Family History Songwriting Activity: Reunion Fun
Two years ago, my Dad’s family gathered for an epic reunion. His parents, their 10 children and spouses, and over 50 of their grandchildren convened for several days of activities and evening programs. One evening included a songwriting activity that turned out to be entertaining and storytelling-inducing.
Each family was given a piece of butcher paper and an assignment to re-write the lyrics to a familiar song to be about my dad’s family growing up. We chose “Popcorn Popping.”
Each family separately came up with their verse and then the butcher paper was taped up to the wall. Next, we all sang the song! It was funny to see which parts of the family history each family brought out in their verse. I recorded us singing it and just watched it, laughing all over again. It was nice to see my grandpa in the video. He has since passed away and I sure miss him.
This activity was easy to prepare and fun to execute.
Here’s how to do it:
- Divide the family into groups. Our groups were each of the ten kids of my grandparents and their family.
- Copy the song for each group and divide the song up into sections. You’ll need as many sections as there are groups. You can repeat the song however many times you want.
- Highlight and number the sections. Number the corresponding poster board
- Give each group the following items:
- the prompt. i.e. “Rewrite the lyrics so the song is about growing up in the Elder family”
- a copy of the song with the part you want them to re-write highlighted
- a piece of notebook paper and a pencil
- butcher paper or poster board
- a marker to write on the poster
- Tape up the posters in order
- Sing the song together and record it!
One of my favorite stories told during this activity is an anecdote about how my grandma dealt with sibling rivalry and fighting among her ten kids. As you can imagine, with ten kids, there was some of this. Two of her teenage sons were fighting over who got to eat the cake that her teenage daughter baked. Grandma solved the problem by taking the cake, which was in a glass pan, and throwing it out the open window! Problem solved.
This post is part of the #FHforChildren blog link up. See more fun reunion ideas for all ages here: