of July AND Pioneer Day themed singing time. But this year things panned out well with a simple monthly song that I will only spend 1 week reviewing (I Love to See the Temple) and 5 Sundays in July!
So I thumbed through The Children's Songbook and thought My Flag, My Flag looked simple enough. My Country would also work well...in fact, any patriotic song will work well too!
I'm heading out tonight to find mini flags (hopefully from Target in their dollar section, 3 for $1.00 I've heard) but I'm going to guess that you can get them at any dollar store. I'll keep you posted when I find some! You'll need at least 12 and if you use my Junior activity, you'll need one for each child.
If I had planned this out earlier, I would have just bought these from Amazon:
You could also make your own or scarves would work well too.
Before primary, write out the words to the song on the chalkboard.
For an attention getter, we'll simply sing the song through and quickly discuss the meaning of the song, why we have flags, what they represent, etc.
For Senior, we will be playing a variation of Capture the Flag that I found HERE. I've simplified it quite a bit so let me explain:
Place the flags in a container (I have a small red bucket - also from Target's dollar section :) at the very front of the primary room on the floor. Divide the primary in half. The goal of the activity will be to retrieve a flag by walking (stepping so heel touches toe) from the back of the room to the bucket. The number of steps you get to take depends on the score the 2 judges (teachers and/or presidency members) give the team for how well they sang. Scoring is based off of this criteria:
- 1 point for everyone singing the correct words
- 1 point for everyone participating
- 1 point for reverence
- 1 point for no distractions (papers, neighbors, etc.)
- 1 point for feeling the spirit
For a total of 10 points (from 2 judges) which equals 10 steps.
So, the first team sings the song and is judged on a scale of 0 - 10. A child goes to the back of the room and steps the same number of steps as their team's score (their heel must touch their toes when they step). Where they end, put down a marker (I'll be using a piece of masking tape) so the next time it's that team's turn, they will know where they left off. Then the next team goes and repeats. Each team will take turns until a team's toe touches the bucket of flags. Once touched, that team takes a flag back to their team. The team with the most flags at the end wins.
To make the challenge gradually harder, erase various words from the chalkboard between turns.
For Junior, I am contemplating using the same activity, but without teams and simply letting the "best singers" come up and step from the back of the room to the bucket as the rest of the primary sings. The only problem with this is the rest of the primary gets bored really fast as they have to just sit there while one kid gets to do the activity. My other thought is to simply hand a flag to each child and we will do various activities with the flags:
- Raise the flags when we sing the word "flag," "wave," rhyming words, etc.
- The kids will "bounce" the flags to the rhythm, then to the beat
- Create large "rainbows" with the flags as we sing each phrase
- Pitch lead (mover the flag up as the notes go up and down as the notes go down)
- Teach them how to lead 4/4 using a simple chalk drawing on the board
This Junior primary activity would also work well with Senior primary too! The Senior primary could also sing several of the patriotic hymns found in the Hymn book.