Friday, February 27, 2015

Prophets are Called by God - March Week 1 Lesson

Wow, the sharing time lesson for the first week of March is perfect for a Singing Time Lesson/Activity I prepared almost two years ago - in May 2013, called Prophet Bingo.

You probably shouldn't do this one if you don't coordinate with your Primary leader that is teaching sharing time, otherwise, you'll teach most of her lesson - but if you two coordinate, you can teach sharing time and singing time together, which is actually the ideal way to teach in Primary, anyway. It's just really hard to do when you have songs you have to teach by the end of the year and they have a lesson to teach - this week's lesson is a lot more accommodating toward that ideal!

The lesson talks about giving children clues to match up descriptions for Moses, Lehi, and Joseph Smith, and then ending with a discussion about President Thomas S. Monson.

So, here are the rules:

1. Put up a picture of each of the following four prophets. Make sure they are the same size and backed with the same color cardstock so children can't see which prophet is behind which paper when the paper is flipped over and magneted to the chalkboard.

2. Put four descriptions about the prophet on the board as well, also on the same size papers, flipped over.

3. Each child that earns the privilege to come up has to say one thing they can do to follow the prophet. Be prepared to give examples if they struggle. Since you are doing this with someone in your Primary Presidency that is over sharing time that day, they can be responsible for this part of the activity.

4. Once children make a match between a quote an a prophet, sing that "Follow the Prophet" song. There is a song for all of these prophets, even if they are not in the book.

The Prophets

1. Moses
(vs.5 of the song)
Exodus 3:4-5
"I was called by God as He spoke to me from a burning bush," or "I came down the mountain with the ten commandments written on stone tablets," or "God called me to write the first five books of the Bible," or "God called me to lead His people out of Egypt."

For the image: Moses in the Gospel Art Kit: He's under "Old Testament," on the sixth row, or just do a search for his name.

2. Lehi
(you can find one of the made-up versions for Lehi here)
1 Nephi 1:5-6

Hint: "I dreamed about the tree of life, and that those who held to the rod were able to reach the tree and partake of the fruit."

For the image: Search for "Lehi" in the Gospel Art Kit. There are several images like this one:

3. Joseph Smith
Joseph Smith - History 1:16-17
I found a version of this song and put in a flip chart a few years ago. It's from the Friend magazine. Unfortunately, I didn't write down the year of the Friend magazine because I had a link directly to the site ... and now it looks like the link is broken, but you can find the words in my flipchart until I can update with which Friend issue has the lines of the song.

Hint: "I went to the forest to pray to my Father in Heaven about which church was true."

Once again, search in the Gospel Art Kit for images like this one:

4. President Thomas S. Monson
(you can find up one of the made-up version for President Monson here)

Hint: "I am the prophet today."

Search in the Gospel Art Kit for images like this one:

Conclude - Per instructions from the manual, "Point out that Moses was called by God, Lehi was called by God, and Joseph Smith was called by God. Tell the children that all prophets are called by God."

End: Talk about how they can follow the prophet

Friday, January 16, 2015

I Know That My Savior Loves Me Song Review

I'm back ... I am subbing for our Primary Chorister on Sunday, and wanted to share what I was thinking about doing in Primary for Singing Time for a song review of "I Know that My Savior Loves Me."

The more I hear "I Know that My Savior Loves Me," the more I love it, and the beautiful things the words in the song teaches us and reminds us about our Savior. I want to help the children really think about what they are singing by attaching images of the Savior and images of heart to popsicle sticks. This focuses the children, of course on Savior and Love.

Each time we sing the word "Jesus," or "Savior," they will hold up the image of the Savior on he popsicle stick. Every time they sing the word "love," or "heart," they will hold up the image of the heart, on the popsicle stick.

You could also have them hold up the picture of the Savior every time they sing "he," "His," or "Him." This adds a LOT more time that they will need to hold up the stick picture of the Savior. They can do this on the second time around, to add some variety.

You can also have them point to themselves every time they sing the word, "I."

I love this activity particularly for the new Sunbeams, but even Senior Primary tends to respond well. For the Senior Primary, I'll follow up on some activities that our chorister was doing last week that she planned to continue forward, with some fun rhythm games while singing the song, involving clapping hands with their neighbors instead of just keeping the clapping to themselves. I love this kind of activity in Primary - so engaging! Here's an example of how I've previously lead the clapping game. If you've never done it before, start there, before taking it up a notch!

(Also, if you waited until Sunday morning to find these notes, you can just substitute an action, like "stand up and sit down" for the images ...)

I might use colored images, but then again, these line drawings are the least expensive to print out in large quantity:

1. An image of the Savior found on Media Library:

2. A heart - easy to draw of course, but here's one found in the Media Library:

3. Popiscle sticks - you can find these at the craft store or in the craft section of many stores for just a few bucks.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Thanksgiving Singing Time

I love preparing the children for the Primary Program, and teaching them about the monthly themes through music ... but I also love that small window in November when the Primary kids aren't preparing for a program, and we have a little more time to explore all of the amazing songs in the Children's Songbook.

This is one of the Singing Time activities I like to do every year - have children draw feathers from a basket and help fill in Thomas the Turkey.

The kids love this one - and it's easy to have a fun time, but also encourage reverence because everyone wants a turn. I just say, "I'm drawing names from the jar so that everyone has a chance to be called up ... but if you're not being reverent, I'm going to put your name back into the jar."

This Sunday's Sharing Time is about forgiveness, so I think one easy way to incorporate that is to have a few of these feathers be questions about forgiveness, and songs about forgiveness.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Planning singing time for the day of the primary program

How is your Primary program planning going? Our Primary program is this coming Sunday. I am so excited! 

This is my favorite activity for the Sunday of the Primary program. All you have to do is remember to pick up some blank paper and pencils from the library! That's it! No additional prep, and the kids love it.

Friday, September 26, 2014

General Conference Bingo Emphasizing Singing Time!

For those of you not familiar with Conference Squares ... the church makes them for families to print out to use during General Conference. The concept is the same as Bingo. Children can put a Starburst or some other fun piece of candy on their square when the topic comes up during a conference talk. The church has seven different versions that you can print out.

I made a similar version to Conference Squares based on the songs that we are singing in the Primary program this year. We will give each primary child a General Conference activity packet, which will include these two new Singing Time Conference Squares. Every column is themed to one of the songs, and the song name is at the head of the column. I hope this will help them to see parallels between what they have learned through music, through sharing time lessons, and through General Conference.

Since two of the songs are optional, your ward may be singing a slightly different set of songs, but the themes will be the same, regardless, since even the optional songs should be based on the lesson theme for the month that the song was taught!

Download from Box

Download from Box.

You can print them by right-clicking on the images above, or you can download the jpgs here.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Keep the Sabbath Day Holy - Singing Time Review Songs

I always liked to do a fun review of all the primary songs on one of the last Sundays of the month, to make sure the children haven't forgotten the songs that they have been learning for the program.

This Sunday's theme is about keeping the Sabbath Day Holy. Our primary children have been a bit rambunctious lately too, so the timing couldn't be better to talk about this wonderful topic.

I'd like to recommend an idea that I'm actually going to be teaching as part of the lesson, but if I were still a chorister ... I'd do this instead.

Take seven paper plates, and decorate them to look like the earth. Each paper plate represents each of the six days that it took to create the earth, and the seventh day of rest. Associate each "day" with one of our primary songs that we have been learning.

Here's the fun part - what to do with all these earths. I can think of a few fun visuals but right now, I'm leaning toward having a symbol that depicts what happened on that day, and letting the children match the symbol with the earth, and then singing that song.

This sounds a lot harder than it is, because to match the items, there will be easy hints. These are just images I grabbed off the Internet to illustrate the idea, since I haven't made anything yet. Another thought is that instead of making seven of the same earths and matching them to a picture of "what happened that day," it could also be one half of the same picture, for junior primary, but with the same matching questions.

Day 1 - "I'll seek the Lord early while ..."
"... in my youth."

Made Day and Night
Day 2 - "How could the Father tell the world, of love and tenderness?"

"He sent his son a newborn baby, with peace ..."

Made the Sky

Day 1 - He created Light and Dark.
I'd draw a circle that was half black, half yellow. Then, the hint would be that on the earth, it would say, "I'll seek the Lord early while" and the hint on the half black, half yellow circle would say, "in my youth."

Day 2 - He made the sky.
I'd draw a big puffy sky. Then, the hint for the matching earth would be on one side, "How could the Father tell the world, of love and tenderness?" The answer on the other side would be, "He sent his son a newborn babe, with peace ..."

Make sense?

I'd hoped to put up real images. This is simpler than it looks. This is how I interpret Genesis 1 and 2 so be careful that you agree:

Day 3 - Made land, seas, grass, herbs, seeds.

Day 4 - Made lights to divide day and night, seasons, moon, stars

Day 5 - Made water, water animals, birds

Day 6 - Made land creatures, man

Day 7 - He rested

Tell the children the object is to match up all seven earths, so that they can also REST. Each earth is either a song, or a question about how they can keep the Sabbath Day holy. If they don't make a match on their turn, then they also have to give an example of activities that are good to do on the Sabbath.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Singing Time Focused Around Lesson Topic - Family Prayer

There are so many fun ways to teach music this month, focused on the August theme, "Participating in Wholesome Activities Will Strengthen My Family."

The Week 1 Lesson is about Family Prayer, and gives the suggestion to invite children to "share something he or she might thank or ask Heavenly Father for in family prayer."

The children already know so many wonderful songs about prayer, why not combine the sharing time and singing time lessons to help emphasize this point.

Use the wonderful resources in the LDS Media Library on the topic of prayer to print out a picture, to cut up like a puzzle.

The list of

Then, put the following items on the back of each puzzle - either a question, or a song to sing. If they get a quote, then they just have to read the quote:

Quote #1
“When I was a little child, my parents taught me by example to pray. I began with a picture in my mind of Heavenly Father being far away. As I have matured, my experience with prayer has changed. The picture in my mind has become one of a Heavenly Father who is close by, who is bathed in a bright light, and who knows me perfectly.”
—Henry B. Eyring
“Exhort Them to Pray,” Ensign, Feb. 2012, 4

Quote #2
We can pray each morning to recognize opportunities to serve others. “Heavenly Father will guide you, and angels will assist you,” said David L. Beck, Young Men general president. “You will be given power to bless lives and rescue souls.”
3 -- (June 2014 visiting teaching message)

Quote #3
“Successful … families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities.” (Prayer,

“The Savior told us, ‘Pray in your families unto the Father, always in my name” (3 Nephi 18:21). In our day, the Church urges us to have family prayer every night and every morning. … Family prayer is a powerful and sustaining influence [a long-lasting power to help us change for good]. – President James E. Faust, April 2002 General Conference (1920-2007)

Question #1
In family prayer, we thank Heavenly Father for our blessings and ask Him to help and bless our families.
What could you THANK Heavenly Father for in family prayer?

Question #2
In family prayer, we thank Heavenly Father for our blessings and ask Him to help and bless our families.
What could you ASK Heavenly Father for in family prayer?

Song #1
(Write down song titles from the various prayer songs listed above.)

Song Trivia
Finish the sentence. "I'll seek the Lord _______ while in my _______"