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

Thursday, May 3, 2012


Who doesn't love a rainbow?!! Can you see the rainbow and the raindrops in the melody of this month's song "When I Am Baptized?"  Do you notice how the melody for the first two verses are smooth and arch up and over and down again just like a rainbow? Can you just hear the pitter-patter of rain as the chorus jumps up and down with each note? Can you feel the power of the sun when you sing I want to be the best I can with strength and conviction? And let's not forget that fermata. Holding that note out reminds me of the sun's rays shining down or the joyous feeling from being the best I can be. Well, there you have it; my interpretation of the melody.

Although I already had a small poster flip chart version of the song I've used for singing with the children in the past, I wanted to come up with something other than a flip chart with this being the focus song for the month. So, ivisualizing the melody of this song with rainbows and rain, it just seemed so natural to present this song with a similar visual of the sky. Since this is not a flip chart nor a poster and I've never known if there is a proper name for this type of visual I've used for some of the Primary songs, so for a lack of a better name, I just call it "Visual Imagery". I need things to have names to them. It helps put order in my life. What can I say?! Visual Imagery is basically depicting the song in a visual picture-like format. This is similar to the "Stand for the Right" I posted in February. The file for "When I Am Baptized" is below. So, I hope you like it. I do plan on converting my 11 x 17 poster flip chart into a standard flip chart if that is more up your alley. Hopefully, I will have that posted within the next couple of days.

  • Print the file on card stock for some durability (60# or better paper)
  • Print the rainbow page in a poster format onto 4 pages, cut out, butt up the edges and tape together on the backside.  See here for how to tips in a previous post. 
  • Also print and assemble the sun page in a poster format onto 4 pages like the rainbow.
  • Print the rest of the pages normally on single sheets of card stock.
  • Cut out
  • Laminate for extra durability (optional)
  • Use magnetic tape or self-adhesive magnetic strip on the back or regular ol' magnets to post on the board (although the picture shows me using magnets, I plan on using magnetic tape—didn't have time to adhere the magnetic tape yet when I took the picture)
  • I did make a couple of changes to the visual since the taking of this picture. I outlined in black the yellow text on the 3rd raindrop to help it be a little more visible and I changed out the picture of Enos praying for forgiveness to a girl praying. Since all the pictures I used of children in the raindrops were modern versions, I decided Enos might look a little out of place, so I changed him out for a modern child.
  • Did you notice that all the raindrops are in the order of the colors of the rainbow?  Cooool! Huh!

  • Bring a rain stick for an Attention Getter. You can find many ways to make them on the internet if you don't have one. Here are a few sites of different ways you can make rain sticks. Take a look here for one using a mailer tube and nails. Look here for one using a paper towel tube and aluminum foil instead of nails. And here is one using a pvc pipe and skewers. I bought a cute rainbow colored one on Amazon to use when I taught the Noah verse in "Follow the Prophet" knowing there would be other song opportunities to use it. Of course, I didn't feel I could justify buying it just for Primary, so I used the excuse knew that my grandchildren would love playing with it, so of course, that justified was the only reason for adding it to their toy stash for when they come and visit, of course, it just so happens to make it very handy to borrow it for Primary on occasion. 
    • Let the children take turns using the rain stick while the Primary sings.
  • Describe an experience of seeing a beautiful rainbow you saw after a rainstorm and how it made you feel or ask the children if they have seen and or like rainbows. Discuss how fresh and clean everything seems to be after it has rained and how beautiful it is when the sun comes out and reveals a glorious rainbow.
  • Post the rainbow on the board.
  • Ask the children to draw a rainbow with their arm starting at one side of their body and going over their head to the other side in an arch-like motion.
  • Ask the children to show you how to do raindrops with their hands.
  • Ask them to listen to you sing this song to see if they can "hear" a part of the song that sounds like a rainbow that goes up and over and down and to make a rainbow with their arm each time they hear a rainbow in the music.
    • You could also ask them how many times they hear the rainbow. [2]
  • Ask them to also listen for the part of the song that sounds like raindrops and to make raindrop actions when they hear that part.
  • As you teach each part of the song:
    • Post the corresponding visual
    • Ask discovery questions about the song for the children to listen to for the answers
    • Use actions for each part of the song. Ask the children for ideas on doing the actions. Here is a list of possible actions for the first verse.
      • look for rainbows: make binoculars with your hands or your hand above the eyes as if you are searching for something
      • rain: use your hands and wiggle your fingers to make raindrops 
      • ponder: tap a finger to the side of your temple while resting the elbow in the palm of the other hand in a thinking gesture
      • beauty: ASL sign for beauty (the palm of the hand encircles the face and then close the hand into a loose fist, click here for video clip
      • earth: with arms, make a big circle above the head
      • rainuse your hands and wiggle your fingers to make raindrops 
      • best: do a #1 with your finger or do a "power" action like flexing your arms with punch or pop up with the fists (hope I explained that well enough)
      • live: ASL sign for live (make the "L" ASL letter with both hands and draw your hands up the torso, click here for video clip)
      • God: point to heaven or use the ASL sign for God (the hand is raised towards heaven and then drawn downward toward the face, click here for video clip)
  • After teaching the song, you could start removing the parts of the song to help them memorize it.
    • Have a child turn to the back of the room so they can't see the board and have another child remove one of the visuals and then have the first child turn around to see if they know which one was removed by saying that part of the phrase (for JR, they may just remember the picture and give that for their answer). Sing the song or just sing to that part of the phrase to see if the one child got the answer correct.
  • After they know the song better, mix up the visuals and have the children put the song in order.
  • Do a variation on pitch leading with the children by having them, of course, using their arm for the rainbow parts by making one rainbow starting on your left side with your left arm (so it is their right when they mirror you) and moving your arm in an arch up and over to your right side for the first phrase and then returning your arm in the rainbow fashion back to the starting position for the 2nd phrase. Then flick your fingers on the chorus part for the raindrops (like you are flicking water). One way you could do this is have the left hand flick on the high notes and the right hand flick on the low notes. The children will mirror you.  For example:
    • 2 flicks with left hand for "I want"
    • 2 flicks with right hand for "my life"
    • 2 flicks with left hand for "to be"
    • 2 flicks with right hand for "as clean"
    • 6 flicks with left hand for "as earth right after rain" lowering the hand a notch each time as the notes descend.
    • 2 flicks with the left hand for "I want
    • 2 flicks with the right hand for "to be"
    • 2 flicks with the left hand for "the best"
    • 2 flicks with both hands for "I can" and during the fermata, keep the fingers open and move each hand out and upward as if you are making a world shape above your head.
    • 6 flicks with both hands flicking higher on the second flick than the first flick and lowering a notch each time as the notes descend.
  • Sing the first half of the song legato and sway the arms back and forth in a flowing manner and then sing the chorus staccato while swinging the arms in staccato fashion or you could clap.
  • Use ribbon wands to help teach the melody. I will post later on how to make these.
  • Oh goodness, there are so many fun ways to teach this song. I'll will try and find time to post some other ideas later.
Hope these ideas help to get you excited for teaching this song.

When I Am Baptized-Viz-Nalani


  1. Great Ideas! Thanks for sharing all your hard work!

  2. Love your graphics and presentation!

  3. Thanks for the great ideas! I'm using the visual imagery tomorrow and can't wait. I appreciate your time and talents.

  4. Thank you, thank you! My heart sings!!!! :)

  5. Thank you for this! I will be using it today!!

  6. You have such great ideas! Thank you for sharing all your hard work!

  7. Thank you for your ideas and visual imagery! It is just what I needed.

  8. I so appreciate you sharing your talents and time. These visuals are amazing! You make my calling so fun and easy :) Thank you!

  9. Any possibility of you doing the second verse as well? I just love your visual aids and truly appreciate your creative abilities and willingness to share with those of us not so fortunate. Thank you!

    1. Zerelda,
      You are in luck. Both verses are there. The first verse is the first cloud on the rainbow and the first 3 raindrops. The second verse is the other 4 raindrops and the chorus would be the visuals above the last 4 raindrops including the 2nd cloud on the rainbow. Hope that helps to explain it.

  10. Thank you all for your great comments. I sure do appreciate them.

  11. Thank you so much for posting these ideas, I cannot believe how much work and time you put into this and I so appreciate you sharing this with everyone!! I can't tell you how much I love your work!!! Thank you Thank you!

  12. Thank you, Nalani! I am using your visual tomorrow during Singing Time:-)

  13. Can you send me a pdf of your visuals? Thanks