Sunday, February 23, 2014

Introducing "I Stand All Amazed"

I found this idea for teaching "I Stand All Amazed" from'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

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.


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


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:

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.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

I Will Follow God's Plan - week 3

This week's sharing time lesson is "The Body is Created in the Image of God."

I would love to review "I Will Follow God's Plan" by focusing on this theme.

The object will be to review the words of the song, but we can use a set of cards that emphasizes different features about the body in a sensitive way. Print these out onto cards, and have kids come up and draw them.

For example:

All of the boys in the room, please stand up. Let's have the tallest three boys in the room come to the front. All right, we're going to start singing this song, and when we pause, you need to fill in the blank together.

Before you end for the day, make sure to tell them that we are all different from each other, but we were all created in the image of God.

Other features you could use:

1. Darkest curls. (Have everyone with curly hair stand up. Have the three with the darkest curls come to the front of the room.)
2. If you can curl your tongue. (Choose that your praise for being reverent to come up.)
3. If you have a hitchhiker's thumb.
4. If you can wiggle your eyebrows.
5. A child that is being really reverent (just throw that in every once in a while).
6. Red hair
7. Dark brown hair (and you are wearing red today ... + ... to narrow it down)
8. Light brown hair
9. Brown eyes
10. Blue, green, or grey eyes
11. etc. ...

To add a visual to this, every time they come up, you could have them build a visual, like cutting out a tasteful picture of one of the heroes from the scriptures, to assemble together in a puzzle on the chalkboard, to build a picture of someone that was made in the image of God. 

Saturday, February 8, 2014

I Will Follow God's Plan - Week 2

Did I already mention that I love how beautifully this song lends itself to strong visuals?

I was thinking about how to better tie the song into the lessons for this month, and with this month's song, it is particularly easy to do ...

This month's lessons for sharing time are:

Week 1 - Heavenly Father has a plan for his children.
Week 2 - Heavenly Father commanded Jesus Christ to create the earth as home for His children.
Week 3 -  My body is created in the image of God.
Week 4 - Agency is the gift to choose for myself.

So, keeping the lessons for the month in mind, I see the weeks breaking out as follows:

Week 1 - Introduce the song (last week)
Week 2 - Review the song with the "lovely home on earth" part of the song.
Week 3 - Review the song with the "body is created in the image of God" aspect of the song.
Week 4 - Take a break - Review Month 1 song, Month 2 song, and all the songs from Year 2013 so they don't forget them!

Week 2 - Reviewing a lovely home on earth

Make this a game by having the children assemble a picture of a home on earth. Either a house or the earth ... or even make the earth a backdrop and assemble the house on top of it, but I think it's easy to make the parts for a house.

You will tell them that they are putting together the line of a song by finding pictures about the whole song so part of their interest here will be the challenge of trying to figure out what they are building (which is why the house works better for this than the earth.) Children take turns coming up to the front of the room and pulling an object out of a bag. If they pull out an image, they get to find the matching number on the poster board to finish putting together the image. If they pull out a "dud" image they have to finish the sentence for a line of the song. However, they can call on a "lifeline" - someone else in the primary - to help finish if they don't know the missing words to fill in the blank.

 For this song/activity, I like keeping the images very geometric and using bright colors. I used a program to quickly draw a few shapes or this post, but I would just use colored construction paper. Part of the appeal here is that it will take them at least two turns to figure out what they are assembling if the images are subtle enough (by being so geometric).

Another way to do this - if you have Lincoln Logs, it would be fun to just have them add a log to the house (get them started with a base to save them time). Each child that comes up gets a log for answering a question correctly. You can make up simple questions (Fill in this line of the song -or- Is this picture of xxx something that helps us follow God's plan -or- True or False ...).

Sample questions:
1. My life is a __________?
2. What did I choose to do? Hint: "My life has a purpose, in Heav'n it began. My choice was to come __________________"
3. What does this song tell me I need seek to direct me from birth?
4. What two things does this song say I need to hold fast to?
5. This song says I will work, and I will ______?

Of course - you want to make sure the children sing - so have them sing the line of the songs that they pull out of the bag. If they don't know the answer to the question, have the class sing it, while they listen for the answer. Throw in singing the song staccato or legato or get them moving by having them stand up and spin every time they hear the word "life," and clap their hands above their heads every time they hear the word "I." You can sneak this in bit by bit by adding one new motion every time they pick a new card but only having them sing every third card so that they aren't singing the song a million times in one day.