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

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


So several months ago some of my employees were enlightening me about the many singing, musical, dancing reality game shows out there (or whatever they are called). Although, I had heard of several of them, I did feel a bit clueless about them since I'm never home to watch them and if I were, I still wouldn't have time to watch them. I know, I'm probably in the minority group that is out of touch with these popular shows. But, HOLD ON! I'm not totally oblivious. I'll confess that I did get hooked on Dancing With the Stars a few years ago when my hubby told me that my one and only teenage heart throb, Donny Osmond, was going to be on the show. Of course I had to watch and only for him did I shorten my long work days in order to make it home from work in time to watch. Ahhhh, and he was so AWESOME! And of course, he won! Was there ever any question about that? I think not! Okay, so now I totally went off topic and I also let a little of my secret, youthful side of me slip out for all to see, but hey, I may be past the half century mark compared to many of you, but I am still very young at heart! Or at least I like to think I am. Now, if only I could get my body to realize how young it should feel.  SIGH!!!

Okay, back on topic. So, one of the games that was mentioned that I had never heard before was
The gist of the game is for the contestant to sing songs karaoke style reading the words off of a screen and at some point in the song, blank spaces appear replacing some of the words in the song and the contestant must fill in those blanks by continuing to sing what they think are the correct words. The contestant is given a chance to "lock in the lyrics" or the contestant can change any words before he or she decides to "lock in the lyrics" after which, the correct lyrics are revealed. If the contestant is correct, he or she gets to move to the next round. The contestant also gets a few "backups" to choose from if he or she needs help. If you want to know what the show is like, you can do a search on YouTube for Don't Forget the Lyrics to watch.

Well, of course, after learning about this game, this sounded like a singing review game in the making for my Primary and the GEARS started turning...And this is what I came up with. It is fairly easy to put together and do.

NOTE: I did this for a whole Singing and Sharing Time (35 minutes), so probably reduce by about half for the regular 20 minute Singing Time. Since this had to do with reading, I only played it with my SR Primary and they loved it. They sang really well and knew the songs better than I thought, especially since we hadn't sung them for about three weeks. I only did three to five blank words and that was too easy, so next time, I'll have to make it harder with more blank lines. If you want to play it with the JR Primary, you can do it by maybe having the pianist stop playing when you get to the blanks. You will have to make a key sheet for your pianist of the word to stop on for each song/verse before the blanks or just before you begin singing, tell the pianist the last word to stop on. 

  • To keep it simple, I used all my flip charts in page protectors in a binder as my "karaoke screen" and printed sheets of papers with blank lines on them to represent the missing words. File is at the end of the post.
    • Select which FC page(s) to cover up for each song/verse. Count the words on the page(s) and insert a corresponding blank lines sheet inside the page protector covering up that page of the flip chart. I also stuck a dark green colored paper between the flip chart and the blank line sheet so you couldn't see the words behind the blank lined paper. I just used dark green since green is the color used in the game to show the corrrect words, but you can use any dark color, just make sure you can't see the words. Make the game harder by covering up two pages of words.
    • I've included a file of blank lined pages starting with three blank lines up to eight blank lines. I think that would cover about any combination you might come up with. Just print out the combinations of pages you need for the FC pages you plan to cover up or you could just make your own by taking a marker and making some lines on the paper to represent the blank words.
    • If you don't have or use flip charts, you could just type up the words to each song and insert blank lines for the words you want to omit. You actually don't need to type up the words. You could copy and past them from the LDS site that I have a quick link to above: 
      • Click on the "Resources" page tab above and then click on the "Children's Songbook: Text Only" link. Look up the song you want and copy and paste the words into your document.
  • I split the songs up by verses using a verse for each round. I mainly focused on the assigned program songs as well as a couple of others that will be in our program that I have been teaching in Primary. 
  • You can play this game to review just one song over and over by switching out on the different phrases or for reviewing several songs.  
  • On the chalkboard to one side, write in a column starting with the lowest points at the bottom working to the top to the highest points (use less for the 20 minute time frame): 
    • 100,000
    • 50,000
    • 25,000
    • 10,000
    • 5,000
    • 2,500
    • 1,000
    • 500
    • 250
  • Ask a teacher to come up and be your "Vanna" helper to write the words on the board as the children sing them and to help keep score.
  • Use some bright colored chalk to make it more visually fun.
  • Although we did play this game as one whole Primary team, I did have "class contestants" whereby each class took turns as a class singing the missing words part to keep it exciting and challenging.
  • Hold up the flip chart and have the whole Primary start to sing the song. When you get to the page(s) with the blanks, everyone stops singing except the assigned "contestant class" who continues to sing to fill in the blanks. You could have individual children take turns standing and singing, but I liked the idea of having them all sing together to get in more practice for everyone.
  • Stop singing at the end of the blanks. You do not finish singing the song at this point. 
  • The teacher helper than writes the words on the chalkboard that the "contestant class" sang. The teacher will need to pay attention for when everyone stops singing and the "contestant class" continues singing the blank words part. Since you will know when the blanks come up, you will probably need to help the teacher by telling him or her which words the kids sang so that the teacher can write them on the board.
  • Ask the "contestant class" if they want to "Lock in the lyrics" or do they want to change the lyrics? They do get the opportunity to do that. Have the teacher make any changes on the chalkboard that the children want.
  • When the children think they have it correct, ask them again if they want to "Lock in the lyrics?" Make sure you keep this process moving. Don't let the kids drag out their thinking time.
  • After the lyrics are "locked in" pull out the blank lined paper and the darker paper to reveal the correct words.
  • If their answer is correct, have the teacher circle the first round points on the chalkboard. Use a different colored chalk than what the numbers were written in to help it stand out.
  • Have everyone re-sing the song or verse together ALL the way through this time without any FC. I told them if they weren't able to sing the verse all the way through fairly well or with good effort, they would loose their points they just earned. Thought that would give them a little more incentive, but they were into the game and sang well anyway. This also gave me the opportunity to see what parts of the song they were weak in.
  • Go to the next round by repeating the process with the next song or verse and with the next class being the "contestant class" and singing the blank words.
  • This gives the opportunity to sing most of the verse with help (like a warm up—refresher) and then they sing again without any help (so you know if they know the song.)
  • You probably will have to explain at the beginning what the word "lyrics" means, but ask them first in case one of them knows.
  • Although I think it would be fun to have categories for the children to pick from, like in the actual game, I chose not to go that route to mainly save on time. Sometimes kids can take a long time to pick something. I just had my flip charts in the order I wanted to go through for each round, starting with the first song and first verse for round one, then the second verse for round two, third verse for round three, second song—verse one for round four, etc.
BACKUPS (optional)
  • If you want to add a little extra to the game, you can add the "Backups" option, but you do have to have it challenging for them by having several words blanked out in order to increase the odds of them getting stuck and needing to use a back ups. Only one back up may be used per "contestant class" and once used, no one else can use it. I've included a file below of the "Backups".
  • You can either have the class choose which backup they want to use or assign the backups to specific song(s).
  • The back ups are: 
    • Backup Singers—Teacher's Help: They may select any teacher to help them with the missing lyrics.
    • Backup singers—Class Help: They may select another class to help them with the missing lyrics.
    • 2 Words: They may select two words from their answer to find out if they are correct or not. For example, if they want to know if the 3rd and 5th words are correct, you tell them if it is correct. If one or both of the words are incorrect, tell them what the correct words are and have the teacher helper replace the wrong word(s) on the chalkboard.
    • 3 Lines: You will give them three possible answers that they can select what they think is the correct line to the song. You will need to prepare answers for each song round unless you only assign this to certain songs or maybe you are a quick thinker and can come up with something on the spot. Here is an example:
      • As a Child of God verse 3: In my own home I'll happily serve.
        • I'll strengthen my muscles by lifting strong weights.
        • I'll strengthen my family by doing good things.
        • I'll strengthen my family by my good works. 
      • I usually did a silly one, one that was pretty close to the correct answer and of course, the correct one.
Well, that is the game. It is really rather simple to do despite the loooong explanation. We had fun with it and it was a good team and class effort. Only one class missed a round. The funny part was that I kept asking that class if they wanted to use one of the backups and their teachers were pretty adamant  about locking in their answer because they were soooooo sure they were right even when a couple of the kids in their class wanted to use a backup because they didn't feel confident about their answer. We had a good laugh when the teachers were a little humbled. I couldn't help but make the comment, of course in good jest, that maybe the kids might want to think twice about selecting the "Teacher's Help Backup" if they get stuck???? LOL

I had a little more time at the end and since they were just one round short of winning, because of the one class that lost their round, I gave them the opportunity to sing all three verses of "Choose the Right" without any visuals and mostly on their own to win the final round (I did step in and sing the few parts I knew they kept mixing a couple of the words up on.)

Have some fun singing and DON'T FORGET THE LYRICS!



  1. You've done it again! Made my life more easy and the childrens sunday singing time more enjoyable! What a fun idea! I can't wait to try this for Sunday.


  2. This is awesome! I was planning on using your CTR game board (but Sharing time ended up doing the same idea last week!) This will be a perfect substitute for my Sr. Singing time review! THANK YOU!