New and refurbished ideas for LDS Primary Music Leaders (a.k.a. Primary Choristers)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


Last week as I was thumbing through March's The Friend magazine I came across the "Bringing Primary Home" article about our living prophets.  They had a cute idea that I just had to figure out a way to use it for singing time.  By the way, The Friend is a wonderful resource for a plethora of ideas that can be incorporated into singing time. Anyway, I remembered putting the names of the First Presidency and the 12 Apostles to the tune of "The Books in the Book of Mormon" years ago.  So, I decided to update the song with the current names and create a visual similar to what I found in The Friend to go along with it. I thought that would be perfect to go along with the second week's topic for this month of "The First Presidency and the Twelve Apostles are prophets." However, things were pretty busy at work last week and long hours, so I didn't get this idea done in time to post before last Sunday; just barely got it done last Saturday night, but it still works for this coming week's topic as well as in preparation for General Conference.

Chairs with the Names and Pictures
Ooops, Uchtdorf is falling off his chair!
I think next time I will put Monson
above Eyring and Uchtdorf
Sunday I introduced the song by asking the children how many prophets we have living today.
Yeah, I know, a trick question with the popular answer from the children being 1.  I did get various other numbers with one child who did say 15.  I also got curious and puzzled looks from the teachers and children as to why I was asking a question with what they thought was such an obvious answer.  I didn't give them the answer right off the bat but challenged them to count as I sang the song
a cappella AND in one breath.  There was a funny moment as some of the kids and teachers ended up counting "An-der-sen" as three.  Afterwards, I posted the chairs and faces on the board in order and let them count them to verify.  A plus was that some of the children recognized what tune this song came from.

We started by singing it through very s-l-o-w-l-y in s-l-o-w—mo to help them get the placement of the names within the song then speeding it up each time and then the final time I challenged them to sing it as fast as the pianist could play it, not as fast as they could sing it; however, she could play it pretty, darn fast.  If your pianist can't play very fast, then just sing it a cappella. I also challenged them to sing it all in one breath. Even the teachers seemed to be having fun with this song and really got into trying to learn the names and faces.

I only worked on this for about 5 minutes and only did it with the SR primary since I didn't have time in JR as well as it was more of a thinking activity.  I will probably just introduce it next week to the JR and have them clap a beat or something just to familiarize them a little with the names.  Ohhhh, thought here! Maybe I'll bring my homemade shaker eggs for them to keep the rhythm.  Haven't used those for a while.

At the end of singing time I gave a quick mention about this being in The Friend magazine and showed the magazine to them challenging them to look it up and see if they could learn which names and faces went together.  Although some kids recognized the chair thingy from the magazine, it was a bit surprising that many of the children had not seen that yet in the magazine, but they were also EXCITED to go and check it out when they got home.

This coming Sunday we'll see how well they took the challenge I gave them to familiarize themselves with the faces and names of our First Presidency and 12 Apostles. I will make a game of passing out the faces, after reviewing the song a time or two, and having the classes figure out who they have and their class group will also sing and stand up together on the names of those they have pictures of.  I will leave the chairs/names on the board so they can follow more easily.  I may have them switch their pictures with another class and repeat if time permits. Then I will have them match the pictures back up with the chairs/names.  I'll probably also have them sing through the song by rotating through each class singing only one name at a time, e.g. class 1 sings "Monson" class 2 sings "Eyring" class 3 sings "Uchtdorf, class 4 sings "Packer" then starting over with class 1 singing "Perry" and so forth.  

Many of the IDEAS from the "Latter-day Prophets" post can be used with this song also.  I don't know what it is, but it just seems my SR primary likes songs with names. Maybe it is the list of people, books or things that are easier to memorize for them or maybe it is because they usually have an upbeat tempo to the song. DUNNO. Either way, we usually have fun with these type of songs.

Various Options to Pick and Choose From
Below are the files I've created.  The main file has head shot pictures with each name under it for reference, but I suppose you could leave it attached to the picture or glue it on the back for reference.  I didn't because I wanted the option for playing match up with the chairs and the head shots and if the pictures had the names on them, the kiddos would know which chair to match it to.       DUH!!! 

Included in the file are pictures of chairs with the names below as well as a page with just chairs in case you don't want names attached, but there are also name tags in case you want to keep the pictures on the chairs without a name or use the name tags with the option to remove the name tags for matching or just use the pictures and name tags with no chairs.  The name tags are in a separate file.  Is it clear as mud now?!?!? Oh yeah, if you don't want to cut the shape of the chairs out, you could just cut the sheets in half between the chairs and use that way.  Maybe trimming off the outer edges so both sides of the chairs have equal borders.  Just a few options depending on what you might want to do. Just print the page or pages you need.

There is also a cheat sheet in the main file with all the faces and names because I just knew I wouldn't be able to remember each face and name for all of them.  There is also a file with a mini-sized cheat sheet with four to a page, just in case you feel like making a handout for the children to take home just before conference.  Still thinking on whether I'll be doing that for my group or not.  I will see how interested they seem this next week.  I just went ahead and created the mini handout since it didn't take that much more time after I made the full-page version. I've also attached a file of the sheet music with the names added for the lyrics so you can see how to sing the names in relation to the notes.

I did laminate these visuals, because I just love laminating things and plan on using these for next conference.  I also added magnets to the back of the chairs and head shots to make it easier to place on the board.  Just make sure you place the magnet at the top backside of the chair and in the middle of the headshot so the magnets don't interfere with each other when you place the head on top of the chair. Or just use your loose magnets.  If you are placing the head shot pictures over the chairs, make sure your magnets are strong enough to hold with having the chair between it and the board. I used magnetic strips cut from a roll.  It is a little stronger than magnetic tape.

I'm hoping this will help make it more exciting for the children come conference time when they recognize the faces on their TV screen.

Sheet Music with the Names (From the tune of "The Books in the Book of Mormon")


  1. Thank you, Thank you, THANK YOU for all your hard work and for being so willing to share with everyone. I am so grateful for your willingness to share the creativity. :)

  2. These are awesome! It seems like all the bloggers of singing time blogs were getting released and I was starting to panic! I'm so thankful for the ideas you share!

  3. Thank you so much for sharing your ideas and wonderful talent. This is awesome!!

  4. I love this idea! I have been wanting to teach this song, and this is the perfect way. I got an error when I tried to print the file. Is there another link? I printed The Friend version, but it is way to small, and I am way to technologically challenged to figure out how to enlarge it--help, please!

  5. Never mind, I tried again, and it all popped up. I started this today and started with the first four and put the first four chairs up and all of the pictures and chose a child to come up and choose the picture to put in his chair. We ran through the first four several times removing a little more support each time. I'll add a few more each week-they loved it. Thank you!

  6. Any chance you have an editable file of the pictures and names so that I can update the prophets to be current? I loved, loved this poster and just got put back into primary and want to be able to use it again! Thank you!

  7. I would love and editable file too! LOVE this lesson plan!

  8. Any chance you have the updated version of this with the new apostles? Thanks so much for sharing this!

  9. This is wonderful! Thank you! Let me know if you update it!