Primary Sacrament Program
Parents and kids (well, most kids) look forward to it all year. Some are able to show off their speaking skills, others are able to overcome a fear of being in front of an audience. Some, both older and younger, have even been heard to say it’s their favorite Sunday meeting all year. Unfortunately, though, it might not always be met with such enthusiasm by those who are in charge of organizing it.
Yes, the annual Children’s Sacrament Meeting Presentation is fast approaching. What will your ward do to make it a fun and uplifting experience—for everyone?
The 2006 Sacrament Meeting Presentation theme is “I Will Trust in Heavenly Father and his Son, Jesus Christ: Their Promises are Sure.” Above all else, the purpose of the Sacrament Meeting Presentation is to provide a way for the children to demonstrate that they are gaining a testimony of this statement through their words and songs. If you can accomplish this, that is, demonstrate the testimonies of the children, then you have met your goal and there is no way anyone would leave the meeting having not felt uplifted.
Keeping that goal in mind, here are a several ways to make your ward or branch’s program extra special.
The Speaking Parts
1. Have at least some of the children write their own parts, or at least part of their parts. For example, week three of the January theme reads, “The promises found in the scriptures bless all of us.” You could give the child that start to the talk (have him or her say that line), and then have the child read the following, filling in the blank with his or her own thoughts: Reading the scriptures has blessed me by _____________. Depending on the “blank” this might be better suited to some of the older Primary kids, but even young ones can fill in blanks (with the help of teachers and parents). For example, a statement as simple as “I am thankful for _____ and _____ and _____” (November’s theme) can be a very touching testimony of gratitude, even coming from a little Sunbeam—especially when it is truly coming from the child speaking.
2. Dedicate one Sharing Time to discussing the themes of the Sacrament Meeting Presentation. Prepare by writing questions about the twelve themes and have the children answer those questions during Sharing Time (use pictures and songs to support your lesson). This will help them become better acquainted with the whole theme and concept, and will also help in writing (or having the kids write) the program as your questions get answered.
3. Assign each Primary class a different monthly theme. Have the teachers discuss these themes during class and have them make note of different experiences the children share in relation to the theme. For example, have the class members answer such things as the following: I have been blessed by obeying the commandments by… [June theme], or I know Heavenly Father answers prayers because… [July theme], or Ammon is my favorite hero in the Book of Mormon because… [August theme]. Personal experiences and insight are wonderful—you just have to find a way to get the kids to express themselves! Have the teachers and the children write their own section of the program based on their class’s theme.
4. To break up the program a bit, have one class gather around the podium and have that class’s presentation be like a Sunday lesson about the assigned theme (or like a panel discussion). At the microphone the teacher would ask various questions in relation to the theme (or ask certain people to read scriptures) and the class members respond in turn with their answers (have the class script this mini-presentation and practice it during class).
5. Pay attention to those talks each Sunday. If a child gives a Primary talk that could also work as a speaking part in the program, speak to the child or the child’s parent about keeping that talk to use in the program.
6. Have a class (age eight or older) recite as a group an Article of Faith from memory (one that coordinates with that class’s theme) prior to beginning their various speaking parts.
7. If someone in your ward is a great writer or a thespian, ask for that person’s help in writing or creating a play-type program (minus the costumes and theatrics). For example, you could have a family sit on the stand and pretend that they’re investigators, and have certain primary kids pretend to be the missionaries. Set up one or two different scenarios such as this to incorporate into the program. (This type of scene might work well for the January theme—missionaries explaining Moroni’s promise in the Book of Mormon to a family, for example.)Primary Program Ideas for Choristers
1. Decorate a shoe box or something similar and call it your “treasure chest.” Fill it with little goodies and then tie eight different colors of yarn around the box (one for each of the eight program songs). Have the Primary presidency decide whether or not a song is “program-ready.” Once it is, you can have a child cut the string. Once all of the yarn has been cut (once the songs are ready), the children can enjoy the treats in the box.
2. Make a poster with eight multi-colored paper balloons attached to string. Write the names of each program song on a different balloon. As the children begin learning the songs, gradually raise the balloons according to how well it was sung. When all of the balloons are as high as they can go, celebrate with a pre-determined prize for everyone. (The same concept could be applied to flying kites, scoops on a tall ice cream cone, growing flowers, etc.)
3. Mix it up a bit by incorporating some of the following into your program:
· Have one of the kids accompany a song on a musical instrument.
· Have just the boys sing a certain song, and just the girls sing a certain song.
· Have just one class sing a song (maybe “Hands Around the World” while the class members hold hands).
· Have all of the teachers sing a song or a verse of a song (perhaps “Dearest Children God is Near You”).
· Have just the Junior Primary sing a song and just the Senior Primary sing a song.
· Have a brother and sister in the Primary sing a duet together.
· Have a mother/son, mother daughter, or father/son, father/daughter sing a duet.
· For a song with particularly poignant lyrics, have one child go to the microphone to recite the first verse before having all the kids stand to sing the song together (e.g., “I Know My Father Lives,” “Holding Hands Around the World”).
· Have the congregation join in on the last song, last verse of your program.