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 https://www.lds.org/children/resources/topics/family-prayer

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, LDS.org)

Quote#4
“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 _______"

Friday, June 20, 2014

Paper Doll Singing Time - Song Review or to Continue Learning a Song

I have been so aware of the Family theme all year, and am loving it. I hope the lessons that are being taught are sinking in as much for the children as for the leaders. I was thinking it would be fun to have a singing time activity around Paper Dolls, aka, Little Families :)

You can do this as either a song review or to continue learning this month's song. (I share how to make a paper doll at the bottom of this post.)

As a song review, each set of paper dolls could represent one of the songs that we have been working on toward the primary program. However, rather than writing the name of the song, to make it harder (second picture below), write a line from the song on the paper doll.

To continue learning a song (instead of as an overall song review), each set of paper dolls has a line of the same song on it.



As a song review, children would first have to identify the song, and fill in any empty lines on the paper doll (helps them with remembering specific lyrics), and then sing the song as a primary.

To continue learning the same song, children would be required to sing up to the point in the song they are learning, that the doll they chose represents OR fill in a missing word on that song, then put the paper dolls up IN ORDER so that by the end of singing time, the dolls are in the order of the lyrics of the song.

The object of the game would be to sing enough songs to be able to string the dolls across a poster (or a drawing on the chalkboard). Children earn the right to put the doll on the poster by correctly guessing the song, then singing the song with the primary.

For example, you could draw a simple picture on the chalkboard and say you have a family member that is lost, but if everyone holds hands, you can get them all back home. (i.e., sing enough songs by choosing enough paper dolls to string them across the poster).



You could actually put the dolls up on the board so that the hand of the paper doll from one set has to touch the hand of the paper doll from the next set. Some other fun themes would be stringing them across the river, like pioneers helping each other across, or stringing them across a drawing of the earth because we are all children of God, no matter where we are from.

Since paper dolls are easy to make, you can even send the children home with their own sheet of paper to cut out their own paper doll, as an incentive. Maybe write the names of the songs around the edges of the outline of the paper doll.

Conclude by sharing your testimony about Heavenly Father's plan as it relates to being children of God and each other's families.

How to Make a Paper Doll

1. Take a sheet of paper, and fold it back and forth, accordion-style, making about four or five folds in the paper.



2. Once your paper is folded, draw your "doll" on it, making sure the arms go to the ends of its fold.



3. Cut your doll out, making sure to cut the arms out to the edge of the paper. That's it! You're done. Unfold to see your results.



4. Write the name of the song, or a line of a song, or even a question about the song on each set of dolls, and you're ready to go!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Family History - I am Doing It - new flip chart!!

Wow, can you believe it's already June???

I'd love to hear what songs your ward primaries chose for the "free choice" June selection around priesthood ordinances and temple work, and how it can bless your family. Our ward primary will be singing "Family History - I am Doing it."

I compiled a new *flip chart for both verses of this song in honor of the new month and new song, since as far as I know, our primary has not sung this song in years! Here's a sneak preview of just some of the pages:



Go here to print your own copy, or send me your email address, and I'll try to pay attention to new requests!

*“Children’s Songbook,” page 94
Words
and music: Jeanne P. Lawler, b. 1924. (c) 1982 IRI; revised
Art from
https://www.lds.org/media-library/images/categories/gospel-art?lang=eng

This flip chart contains words and images for noncommercial church or home use. This notice must be used on each copy made. 



Saturday, May 24, 2014

Singing Time Song Review (and lesson review) for the Last Five Months

** Revised 5/25 evening! Our primary chorister did this today, and as a result, I added some modifications in italics.

++++++++++++++++++++

This idea is a song review that helps the children to think about what they have learned in the last five months. The game is based on helping to cement the correlation between the sharing time lesson and the singing time lesson for each week, from the last five months.



This game is a Jeopardy of sorts, where each category is from each month, and the answers are from the song. I've put the questions and answers in the chart below. Everything in ( ) is for your reference only, and should not be on the questions that the children see.

Put the headlines and questions up on a board (the items in bold in the table below) and let children decide which paper to flip over to answer.

It's important not to forget to SING during Singing Time so the object of the game would be to figure out the song that each column represents, and then to sing the song. One way to do this is to have them guess and sing the song after getting THREE of the questions in the column answered correctly since you won't have time to get through all of these questions in a 20-minute singing time.

Or, another way is: put different points on the back: 100, 200, 300, etc. If the children want to guess and sing the song for a column they can earn an additional 500 points. Tell them the goal is to, as a group, get up to 3000 points by the end of singing time. I strongly discourage making this a competition against each side of the room. It tends to drive the spirit out of the room, and I assume for that reason, we are counseled not to use competitions in our lessons. However, if you give them a group goal, they have fun with it, without the meanness that sometimes happens with competition. You can even give them the scenario that they are a big family and you want everyone to make it to the end together, as a family.

*** The children ended up singing less than we would have liked so to get more actual singing in, I would modify this so that the children can guess the song after each question. Give them a few tries to get the answer right and then if they do, let them sing the song. They can still answer the questions in the column, but this way you can ensure more singing.

***** Our awesome chorister added in a "lightning round" where children could answer all of the question in one column and earn a ton of points at once.  This was helpful because there were way more questions than could be answered in 20 minutes.


January –
Heavenly Father Prepared a Way for  Me to Return to His Presence

(34 - "He Sent His Son")
February –
Heavenly Father has a Plan for His Children



(164-165 - "I Will Follow God's Plan")
March- Jesus Christ is Our Savior




(193 - "I Stand All Amazed")
April – The Family is Central to God’s Plan




("The Family is of God")
May – Families are Blessed when they Follow the Prophet


(Ward Primary's Choice, ours is "The Prophet Said to Plant a Garden")
Who did Heavenly Father send to tell the world the pathway we should go? 


(Jesus)

(week 2 lesson - Heavenly Father provide a Savior and makes it possible for me to return to his presence)
Where did the plan for my life begin?



Hint: My life has a plan. My life has a purpose; in ______ it began.

(heaven)
(week 1 lesson: Heavenly Father has a plan for his Children)

Our Savior died on the cross. Who did he die for?



(for me! all of us!)
Hint: I tremble to know that for ___ he was crucified.

(week 2 lesson: Through the atonement of Jesus Christ I can repent and be forgiven of my sins.)
Fill in the blank.
The f___ is c_____ to God' plan.



(The family is central to God's plan - week 1 lesson.)
How does God speak to us in modern day? 




(through prophets)
(week 1 lesson)

Hint: (In our primary, the song is "The prophet said to plant a garden" so our hint would be: "In modern-day revelation, who said to plant a garden?"
How could the Father tell the world of sacrifice, of death?

(He sent his son to die for us.)

(week 2 lesson)

What choice did  I make in Heaven?



(to come to this lovely home on earth and seek for God's light to direct me from birth ... or they could just say, "gain a mortal body" :) )

(week 2 lesson: Heavenly Father commanded Jesus Christ to create the earth as a home for his children.)
Where was our Savior before he came to earth to be crucified?

(with our Father in Heaven)
Hint: I marvel that he would descend from __ ___ _____ To rescue a soul so rebellious and proud as mine.
Why did God give us families?




Hint: "God gave us families to help us become _________ (what he wants us to be.)

(To help us learn how love, serve, and care for each other, and be an example to each other.)
There are many of these in the scriptures that are examples to our families. Some of their names were:
Nephi, Noah, Daniel, Samuel the Lamanite. Who are they? 

(Prophets)
(week 2 lesson)
What does the Father ask of us? What do the scriptures say?




(Have faith, have hope, live like his Son, help others on their way.)

(week 4 lesson - I can return to Heavenly Father by following Jesus Christ)
How can I follow God's plan - what do I need to hold fast to?




 (Holding fast to his word and his love ... or they could just say, "obey the commandments, listen to counsel in the scriptures ... etc.) 

(week 4 lesson: Agency is the gift to choose for myself)
Why did the Savior die for us?
Hint: Oh it is wonderful that he should care for me Enough to die for me!

(He cares for us/loves us.)
What are a father and mother's role in the family?





(Week 2 lesson)

Hint: A father's place is to (preside, provide, To love and teach the gospel). A mother's place is to (care, prepare, To nurture and to strengthen all her children).

(To lead and guide the family).
My family will be blessed as we follow who?






(the Prophet)

(week three lesson)


Who does Heavenly Father ask us to live like so that we can return and be with him again some day?


(Live like his Son)

(week 3 lesson - Jesus Christ is the perfect example for me to follow)
In whose footsteps should I follow to be happy on earth. Hint: "I will work, and I will pray; I will always walk in his way. Then I will be happy on earth."

(week 4 lesson)
I can show respect for the Savior by being reverent. Give some examples of how you can be reverent.



(This is from lesson 4 in March.)
What are the children's role in a family?








(week 3 lesson)

Hint: "I'll (love) and (serve) my family and be A good (example) to each fam'ly member."

Answer: Obey parents. Love and serve family.

Who speaks to us every six months at General Conference? 







(the prophet)

(week four lesson)















Thursday, April 17, 2014

"The Family" Paper Bag Puppets

I made these puppets for a sharing time lesson but I realize they can be used effectively during Singing Time as well. I figured out that I can post PDF files directly to my blog if I use WordPress ... so you can download the template for these puppets at my other blog, Ilovetocreatestuff.com

.

Some ideas for how to use these puppets:

1. Color the hair different bright colors. Invite the teachers to come up and help you. They will then randomly hold up their puppet during the song, and have their puppet "sing." Whenever a child has on the same clothes colors as the color of the hair (colored in purple, green, blue, yellow, brown ...), they get to sing too.

2. Use a boy puppet and a girl puppet to indicate when boys sing the song vs. when girls sing the song.

3. You can write stuff on the body of the puppet and use the puppets to indicate when the children should sing loudly vs. softly.

4. Integrate this month's song, "The Family is of God," by having six reverent children come up, and then letting them hold up their puppets at appropriate parts of the song. You can add images to the body of the puppet to represent some of the lines of the song, for example, show a father presiding over family home evening, or show a mother helping her child with homework ...

Friday, April 11, 2014

Fun Printable Cards to Use in Singing Time

I found this cute printable on what I believe is a vacation/travel site for the LA/Disneyland area so pardon the random link, but I thought these printable pics would translate easily into a no-fuss primary singing time activity. There are 48 cards in total, with one word and one simple picture, including: princess, giant, bones, ice cream, plane, surfboard ...

Ways to Use These Cards:

1. Fun way to sing a song - they have to figure out how to sing "The Family is of God," for instance, while on a plane, or while pretending to eat ice cream ("The family" - lick - "is of" - lick - ...).

2. Use the colors on the cards - the images are just for fun, but everyone in the room wearing the colors on the card that is drawn has to ... get up and sing the song at the front of the room together ... or pat their heads while they sing, etc. This works because most of the cards only use a few different colors, tops.

3. Us for practicing volume or speed or another "real" singing element, e.g., if they choose the "alligator" card they can practice crescendo and decrescendo. If they choose the "princess" card they can practice enunciation.

4. The object of the game is to find answers to some gospel questions, which are in primary song titles. So, take the blank tiles that come with these templates and write in the songs that you have been teaching, for example, "The Family is of God," "I Stand All Amazed." Then have five questions on the board, like "Which song talks about families?" or "Jesus Christ died for me. What song shares this awe for what he did for us?" Then, use just a few of the more appropriate "fun" tiles and mix them in there with the "right" tiles. The kids have a goal to answer the questions by drawing the right pieces before the end of Singing Time. If they draw the wrong piece, there could be a consequence, like maybe they have to answer a question about a line of the song.

One day when I am feeling more ambitious, I might actually make my own cards and have the kids string together something a little closer to what the site originally suggested the cards were for ... though I could see that getting out of hand, too! I have a small game of dice that uses this exact same concept, and there's a good primary singing time activity there as well.


Saturday, March 29, 2014

Teaching "The Family is of God" with a mini book

I put together this mini book for "The Family is of God" for a primary activity back in January. I love sharing mini books. The kids get such a kick out of it!You can print it out below to teach them the song.



I shared a mini book for the first time back in March 2012, so rather than then re-post the instructions on how to fold the mini book, you can view the instruction from the first mini-book I ever shared on my blog, here.

Since those instructions are for a different book though, I thought I'd at least include this picture so you can double-check your folds ... it's super easy but might seem a little confusing for your first book that you fold.


Here's where you would place the cuts on the sheet:


Make sure to fold a few extra mini books because your sunbeams and CTR 4 children will immediately start trying to take the book apart, then won't know how to get them back together, ha ha. This way, you can teach fluidly and switch out books on them if this happens before their primary teacher realizes what's happening. It's cute and funny, and not a big deal, but it's best to be prepared.

There are two ways to get this mini-book:

1. Download it here for a PDF (higher quality image).

2. Or you can save it from below:
(To print it, just right-click on the image below to save it to your computer first, then print the file you have saved to your computer. You have to save this file to your computer first or it won't print out correctly. If you absolutely can't get this to print, send me your email address and I'll email the file to you ... but try to pull the file from below first to ensure speedy access to this mini book.)



Ideas on teaching with this book
Since I originally made this book for an activity in January, I included four colored circles at the top. These circles perfectly fit the little round accomplishment stickers you can find in any sticker aisle. You can just ignore the circles, or you can put fun motivators in there, and have them earn their stickers. For instance, give each teacher a sticker pad. Have the children follow along with the pictures as you go over the first line. Sing the first line with them several times. Then ask a child to recite the first line without looking at their book. They earn their first sticker. Now you don't have time to do this with every child, but you can ask the teachers to listen to their children and award them their sticker.

The second sticker can be earned by answering a question correctly, e.g., "In the second line of the son, why did our Father in Heaven send us to earth, through birth?" etc. ...

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Singing Time for St. Patrick's Day

Last year I planned some Singing Time activities around St.Patrick's Day but I realize I didn't say this anywhere in the blog title ... so ... for St. Patrick Song Review ideas, visit my post from March 2013.

                                     

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Some Nice Participation Tricks

We had a sub in Singing Time last week (she has some sort of degree in teaching music to children), and I like how she worked with the primary.

She had them pat out the rhythm on their laps, which we've done before, but then she had them pat their hands against their head, after saying, "Now we want to make sure to get that into your heads so tap out the rhythm on your heads!"

Next, she told them they were the Tabernacle Choir and asked them to sit up straight, sit at the edge of their chairs, and "rise!" Then she had them sing beautifully as if they were the Tabernacle Choir. I was so impressed by how reverent they were for her, and how beautifully they sang. I love that she had them sit up straight and at the edge of their seats, though.

She also did something I always do, which is that if I motion for them to rise, and they are sloppy about it, I have them try several times until they get it right. It's a subtle way to help them get their wiggles out, too.


Monday, March 10, 2014

Respecting the Sharing Time / Singing Time Split

I sometimes pop onto discussion boards, and primary choristers tend to have two big sore points, if they have one at all:

1. They run into a problem with children being reverent.

2. Their primary presidency is hogging their Singing Time.

I've addressed #1 in this post, but wanted to make a comment on #2.

I served as the primary chorister through three primary programs, and am now serving as the primary president. When I was the primary chorister, our children had all of the songs memorized and sang them beautifully, with dynamics and even some sign language, in the program. I believe this will happen this year with our new chorister.

I feel this was able to happen (and will continue to happen) because:

1. The primary presidency worked with me as a team. We supported each other and loved each other, and that love and respect helped bring the spirit into the room.

2. We respected each others' times. Per the official church Handbook 2, Singing Time should be about 20 minutes, and Sharing Time should be about 15 minutes. Notice the word "about!"

Often times Opening Exercises ran late. If this happened, I would take my Singing Time a few minutes over into Sharing Time to split the difference. Sometimes, the primary president or a counselor would just let me know that I could use up even more of her time. Other times, if they were running a little behind (which is often because sacrament runs late) but had a particularly complicated lesson, they would just let me know that they wanted to make sure to get their full 15 minutes. I rarely had more than 15 minutes in Junior Primary, but the presidency rarely had more than 10 minutes, too; it was just the complexity of Junior Primary.

3. We had Singing Time first, then Sharing Time, which helped to keep us on our toes with the schedules. In other words, if the presidency was behind, they could see that it put me behind schedule, and in turn, I could evaluate and see where to split the difference to get a fair amount of time without impeding their ability to teach an important gospel lesson.

The church would not have both a Sharing Time AND a Singing Time if they didn't feel that it was important. If your primary presidency is being too casual about opening exercises, and then taking a long Sharing Time, then talk to your president about your concerns. Pray for guidance on how to best handle the situation. You are on the same team, your Heavenly Father's, and this is Heavenly Father's primary, not yours. You both have the same goal to teach the children the gospel and to let them know how much they are loved! Both you and the primary presidency are trying their best with the current callings and if you are fighting and don't try to work it out between yourselves, you will both lose by driving the spirit from the room as you feel resentful toward each other.

What I posted on the message board:

 I would recommend both the presidency and the music leader read and review Section 11.4.2 of Handbook 2 (https://www.lds.org/.../handbook-2.../primary...). Singing Time should be about 20 mins. Sharing Time should be about 15 mins. I have been both Primary Chorister and Primary President so I have experienced both sides. In both situations, we have been respectful of each others' time, which is to say, that sometimes one of us went over a bit, but we were and are both trying. Some weeks skew a little more toward extra Singing Time, and some weeks skew a little more toward Sharing Time, but generally, we follow the 20/15 split. You need to make sure your concerns are understood and recognized before you start to go down the path of feeling resentful or escalating. The primary presidency may for some reason not know, or may be overwhelmed if they are new, or, I hate to think this - but for some ridiculous reason simply not understand the value of teaching the gospel through music. You want the children to feel the spirit in the room as you teach, which means you and your primary presidency need to be a team and have good feelings toward each other. You all have the same goal! Good luck.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Teaching "I Stand All Amazed" - Continued

Teaching this song following the church's suggestion worked really well last week. If you did something different, I highly recommend you teach the second week and use the church's suggestion as a review. As usual, with it being Fast Sunday last week, we did not have very much time in Junior Primary so I would continue with the lesson from last week with Junior Primary.

However, the options below work for Junior Primary too, so (and I've done this in the past) I might have Junior Primary just trail one week behind with each song activity until I can catch them back up at the end of the month.

This is such a beautiful, reverent song that I want to be careful not to have too silly of activities with it. This song talks about our Savior, that he died and was crucified for us. The kids need to be reminded that this is a very reverent song, and to understand what they are singing. Our chorister did an amazing job last week sharing her testimony about how she loves this song, and about how it's so great to learn this song because its one the children can sing in sacrament. I want to stick with that direction in teaching this song. 

A few ways I have thought about doing this ... I have done all of these things in the past (so I know they work very effectively), and they just seem super appropriate for this song:

Option 1 - 
Pass out the pictures from last week. Sing the song and have children come to the front of the room and hold up their pictures as you sing it. The object is for them to recognize when it's their to come up on their own.

Option 2 - 
Put the picture from last week in order on the board. The pictures will be in scrambled order, and a child will have an opportunity to point to the correct picture as we sing the song, as a game to see if they can point in the correct order.

Option 3 - 
Print out four pictures per page from last week so they are about the size of a traditional photograph. 

To do this:
1. Save all the pictures from last week's post to a folder on your computer.
2. Click on one of the images inside the folder, then press CTRL and A buttons at the same time. All the images in the folder will appear to be highlighted.


3. Right-click with your mouse to bring up the task menu. Click "print."
4. When the Print Pictures dialog box appears, choose "3.5 x 5." This will print four pictures to a page.



Now that you have the pictures ready: 

Pass out the pictures so that every child has one. You might want to make sure that all the sunbeams and all the CTR4 children have the same picture so their teacher can help them.

Then, ask the children to hold up the picture that corresponds to their part of the song as we sing it. When they've done this once, have the children pass their pictures to the row behind them (and the back row passed back to the front), and then sing the song again. 

Finally, we should be bearing our testimonies constantly, but especially with this song!

Additional activity
With any of these activities, you can add in an additional piece and give the children opportunities to share their thoughts and feelings about the picture they are holding. Just be prepared with the youngest children that they might end up telling you about their vacation or something, so you can gently steer them back on track!


Sunday, February 23, 2014

Introducing "I Stand All Amazed"

I found this idea for teaching "I Stand All Amazed" from LDS.org's "How to use music in primary:"

March: “I Stand All Amazed” (Hymns, no. 193)

Divide the children into four groups. Give group 1 GAB 116, and sing the first phrase of the song to them. Discuss it briefly, and then have them sing it a few times with you. Continue with each group and each additional phrase (use the following pictures: group 2, GAB 108; group 3,GAB 57; group 4, GAB 56). Sing the whole first verse with each group standing, holding their picture, and singing their phrase. Invite the groups to switch pictures, and sing the song again. Repeat until each group has sung each phrase. Sing the chorus, and ask the children to listen for how many times you sing the word “wonderful.” Repeat the chorus a few times with them, and invite them to place their hands over their hearts each time they sing the word “wonderful.”
If you don't have all the matching GAB pictures handily available, I visited the church's image site and found appropriate pictures for each line of the first two verses of the song.

I wouldn't plan to go beyond verse 1 in Junior Primary but you might have time to go into verse two in Senior Primary.

          (verse 1)
  1. I stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers me, Confused at the grace that so fully he proffers me. Jesus with the children
  2. I tremble to know that for me he was crucified That for me, a sinner, he suffered, he bled and died. Jesus praying in Gethsemane (chorus)
  3. Oh, it is wonderful that he should care for me Enough to die for me! Oh, it is wonderful, wonderful to me! Crucifixion (verse 2)
  4. I marvel that he would descend from his throne divine To rescue a soul so rebellious and proud as mine, Jesus walking on water
  5. That he should extend his great love unto such as I, Sufficient to own, to redeem, and to justify. Jesus knocking at the door

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Winter Olympic Song Review

I usually like to do a songs-to-date review and sing other songs from the songbook on the last Sunday of the month, even if I feel like that month's song still needs work. The kids (and teachers) just need a break and a new song.

Our primary had Olympics-focused song reviews during the summer Olympics. The timing was perfect because they had learned most of the songs by then. This time, the timing is not as great, but chances are that the children are aware of the Olympics at least so I still think it'd be fun to have an Olympics focused theme.

I spent four weeks on the Olympics last time but the part I want to pull from is the fun ways to sing songs Olympics.

To keep it simple this time:

1. Find a picture of Olympic rings (Google "Olympic rings"), cut them out, and paste them to a jar.

File:Olympic Rings.svg
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Olympic_Rings.svg



2. Next, put different songs on one color of card. This way, you can put all the cards in one jar but just tell the child that comes up that they need to pick a "green" card, or whatever color.

Examples:

Put a bunch of green cards in for: (Make sure to include the page number so it's faster to look up)
Choose songs they are learning, as well as songs that fit this year and month's theme that they probably know, as well as songs from last year that we don't want them to forget!

"I Will Follow God's Plan for Me" - vs.1
"I Will Follow God's Plan for Me" - vs.2
"He Sent His Son" - vs. 1
"He Sent His Son" - vs. 2
"Families Can Be Together Forever"
"Heavenly Father Loves Me" - vs. 2
"If the Savior Stood Beside Me" - vs. 1
"If the Savior Stood Beside Me" - vs. 2
"If the Savior Stood Beside Me" - vs. 3

3. Next, put different ways to sing the song "Olympic style" on another color of card. You can talk about the different sport and tell the children what it is (ask them to help you explain) so they can have fun helping you define how that Olympic style is sung. Or even just print out pictures of the different Olympics styles so you can put the appropriate picture on the wall every time they draw it. Kids like visuals :)

I know this is from the last Olympics, but here's one of my favorite winter Olympians ever - speed skating ... I'd print out a pic for all of these sports. Easy to do when you search from Google Images.

Apolo Anton Ohno
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/-olympics/news/20130117/apolo-anton-ohno-olympics.ap/

Examples:

1. Curling - They can pretend to be vigorously brushing the stone into the center.
Image here
2. Skiing - They can swish their arms from side to side
3. Snowboarding - They can pretend to catch "big air" and sing in a funny staccato every time they catch that big air, swinging their arms up wide
4. Bob sled - They curl up into a tiny ball, even get off their chairs, and sway as if they are turning around corners.
5. Ice skating - They can get up and turn every few seconds in a "lutz" - pick a word that appears in the song more than once for where they will spin twice fast, or maybe even assign two words, and talk about how the different dance routines only have the special flourishes a few times during the song.
6. Skeleton - They can stand up, put their arms at their sides, keep their chins up like they are on the ground, and sing to the ceiling, turning a "corner" (turning 1/4 away around) very time they hear a certain word.
7. Speed Skating - Have them reach down and touch the ground like they are turning a super tight corner, at the end of every line. Make sure to explain the sport enough that this makes sense :)

You can review all the Winter Olympic sports here: http://www.olympic.org/sports

Conclude
At the end, you can tie how the Olympics is like being put here on earth. We have something we are trying to accomplish (being with our families, returning to our heavenly family), and sometimes we mess up, but we keep trying.