Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Keep in mind a couple of things before you launch into this Sunday...Remember that for most of us, children will change classes this Sunday. This in and of itself will deplete the time you have to present just because of the mild confusion and such. Also keep in mind that this is a brand new song and your goal will be to have the children familiar with the melody and rhythm. Don't worry so much if you don't get past the first verse. Anyhow, here's how I'm going to introduce our beautiful new song, I Know that My Savior Loves Me.
1. 12 page (homemade) story book telling the story of Jesus appearing to the children in the America's. Only have it be a Picture book for the first six pages. You can fill in the story for them. On the last six pages, show the same pictures with the lines of the song below each corresponding picture. Such as, the first picture would be of a beautiful landscape and the words below would read...."A long time ago in a beautiful place children were gathered round Jesus" etc. (Each of the pages of my book will be on half a poster board and then bound together with rings. I want it to be able to be easily seen by all the children. You can make it whatever size you wish)
Arrange the primary room by putting all teacher chairs in a semi circle. Put some blankets on the ground and have a child's size chair that you can sit in. Do not have your backs to anyone...make sure everyone is in front of you. (Check with your presidency member that will be doing sharing time to make sure they feel comfortable with this set up for their part.)
If you would like, bring a few articles of clothing you can easily put on before primary that would suggest you are from Book of Mormon times.
Invite the children to sit in a semi circle around your chair. Have the pianist play the melody of the song as they arrange themselves. Begin by asking the children how they would feel if I told them that the Savior Himself would walk through our Primary doors today to be with them. Let a few of the children answer this question.
Tell them that a long time ago, children just like themselves had that experience. Bring out your story book. Tell them the story of Jesus visiting the children in the Americas (You need not give every single detail...in fact, be brief and tell main points to the story . )
Tell them that for our new year and theme we also have a new song. Point to the title of your book(it should be the title of the song). Flip to the first picture that describes the first line of the song. Have the pianist play it. Have the children say and sing the line with you. Move on to the next. etc. Come back and review. When you get to the chorus, tell the children that we are going to stand and sing those lines. Help them to see that this part of the song is where they get to sing their testimony (which is very powerful).
Close by baring your testimony on how much you know the Savior loves little children, that He knows them personally, that He hears and answers their prayers.
PS... I just found an incredible flip chart that you could use for this song on Primary Singing Time Ideas..those gals are amazing! (the link is to the right of this post.)
Thursday, December 3, 2009
(Please do not feel like you need to buy things for these costumes...just use what you have at home...it doesn't have to be "authentic" looking)
1 Samuel the Laminate outfit
1 Card board box painted to look like a wall
1 Joseph outfit with a block of wood and a fake wood workers tool (out of cardboard)
1 Mary outfit and a rocking chair
3 Shepherd outfits (bathrobes and a head band) with staffs
3 Angle outfits (Simply some scarves will do)
1 large star
A set of bells
Place all of the outfits around the primary room with numbers above the spot (#1-#5) Have 1 bell at each spot. Sing Christmas Bells (pg 54). Ring a bell at the beginning and end of every sentence of the song while the children are singing. Ask the children what the Christmas bell said to them in the song. Tell them that the Christmas bell is going to help us learn a little more about the Christmas story. Tell them that when they hear your bell, they should be as reverent as possible so you can pick someone to help you.
1. Ring the bell. Choose a reverent boy to go to spot #1. Help him quickly dress like Samuel. Have him stand on the "wall". Ask the children if they know why Samuel the Laminite is a part of the Christmas story. Sing "Samuel foretells of Baby Jesus" pg. 36 Have the child bring the bell to the front of the room. Have him ring the bell so the children get reverent. Have him place the bell next to your bell and sit down.
2. Pick another boy to to find spot #2. Help him dress as Joseph and have him hold his wood and tool so everyone can see. Tell them that Joseph provided for his family by creating beautiful and useful things out of wood. Tell them there is a song about Joseph's role as the provider and protector of the Christ Child. Sing "When Joseph Went to Bethlehem" pg 38 Have him ring his bell and place it next to the other bells.
3. Pick a Girl to find #3. Help her dress as Mary. Tell them of the love Mary had for Jesus. Sing "Once within a lowly stable" pg. 41 vs 1. Have her ring her bell and place it next to the others.
4. Choose 3 children (boys or girls) to be shepherds. As they get dressed, tell of how blessed they were to hear from angles of the Christ Child's birth. Sing "There was Starlight on the Hillside" pg 40 second vs only. Have one of them ring their bell
5. Choose 3 children (boys or girls) to be angels. As they get dressed, tell how amazing a choir of Heavenly Hosts must a have been to behold. That the announcement of the royal birth came with music and Heavenly praise. Have one child hold the star. Sing "Stars were Gleaming" vs 1.
Have one child ring their bell and place it with the others.
Have 5 children come to the front (five who haven't yet participated). Sing "Christmas Bells" again, but this time have all five bells join. After you have sung the song, explain that each part of the Christmas story is special and can fill our hearts with joy. Tell them that each time they hear a bell this season to think of the little babe in Bethlehem who was born so they might have eternal joy.
(If your primary, like my primary, is not familiar with all these songs...you might want to make a poster with the words on it so they can sing along the best they can. Don't worry if they don't know all the words....the spirit will teach the message anyway..and its a great way to introduce the music too them. You could also provide a copy of the songs to your teachers so they will sing with you and help the children.)
*the crazy chorister
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
7 monkey faces that have a song listed with a different way to sing the song on the back of the faces. You should hang these (or mildly hide them) around the primary room.
On the chalk board write the words: "I can be a good example in my home by..."
Sing the 4Th verse to "The Family is of God" to the children. Have them listen for the word that you leave out. Leave out the word "Example". After singing, ask them what word you left out. Have quick discussion of what the word "Example" means.
Explain that even when they are not aware of it, they are an example to others. Explain that the strongest example for good or bad will be felt in their own homes. Tell them, that for many of them, they are the example to their younger brothers and sisters. Younger siblings often learn by coping behavior. If they see older brother smile, they try smiling. If they hear someone say a bad word, they try and say the bad word. Explain that monkeys often mimic each others behavior..and that there is an old saying, "Monkey see, Monkey do". Little kids often want to be just like their older siblings and try and do everything they do regardless if it is right or wrong. So, If they show a good example they will be able to strengthen their families with their righteous example.
Tell the children that there are some monkeys hiding in our primary room today watching them. The monkeys have some ideas on how they can be good examples in their families. Pick a child to go and find a monkey. Sing and do the corresponding activity. Have the children pick a word from the song that describes what they could do in their homes to be a good example and write that word on the board.
I can be a good example to my family by...
1. (smile) If you chance to meet a frown (Have a child hold smile/frown sign)
2. (cleaning up messes) Do as I'm doing (Have a child pretend to be picking things up off the floor and have the primary mimic the behavior)
3. (Reverent attitude) Reverently, Quietly (Have a child hold quite/loud signs)
4. (Prayer) Love is Spoken Here (Have the girls sing/boys sing)
5. (Reading Scriptures) Scripture Power (Have the children sing this staccato)
6. (Obedience to parents) When my mother calls me (Have a child be the chorister)
7. (Following Jesus Christ as Our Example/Showing faith in Him) Baptism (Have the children sing this without music)
End by quickly reviewing the words the children came up with. Show them there are many ways they are examples to their families. Share your testimony on strengthening family and others by righteous examples.
Monday, November 2, 2009
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Six months ago I came home from a long and frustrating day at church. I sat down in my favorite chair next to my bookshelf and pouted. I was very frustrated at my lack of the spirit. My eyes happen to wander to the bottom shelf, and there, smashed in between many other books was Preach My Gospel. I had received it from a Bishop a few years back, but never took the time to read it. I reached for it and thumbed through it. I even began reading the first chapter a bit. I came to a part where the missionaries daily schedule was laid out. I at once felt jealous. I knew there was no way I could get up early enough to beat my children out of bed to study and read the Scriptures without being so tired the rest of the day. My daily Scripture study was infrequent and could only take place after the kids were in bed. I wasn't getting what I wanted out of it because I was so tired myself. I tossed the book and went to bed that night discouraged....Then, a miracle happened.
I was awakened at 5:30am the next morning. Wide awake. I wondered why I was awake. I decided I need to go back to sleep. Then these words came into my head, "This is your time, get out of bed." I did. I grabbed my Scriptures and this book.....and my life hasn't been the same since.
Over the past 6 months, Heavenly Father has helped me arise early (this is a miracle, believe me). I have studied a spirit directed course of Preach My Gospel. I have replaced every word missionary with motherhood and every word investigator with children. It has been so helpful and wonderful in teaching me how I can better fulfill the mission I am serving right now. With each chapter I have been surprised how much I've been able to learn. I have coupled this with a daily chapter of the Book of Mormon and a Conference talk. I have filled three spiritual journals with insights and words of encouragement and love from my Heavenly Father. It has been a heart changing experience. And, my prayers to be able to share the Gospel with others have been answered many times. I have found that my inhibitions and lack of confidence in my abilities to share the Gospel have been replaced with faith and confidence.
Yesterday, I finished Preach My Gospel. It was kind of emotional closing the book, it has been so exciting each morning to see what I can learn and improve on next. I am excited to begin again and find those things that I did not pick up on the first time. I've decided to begin studying the life of Christ and use Preach My Gospel to help me in my understanding.
I would like to challenge any one of you who read this blog to get a copy of Preach My Gospel. This is not simply for our Full-Time missionaries. This book was inspired in a way that can touch you, your spouse, and your family. I know for myself that your heart will be softened, your spiritual ears made sensitive, your ability to love and serve others increased, and your burdens made lighter. As you study this book and ponder of the Scriptures answers to prayers will come, and you'll find a joy that is sweet.
I would like to share my Testimony that I know that God lives and that Jesus is the Christ. I know that the Book of Mormon was written by prophets of God and Translated by the gift and power of God through Joseph Smith. I know that Jesus Christ is the only one who can provide the way for us to return to our Father in Heaven. I know his arms of mercy are extended to all of us if we repent and come unto him. I am so grateful for the power of prayer and the knowledge that we are never alone. He knows us. He loves us. He's waiting for us. He knew my desires, and he helped awaken me each morning....all I had to do was move my feet.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
So, don't worry. I'll be pulling something out of my Mary Poppins bag of tricks soon.
Friday, September 4, 2009
I hope you all are having fun reviewing for your programs. I hope you've been able to take some of these ideas and make them your own. I would love to hear from any of you who would like to tell me which ideas have worked best for you. Let me know what you did to expand on them.
New posts should start in a few weeks for the coming months. It will be a fun three months to relax before our new year starts.
Keep it up! They're all counting on you. Let me know if I can help with anything specific.
Friday, August 21, 2009
Two Gigantic Elephant ear cut outs
Huge Smile cut out
Big Sunglasses (dollar store)
Explain to the children that their program is next Sunday! Tell them that today we are going to pretend its the real thing. Focus on Dynamics today, posture, and keeping your eyes on the chorister.
Start with warming up their voices. Have them begin with breathing. Have them breath in for 4 counts and out for 6. Do this a few times until everyone is very calm. Take one of the program songs and sing it in Oohs, aahs, mmms, eees, lalas. Talk to them about opening their mouths and throats to sings the music.
Practice the stand and sit together. Have them watch you for the cue. This can be fun. Don't get out of hand by doing it too much.
Take each song in turn and start some where in the song. You don't have to do the beginning. Perhaps start in the part of the song where they are having the most trouble or you want them to change the dynamic. Work for 2-3 min only on a song. Go through it quickly, stopping every third song or so to check the stand and sit reflex with a quick wiggle song for the little ones.
Use the ears to have them sing louder. Use the mouth to prompt them to smile. Use the Glasses to get their eyes on you.
You can do this so many ways. I plan on really winging it. It should be great. Good luck.
Chalk to write the Titles of the program songs on the board.
8 Concept Questions on 3X5 cards --one for each program song (You might have to make two sets -Jr and Sr.)
1. My friend asks me if I think we lived before we came to earth and what our purpose is here. (Name the song that could BEST answer your friends question. 'I lived in Heaven')
2. My Mom asks me what I know about the Baptism of Jesus Christ. (Name the song that could BEST answer your mom's question. 'Baptism')
3. My Friend wants to know why I like my church so much and why I put my faith in God. (Name one of our program songs that could help answer his question. 'How firm a Foundation')
Explain to the children that our program songs have taught us some very important concepts of the Gospel that can help them be better family members and missionaries. Tell them you will ask each class a question. Have the children figure out which program song will Best answer the question they have been asked. Go over the words of that part of the song that would answer the question. Sing the song.
Continue through the questions until time is over.
Several funny dress-ups (ties, hats, shawls, wigs, glasses...etc)
3-4 children's Hymn books
Congratulate the children on a fine program. Explain that in order to celebrate you get to play a game called "Stump the Chorister". Pass out the children's Hymn books to a few of the teachers. Tell them to have their class look through the Hymn book and come up with a question about a song. (Rules: No questions on page numbers, no obscure hymns that they themselves don't know the words to, no questions such as "what is the 5th word in this song"...etc)
Have a one child come up from each class (in turn) and ask you their question. Explain that if you get the question right, you get to pick a dress-up that their teacher has to wear. If you get it wrong, they get to pick a dress-up that you have to wear. Have fun with it. Most likely you'll end up looking really funny...but that's the whole point. The sillier you end up looking, the more reward the kids end up getting.
Sing the song that the question was about, and then call up the next child. Continue until time is up.
This first idea is really pretty simple. Two weeks before your program, hand out a paper to all your teachers with three to four activities that you've done throughout the year that the children really enjoyed. Have the teachers quickly take a vote in their class. Collect the papers from your teachers the following Sunday, and choose the activity based on the majority vote. If there is an obvious tie between two activities...try and combine them.
Instead of singing the program songs...have the children pick their favorite songs to sing during the activity.
Monday, August 17, 2009
I hope you've found some ideas you could use for this years program review. I hope the next few weeks are fun and productive for your primary, and that you can look forward to the great privilege of helping the children bring the spirit to your Sacrament meeting through this beautiful music.
If you haven't found anything that works for you or you need more than what I've listed in the past few weeks...let me direct you to last years postings around this time. I think most of them will be in September of '08. Some of my favorites were:
All of them worked very well and were a lot of fun. I plan on posting ideas for "after the program" celebration activities shortly. I hope you all have a great time.
Way to go! It's been quite a year.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
8 questions written out that coincide with the program songs.
1 table set at the front of the primary room
Divide the room into two. Call one child from each team to the front. Give them each a flyswatter. Tell them that you are going to ask a question. If they know the answer they need to quickly slap their fly swatter on the desk. Then the child answers the question. If they are right, then they get a point. Then their team sings the song for an extra point....or they can choose to have the other team can sing it for no extra points. You could even make it teachers vs. kids if you want for added fun.
Make sure and make your questions very, very simple for Jr. Primary. You could even have the pianist play part of the song while you ask the question. Keep it very positive and don't worry about points so much as getting them to sing the songs.
8 Pictures that coincide with the program songs (you could just use one picture from your past picture prompts.)
Jr: Call up a child. Have them face the primary. Tell them that you are going to put up a picture that goes along with one of the program songs behind them where they cannot see it but the rest of the primary can. The rest of the primary is going to give you clues to what the picture is. You have 8 guesses. Have the children raise their hands if they want to give a clue. When the child guessed correctly what the picture is, help them figure out what song it goes to, and then sing that song. If they don't guess correctly, just pull the picture down and let them see it.
Sr: Call up a child. Explain that you will write a phrase on the board that they will not see, but the rest of the primary will. Tell them that they have 8 guesses to try and get the correct answer. The primary kids cannot say any of the words in the phrase to describe what it is. If they get it in 8 guesses or less, sing the song. If they do not, have the pianist play the notes to that part of the song and give them one last guess. Then sing the song. Remember to have the children raise their hands in order to give a clue (no one should be shouting anything)
*the crazy chorister
Friday, August 7, 2009
I am going to go early to church and check out all the "stuff" in the primary closet that former choristers have left. I think I'll pull out some random things. I'll have the kids come up and choose an object. We'll create a game on the spot and sing our song over and over.
I'll have to do a follow up on this to let you know if the crazy chorister finally had a major disaster or if it pleasantly and crazily worked out. Wish me luck.
For those of you who are more prone to plan and have more time than I, I suggest checking out one of the other repeat week activities on the blog and see if that works for you.
Have a great Sunday!
Sunday, August 2, 2009
This is a 20 min singing activity that can be expanded if needs be.
3 willing Teachers/parents/bishopric members/young men or young women. Pretty much anyone willing to give up 40 minutes of their Sunday to help ya out.
9 question cards (1 for each of the program songs and then a random one) These cards will have a question relating to each individual song. Examples: In the song "I lived in Heaven"...What does it say you did in Heaven?" or In the Song, "How Firm a Foundation" how many times is this phrase said..'upheld by my righteous hand'. ETC. You can make the easier or harder than that depending on your primaries needs.
Before singing time begins, draw a tic-tac-toe board on the chalk board and tape the song cards to the spaces. Arrange three chairs at the front of the room.
Tell the children that today we will be playing a fun game called Tic-Tac-Sing! Introduce your helpers, and tell the children that you will be asking for the help of reverent children that are really listening and singing their best.
Explain that one child will come up. He/She will choose a card from the board. The child will then choose on the of the helpers to answer the question. The chorister reads the question to the helper, and the helper will either tell the truth or a false answer to the question. The child will then decide if they were telling the truth or being false. If the child gets it right, they get to put an x in that space. Sing the song. Then have another child come up and continue the process until a tic-tac-toe has been achieved.
Continue through the songs until you are finished or time has run out.
I expect this one will hold their attention nicely.
* based on the Hollywood squares concept from the primusic group
** adapted by the crazy chorister
This will be an activity that reviews all 8 program songs in 20 min.
1 time machine (haha.. now you can call me crazy! I mean one home-made time machine. You can use a big refrigerator card board box..just call your local furniture store and see if they have one you can have. Then go crazy decorating it anyway you wish to make it look cool. I just happen to have a stroke of luck this past week when a family member gave my kids a really cool space ship made out of heavy card board that I'll be using. This is what it looks like before I make it cool..http://colormehouse.wordpress.com/gallery/rocket_playful/.
8 objects that were used to teach the program songs this year. Example could be ....a brick: "how firm a foundation"--A builders hat--"My Eternal Family".....I don't know what you used, but find something that the kids would recognize goes to that song. You could bring different objects for Jr. vs Sr. to make it easier or harder for the kids. Have a fun way to sing the song on the object.
Before primary, set up time machine and put the objects inside it.
Tell the children that they get to take a trip back in time to retrieve objects from the songs we have learned. Call someone up. Tell them to go inside and find one of the objects and bring it back out. Have the pianist play a fast version of a fun wiggle song while you wait. When the child brings out the object, have them tell you which song they think it is from. Sing the song the way the object's paper suggests.
I'm so excited, I can't wait!!!
*original concept by the primusic site
**adapted by the crazy chorister
Saturday, August 1, 2009
4 school folders with the titles Math, Reading, Science, and Geography. Inside the folders have a song title and the activity listed for the subject.
4 Bright colored paper apple cut outs with numbers on the 1-4 (tape them to the bottom of four random chairs in the primary room)
small bell (if you have it)
Poster Board with the song names on them and a Box next to the name of the song
1 3X5 index card laminated (If you don't have laminating sheets, just cover it in scotch tape)
1 Small glass of water
Tell the kids that it's an exciting time of the year because we get to start a whole new school year. Tell them we will be attending the Primary Musical School today. Write your name on the board, and put up the poster with the song titles on them. Tell them they will get a letter grade for each song after we have sung the song.
Tell the children to look under their chairs. If they got an apple, ask the child with #1 on the apple to come forward and ding the bell and give you (the teacher) the apple. Have them open your back pack and pull out a folder. Open the folder and read the song and the activity. Do the activity and then have the child with #2 come to the front.....etc. Continue until all songs are reviewed. Make sure and give them a letter grade reflecting how they sang. Be positive.
Math: "Seek the Lord Early" --Have the children count on their fingers how many times in the song they sing the phrase "Seek the Lord Early". You could even have them stand up and turn around every time they do sing that part of the song. Ask them to tell you the answer they came up with.
Reading: "Jesus once was a little child"-- Write the letter "C" on the board. Have the children clap every time they sing a word with the letter "C" in the song.
Geography: "Baptism"---As the children sing the song, start to spin the globe. Have the pianist stop the music suddenly. Have one of the children stop the globe with their finger. See if they are close to Israel or the river Jordan. If they are way off, pick up the song where you left and have them sing it the best they can for a good grade. If you actually do get close to it (within a few countries) , they get an automatic A+.
Science: "Families can be together Forever"--Tell the kids how grateful you are to know that you have been sealed to your family (if you haven't, just express your gratitude for the knowledge that you can be together forever.) Take the glass of water and put the index card over it. Turn the glass upside down. The card will stay. Point out that the air pressure has caused a sealing of the card to the glass so it defies gravity. Have the children sing the song, and tell them to watch and see if the card will stick to the glass through the song. If they sing well, and the card stays put (which it will)....give them an A+
Are we having fun yet?
*concept by the idea door
**adapted by the crazy chorister
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Use the program review activities in whatever order you would like. I will be using this activity to review four of the eight program songs and plan on only taking the 20 min time. It is an activity that can easily be used two weeks in a row to review several songs if you wish.
The primary was organized on the 25th of August 1878. This will make it 131 years "young". I thought it would be appropriate to hold a little birthday party for the primary in celebration in this special birthday month. Our review will include some simple birthday party games. This is an activity that is easy to do in 20 min or can be expanded to include the entire time (whatever you wish it to be). If you would like to read a brief history of the primary you can do so at http://www.lds.org/churchhistory/museum/primary/exhibit/1,16230,4088-1-32-99-0,00.html
4 Colorful pieces of paper that have the individual songs listed on them
1 Bean Bag
1 Helium filled Balloon
For "Decorations/Atmosphere" (If you want to do this it is nice but not required)
A few Balloons
A few streamers but up on the board
Primary Party hat for you and your pianist
Explain to the children that it's the Primary's Birthday and we are going to celebrate with a musical party. If you would like, read the brief history of the organization of the primary to the children...(it's only a paragraph long and it's really fun information). Tell them you have four games to review our songs.
Bring four chairs to the front that you have already stuck the papers with the program songs securely too. Call up 3 children. Have the pianist play music as they circle the chairs when the music stops, the children sit down on the nearest chair. Whatever chair does not have a child in it, that is the song that is sung. Use your balloon to direct the children to sing loud or soft. When the balloon is up have them sing louder, when the balloon goes down have them sing softer.
Sing and Freeze:
Take the three remaining song papers off the chairs and have one of the children choose one without looking. Explain that we will be singing this song while we move. Have the children follow your movements while singing the song (you could put your hands on your hips, flap your arms, jump, twist...etc)...have the pianist suddenly stop the music. When the music stops we have to freeze in place. Anyone that moves sits down...continue singing the song stopping once or twice more.
Take the two remaining songs. Have a child blindly choose one of them. Look at it, and choose a short phrase that is within that song. Whisper it into the child's ear. Have them pass it on through the primary (or a little group you've called up if your primary is huge). Have the last person say what they heard and see how close it is to the original. If it isn't too bad or silly...sing the song and substitute the phrase that was said.
With the remaining song, take your bean bag and toss it to a child. As you sing the song have them toss it around to different children. When the music stops, the child holding the bean bag gives the next word or phrase to the song.
Finish the "party" by having them sing "This month is such a special one" for the primary presidency.
Have fun with it.
* idea by the crazy chorister
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Just one thing before I get to it, I had hoped to teach the children this song incorporating sign language with it, but I realized that now is not the time to complicate life for me or the kids. I believe we would need several weeks to memorize and get it right for the program, and I have to do some much for the other songs it just isn't possible this year. So, just a word of advice to those of you who feel overwhelmed....simplify, simplify, simplify.
1 ziplock bag with a picture of the temple taped to the bag
5 Fisherprice little people (representing a dad, mom, and three children)...if you don't have Fisherprice little people (which, by the way, I am sure someone around you does or your nursery room has them)...you could use just about anything you wish.
1 picture of the temple
1 picture of Jesus Christ
1 picture of the council in heaven
Ask your pianist to gently and quietly play Families can be together forever. Ask 5 reverent children to come to the front. Show the children the little people dolls. Talk about how two of them are a Mom and a Dad. Give two of the children the dolls to hold up. Show the other dolls and explain that these are their children. Tell the primary that they are a family. Have the other children hold these dolls up. Ask the children to put the family in the bag. Seal the bag. Talk about how through temple marriage, we are sealed together forever. Turn the bag upside down and show how the family all stays together. Then put them in the bag again without it being sealed. Turn the bag over and let the dolls fall on the ground. Talk about how those who aren't sealed may have a good marriage and a good family; they may be happy for now, but without the sealing there is no promise. In temples, sealing work is done for those who died without having this take place in their lives. We can help our families here on earth to have those promises and blessings as well as our ancestors. Explain that Jesus Christ made it possible for us to be together forever as families. Show the picture of the temple. Explain that in the temple we make covenants that bind us together for eternity if we choose to live righteously in this life. Show the picture of the council in heaven. Remind the children that in the song "I lived in Heaven"..we learned that we all lived together with people we loved. We want that for our future lives in eternity and we can take steps today and for the rest of our lives to make that happen.
Show them the first picture prompt. Say the words, explain anything they don't understand. Have them sing it with you a few times. Continue with this process until the song is completed.
Have a great week--and don't forget to take a breath now and then.
*original concept-the idea door
**Adapted by the crazy chorister
Monday, July 27, 2009
I have been getting comments and emails from many of you worried about your up coming primary program...don't worry, there is still plenty of time (even for you September primary programmers). I thought I would tell you the schedule I will be following for the next few weeks so you could have an idea of my plan to get the program polished up.
Aug 1--Introduction of Families can be Together Forever
Aug 8--Repeat Week/Test at the very end of singing time
Aug15--Review Game with Jan-April songs
Aug 22--Review Game with May-Aug songs
Aug 29--Huge Review Day with all program songs (ask to have the entire time this day)
Sept 5-26 = Really Fun and Engaging review games that will really polish up each song. They will be able to be completed during the 20 min allowed. I might do a bigger activity towards the end of Sept. if I get the whole time. I have some ideas that I think will provide the energy for our program.
As the summer speeds by, I find myself getting even more busy...so, as I get time I will post one or several of the review games I intend to carry out. They will not necessarily go in order of the weeks I plan on doing them. I hope that doesn't mess up any of you, but I think it might give you extra time to plan out your own schedules and fit the activities in when they work for you the best.
That said, I have laundry to do.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
1 large poster board or a large piece of butcher paper in the shape of the USA with the Mormon Trail outlined on it (so it looks like a map). Today, I just drew it on the chalk board free hand. If you happen to live outside the US..you could use a boat or ship to outline the voyages the pioneers took across the Oceans.
7 small cutouts of covered wagons, handcarts, horses, people...etc (anything you want really)
4 pictures that go along with pioneer stories
4 short pioneer stories that involve children
picture prompts for you program songs (if needed)
Pioneer Honey Candy (if you want to include this aspect the recipe will be at the bottom of this post)
Begin by explaining to the children that pioneer children did a lot of walking. They walked with their friends and family. As they journeyed together across the plains, heading a prophet's words, they were strengthened as individuals and families. One of the things little pioneer children did to strengthen each other and their families was to sing. Singing made them happy and helped them endure their hardships. Music can strengthen your family.
Have a child come to the front and choose either a wagon to go across the trail, or a picture with a story. If you are going to sing a song...point out your map and explain that as they sing the song they will be helping the pioneers across the plains. Move the wagon closer and closer as they sing well. If they do a great job...that wagon make it to the end. If they don't sing or don't know the song that well have the wagon stop in the middle or such. If you have time at the end....try and rescue the stranded pioneers by singing that song again. This will be a great indication of which songs need more work. If they choose a story, tell the story quickly and sing a pioneer song that goes with the meaning of the story.
When time is up, tell them that you have a special reward for singing so well. Then hand out your pioneer honey candy. (if you feel this is appropriate)
This activity worked very well. We were able to get through almost all of the program songs and several stories.
2 cups honey
1 cup sugar
1 cup cream
Combine all ingredients and cook slowly to a hard-ball stage. Pour onto buttered platter. When cool enough to handle, grease hands and pull until a golden color. Cut into pieces.
Happy Pioneer Day!
*original idea from idea door
**adaptation the crazy chorister
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Since part of this song says, "He played as little children play, the pleasant games of youth.", I have been reflecting on some of the games I played as a child that I loved. One of those games was called "Heads up 7 up".
The basic idea to the game was 7 children would be picked to come to the front. Everyone else would be told "Heads down, thumbs up"...the children in their seats would then close their eyes and put their thumb in the air. The 7 children would then go silently around the room and touch one child's thumb (which that child would then put down so the other six children wouldn't pick them twice.) The 7 children would then come to the front of the room again, and the teacher would say "Heads up 7 up". The 7 children who had their thumbs touched would then stand up. They would each take turns trying to guess who out of the seven up front touched their thumb. If they guessed correctly, they got to switch places with the person up front. The goal was to try and be sneaky and quite enough where no one could guess it was you and so you got to remain up front.
So, how did I turn this into a Repeat week activity?....
10-15 creative ways to sing the song (I have posted these all over the blog, but I'm going to try and compile them into one post for future reference)
picture helps if needed
Sing through the song once to remind the children of what they are learning and review any words or phrases that are difficult to understand to refresh their memory.
For the sake of time and reverence I decided to play this with only three kids up front instead of seven.
Call up three reverent children that were singing in your review. Explain "Heads up 7 up" to them only call it "Heads up 3 up" or "Guess who". Tell them that you will give one of the children up front a card that has a fun way to sing our song on it. Direct the primary to put their heads down and thumbs up (include the teachers in this it makes it more fun for the kids). The three that were chosen will then go and touch the thumb of three other children in their seats. When they are back up front, say, "Heads up 3 up" and have the children that were picked stand up. Then, instead of the child trying to pick who choose them, they are trying to pick who has the card. The first person to pick the one with the card gets to switch them places for the next round. Then you sing the song as directed on the card. Continue to play this game until time is out. You should be able to sing the song at least 6-7 times.
I really like this game because most of it is in complete silence.
Friday, June 26, 2009
I decided to post this today since my upcoming week is very busy. I am so excited that we were able to choose this month's song. Jesus Once was a Little Child fits well with the monthly theme and it was a childhood favorite of mine. Here's the plan to introduce it on Fast Sunday....
3 baby pictures of different primary teachers (Have them also provide you with a picture of when they served a mission or got married in the temple)
1 picture of Jesus as a child--there are several beautiful depictions in the GAK
1 picture of Jesus teaching, healing...etc. Again, there are many to choose from.
You may want to scan the pictures into your computer and use the projector to show them to the primary, or you can do it the old fashioned way and hold them up for all to see.
Tell the children that we get to learn another new song. Have the pianist play through the song softly as you get out your primary "Photo Album". Have the teachers sing with you to the children the first verse of the song.
Next, as the pianist softly continues to play the melody, show the children the different pictures of the teachers as babies or children. Have the children guess who is in the picture. Have one of the pictures in the set be a picture of Jesus as a child. (Do not waste a lot of time on this, it should really take only about 3 min or less)
Now, show the pictures of the primary teachers on their mission or being married. Again, have the children guess who it is. Have one of those pictures be of the Savior teaching or healing. (Again, don't loose time by saying too much about the pictures...)
Tell the children that their primary teachers were once children and now are grown up and have gone on missions or been married. Tell them that someday, they will be all grown up and do the same things. And, just as Jesus Christ was a child just like them, someday we can all be like Him if we live the Gospel. We all have divine potential.
Get out your picture prompts and begin by singing the first line to the children. Have them repeat the line. Ask them to next try and listen for three qualities that Jesus had as a child (pure, meek, mild). After they answer the question, have them sing the line. Ask them to listen for a word that repeats itself three times at the end of the song. When they give the answer (try, try, try)..explain that in order to be like Him we need to always do our best and keep going forward even when we make mistakes. Sing the First verse through once or twice. If you have time, continue on with the second verse and point out the important qualities and similarities that Jesus has and that they have.
Hope this helps some of you...
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Monday, June 22, 2009
Crocodile Game (straws or sticks if you don't have one)
I have this simple little game that we bought for my kids last Christmas. It is just this little crocodile that you lift its mouth open and push down the teeth. When you get to the tooth that it is set on, it shuts the mouth quickly (no pain involved). It rotates so you never really know what tooth it is set on. My kiddos love it, and I thought it would be something really fun to take to primary. If you don't have one or can't find one, I am sure you could use sticks or straws and make one shorter than the rest and have the child that gets the short straw be the participant...you could call it "the short end of the stick"...or something like that.
Anyhow, here's how you play...
Tell the children that you brought your pet Crocodile to church today. He is shy, and you were hoping that they could make him feel welcome today by smiling and singing their best. You could even have them give him a name if you want.
Anyhow, tell them that he has come to test them on their knowledge of this month's song. Explain that you will go up and down the isle with him as they are singing this month's song, all the while having a few kids push a tooth down. When his mouth closes, the person who pushed that tooth will then have to say the next line of the song. If they get it right, Mr. Crocodile will open his mouth again. (Jr. Primary can use their classmates or teachers for help). I will make it clear that Brother Crocodile won't open his mouth for people who are not singing or being reverent. Do this twice all the way through the song and then tell them they pass it off (if they sung it well both times).
For Sr. Primary, I plan on making the last round a speed round. They have to push the teeth fast and we'll stop several times throughout the song.
For Jr. Primary, we'll do this at an even pace for two rounds with that song just to make sure they know it, and then we'll continue this activity only allowing the child who chooses the tooth that closes the mouth to pick their favorite primary song.
Have a great week!
Sunday, June 14, 2009
So, on to this week. My sister is a middle school English teacher (a great one at that), and gave me a cute idea for a review game that she plays with her kids before tests. I choose to use flies as my theme because I live way out in the country with cows and horses and yep,...flies. This time of year is especially bad for that so I think everyone will relate in my primary. But, if you live in the East you could use fireflies and attach a picture of a Mason Jar to your fly swatter and call it "catching fireflies" or you could do pictures of butterflies and use the little dollar store nets....be creative and have fun with it. Here is my version.
2 new (unused) fly swatters. (I got these at the dollar store. They have some really cute and colorful ones to choose from.
6 pictures of flies or bugs with the songs for the program on them. ( I simply looked up Free Fly Clip art on the web and found the picture I wanted)
Tape or magnets to hang them on the chalk board (I am going to use tape, I think it will hold better for this game)
Clues for Sr. Primary
Picture prompts for each song (if necessary)
JR: Tell the kids that some flies have come to primary today and you need help getting rid of them. The only way they will fly away is if we swat them and then sing them out. Have a child come and take a swatter and swat whatever song they would like. Then sing that song creatively or normally. Don't bother with clues because most of the kids can't read anyway. They will just like the fact they can slap the silly fly.
SR: Tell the kids that some flies have come to primary today and you need help getting rid of them. Give two children each a fly swatter. Tell them these are tricky flies and so they really need to listen and move fast. Give them a clue that they can quickly figure out such as "this fly has landed on the song that talks about where we lived before we came to Earth." Then, the children will race to see who can slap the correct fly first. This is NOT suppose to be a competition, just some fun..so don't keep score or put people up against each other like that. Sing the song that is correct.
You should be able to do all 6 songs within your 20 min time frame, but if for some reason you don't get to all of them...no worries. Have a great week.
PS Dad, I love you. Thank you for your encouragement and support. I am grateful for you. Happy Father's Day.
PPS Honey, you're the greatest. I love you. Thanks for being my bestfriend. Our kiddos are so lucky to have you be their daddy. Happy Father's Day!
Clue #1--sing soft/loud
As we enter Primary
she plays soft songs so dear.
She helps us sit so reverently
we feel the spirit near.
Clue #2--sing staccato
I have two hands and a face
I move round and round,
but go no place
It is hard to hear in the back
without this neat device.
It magnifies the sound we hear
so we need not say it twice.
Clue#4--Turn around and sing to the hallway to get a wave
Our primary would be very dark
if it were not for these.
They let us see the world outside
and feel the gentle breeze.
Clue #5--Have them Hum every time they would have sung the word "Seek"
Set up just for primary,
a place to sit and hear
our talks and songs and lessons
of Jesus Christ so dear.
Clue #6--Ooh, Aah, hum...the entire song
Her smile is quite radiant.
She serves with all her might
to teach her class the gospel truths
and help them choose the right.
Clue # 7--Follow the leader
He’s really tall, about 6'4".
He speaks a different tongue
he learned while on his mission
ask him to speak it some.
Clue #8--Sing as if we are preforming the primary program
You’ve sung your best and past the test
You’ve memorized this song.
If you seek you find
now look behind
He’s been there all along.
(Picture of Christ at the back of the Room)
Monday, June 8, 2009
8 3x5 cards with clues written on them (Hide these cards around the primary room before the children get in there.) I suggest not to put them in envelopes because some kids have a difficult time opening them. Help the younger kids read the card.
Each card will contain a clue to where the next card is hidden in the room. It will also have a way to sing for that turn such as....sing Acapella, Staccato, whisper sing, turn around and get someone from the hallway to wave at us by singing with gusto, sing the first two lines of the song, fast, slow....etc.
Tell the children that for repeat week you hid a very important gift and we are going to play Hide and Seek to find it. Tell them you have hidden clues all around the room and in order to find the next clue we have to sing how the card suggests. Go through the activity finding the hidden cards and singing the song. The last card will lead us to a picture of the Savior. Congratulate them on "Finding" the gift.
Simple and effective. Have a great week.
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Magnifying Glass--- "Seeking" (they won't realize that it is actually a clue before the end...so it ends up being the "missing piece" that we had all along. It will help them understand that they have been given the Gospel in their hands and if they use it by reading the Scriptures, making right choices, and following Jesus Christ they will find Him early in their lives and have His spirit to be with them all their lives.)
Picture of Primary Kids Singing--"Youth"
Judges Gavel--"Truth" (It is to help them understand that with the Lord's help they will be able to judge between right and wrong, good and evil, truth and falsehoods....if you do not have access to one of these you an use a picture of one)
Scriptures with a picture of the Savior inside---"Scriptures find him there"
Mormon Ad "Need to Talk"--"prayer" (here is a link so you can see what I am using...http://library.lds.org/nxt/gateway.dll/Magazines/NewEra/1985.htm/new%20era%20june%201985.htm/mormonad.htm)
An Iron Rod--"Obey" (I happen to have a steel rod that I can bring...if you don't have access to something like this, again you can bring a picture of an iron rod or you can use the picture in the GAK of Lehi's Dream)
Copy of the May 2009 Conference Ensign--"Living Prophets"
Big Heart--"Love will Abound"
Picture of Jesus Christ's Second Coming-"He will be Found"
I hope that helps some of you. Remember to make this your own and think what your specific primary will respond to and understand. I am using these objects in conjunction with my picture prompts because I do not want to bring this stuff back week after week. I want them to just remember the objects and the picture prompts will just help mostly to remember the words for succeeding weeks. Happy Crazy Choristering!
Friday, May 29, 2009
So, I decided to post my introduction idea for the upcoming song in June, I'll Seek the Lord Early. I posted a similar version of this idea way back when I started this blog. I entitled it "Solve the Music Mystery"....but of course, I had to tweak it just a bit.
Brimmed Hat for you and another for your pianist (like Sherlock Holmes and Watson)
Picture Prompts--(I happened to make up my own for this and will try and find a way to post them)
6-7 question marks you an put up around the room with different objects that go along with the song.
I am going to enter from the back of the room with my trench coat, hat, and sunglasses on. In my pocket will be the magnifying glass. I will act very mysterious like I am looking around the room for something, under chairs, behind kids...just to make sure all eyes are on me. I then will pretend like I am noticing them for the first time. "Oh, hello...have you seen it?" I'll ask. "Have you seen the new song in town....I heard it's a real good one.....I heard it's just waiting for us to find it. My boss told me I need to find out what that song is all about..I need to know what the message of the song is, what the melody is, and the words. Will you help me?" I plan on hamming this up a bit..maybe even faking an old time detective accent for the part.
At this point, I'll pull out my magnifying glass. I'll explain that this will help us find the clues. I'll had the magnifying glass to one of the kids and ask them to go find one of the clues. We'll discuss the clues as they are brought back. They don't have to be in any order. This part should really only take about 3 min. After all the clues are back, explain that you now need to get them in the right order so you can solve the mystery. Have the pianist play the song and show the first Picture Prompt. Say and sing the words. Have the children decide what object goes with what picture and get them in order.
After you have sung the entire song and put all the objects in order....tell them that they are awesome detectives and that they not only solved the mystery and found the song, but they now know how to "Seek the Lord Early"
*the crazy chorister
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Cookie tray with sides
5 different colors of paper with one song title on each paper/and direction on the back
5 Magnets or pieces of tape to hang the papers on the board
Fill your five glasses with 1/4 cup water and 1/2 cup vinegar. Place one drop of food coloring on each spoon. Cover food coloring with a heaping spoonful of baking soda. Place cups and spoons on tray because it will make a mess. Have paper towels handy. Make sure and bring extra of all ingredients so you can re set this up for Sr. Primary.
Before singing time display your different colored paper with titles at the front of the room where everyone can clearly see them. Make sure and write a little activity they can do for each of the different songs on the back of the paper. For example, these are the activities I did for each one of the songs...
I lived in Heaven: The child who was called on became the chorister for that song and I sat in their seat.
How Firm a Foundation: I had all the children turn around and face the doors of the primary room and sing as powerful as they could to see if they could get someone to wave at them or give them a thumbs up sign. It worked out really great.
My Eternal Family: I had the children follow my every move through the song..like I waved or put my arms up or flapped my arms...etc
Beautiful Savior: We sang this Acapella
Baptism: I had the children stand on one foot as we sang the song.
I explained to the children that today we were going to do singing science experiments. I had the children sing through the song for the month, "Baptism", and I watched for children that were paying attention, singing out, and doing their best. I then invited a one child at a time to come up and pick a spoon to stir into my "water solution". I put on my safety goggles and brought an extra pair for the child...saying that we should always remember "safety first". The child then would pick a spoon, stir it in, and watch the foam reaction. The kids loved this. As the bubbles settle, the color appears. Whatever color appeared we would sing and do the activity on the piece of colored paper that had that song title.
It worked great. The kids sang out and payed attention. We were easily able to complete this in the 20 min allowed...I even had three min left to review one of our Father's Day presentation songs.
Thanks to the originator of this idea, it was totally crazy...just like I like it.
*originator: Primary Singing Ideas Blog
**Adapted by the crazy chorister
Monday, May 18, 2009
The way I used it was slightly different. I wrote down all the songs we have learned for the program so far on little pieces of paper and put them into a box. I had one child draw the song from the box. Then they could pull a stick from game. If no marbles fell, they could choose how many verses to the song we sang or if they wanted to sing a different song completely they could choose to do that. If marbles fell, we sang one verse for every marble. If more marbles fell than were verses in the song we just sang through the song, all verses, and stopped to improve different parts of it. We were able to review all five songs in the given time just great.
Pretty simple, and the kids just loved it.
Thanks again for the great idea primarysinging timeideas!
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Since this Sunday is Mother's Day, I decided to create a Repeat Activity that would let the children also celebrate the joy of the day.
A Large Vase (or in my case a pot with some foam in it covered by a bit of peat moss)
1 Flower for every woman that will be in the Primary Room (You can make them paper flowers, silk flowers, real flowers...in my case...I am making some sugar cookie flowers on sticks.
A small tag around each flower stem that indicates a different way to sing the song.
Bring your vase (pot) of flowers to the front of the room. Tell the children how well they did in Sacrament singing to their mothers and how pleased you are with their efforts. Tell them that today is repeat week, and to review our baptism song we will be picking flowers for the women in our primary to honor them on this day. In order to be able to pick a flower, classes will have to sit reverently and sing their very best. Have a child come to the front and pick a flower. Have the children sing the verse of the song in the way the paper states (fast, slow, staccato, acapella..etc). Tell the class that the child came from that this flower is for their teacher and to sing their very, very best for Her. If they do a great job, have the child give the flower to their teacher. If their teacher is a man, have the child give it to one of the presidency or the pianist. Continue to repeat the song as many times as possible as the children continue to give the flowers to the women in the primary.
Happy Mother's Day Mom! I will be forever grateful to you for teaching me the primary Hymns and this beautiful Gospel of Jesus Christ. I love you.
*the crazy chorister
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
A Name Tag that says "Tour Guide-Primary Tours"
1 picture of Jesus Christ being baptised by John the Baptist
1 Picture of the River Jordan (I haven't found the one I want just yet, but when I do I will try and post it here)
Colored chalk--I may or may not use this to write down answers to my questions on the board.
Tell the children that today is going to be so much fun because we are going to take a pretend trip to a very special place and we get to learn our new song for the month of May. Have everyone stand up. Tell them to grab their pretend suitcase in their hands. Have the pianist play a few wiggle songs right in a row. As the music plays in the back ground, have the children move their feet to the rhythm. Tell them that your late for your plane so you'll have to reverently jog in place....oh no you dropped your suit case (sing hinges to pick it up) make it fun and get those wiggles out so they can concentrate on the next part of the activity..finally tell them they made the plane just in time and have them sit down.
Spend a few min telling them that they are now flying over a huge ocean and perhaps what they can see now and then. You could use the globe at this point to show them where they are going. Tell them they are now off the plane. Have them close their eyes as you describe them walking over some rocky paths in a place that they've never been. Tell them its hotter than here and as you come around a corner you can hear something....at this point have the pianist play just the bottom hand to the song. It has the rhythm of a river and ask them what the rhythm of the song reminds them of. Have them open their eyes.
Show them the picture of the Jordan River and tell them this is the special place that they traveled so long to get to. Show your picture prompts for the first verse and tell them that you want them to listen to the song and see if they can hear where they are. Continue to sing the song as the children answer Who was there, what happened, why it was important, and what should we do now that we know this story. Put up the picture of the Savior being baptised after the first verse has been learned and reference it for the next verses.
The first part of this activity should only take maybe 3-4 min. The rest of the time will be spent singing the song, understanding the words and story, and getting the rhythm down.
I hope that all makes sense...its been a long day.
*the crazy chorister