Tuesday, December 28, 2010
It was a great experience being a Chorister and I'll always cherish all the fun and uplifting times I had each week.
Thank you for encouraging me with your comments. I hope you all have success and find joy in your calling as I did.
May the Lord Bless you.
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Anyhow, I had a fun idea this past week for singing time and it worked really well and was so much fun. I thought I'd post it.
6-7 different shaped Christmas Cookie Cutters
1 12 x 12 piece of brownish (dough colored) paper
6-7 different colored paper
1 cookie sheet
Use your cookie cutters to trace their shape on the large piece of brown paper. Fit them like a puzzle so all of them fit just as you would if you were trying to get the most out of the last bit of cookie dough. I used the outside edge of the cookie cutter to get the largest shape possible for the dough part. Carefully cut them out and tape the large brown paper back together where you cut through. Write different Christmas songs on the back of the cookies
Now, using the inside edge of the cutter, trace and cut the different shapes out of the colored paper. This will serve as the frosting of the cookie so you want it slightly smaller than the cookie.
Before singing time begins, tape the "dough" on the board, and using a small piece of tape on the back of each cookie, carefully fit them back into their cut out spot on the dough.
I Welcomed the children to primary. I Explained that fun family traditions are always apart of the Christmas season and I wanted to share with them my family tradition of making sugar cookies. As we sang "do as I'm doing" I had them follow me in pretending to make the dough for the cookies and rolling it out.
I then showed them my cookie cutters. I explained that as the pianist was playing some music, they would pass one of the cookie cutters around the room. When the music randomly stopped, whoever was holding the cookie cutter would come up and try and find the shape on the dough that it matched. Place the cookie on the cookie sheet. (I leaned my cookie sheet up on the chalk board so all could see the cookies on the tray as we put them there) We would then sing the song on the back (I made it slightly harder for senior...they had to try and guess what song it was). If they sang the song really well, I told them we would be able to decorate the cookie.
To decorate the cookie, have them pretend to have a huge bag of whatever color frosting goes with that cookie. Have them pretend from their seats to frost the cookie their very best. Tape the frosting to the cookie. Repeat the process until all the cookie cutters have been passed around the room.
This was so much fun, and we were able to sing quite a few Christmas songs...even some they didn't really know.
I hope you all are having a very Merry Christmas!
*thecrazychorister (who apparently can't let go)
Sunday, November 7, 2010
Today was a bitter /sweet Sunday. I was released from my calling as Primary Chorister, and as the tears fell...I was called to be the 2nd counselor of the Primary....and then the tears really started to fall. :)
The past two and a half years have been a joy to me. I have never felt so encompassed by the spirit through each step of my calling. I will be forever grateful for this opportunity to serve and hope someday I can have this calling again. It's simply too much fun.
I am grateful to all of you for your kind remarks and words of encouragement as I have shared the inspirations I received for this calling, and I'm grateful if I helped you in any way.
Now...what to do about this blog.... Well, obviously I will not be posting new ideas since I will need to concentrate on my new calling, but the suggestions on this blog will be at your disposal.
If I could leave you with one suggestion that I learned as I've had the privilege of serving in this capacity...., Don't rely on blogs like this one to do your calling for you. They are great resources and I benefited many times from others ideas, but YOU were called as Chorister of your ward primary for a reason. The Lord is waiting to help you grow if you will come unto him and ask Him how He would like you to teach these children. I have a testimony that He has made up for everything I lacked coming into this calling. He consistently gave me answers, lesson plans, and words to speak that made all the difference to the children I was called to teach. He knows their hearts and the way they learn best. Trust Him. Go to Him. You will find miracles are waiting for you and those kids.
Thank you for all you do in serving children of this church. We are truly raising a mighty generation that will have the strength to overcome all and endure to the end because they know the Truth and love the Savior.
I know my Savior Lives and Loves us. He is my friend, and I am so grateful to serve Him in anyway I can.
Bless you All,
Melanie Ketcheson ( aka: The Crazy Chorister)
Monday, October 25, 2010
So, I wanted to give these kids a big thank you and also to relax a bit....we've had a few Sundays of intense practicing (not much fun for them). I decided to combine a couple of ideas I've used in the past, and it turned out to be the funniest and funnest reward for them and me.
I'm calling this.....
It's Either You or Me
Okay, so the basic idea is a combination of "Spin the Teacher", "crazy hat day", and "name that tune."
A bunch of dress up items in a bag...(I took hats, gloves, crazy glasses, ugly ties, capes, etc....)
Borrow A swivel chair from the clerks or bishops office
8-10 pieces of paper with Random, fun Primary songs that the children know well (DO NOT USE THE PROGRAM SONGS)
Okay, so explain that you're going to choose a teacher to come sit in the chair up front if their class is reverent. Have the pieces of paper with the song titles on them face down on the floor all around the chair....like a clock.
Have a teacher come up front and sit down. Have them lift their feet slightly. Have the pianist play some music and begin to spin the teacher (slowly). When the music comes to a stop, have the teacher put their feet down. Whatever piece of paper their feet is on, pick it up and show the title of the song to their teacher. Ask the teacher how many notes they think their class needs to get the song. Then you also give a guess to how many notes. If the teacher says, "5" and you say "6"...have the pianist give them the fewer notes first. If they get it right on the teachers guess...the teacher picks a dress up for you to wear. If miss on their teacher's guess and get your guess then you get to pick a dress up for their teacher to wear. Then sing the song.
This was too much fun for both the kids and teacher and me. I ended up looking like some sort of rodeo clown princess...and several teachers where wearing funny hats etc. They kids were so thrilled.
I will say, this was a more lively activity then most. We kept it under control, but expect a more lively reaction.
Anyhow, it couldn't have been a better day all around. I hope you had or will have a fantastic program.
Now, ...on to getting ready for Christmas!
Monday, October 18, 2010
A. Bring three different colored flags, pieces of paper, or something you can have some hold up at the back of the chapel. I had a red flag, a yellow flag, and a blue flag. I had a sister sit at the back of the chapel for our rehearsal. I told the children that during the songs, Sister Loomis will hold up the Red flag if you need to be louder, The Yellow flag if you need to be softer, and the blue flag if you're singing perfect. This worked SO WELL. The children not only followed my direction, but the sound was fantastic.
B. To help all the children stand together, I did a little exercise with them. We practiced standing up and sitting down. I made a motion with my hands directing them to come to the edge of their seats. I then swept my arms down and up to have them stand. I told them I didn't want a bunch of pop corn on the stage.....so I had them sing Pop Corn Popping and had them "pop" up out of their chair each time we sang the words "popcorn" in the song. They loved that, and it helped them understand the difference in that and what I wanted them to do. They did amazing after that...and all eyes were on me.
C. So, rehearsal can sometimes get crazy trying to get everyone to listen and be reverent during it...especially the little children. So, a great teacher let me have a huge bag of stickers. I gave a bunch to each teacher and asked them to give the stickers to children who are sitting reverently and paying attention. I then announced (after I got permission from the PP) that if the children worked hard, listened, and were reverent...they would receive a sticker. And those who had stickers...would get a cookie from me at the end. UM....you would have thought I was giving out $100 dollar bills. It was absolutely amazing. Each child earned their sticker and got their cookie...it WAS AWESOME! Please, get permission before doing this in your primary.
Have a fun and spiritually amazing program!
Sunday, October 10, 2010
Have a great week!
Monday, September 13, 2010
My recommendation is to only work on four out of the eight primary songs. I found that was the perfect amount of time to work through all four songs plus four wiggle/reverent songs.
I began by telling the children how excited I was that it was fall. So many good things happen this time of year. The leaves change, the primary program is coming up, and I get to pick apples off my tree to make applesauce! I told them that sometimes I have the unpleasant experience of finding green worms in my apples. I told them I brought one of those apples today, and it just happens to have a green worm in it. Now, this isn't just some ordinary, run-of-the-mill worm...this just happens to be Winston the Worm. Now, Winston happens to love love love primary music...and when I told him that you were practicing for the up coming program...he told me he really wanted to come and hear you sing. But, Winston is a very shy worm. He usually doesn't come out of his apple unless everyone is reverent, singing their best, and smiling as big as they can so he feels welcome......(you can say whatever comes to mind for you....)
Have the children sing one of the program songs they are really good at. As you notice everyone being reverent and smiling, slowly bring Winston (your hand) out of the apple. I tended to ham this part up a bit....he came out a bit and then shyly went back in a poked his head out a bit and finally came out of the apple and waved hello. Have the children wave back to him. I asked Winston if he wanted to hear some more songs. He nodded and then waved me down to his mouth...I pretended that he was whispering something too me. I turned back to the children and said...Winston really wants to hear you sing...."fill in the blank on whatever you're working on"....and he really loves it when he can hold the Strong/Soft sign. Put the sign into Winston's mouth. Have the children follow his direction.
I could go on, but I think you get the point. Just do what comes natural to you. At one point, I had Winston smile huge (just extend your thumb and pinkie as far as they go)...the kids really loved that and felt good they were making him feel so welcome with their singing. I also had him sing along at one point, but because he's a worm you can hardly hear his little voice....
One little sunbeam jumped off her chair towards the end, came up to me and said, "Winston is just a sock!" I put my finger to my mouth and said, "Shh, he doesn't know that....let's not tell him it would hurt his feelings." She smiled and went back to her chair.
I sometimes had Winston introduce his siblings. Winston would go back into the apple and a sibling would pop out of the hole. Each Sibling had a favorite wiggle they lead the kids in.
This was such a fun 20 min. Have a great Week!
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
I'm not sure where I saw this activity idea, but I really liked the concept. It went over really, really well in my primary and the kids really loved it. Here is what I did...hope it helps someone out there.
16 colorful balloons (8 Jr. pri - 8 Sir pri) one for each program song.
16 small pieces of paper (8 Jr. Pri - Sir pri) with a question or different way to sing the song.
2 pennies (1 jr. - 1 Sr.)
1 large push pin
Insert one paper in each balloon. Inflate. With one of the balloons, insert penny and a slip of paper that says "toss up"
Explain that the program is coming soon and we really need to make sure we know every song a well as we can. To help us do this we're going to have a "Pop Quiz" to help us.
Have one of the boys with short hair come up. Ask him if it would be alright if you used his head for a min. Lightly rub each balloon on his head and attach it to the wall or chalk board. (Just remember that since you have paper in the balloon it is heavier than usual, so this works great on a chalk board where it has the chalk tray to have a bit more support.)
Then call children up one at a time to pop a balloon and proceed to do what the paper suggests. When the balloon with the penny gets popped, tell them it is a "Toss up". Have them call heads or tails...if they get it right they can choose what song to sing or how to sing a program song..or who gets to sing it. If they don't get it, have the pianist play her favorite song and sing that one.
Really, this was such a fun activity....it really held their attention, and we got so much accomplished.
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Our program is scheduled for the end of October, and since I feel we have a lot of time and know the songs really well already..I thought we would set aside our program songs this time around, and sing other songs we haven't had the chance to enjoy due to all our hard work. I also am doing this so they don't get so bored with the music that by the time the program comes around that shows in their voices and faces as they sing these amazing songs.
You can easily adapt this activity to fit the program songs if that is your wish. This activity can be done in the normal 20min...but I would suggest cutting it down a bit. I have the entire time on Sunday so I'm free to go crazy.
1 pencil box with enough pencils for each child to have one. Put a star sticker on 6-8 of them.
6-8 folders with different subjects listed on the front of the folder....and the song and activity listed on a paper on the inside of the folder.
Basket full of Apples for their teachers on your desk
Any other props that are needed for the activities that go with the songs. I'm not going to take the time to list them here as they will vary depending on how elaborate you really want to get...so take what ya wish and toss the rest.
Biology: "My Heavenly Father Loves Me"-- Have a small bag or box filled with different picture clues such as a bird, blue sky, rain, wind...etc. Have the child try and guess the song from the pictures. When they have guessed correctly, have several children hold the pictures while singing the song.
Art: "I Love to See the Temple"--Divide the chalk board in half with a line. Allow two children to see the title of the song. Have them race to draw a picture that will help their team guess the song. After a correct answer has been given, sing the song. For Jr. Primary...you might want to have a teacher do the drawing.
Language Class: "Children All Over the World"---write the different words for thank you on the board and have the children guess what language the words are. Practice saying the words a few times.
Anatomy: "I'm all made of Hinges" Sing this song as a little kid (really fast), as an old man (really slow) and as a Primary teacher...(reverent).
Music: "Primary Children Sang as They Walked..." Give the primary children a clue such as...."they probably walked up hills both ways to school and were happy about it".....then ask the two opposing teams how many notes they need to get the song. The group with the lowest notes can guess the song after the notes are played.
Reading: "The Books of the Book of Mormon"--Have them open their scriptures to the contents page. Sing the song with them once through while they are looking at the words. Have them close the book. Sing it three more times getting faster each time seeing if they can sing it without making a mistake.
Recess: "I Belong to the Church of Jesus Christ...."---Have them spread out their chairs a bit so there is room between them and the person in front of them. As you sing the song, have them move down a chair each time they sing the word "I". Have the person on the end quickly run around to the end of the row to begin again. (BTW..the kids LOVE this...although, it can get a bit rowdy..so just tell them we have to complete this task as reverently as possible to get a good grade in this subject.)
Math: "I like My Birthdays"---Show them a tray or box full of items. Have them take a good look at it. Take it away and remove 8 items. Show them the box again while they sing the song. See if they could figure out what 8 items were taken away.
Pop Quiz: Have a balloon with a paper inside and a dime. Have someone pop the balloon. The paper should say, "Toss up". Tell the child if it is Heads their teacher gets to pick the song, if its tails they get too. Have the child flip the coin. Sing the chosen song.
Explain that today you're going to prepare them to go back to school. Hand out the pencil box and have the children pick a pencil. Tell the children to check their pencils for a star. Have one of the children with a star pencil come up and pick a folder. Do the assigned task. When the child is done, have the pick an apple out of the basket to give to their teacher. Some where in the middle, have the pop quiz...be sure and bring a push pin to pop the balloon.
Have a great week!
Thursday, August 19, 2010
It's been a while since I've posted an idea that has some real before-hand prep. I've tried to keep the ideas simple for the summer, but this idea will take some prep so don't put it off until Sunday morning if you choose to use it. Or, you can always just draw these on the chalk board if you want to make it slightly easier in the prep department.
8 circles cut in various sizes and in different colors to represent planets (Put the title of one of the program songs on each of the planets)
1 cut out of a rocket ship. I'm going to put "Primary Rocket Express" on mine and make it really bright and colorful.
8 small flags that can be placed on the planets that say, "Claimed"
8 pieces of paper with one line from each song written on it (you can write a phrase for Jr. primary to make it easier for them if you wish)
Before Primary, hang the planets around the primary room where they are easily visible. Place the slips of paper in a container. Have the flags on one side of the chalk board at the front of the room. On the other side, draw a Fuel Meter with the levels: Full, Half Full, Almost Empty, Empty..keep a piece of chalk and an eraser near by.
Tell the children that we are going on an exploration trip out into the universe. Tell them our goal is to "claim" as many planets as possible for our primary program. Have a child come a choose a slip of paper out of the container. Read or have them read the line of the song. Have the primary guess what planet (song) that line goes with. When they have guessed correctly, give the rocket ship and a flag to a child and have them stand beside you. Explain that we are going to sing that program song, and if they sing the song really well using our fuel meter as a guide we will be able to make it and claim that song/planet.
Tell them that the way the fuel meter works is as they sing:
Sunday, August 15, 2010
It's been a really busy summer. I can't believe were are really to the last song of our program. I hope you all are doing well.
I found an adorable idea off the "Divine Secrets of a Primary Chorister" website, and changed it a bit to work for my primary.
Christmas Present Bow
Before Primary, Draw 5-6 pictures of present boxes on the board.
Tell the Children that we're going to review our songs for the year. Have one of the teachers come to the front (I like to pick the class that is being extra reverent to volunteer their teacher). Have them put the blindfold on and give them a Christmas Bow. Tell the children that you are going to point silently to the present the teacher is going to try and put the bow on. Explain that we'll sing one of our program songs as the teacher attempts to find the right present. As the teacher gets closer to the right present, the children should sing softer, and softer...whisper sing. As the teacher moves farther away from the present they are to sing louder, but never louder than beautiful singing allows. Do this with all your program songs as time allows and switch teachers with every song. Most of the teachers found the correct present within a few lines of the song...so just continue to sing the rest of the song after they have found it.
The kids loved this. I wasn't sure if it would go over in Sr. Primary, but they were totally all over it. The last teacher that I had come up I played a trick on. I pointed to an object just beyond the chalk board...and so they became really confused when the children kept singing loud. The kids really loved it, and the teachers all had smiles.
Success! Thanks for the idea "Divine Secrets"!
**The Crazy Chorister
Saturday, August 7, 2010
The song I choose for August is "I Know That My Redeemer Lives". We will only be doing the first verse unless I happen to find extra time.
I found this great idea on the web, and even though I am going to scale it down a bit and change it around for my Jr. Pri kids, I think it would be more helpful for you to just read the original idea, then to have me try and put it in my words. I could not find the author of this great idea, but give them full credit, and a big "Thank You".....I really haven't had the time this week to put another thing together.http://www.ldsfamilyfun.com/media/PDFs/church/ideas%20to%20teach%20song4.pdf
I hope this helps someone out their too. Have a great week!
Sunday, July 18, 2010
So....in case this will help any of you out there for next week....here is what I think I was going to do...
This was based off of using my "singing wheel" (look on sidebar for original idea) and making it look like a wagon wheel. Then I would have the child come up front, put on a pioneer hat or apron, or vest..etc..., spin the wheel. The wheel would land on a paper that would suggest a way to sing a song (staccato, whisper, accapella..etc) and then sing a pioneer song the way the paper suggests.
I know that's a skeleton of an idea, but perhaps some of you go-getters will find it useful.
I finally organized all the ideas posted on this blog and got the right tags on them. So, on the side bar under "Ideas at a glance" are all the ideas that I have posted over the past two+ years. Hope that makes it easier for you than sifting through a lot of back posts.
Have a great day!
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Here's this review activity
1 piece of paper for each child (Sr.) one piece of paper for each teacher (Jr.)
Dress (or anything that has instructions that you created something from)
Picture of Jesus Christ
Learn how to fold a white Sunday shirt out of paper from this website ...
Pass paper out to teachers or children. Hold up the dress pattern (or instructions of whatever you brought). I explained that I enjoy making dresses, but in order to do that I have to use a pattern. I explained in simple terms how I go about making a dress from the pattern. I held up a pattern piece and instructions and and explained that as long as I stuck to the pattern, it came out the way it should in the end. I explained that sometimes I make a mistake when I sew, but if I return to the pattern and go through the long process to undo the mistake and try again...It works. I then showed them the product that I made. I Explained that Jesus Christ set the pattern for happy living and gave us the way to return to our Father in Heaven, and if we follow the pattern we will be happy.
Sing "Come Follow Me". Talk about how this song teaches us to follow the pattern He has set.
Pass out paper to teachers or children. Tell them that we are going to sing a few songs about following Jesus. After each song, show them how to fold another part of the shirt. Do not tell them what the product will be at the end. The songs I used were...
Do As I'm Doing
Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes (I did this one backwards to see if they could still follow me)
Come Follow Me (I kept throwing this one in every few songs just for review)
Follow the Prophet
I'm Trying to be Like Jesus
Come Follow Me
I spread out the paper folding instruction to six songs. The teachers in Jr Pri did great, and the Sr. Kids did a great job too. I did warn the Sr. Pri in the beginning that this activity required reverence, and if I saw at any point that they couldn't handle things...the paper part would be done. But, I then expressed my confidence in them that all would be well and they could handle things. It went so great.
I then held up the white shirt and asked them if they got it by following the instructions. I told them that I loved to see clean white shirts on Sunday because it told me something about the person wearing it....it told me they wanted to be like Jesus. I then bore my Testimony that Jesus Christ set the Pattern we should follow so we can find peace, happiness, and safety.
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
On my sidebar of listed resources is a resource that is not intended to help us in our calling, but I would like you to look at it anyhow and pass it on to anyone who you think could benefit from reading this. http://www.childlessmormons.yolasite.com/
It is simply the best, most comforting resource on this subject one can find on the net. It perhaps can spread some hope and comfort to those sisters and brothers out there who are experiencing the frustration and painful circumstances of not being able to have a child.
Sunday, July 4, 2010
I had planned to follow the suggestion in the 2010 handbook for this song, but then this week went kind of nuts. Last night at 10pm I was exhausted and realized that not only did my printer not have ink to print out flip charts but I didn't have the energy to draw and cut the footprints. I went to bed with a prayer an idea would come.
I woak up this morning knowing what to do (in part). I needed to connect Freedom (the 4th of July) with Christ. The rest of the presentation came during Jr. Primary as I was talking about the words, and I felt a deeper connection with this song than I have ever had. And the really tender Mercy...one of the presidency members had made and put footprints around the primary room for her part of sharing time....and it was just perfect. I realized things in my heart and felt the spirit testify to me how Freedom is found in Christ, Physically and Spiritually if we will only Come, and Follow Him.
Picture of Christ
Before the children come in the room, write the words of the first verse of "Come Follow me" on the chalk board. Underline or circle words or phrases that you identify as needing clarification of meaning.
Ask the children if they know what day it is....(4th of July). Talk about some of the fun things we do on the fourth.....etc
Then draw the American flag on the board. Ask the children what it is. Ask them what what the flag stands for: FREEDOM. Talk about two types of freedom word: Physical Freedom (because we live in a free country established by God) and spiritual freedom (if we choose to follow Jesus Christ we will be Free from sin and can return to Heavenly Father).
Explain that the song we are learning is about obtaining spiritual freedom by following our Savior. Have the children close their eyes. Have the pianist play the song. Ask if anyone recognizes the music. Ask a child that does when we usually sing this song....(sacrament hymn). Explain that the soft, reverent nature of this hymn makes it perfect for the sacrament.
Start with the first line...Say the line and have them say it too you. Sing the line. Keep doing this with every line of the song. Make sure and talk about words such as "Tred" and "Begotten". Take time to talk about the line "For thus Alone can we be one". This is where Heavenly Father opened my eyes today. When we came to this part, I not only understood, but it deeply touched my heart when I noticed that the music's minor key for "for thus alone" resolved to a higher key when talking about us being able "to be one". I pointed this out to the children by explaining that because we are living in a telestial state without Heavenly Father presence we are essentially "alone"...but by following our Savior, he will elevate us back to our Father's presence because we will be one with Him. We sang the song a few times more and I helped them see that true freedom comes through Christ. I hope that makes sense. I think I said it better there, but then and again...it was not my words coming out of my mouth.
I then just had the children walk around the primary room using the footsteps as their guide to make it back to a picture of Christ at the front of the room.
Sunday, June 27, 2010
I know the following ideas are rather after-the-fact, but perhaps someone out there could benefit down the road, and I wanted to keep a record of what I have done. Sorry about the length of this post. There are three separate ideas listed.
Ear muffs, or ear plugs, or ear protection of some kind
Before primary, put the ear protection in a gift bag.
Presentation: 20 min
Begin by drawing a few pictures free hand on the board. (I am a terrible free hand artist...so don't think you have to do anything fancy here. If you are worried about this ..practice a bit before you get up there. The kids actually liked the fact that I created it on the board in front of them.) After drawing each picture, ask the children to guess what it is. Draw a Fire, a map, a person giving a hug, and a quilt. Then go back and talk about the symbolized meaning of the pictures. For instance, ask them.."What does fire give us?" answer.."warmth and light". "How do you feel when someone hugs you?" answer..."loved, accepted." Write each concept next to the picture. (This should only take three min tops...move through it very quickly) Explain that these concepts can also be used to describe how we feel when were are feeling the spirit's direction and influence in our lives.
Bring out your picture prompts. Tell the them name of the song. Have the pianist play the song very loudly and staccato. Ask the children how that felt. Then have the pianist play the music as written. Point out the difference in the feeling, how the songs gentle rhythm produces a sweet and pleasant sound. Again, relate that to the spirit's still small voice. He is not loud, but soft...it requires the listener to pay attention, to block out other sounds, and to make a choice to focus.
Begin with the first line of the song. Sing the line to the children and have them whisper sing it back to you. Continue doing this through the entire verse. Then have the children sing the song with you a few times through.
Grab your bag. Take out the ear protectors. Have a child come to the front. Explain that sometimes we choose not to listen to the spirit. We close our ears to his promptings. Explain to the child that you are going to put the ear protection on their ears, stand behind them, and ask them to do something. Have them put the ear protection on and stand behind them. Whisper to them to raise their hand. They won't hear you and won't respond. Ask the rest of the children if they heard you...they will have. Remove the ear protection from the child and stand behind them again and give the same command in a whisper. They will hear you and raise their hand. Explain that we always need to be listening and not to muffle our ears with the distractions of the world.
Sing the song again. Bare Testimony of the Holy Ghost.
Easy Button (from staples)
Questions: (use these or write your own)
1. What Father Appeared to Joseph Smith in the Scared Grove?
2. Who is Alma the Younger's Father?
3. Who is the Father of our Ward?
4. Who is Ammon's (the one who was a great missionary and cut off the arms) father?
5. Who is Nephi's Father?
6. Who is the Father of the Joseph sold into Egypt?
7. At least, How many Father's do we all have?
8. Who's words made Enos want to repent?
9. Who is the partiarch of the home?
10. Who loves you more than anything else in the world? (Mother is an acceptable answer here)
Presentation: 20 min
Draw the outline of the head and shoulders of a man. Leave the face and head blank, but draw the outline of a white Sunday shirt. Begin asking the children your questions (you can make them easier or harder....whatever works for you). After the right answer is given, have a child come to the board and draw in eyes, or nose, or mouth, or tie....etc. Sing the child's favorite primary song. Continue until all questions have been asked and you have the primary dad on the board. Tell them how wonderful it was that they helped their dad get ready for church. Encourage them to go and give their dads a big hug and be helpful to him on this special day.
Bring a small table to the front. Put the easy button in the middle. Call two children up front. Ask them to put one hand on the table and one hand behind the back. Ask them the question. The first one to hit the easy button answers the question. If it is right, sing that child's favorite primary hymn. If it is wrong, give the other one the chance to answer. Continue to do this until all questions are asked or time runs out.
Friday, May 14, 2010
Well, this marks almost two years since I've been called as the Primary Chorister. I really do love this calling...it has really lifted me up so many times, and I thank all of you for the kind comments you leave. They have really helped me.
Unfortunately, my family is going through some difficult stuff right now, and I feel that my time is really torn. I have decided to take a vacation from blogging for a while. I think I might even recycle some of my ideas....the thought kills me, but I must. If inspiration hits, I'll really try and post what I'm doing, but for now I think it would be best to take some weight off my shoulders in any way I can.
This happens to be post 101. If I were to guess, I think there are at least 95 different activities listed that could possibly help you. Some of my favorites were clear back at the beginning of this blog, so go and check it out.
I hope you'll forgive me. I hope miracles rain down and I'll be back before you know it. Just remember to have fun and love them...the rest comes from the spirit.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Anyhow, Since May is one of the "Choose your own song" months in our primary guide, I decided to go with "Choose the Right Way". I will be teaching the entire song, but concentrating on the words of the second verse since they go well with the monthly theme.
I loved those "choose your own adventure" books growing up. You know, the books that you got two or three choices of how the story goes and you see in the end what that leads you too...that is what I based this idea from. If you are doing another song, this could be adapted to fit that song.
1 Flip Chart of the Song (Both Verses)
8 Choice papers (explained below)
1 "Choose Your Own Adventure" story (I'm posting mine below or you can write your own)
4 Word Strips that break the second verse into lines
Through the gospel I learn to be prayerful
To have faith, to repent, to obey,
And I know if I live by his teachings, I will truly be happy each day
Before Primary, I will hang my choice papers in groups of 2 around the primary room (A with B...C with D...etc). Hang the word strip of the song line underneath the choice papers, but facing the wall so they can't read it until it is time. On the back of the papers have a picture or words that describe the consequence for that choice. You will be telling the story so you don't have to write it all out for them...only the consequences. Clear as mud?....no worries, you'll get it as you keep reading.
I will begin by having the pianist play the music. We will all hum the melody together. I will talk about how it is a pleasant, happy tune that is uplifting. I'll show them the flip chart for the first verse. We'll repeat sing the song through once. I'm fairly certain the first verse is very familiar to my primary and won't take long to review. If your primary is not familiar with the song at all, go through the first verse a few times emphasising the happiness one feels when making right choices.
After reviewing the first verse, explain that now they know the principal of making right choices and feeling happy, we are going to go on a "choose your own adventure" and see what happens.
Read the first part of your own story or read the following...
The beautiful sunshine was pouring into Tommy's window. His alarm had just gone off telling him to get out of bed. He was very tired and rubbed his eyes. Tommy wanted to remain in bed for just a few more minutes so he turned off his alarm and rolled over. He heard his Father calling his name to come downstairs for Family prayer...
A. Get out of Bed and go downstairs for family Prayer.
B. Stay in Bed just a little longer and pretend he's asleep.
Let the children Pick which one they want. It will be alright if they don't pick the obvious good choice...it will be good for them to see what happens. Before you let them see what happens. Sing the first line to the second verse. Have them turn that paper around. Look at the picture and read what happens below.
Tommy decides to get out of bed right away and go downstairs. He gets a great big hug from his Father. He is asked to say the family prayer, and as he is praying he feels the spirit and he happier and stronger inside to face his day.
Tommy is just too tired to get out of bed. He continues to hear his father call him, but ignores it...and tries to fall back asleep. Soon his father comes into his room. "Tommy, you need to get out of bed. It really frustrates me when you don't come down for family prayer. We said it without you because your sister needed to leave early. It looks like you won't be able to stay up later anymore because you simply cannot get out of bed when you are asked too."
Sing the line of the song one more time to emphasize prayer.
Go on with the story....
Later that morning, Tommy is at school. He realizes that his math test is today. His mother has been helping him study, but there were still a few problems he doesn't understand. His teacher passes out the math test. Tommy looks down and the first problem is one of the hard ones he isn't sure about...
Realizes he's done his best to study and says a little prayer for the spirit to help him remember what he knows.
Gets really nervous and decides to look at his neighbor's paper for the answers to the questions he is unsure about.
Have them choose, then before going on sing the next line to the song....talk briefly about faith, repentance, and obeying in context with the story.
If Choice "C"
Tommy does his very best on the Math test. He has answers come to his mind easily, and he is even able to figure out a few of the most difficult answers. He feels a peace inside knowing he prepared the best he could and left the rest in the trust of Heavenly Father.
If Choice "D"
Tommy gets really nervous and doesn't think he can do it. He looks at his neighbor's paper several times to write down the answers. His teacher notices what he is doing, fails him on his math test, and sends him to the principals office. He apologizes for his behavior to the principal and realizes he has done wrong.
Sing the line again, and emphasis repentance and obedience.
Continue on with the story...
After school, Tommy is walking home with his friends. Mark, the new kid, is walking by himself just behind them. His head is down and he looks lonely. Tommy notices him when one of his friends says that he thinks Mark is a funny looking kid. Everyone laughs. Tommy feels something in his heart.
Tommy laughs along with his friends and ignores the feelings he's having.
Tommy stops and looks at Mark and listens to the feelings in his heart
Sing the next line to the song. Talk about being like Jesus. Go on...
If Choice "E"
Tommy laughs with his friends and runs ahead tossing a football back and forth and thinking about the new video game his friend invited him to play. He turns around just in time to see Mark look up with tears in his eyes.
If Choice "F"
Tommy stops and turns around. He smiles at Mark and asks him if he would like to come over to his house and play some foot ball in his yard. Mark smiles and says that would be great. Tommy's friends run ahead of them, but Tommy feels great inside and is happy to get to know Mark.
Sing the line again. Sing all the lines up to this point.
Finally....read the final part of the story
Later than night, Tommy was asked about his day. He ...
tells his mom about his day. He feels really good inside because he made a lot of good choices.
says he doesn't want to talk about it. He goes up stairs and feels really bad inside. He knows the only way to feel better is to repent and try and make better choices in the future.
Sing the chorus to the song. Sing the entire song twice through. Sum this up by saying that all of us our faced with many choices through the day. Knowing the Gospel of Jesus Christ and living it will help us make the better choice..and making the better choice will lead to peace and happiness. We must always choose the right.
I hope that made sense. If you have questions...please ask them. Have a great week.
Friday, April 23, 2010
I felt strongly to share this with you today. I know the time is past for this song, but I hope it might help someone out there.
Last week I introduced the song to my primary. They are all familiar with it, so it was wonderful to really get into the words of the song and allow the spirit to bind it to their hearts. For the first time in a great while, I struggled knowing just how to present this to my primary. I walked into church that Sunday with only a brief attention getting activity (suggested in the Primary guide) and a prayer that Heavenly Father would direct me to help them learn what they needed to know.
I showed them a picture of Captain Moroni and briefly explained this title of liberty. I related this to our song by saying that just like the title of liberty stated who they were, what they believed in, and what they were going to do....so does our song. I took it line by line and had the children repeat sing the line back to me.
For Jr. Primary...I paused on the line "I know who I am". I asked them, "Who are you?". A little girl from the back of the room squared her shoulders and said boldly, "I am a Child of God." The spirit rushed in and I was over come. I was compelled to stop and bare testimony of this simple truth, and explain to the children the feelings they were having as well...for the entire primary was touched. I then had a red, yellow, and blue primary flag in my bag and had the children wave that as we sang it for a final time.
Later, in Sr. Primary as we were repeat singing the last line..."His Truth I will Proclaim" the thought came to my mind to remind them of Lehi's dream where he finally partakes of the fruit and is filled with the love of God. I asked them if they knew the first thing he desired to do. Again, a child said, "He wanted to share it." The spirit again flooded the room and filled our hearts to the brim. It was a powerful moment for all of us. So simple. So powerful. I then had them sing it again as they stood and moved down a chair for each "I" said in the song, which brought smiles to everyone's face and really was fun.
I have reflected this entire week on that experience. Heavenly Father wanted our Jr. Primary to know they were children of God, and he wanted to strengthen the Sr. primary in their resolve to share the Gospel in word and deed. I am so grateful that I had this experience because it has taught me truly to rely on the spirit in this calling. He has so much more to teach them than I ever could figure out on my own.
This week I am simply going to review the song with them using a game I've already posted before.. (not sure which one yet)....and work on a Mother's Day Song.
I hope you too can seek the Lord's help for inspiration for your primaries. He loves them and knows them and will help you teach them what they need to learn the most.
Your sister in the Gospel
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Consequently, I will not be posting new ideas for the next few weeks. Of course, next week is conference and the week after that we have our Stake conference.....which leaves only two weeks in April for I Belong to the Church of Jesus Christ. It's a great song that I'm looking forward to teaching, and I will be posting my ideas when that time gets closer.
Anyhow, have a great Easter and enjoy conference!
Sunday, March 14, 2010
So to finish this up, this coming week Nephi will come. He is going to bring the "sword of Laban" with him. I'll have his verse line by line on the board, and he'll help the children point to the right line with his sword one at a time.
Then...Our Bishop's last name is Monson. I've asked him to come out of the time machine and tell the children that Pres. Monson is really busy getting everything ready for conference. Then our Bishop will tell the children some fun facts about Pres. Monson, and give his testimony of listening to the living prophet, and we'll learn his verse. Then, We'll sing the verses that we've learned to the bishop. He's requested that we play a game we used a few years back called "cut the bishop's tie"....I think you can find it if you go to Sept 2008 on the side bar....anyhow, for each verse the children get right, we'll cut a part of his tie off (old ties I bring.)
Wow, this month flew by! April is going to be really quick too....we have general conference and then we have our Stake Conference...which leaves only two weeks for April's song. I'll try and post my introduction for April soon.
Have a great day!
Monday, March 8, 2010
So, this coming week I've decided to have Noah and Joseph Smith come through our time machine. I've asked an older couple in the ward to play the part of Noah and "Mrs." Noah. I've asked one of our teachers to play the part of Young Joseph Smith.
4 picture prompts (one for each line) that Noah can bring with him (these could be mounted on animal cut outs, raindrops, pieces of the ark....etc)
4 picture prompts that Joseph Smith can bring with him (could be mounted on golden plates)
Bring your time machine stuff back.
Tell the children that the time machine is back. Set the dial (or whatever your way of doing this is)..have the children power up the time machine by singing the chorus to follow the prophet. Have Noah and wife come out. Have him tell a bit about himself and their situation (I'm having him come to our primary right after they got off the ark on dry land so he can tell the whole story) With your picture prompts...help the children learn the verse. Wave goodbye to Noah and wife.
Set the dial to Latter-Days...Have Joseph Smith come out. Have him give in his own words the account of the first vision. With the picture prompts that he has brought help the children learn the verse. Than Joseph and send him back through the time machine.
I'm so excited for Sunday! It's been great to hear how you have made your time machines and how it has worked for you. Thanks for all you kind words. Have a wonderful week.
Monday, March 1, 2010
I'm changing my monthly method a bit this month. This song is big, and repeat week and program week will be incorporated into the activities I'm going to do...but it won't be the main focus this month. All four weeks will actually be somewhat of introduction weeks....but we'll get the job done. Two weeks ago, I already handed out a different verse to each primary class (most of the Jr. primary classes are paired with a Sr. Class so it will work for the program)...so they've been looking over what their verse says already.
I read a primusic group email that suggested the main idea of the time machine. I'm sorry I don't remember who exactly was so brilliant as to come up with this, but thanks a million. My crazy mind took hold and added too it a bit...
So here's week #1 of "Follow The Prophet" ADAM WAS A PROPHET
1 Time machine (Okay, I've thought a lot about the best way to go about it. For me, the best way to make a time machine will be to decorate the inside of the primary room door to look like the door of a time machine. You can do this anyway you want, and I really haven't got that far yet...so who knows what it will end up looking like. Just make sure it has a little mock dial that can be turned to "Old Testament, New Testament, Book of Mormon/Pearl of Great Price, Latter Days". The reason I choose to do it on the Primary door was I didn't want anyone to have to sit in a box and wait until I was ready for them to come out...this way, they can just wait for me to say loudly out side the door...."Let's see who comes out of our time machine.")
1 wonderful husband and wife team that will play the part of Adam and Eve. Have them dress up in simple clothing....animal skins ...etc. Post Garden, obviously. Give them a little script as to what they need to say..have them memorize it and put it into their own words so it looks natural for them.
5 picture prompts ..one for each line...that have been mounted on apples (or whatever fruit you would like) cutouts to hang on the board. Have Eve bring these with her.
Draw a picture of a Tree on the board big enough for your apples to fit on.
Tell the children that today is an exciting day. We're going to have a visitor from the past, but before we can do that we need to learn the chorus of our new song. Teach the chorus any way you would like too.....most of the children know this by heart. This shouldn't take more than 2 min.
Go over to the "time machine" Set it to Old Testament times. Put your ear to the door and whisper..."I think its working....I'd better get back."
Have Adam open the door with his back to the children and say, "Over here Eve, I think I found some more firewood." Have him turn around and looked shocked to see the children....Have Eve show up looking at Adam (not noticing the children) and say, "Look Adam, I found some nice apples..." then have her notice his shocked look and look at the kids and have her look surprised.
At this point, invite them to come to the front. Have them introduce themselves (maybe even sing the "hello" song too them for kicks)...then have Adam tell a bit about them and about their lives. Have them be quick and to the point. It should only take two min tops...guide their story through questions. Have Eve show the children the apples, and have her tell them that she thinks this will help the children to remember who they are and what they did...
Have a child come and see if they can pick out the first line of the song. Have them put it on the tree. (For Jr. Primary, have Eve hand them the correct apple and have them put it on the tree.) Sing through the lines. Combine it with the chorus. Have the class that is going to sing this verse come to the front and lead the rest of the Primary in singing it.
Have Adam tell the children he was happy to meet them. Have him encourage them to do their best and keep reading the Scriptures and Following the Living Prophet. Have Adam and Eve wave goodbye and go back into the time machine.
This should take up your time. If not, you can then quickly teach them the Enoch verse.
Next week---Noah. Make sure and keep your time machine stuff, we'll be using it all month.
Friday, February 26, 2010
4 different shaped balls with a small tag on it with song title and pg # (tennis ball, baseball, football, wacky ball...whatever you have available)
1 Large, empty bucket with a sign that says "Song Bucket" (25 gallon preferred)
Pick 4 songs out of the children's Hymn book in the "welcome" and/or "birthday" section that your primary has never sung.
Have the children pass off the monthly song. Tell them they did so well learning the song this month, that we get to move on to other great songs. Bring out the bucket and place it at the head of the room. Bring out your bag (or basket or whatever) of odd balls. Tell them that there are some songs that we sing over and over again because we just haven't had time to learn other songs. Sometimes new songs sound odd to us because we've never heard them, and we tend to stick with things we know becasue they are more comforatable. Tell them that today, were going to take some of these "odd balls" (songs we've never heard) and put them into our song bucket (our rapporteur) so we can use them in opening exercises.
Have a child come forward and pick one of the balls. Give the tag to the pianist. Have her play the melody of the song once through. Sing the words line by line to the children, having them repeat the line back to you after each one. Sing the song all the way through with them. Ask the children if they think they have it. Have the children sing through the song, and have the child with the ball try to make the ball into the bucket before the end of the song.
Don't bother with picture prompts. These songs are fast and simple and can be easily learned just by singing the line and having them sing it back too you. If you choose a song that is longer, you could use picture prompts to help...or any other technique that you have found is most effective with your kids.
Have a great day!
Saturday, February 20, 2010
I am so grateful for the Internet and the opportunity we all have to benefit from each other and to have so much fun in our callings. When I started this blog, I had no idea there were so many out there that had the same need for ideas for a primary chorister as I had. I was simply trying to find a way to record what I had done for some future date if I ever have this calling again. I am so happy if I've helped you in even the smallest way.
My hope for this blog is not to be the end all say all to what you do in your calling. I don't post many pictures because I really would hope that you take these ideas as simply suggestions that can be improved upon, changed, and adapted to fit your situation. I would hope that I'm not the "Saturday panic" blog...your primary deserves more. Although, we all have those weeks...me included. I really believe that each of us was set apart in our own wards for a reason. We can be inspired for what our specific primary children need. Some of the ideas I post simply will not work for you.... at times, some of them haven't worked for me either.
I encourage you will all my heart to pray and ask for guidance in your calling. Rely on Him who inspired your calling to this position. He knows how they learn, how they feel, and how best they will take these precious songs into their hearts. Never under estimate your own abilities to bless their lives or to receive inspiration from Heavenly Father. He called You because You had what they need right now.
I hope your day is wonderful. Thank you for inspiring me to be better.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
1 Mail Box. You can make your own, use a real one, or perhaps you picked up the mail box that I suggested in the last post.....anyone will work just fine.
2 Envelopes per primary class..make them look as real as possible. Address them to specific classes (1 envelope will contain the review of the program songs or some other song that go with the message for the month, the other envelope will contain that Classes "Piece of the Puzzle" for March's song, and will be handed out at the very end....so keep them separate.
1 song picture to go in each envelop (Use your Jan and Feb song for two of the songs and then pick out a few other songs that match the monthly message. It would be easy if you just went to the Jolly Jenn site (on the side bar) and printed up one page to the song of your choice...it has pictures and words...and then they can guess what it is.)
1 very wonderful person who is willing to play the part of the mail carrier. It would be wonderful if they could carry a satchel, wear a hat, and really act the part.
Before Primary, set the mail box up at the front of the room. Give the letters to your carrier and make sure they know what order you want them delivered in. Have them totally out of site.
Tell the children that you wanted to start out with a wiggle song. Choose a favorite song or have a child pick their favorite wiggle song. At the very end of the song, have your carrier march very happily to the front of the room. Greet the Mail Man by saying, "Why hello, Brother/Sister so in so...how are you today?" Have them respond, "I'm doing great. Primary songs always make me feel happy. I just had some mail to deliver. " Have them put it in the mail box and then say, "See you later, Jr Primary (or Sr. Primary)" and then they should walk out of the room. Ask the kids if we should see who the mail is for....Call up a child to open the mail box and then read who it is addressed too...it should be something like:
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Monday, February 8, 2010
Picture Prompts (I highly recommend printing these from the Primary Singing Ideas Blog link I have on the side bar...She's a Genius Flip Chart creator and I Love, Love, Love her charts.) After printing them, mount them to some heavy paper and cut them out into heart shapes.
10 Red, white, and/or Pink Valentine hearts that have different ways to sing the song. (I'm going to try and put a list together of my favorites that work best for our primary...especially for more reverent songs such as this one.)
****Not to do with the review, but if would like*****
1 paper or foam heart cut out for each primary child that has the following saying on it, "Thanks for Singing Your Heart Out Each Week." Love, " . I will attach 1 Hershey Hug to each Heart.
Before Primary: Put The Picture Prompts in Order on the Chalk board or the front of the room with the words facing out. Put the Little Hearts with the ways to sing the song on the board below them turned around so they cannot see what is written.
Begin by bearing your testimony of the Love the Savior and Heavenly Father has for each of them. Tell them that Valentines is a holiday to express our love for others in special ways, and that the biggest and most special way love was ever shown to anyone was the giving of God's only begotten Son to save the world. Tell them it is a precious gift that we have the choice of accepting or rejecting, and it was given to all the world
Point to the song on the board. Tell them for Repeat Week we're going to play a game called "Sing Your Heart Out." Call two children to the front. Designate one child to go out in the hallway for a moment with another leader. Have the other child choose one of the picture prompt hearts to take out of the song. Have the other child come back into the room. Have them try and say the line of the song that was removed (encourage them to get help from teachers and other children if they looked worried or scared). Once they have guessed correctly, have them choose one of the smaller hearts. Have all of the children sing the line that was taken out...(hence, sing your heart out) in the way the song suggests. Repeat the process, but each time a heart is removed...have the children sing all the lines of the hearts that were removed...eventually you will end up singing the entire song and they should have it memorized. Don't worry too much if time runs out before you get to the end, but really it should work time wise if you go quickly.
At the end, again emphasize that Father and Jesus Christ showed love for us. Encourage them to in turn show love to others by doing something extra specially kind for someone today. Give them the hearts you made. (If you choose to do this, I would suggest giving it to their teachers to pass out after church is done so you don't have any distractions for sharing time or class.)
**the crazy chorister