Choose the Right – Hymn #239
- Items needed: 2 poster boards, 5 sheets of paper that match the color of the poster boards, 1 small bag, 1 sheet of brightly colored heavy paper, removable double-sided tape, magnets.
- Print and cut out the song pictures. Put the small pictures in the bag. Glue the picture of the girl and the picture of the boy onto a brightly colored heavy sheet of paper. Cut out to make a brightly colored border around each picture. Glue a strong magnet to the back of both those pictures.
- Print the word strips onto the papers that are the same color as the poster boards. Cut out the word strips, and using the double-sided tape, place the first five word strips, evenly spaced, across the top of one of the poster boards. Center the matching pictures below each word strip, and glue them onto the poster board. Continue doing each row in this manner. When you come to the point where no more pictures or word strips will fit on one poster board, butt the next poster board against the last line and glue or tape the two poster boards together. (If the word strips and pictures have been butted up against each other from top to bottom, the rest of the pictures and word strips should fit perfectly on the next poster board.) Put the large picture on the last square. Note: Be careful to put the word strips in the correct order because they are not in the right order on the printed papers.
Using strong magnets, attach the poster to the chalkboard. Explain to the children that the pictures on the poster will be used as visual aids for the song, and the poster will also be used as a game that will help them memorize the song.
In senior primary go through and explain the pictures and words of each verse. You may wish to have them sing each verse after discussing it.
In junior primary go through and explain the pictures and words of the first verse. Then have the children sing that verse, but have them pay attention to the order of the pictures and words as they sing. Explain that after they sing the verse you are going to have two or three of them come up and put the lines of that verse in order on the board. Use the pictures with the words (cut each page in half vertically) for this activity. Take the poster off the board before they do the activity. Give the children magnets to attach the pages to the board. Hold up the poster so only the children in their seats can see it, and have them sing the song while the three children are putting the verse in order. This helps the junior primary get familiar with the words before they play the game. Do the same activity with the chorus, the second verse, and the third verse.
Below are some suggested explanations of some of the pictures and words:
“In its right the Holy Spirit guides. And its light is forever shining over you when in the right your heart confides.” – Ask the children if they know what this means. Explain that if they have a sincere desire to know what is right, and they are doing their best to do the right things, the Holy Ghost will guide them and help them, especially when they confide in heart-felt prayer the choices and things they need help with.
“Let wisdom mark the way before.” – A picture of an owl is used to represent the word wisdom. Owls are symbols of wisdom because of their ability to see in the dark, which is symbolic of using wisdom to do the right things in a dark world full of difficulty and temptations.
“Let no spirit of digression overcome you in the evil hour.” – Digression means to veer off the path you are on. So the spirit of digression means to think about veering off the right path during a time of temptation. The evil hour is a time of temptation.
“Be safe through inspirations power.”- If you follow the guidance of the Holy Ghost you will be safe from the harmful effects of wrong choices because you will be doing the right things and not the wrong.
“There is peace” – The picture shows a dove and an olive branch. One of the reasons the dove symbolizes peace is because the dove that Noah sent out of the ark came back with an olive branch, which meant that the world was at peace again, in many ways. Point out the picture of the world and ask, “If people around the world were choosing the right would their be any wars, anger, or hate?” Explain that they can find peace in their own lives as they choose the right – the peace of forgiveness, the peace from not feeling guilt, etc.
“There is safety for the soul.” When you are choosing the right you’re safe because your spirit isn’t being harmed by wrong and sinful choices. The boy in the picture represents being safe by obeying the laws and doing the right things.
Memorizing Activity Game
Once the words and pictures have been explained, and the children are familiar with the tune, play the following game to help them memorize the words. Show the children the pictures of the boy and the girl, and explain that they will use one or the other as the game piece that they will move across the board. Choose one of the pictures to use for the first time they play.
Show the children the bag and show some of the game pieces that are in the bag. Explain that there is a matching game piece in the bag for every picture on the game board (and a couple extra that are needed for certain pictures). Explain that the game starts at the top of the poster. A child will draw pictures from the bag until they find one that matches one of the pictures on the top row. That person then puts the picture of the child onto that square. Another person (probably the next person in their class or row) draws pieces until they get one that matches a square next to the square the picture of the child is on. It can be to the right or left, or diagonally down to the right or left, or straight down. They won’t want to go back up because the object of the game is to get to the square that says “Let God and heaven be your goal.” There is no game piece for the finishing square in the bag, so in order to move to that square they have to get a game piece that says CTR, because in order to return and live with God in heaven they have to choose the right while on earth.
All the children will be singing the song as the game is being played. They may have to sing the song several times before they get the picture of the child to the ending square, but as they get familiar with how the game is played you can have them try and get to the finishing square before they finish singing the song once.
Each time they sing the song take word strips off the game board. Start with taking all the “choose the right” word strips off, then take off the word strips for “in its light”. Then work on each section of the song, such as taking off the word strips for the chorus, then the word strips for the first verse, then the second, and finish with the third.
Note: You may want the older children be the first ones to play the game, because it may take a few times before the younger ones understand how the game works. You may also need to bring a stool so the younger children can reach the pictures at the top of the game board.
This activity will take several weeks to complete. To put some more variety in the activity, you may want to print off an extra set of the big pictures and use them to test the children. Stop playing the game now and then and take the poster board off the board. Have a couple children put the pictures of one of the verses or chorus in order on the board. They will have to sing it in their head to remember the right order. Have the other children be the judges of whether it is correct or not. If that is too difficult, use the pictures with the words at first to test them.
Note: I used several of the fun visual aids that Carrie on Sugardoodle used in her flip chart, so I appreciated her sharing her ideas.