Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Top 10 Favorite Songs

I've seen many variations of doing a Top Ten Favorite Primary song list. 
So here is my version.
Last week I had each class fill out a slip of paper telling me what their 3 favorite Primary songs were. (I've also done the wadded up paper snowballs with the song written on them). I compiled the data and this Sunday we will sing the results. 
There are a couple of ways you can do this.
It's super easy to prepare and easy enough for a sub.

Click HERE to download the directions above.

In case you're wondering, our #1 song is 'A Child's Prayer' with 'I Am a Child of God' as #2.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Merry Christmas!


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Planning

I'm a planner and love it. I like to make spreadsheets, tables, and documents. But when it came to planning my Primary singing time, I wasn't sure what would be the most helpful. I read a lot of blogs and tried a bunch of different things and finally came up with what works for me. I thought I'd share just in case you're still trying to figure it out. Here's what works for me BUT it may not be what works best for you. 
This is a snapshot of last years plan. I have a page for each month. At the beginning of the year, I put what the theme of each month is along with the weekly themes (purple) and any suggested songs from the sharing time lesson.

I do both JR and SR. Sometimes I'll use the same activity and sometimes I do totally different things. I try to use the opening and closing song for the whole month. I like to pick songs that go with the theme. Then we get to sing them several times in the month which makes for a great review.
I also sing the same birthday and welcome song for the month. If it's a new one, we might do it for two months until I think they are comfortable with it. (blue & green)

I DON'T fill out the entire year at the beginning of the year. I do one month at a time and even then sometimes I change a week or two. This leaves room for inspiration or new ideas I get in the middle of the week.

Here is a glimpse of the blank first 2 months of next year.
The planning sheets comes in very handy when I need to know when I played 'Sing Pete Sing' or played 'Hot & Cold'. I can go back to previous months and see what I did. That way I can make sure I'm not doing the same things too often.

The last week of the month, I'll start filling things in as I plan my month. It's in a Microsoft Word document so I just type right in it and SAVE each time I close. 

For my pianist and myself, I print something like this to hand her each week. This lets her know what I'm planning and we can be a team. She's ready with the next song and there is no down time while we wait for her to find the next song. I fold it in half so just JR is showing. I have two different pianist, one for JR and one for SR. Then flip it over for the SR one.
It makes planning each week easy. I just go in and change the singing time songs because the Opening, birthday, etc. stay the same.
Here is an example of the blank weekly planning sheet.

I hope this makes sense and is helpful to some of you. 

If you would like to try my planning sheets just click HERE for the blank planning templates.
Just download them and you can edit and type right in them and make them your own.

Happy Planning!

Monday, December 19, 2016

5 Year Rotation

Many of you choristers know this but some don't. I didn't until I was called 2 years ago, but the Primary themes rotate every 5 years. So the sharing time lessons and the songs we sang in 2012 are the same lessons and songs we are learning this year in 2017.

Many of you may be planning your year and deciding on what your song choice will be for April. I like to choose songs that are not as familiar to the kids. There are some beautiful songs in the Children's Songbook that we don't have time to teach. 

So I put together an outline of the songs in the 5 year rotation. This lets me know what songs have been taught before (the ones my SR probably already know) and what's coming up so I won't choose a song that we'll be doing in the years to come. It also helps me know what songs I could use for opening and closing that are familiar to my kids.
Click HERE to download the outline.

I hope this helps some of you as you pick your songs for next year's program.

Happy Singing!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Pathway to Christmas

I want to have a Christ-centered singing time this Sunday for our Primary before Christmas. I discovered that my littlest grandkids (3-5 years) were pretty good at telling me the Christmas story. So I decided to let the kids help tell the story by asking some key questions, singing some Christmas songs, and move along a pathway as we do it.
It's a great way to involve the kiddos in telling the Christmas story and giving them a few extra facts along the way. The older kids can even use their scriptures to find some of the answers.
Here is my plan:
And a picture of what it will kind-of look like only with a little longer path.
You can make a pathway with the red and green cards I've provided or go the easier way and just cut colored paper (construction paper or Christmas scrapbook paper). You can even print (2 pages per page) on a different setting so you get smaller cards and save ink. I've even done a path game before where I've laid the cards on the floor and had a child stand on them (they were a full sheet of paper). Anything works.

I made kind-of a script in order of the Christmas story with songs. But feel free to change, omit, or add whatever works for you and your Primary. I made easy questions for JR and harder ones for SR. Some questions they will need to find the answers in the scriptures. I hope the kids will realize how much they know about the story already and feel pretty smart and special. I also hope it will help bring the spirit  of Christmas to Primary.

Click HERE to download my plan and cards.

Happy Singing and ENJOY!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Christmas Singing Time

This week I am going to teach my SENIOR Primary 'Samuel Tells of the Baby Jesus'.
I thought it went so well with the theme of 'The Scriptures Teach Me about the Savior's Birth.'
Here is my plan.
You can download my lesson plan HERE.

This is where I got the idea. Thanks to this fabulous book!

For JUNIOR we are still working on 'Could I Hold the Baby' for our Sacrament meeting number. So I thought I'd bring my Fisher Price Nativity set.
Image result for fisher price nativity
I'll hand out pieces to the kids and as we sing the song, I'll touch the heads of those with pieces one at a time. They will bring their pieces up and recreate the Nativity. We'll do it several times so everyone has a turn. I'll start with the oldest class so the Sunbeams with understand what we are doing. I will also have my new little Nursery-Sunbeams-to-be in there so they can have a turn too.

I also want them to learn or review 'Once within a Lowly Stable'. So I'm doing it for the opening song for the whole month. Here is a flip chart for it.

Click HERE to download the flip chart.

Happy Christmas Singing!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Piano Solo

My granddaughter was asked to play a piano solo in Sacrament Meeting on Christmas Day but the piece they asked her to play was a little too hard for her. It was on an advance level and she is more on the intermediate level. So I made an arrangement for her. It's the same two songs but on a level she can play well.
I just thought I'd share it in case anyone could use a piano solo for a Christmas program.

Click HERE to download.

ENJOY!

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Could I Hold the Baby lesson plan

I've been putting the finishing touches on my lesson plan for teaching "Could I Hold the Baby'.
I'm going with a very simple approach and praying the spirit will be there.
Click HERE to download my lesson plan. There is more than what is shown above.

Click HERE to see another post about this song with links to a flip chart, video, and music.

Happy Singing!!!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Could I Hold the Baby

I hate to bring up Christmas with Halloween just barely over but being a chorister you have to constantly be thinking ahead.

I've received permission from the Bishop to teach and sing a beautiful song by Rachel M. Goates called "Could I Hold the Baby". We will be singing it on Christmas Day in Sacrament meeting.

You can find the sheet music and recordings HERE. I've heard it is on LDS.org but I couldn't find it.
There is also an excellent YouTube video, one with words or without.


I also have made a flip chart for it. I know some people don't use or like flip chart but I do. I've had several teachers thank me for using them and if it encourages someone to sing with me I'm all over it. Of course I don't use them all the time, just when we are learning a new song or singing one we haven't sung in a long time. I find the kids learn the words much fast than adults.


Click HERE to download the flip chart.

I'm excited to start this Sunday. I am teaching the first verse and chorus to my JR. I'll start with the chorus. First, we are going to talk about questions and what we would ask Mary. Then I'll sing the chorus or show the video or have them listen to the recording.Then talk about the questions in the song. Same process with SR. For the second verse I am dividing it and I'll have my oldest class of girls sing one part and my oldest class of boys sing the other. I have some really great singers in both. Then everyone will join in on the chorus.

Happy Singing!!!


Monday, October 24, 2016

Pumpkin Patch Singing

I found some really cute pumpkin clipart by Creative Clips.
These pumpkins could be used so many ways in Primary: a song pick, sing or dare, ways to sing, or even put scriptures or stories on the back.
I've put 10 of them together in various sizes with leaves and vines.
Click HERE to download the file.

Happy Singing!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Fun To Do- Fall Leaves Version

I put together a fun little rest activity for my JR this week.
It's another version of 'Fun To Do' only with the fall leaves.
The nursery kids would love it too.

Click HERE to download the file.

Happy Singing!!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Name That Primary Song

The sweet, older sister that I visit teach is a Primary teacher in my ward. She teaches the CTR 6 class. She is amazing with them but says that sometimes they get bored or her lesson goes short and wondered what to do with them. She asked if I had any ideas what she could do when this happens. 
Being the Primary chorister, of course I thought of music!
Here is the little game I made for her class.
She was thrilled!
I'm thinking of making one for each of the JR Primary classes. I'd rather they be singing when they have extra time than playing 'Heads Up Seven Up'.

Click HERE to download the game.

Happy Singing!

Monday, September 26, 2016

PRAYER

Our program is over!!
WaaaHoooo!
The kids did fantastic even though the practice was horrible! But isn't it always?
So I'm going to introduce October's theme of 'Prayer' with an activity called "What's the Word" and sing a few of their favorites too.
I've blogged about 
What's the Word before and you can find a link HERE.
I'm doing the word PRAYER. I chose 6 songs and put them on the back of each letter. Songs like: Follow the Prophet, Family Prayer, The Church of Jesus Christ, The Golden Plates, Nephi's Courage, and My Heavenly Father Loves Me. For your SR you could also select a scripture for them to look up that has to do with prayer and place the reference on the back of each letter.
Kids take turns picking a letter, placing it on the board in random order, and singing the song. When all the letter have been selected, they try to unscramble the letters and make the word. I like to ask them what each song had to do with the word.

This is a very easy, low prep activity that's great for a sub or even FHE.

Click HERE to download What's the Word version 1 which includes the word PRAYER.

I try to sing the same song for opening and closing for the whole month. This helps them learn it better. I'm doing 'We Bow Our Heads' and 'I Love to Pray' in JR. And 'A Child's Prayer' and 'I Pray in Faith' in SR. I made a few flip charts for the ones they don't know. It seems my kids sing better if their teachers are singing and teachers sing better if I have a flip chart.
Click HERE to download the flip chart for 'I LOVE TO PRAY"
 Click HERE to download the flip chart for 'WE BOW OUR HEADS'
Click HERE to download the flip chart for 'I PRAY IN FAITH'

Happy Singing!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Called to Serve

I've been in program mode for most of the month but I've wanted to teach 'Called to Serve'. It goes along with this month's theme and I think it's a song the kids should know.
Here is the flip chart I created to help us learn and review this great song.
Click HERE to download the flip chart.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Name That Program Song

This Sunday I get the whole time to practice our program songs. 
I want to make it simple, low prep but hit the songs hard.
I'm not big on visuals for the program. (I don't use any) So I want the kids to know which song they will be singing and what the first line is without holding up a sign. So I thought we'd play a little game.
All you need is a bell and a few balloons.



So here is what I have planned.

1. Divide the Primary into 2 teams.
2. Have a person from each team come to the small table up front where the bell will be. Place hands flat on the table.
3. Have the pianist play the introduction to one of the program songs. (My kids get about a 4 measure introduction to stand and get ready to sing)
4. First person to hit the bell guesses what the name of the song is. If correct, their team scores a point. If wrong, the other person gets to guess. If neither person gets it, ask a member of the team to name it.
5. (For the SR and oldest JR classes) Both players place hands on table again. Ask who can repeat the first line of the song.
6. First person to hit the bell with the right answer wins a point for their team.
7. Have all the Primary sing the song.
8. As they are singing, have a teacher or presidency member, blow up a balloon for each team. The louder and lovelier the team sings the bigger the balloon gets. (I found this idea over on the LDS Choristers Facebook page. Thanks to whoever came up with this. An easy, great idea!)
9. When the song is over, the adults hold the balloons up, say "GO". The adults let go of the balloons. The balloon that hits the floor last wins a point for their team.
*Repeat the whole process for the next song unless the song needs more work then sing it again & again blowing up the balloons each time.

Happy Singing, Ringing, and Blowing

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Musical Missionaries

Sunday night I attended our Stake High Priest Fireside. The theme for the evening was my favorite subject: MUSIC. We listened to several speakers and special numbers from very talented people in our stake. One of the speakers was a long time member of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. I could have listened to his experiences all night. It was very uplifting and inspiring.

One thing he said had me thinking about my little Primary kiddos. He said that when he was set apart as a member of the choir he was told in the prayer that he was a 'Musical Missionary'. 

That hit me two fold.
1. I'm a 'Musical Missionary' every Sunday. Teaching, inspiring, and touching the hearts of children with the beautiful songs of the gospel.
2. I'm helping the children become 'Musical Missionaries' helping them express their testimonies through the messages of the music. Especially when we sing for the Sacrament Meeting Program. I know sometimes there are people in the audience that come only one Sunday a year to watch their child, neighbor, or friend in the program. What a great opportunity to share the gospel through these beautiful children and these awesome songs.

I can't wait to tell them Sunday all about being a 'Musical Missionary'!

Ours is an important calling. One I LOVE and enjoy!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

More Singing Signs

I only have 3 more Sunday practices before our program. Eeeek!
I've done all kinds of cutesy activities from Olympics to Gift Box Singing
We just really need to focus on a few of the songs and sing them over and over. I LOVE the position cards but my kids are tired of them. 
I want something different than hot/cold or boys sing-girls sing or this side-that side.
So to help the kiddos NOT get bored and be able to move but also concentrate, I made some 'More Singing Signs'. I don't want them getting 'rowdy' and I think this will work. 
It's something new to them, low key, movement, and a variety.
Click HERE to download the file.

Happy Singing!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Emoji Face Singing

I finally got around to making this cute emoji face singing activity. I saw it over on the Facebook LDS Chorister's Site. 
The idea was there but there was no file to download. So I made my own. I made up names for the faces so they would get a better idea how to sing the song. They are NOT the official emoji name!
 I'd love to give credit but I don't know who's original idea it is but it's cute, easy, and fun. Thanks whomever you are! 
It's a GREAT way to practice a song over and over.

Click HERE to download my file.

Monday, August 1, 2016

The Lord Gave Me a Temple

I'm teaching 'The Lord Gave Me a Temple' this month. I found some great ideas in my favorite book and tweeked it a bit.
There is a great analogy from Pres. Boyd K. Packer comparing the body to a glove that I'm going to use.
 Then I made some question cards for the kids to find the mystery words in the song. This ALWAYS works well with my Primary JR and SR.
 To conclude I found a quote from the author of the words to the song, Brother Donnell Hunter.
It's pretty easy peasy and should help the kiddos learn the song along with inviting the spirit.

Click HERE to download the lesson plan.

Click HERE to download the mystery word activity.

Happy Singing!



Monday, July 18, 2016

Pioneers

Pioneer Day is coming up! 
Here are some of the activities I did last year with my kiddos that were EASY and a BIG hit.
My JR loved changing the words to 'Fun To Do'. I had someone pick a card and then we sang the new words and made up an action to go with it. Along the way I would tell them about the pioneer children and the tasks they had to do. I also had a bonnet and apron for the girls and a hat and scarf for the boys to wear. I choose good singer to wear the stuff while we sang.
If you'd like to download the cards and directions click below.

Click HERE to download Fun To Do cards.

I did a matching with my SR. Each match has a pioneer story or fact with a related scripture and song.
Click HERE to download Pioneer Matching cards.

I hope someone finds these useful.

Happy Pioneer Day!

Thursday, July 7, 2016

I Love To See The Temple part 2

I'm teaching I Love To See The Temple this month. Because my kiddos already know it, I was just going to dive right in with the ASL (American Sign Language) that I posted about HERE.
But after listening carefully to the words, I decided to take one Sunday and just concentrate on the words and it's meaning. Sometimes I think we sing the familiar songs over and over and forget what the words are really saying and this song has such a beautiful message.
So I went to my good old stand by books for lesson ideas.

And here is what I came up with:
Sister Perry is such an inspired composer and I love to tell the kids about the composers any chance I get. Also the questions will get the kids thinking.
Next week, I'll jump into the ASL.

Click HERE to download my lesson plan.
I also made some question and answer cards to go with it.
Click HERE to download the cards.

Happy Singing!

Thursday, June 30, 2016

I LOVE To See The Temple

My kiddos know this song really well so I thought it would be a good one to do sign language with. However, I'm a little bit challenged when it comes to remembering the words to the song let alone sign language. I watched the video on LDS.org but it was too hard for me. But I found another one on YouTube that I think I might be able to do. YEAH! She goes through and explains how to do each sign. Which is what I'll do when I teach my kids.
I also had my daughter-in-law make me a temple mirror.
I'm not the greatest photographer so the picture isn't very good. Sorry. All she did was cut out frosted vinyl and put it on an 8x10" mirror. Then I bought an inexpensive 8x10 frame and put the mirror in it. I chose the MT. Timpanogos Temple because it's closest to my home and the one the kids are all familiar with. 
I'm still deciding how to use it in Primary. But I think I'll show it to my kiddos and then tell them to do their signs in the mirror at home and to think about seeing themselves in the temple someday as they practice.

If you're interested in a mirror or anything else vinyl you can check out my daughter-in-laws vinyl company at www.chelsvinyl.com.

Happy signing!