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

Saturday, June 30, 2012


What would the 4th OF JULY be without parades, bands and especially fireworks? I shudder to think!!!

I can bring the parade and band to Primary, but how do you bring the Fireworks? That was a toughie. Here is what I came up with from supplies I already had on hand. I'm sure if you don't have some of these things, you can come up with a hybrid of your own.

Items Needed

  • 6-8 Balloons per JR and SR group depending on how many songs you plan to sing
  • Red, white and blue curling ribbon or silver if you don't have white
  • Star tinsel wire garland in red, silver and blue or a mixed red, white/silver and blue patriotic version 
  • Slips of paper with your song titles to be inserted inside the balloon or if each balloon is a different color, just assign a song to each color on your key sheet and that way you don't have to stick anything inside the balloon.
  • Streamers to insert inside the balloons (optional) 
    • You could cut lengths of curling ribbon and curl the ribbon and insert into the balloons to make some streamers for the balloons. This may be a little time consuming to do.
  • T-pins or thumb tacks.
How to Make
  • For the shooting tail of the firework (or whatever you call it) cut 3 to 5, 15"-18" lengths of the star garland and wrap it around a 1" diameter dowel or something similar in shape and size and then remove the dowel. Slightly straighten your curled garland out to lengthen it into a soft spiral. Group the star garland together at one end and twist those ends together so they are connected at one end. 
  • Cut 1 yard each of the red, white and blue curling ribbon. If you want to add more ribbon, cut another set of each color. Align the ribbons together and at the center of the ribbons, tie them together in a double knot around the twisted end of the star garland. Fold a little of the twisted end of the garland over the knotted ribbon to help secure the ribbon and garland together. 
  • Repeat the above steps and make a shooting tail for each balloon firework you plan on using. If you have separate JR and SR Primaries, you only need to do one set of the shooting tails since you can reuse them for the next group.
  • Insert into the balloon your piece of paper with your song written on it and streamers if you choose. I would not suggest to use confetti. That would be a bit of a mess to clean up. A few streamers would give a little added fun with the "firework explosion" without causing much clean up.
  • Blow up your balloons and knot the opening. You could wait to blow up the balloons until just before Primary if you don't want to haul a big bag of blown up balloons to church.
  • When you get to church, pin up your set of balloon fireworks randomly on the bulletin board using the T-pins or thumb tacks. The balloon will flop downward.
  • Pin up the shooting tail about 6" or so below the knot of the balloon depending on how big your balloon is. The Balloon should hide the top of the shooting tail.
    • The picture shows that I taped this to a white board because I took the pictures at work, but I will use our rolling bulletin board at church to pin the fireworks up on. I will try to remember to take a picture of all the fireworks pinned up together on the board and post it later. 
  • There you have it. Pretty easy and quick to make and they look so festive and fun.

How to Play and Sing
  • For JR, have a child come up and "explode" one of the fireworks by using a pin to pop the balloon. I like to use this pointer stick that has a pointer finger on the end of it that I tape a pin to. This allows the child to reach a balloon that is up high as well as for the more timid children, they don't have to put their hand right next to the balloon to explode it.  
  • Sing the song that is written on the piece of paper from the balloon firework that exploded. Sometimes I like to sing songs in a certain order instead of randomly, which is what I plan on doing for this activity in JR. In this case, I would just put slips of numbered papers inside the balloons (which really don't refer to anything) and after they pop the balloon and hand the paper to me, I would "look" at my key sheet and we would sing the next song.
  • For SR, I have the children take turns throwing a dart to see if they can explode the fireworks. They only get one try at it before the next child gets a turn, this way, more kids will have a chance. Throwing a dart makes it a little more challenging and fun for the older kids and seems more manly for those many boys I have. Make sure you use the steel tipped darts and not the rubber tipped darts that are used with those special holed dart boards. I did not know that there was such a thing as soft tipped darts until after I bought some once and when the kids tried to use them, they kept bouncing off of the balloons. A bit hilarious seeing them bounce off the balloons but puzzling. After several tries, I finally took a close look at the tips and realized they were rubber and bendable tips. Who'd a thunk!!! 
  • WARNING! Children can get a little funny and do little screams sometimes when the balloons pop, so make sure you remind the children ahead of time to not get wild and to cover their mouths if they think they might be tempted to scream. A gentle reminder that we like to have fun but shouldn't get wild in Primary usually does the trick. Also, if you put streamers in the balloons, remind them not to run up to grab them. They need to stay in their seats.
Now for the parade and band part.

For JR, the first song I will play is "You're a Grand Old Flag" on my iPhone with my mini, portable speakers while the teachers help me sing it using my little Patriotic Booklets and we will march around the room waving our little flags. I'll wear my little cardboard red, white and blue patriotic top hat and beat on my sunshine drum (the one with the smiling sun on it in the picture—I love that drum and so do the kids—it has a great "boom" sound and is great for keeping the beat when teaching a song) and I'll also have a couple of children hold some bigger flags I have at the front of the parade. I think marching outside would be fun to do, but it always seems to be way too hot to do that. I already get hot and sweaty half the time doing all the actions and activities we do in the somewhat air conditioned room. Here is an MP3 link to the U.S. Air Force Band playing "You're a Grand Old Flag" that you can download for free and play when marching. This has a great marching beat to it just like in a parade.

Next, we will sing "My Flag, My Flag" a couple of times raising our flags on the word "flag" and waving it when we sing the word "wave". The second time we sing it I'll have them wave the flag back-and-forth to the rhythm of the song. I'll have a firework to pop for each time we sing it.

Oh yes, we can't forget the band part. I'll have a few children come up on other songs like "Nephi's Courage" and play rhythm instruments to the beat of the songs. I may just do one verse at a time with each balloon firework explosion. If you don't have any rhythm instruments, you could make some quite easily with found things around the house. Just look up on the internet for some "How To's". Or you could even just use some pots and pans and spoons or anything else that you can bang around and voilà!, you now have a kitchen band. 

Some rhythm instruments I've collected over time.

Other songs we will sing are "Oh, What Do You Do in the Summertime?" and "Our Primary Colors". Not sure if we will have much more time after these songs except maybe one of the balloon fireworks may be that they get to pick their favorite song to sing or their teacher gets to pick their favorite song.

For SR, it is pretty simple, each balloon will have a patriotic song written on a piece of paper inserted into the balloon that are from the Patriotic Song booklet and one balloon will be a choice to pick their favorite patriotic song from the booklet; they can even pick a song we have already sung if they wish. We will not be singing these songs in a controlled order like I plan to for JR. The songs will be selected randomly by whatever balloon is exploded. Of course, I'll have the children take turns coming up and playing the rhythm instruments.

I also made some U.S.A. U Are Awesome! Super Singer Badges. I've included the files if you feel like making some. One page has the text in color while the other one has the text in black and white.  I ended up using the colored text version for the ones I made.

  • I printed the ones for JR onto card stock and punched them out with a 2 1/8" circle punch (you probably could use a slightly smaller punch since the file shrunk slightly when converted to a pdf format) or you could cut them out with scissors. Punch two small holes, one on either side of "U.S.A." and thread a 24"-26" (depending on the size and age of the children in your Primary) of 1/4" satin red, white or blue ribbon down through a front hole in the circle disk and then back up the other hole from the backside of the circle disk (tip: cut the ribbon at a pointed angle to help in threading the ribbon through the holes) and then with both ends of the ribbon matched up together, make a knot  as close to the ends of the ribbon as possible. See the picture to see this knot. This is a little easier knot to make for these necklaces than taking both ends separately and putting the right over left then left over right double knot thingy. You could use yarn or string if you don't have ribbon. I usually pick up these small bolts of satin ribbon from the craft store now and again to keep on hand. They are usually about 50 cents for about 10 yards and sometimes they are even on sale for 3 for a $1. Pretty cheap.

  • For SR, I just printed the badges out onto a full label-sized Avery sheet. Although the label sheet is a crack and peel type, the cut lines on the liner won't pass through the back side of each of your stickers. So, with a cutting blade and straight-edge ruler, carefully cut down the back side of the labels down the center of each row of stickers ONLY cutting through the liner and not the sticker part. You only need to make three cuts per page if you align your ruler on the backside over each row of the stickers. Cutting the liner for a crack-and-peel effect will help make it a bit easier to separate the sticker from the liner. Make sure to use a cutting mat or something to help protect your surface in case you have a heavy hand and cut too deeply. Cut or punch out the circles and voilà!, you have yourself some stickers.
If you want, you could also discuss here and there through singing time gospel principles and tying the principles in with having freedom, choosing the right, etc., but do be careful to keep it short and sweet. After all, this is singing time not talking time. (I'm always having to work on this.)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


As a child, when my mom would come in to wake us kids up to get ready for school, often times she would start playing what I call "Vigorous" songs on the piano to help get us up and moving. One of the favorite songs I remember her often playing and singing was "The Battle Hymn of Republic". Every time I hear that song, that special memory comes to mind. Well, not a special memory about having to get up and get ready to go to school. . .a special memory of my mother and how when she played and sang in the morning, what a cheery atmosphere there was in the home to help start the day.

In Primary, I don't celebrate every holiday, but I do enjoy celebrating the 4th of July
along with the opportunity we have to sing appropriate patriotic songs
in Primary this one time a year.
So, I like to take these little
I made and let the SR Primary sing from them. Just a fun and different way to sing using a book instead of posters or flip charts. The SR kids
seem to enjoy reading from a book and singing "grown up" songs. I will usually add a pick 'n choose activity for selecting which songs to sing to just spice it up a bit. I will post later what I plan to do using my version of FIREWORKS!
If you are interested in making these booklets, I've attached the file for you to use.

  • The pages are in the correct order for printing booklet style front and back.
  • Use red, white and blue card stock for the covers. You could just use regular paper for the the covers if you prefer.
  • Print the first two pages on card stock for the cover and the Table of Contents. The Table of Contents should be on the inside, front of the cover.
  • Print the rest of the pages with the words of the songs in order on regular white paper. Make sure they are printing front to back on the paper. For example, the 3rd page with "My Flag, My Flag" will be the first page to print and then the 4th page in the file will need to print on the opposite side of the 3rd page. This way the page numbering on the bottom corner of each page should be correct when folded into a booklet. Then the 5th and 6th pages in the file would be next sharing the same paper front and back. When I am referring to 3rd page, 4th page etc., I am referring to the page order in the file, not the page numbering on the song page.
    • If you don't have a printer that will do duplex printing (printing on both sides of the paper), then you can just print the odd pages in the file then reinsert the paper in your printer in the correct orientation to print the even pages on the opposite side.
  • After printing, make sure your pages are in the correct order, then fold your cover and inside pages together in half. 
  • With the booklet open and the cover on top, put a staple about 1 1/2" from both the top and bottom ends of the booklet into the outside fold of the spine. You should have two staples in the spine with the prongs of the staples on the inside fold of the booklet.
    • With all the staplers I have access to at home and work, I couldn't believe that I didn't have one that would reach from the edge to the center fold. So, if you don't have a stapler that will reach to the center fold either, you could set the open booklet with the cover on top on a thick, old mouse pad or something similar, then open your stapler for flat tack-type stapling and staple on the outside, spine fold into the booklet and mouse pad. The prongs will go into the mouse pad, so make sure your pad is thick enough so your staples won't staple into your table underneath. Gently pull the booklet off the mouse pad and turn it over. Using a philips screw driver or dinner knife, fold the prongs over to finish off the staple.
  • There you have it. It is a lot easier to do than it may sound.

Patriotic Song Book-Nalani

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


I love celebrating the
Fourth of July.
I love the feeling of
And I love the powerful symbolism of our FLAG.

I was at my son's college graduation the other day and with my hand over my heart as the Army National Guard presented the colors, I choked up with gratitude and pride for those who have served and now serve our country. I'm always such a ball baby when it comes to those things. And as we said the "Pledge of Allegiance", I came to a sudden and shocking realization that this was the first function in a very, very, very long time that I had been to that the "Pledge of Allegiance" was said. I remember as a child that almost every event you went to, the "Pledge of Allegiance" was said. So, in light of all that our country's flag stands for, here is a flip chart for the song
"My Flag, My Flag" from the Children's Songbook.
I love taking my little flags to Primary and letting the children wave the flags to the rhythm as we sing this song.

My Flag My Flag—FC—Nalani

Saturday, June 23, 2012


WHEW! It has been a busy summer already with a new grandchild being born, hanging out at amusement parks with the grand kids, camping with the fam and a zillion other things on top of the every day stuff. 

Since this is the last Sunday of the month, it is time to do a review of the
program songs.
Sometimes, these review times are the only chances we get to sing some of them with so many other songs to sing throughout the year. This Sunday, I am going to do a
This is an easy and fun review game to play. I have an old Tic-Tac-Toe poster board game board I'm going to use that I made a zillion years ago before we had a chalkboard in the old building's Primary room—back when the room was originally designed as the "JR Sunday School Room" AND before they had the portable rolling chalkboards in the building AND shortly after they changed to the block time and moved Primary from the week day to Sunday AND when computers filled rooms instead of compactly on top of a desk, so yeah, we used easels and posters a lot back then. WOW! I'm really dating myself aren't I?! The lamination has actually held up well on this poster over the years compared to other posters I made back then. I just cut strips and letters out of red poster board and glued them to a yellow poster board. I did revamp my "X" and "O" markers using my Cricut machine a year or two ago. I've attached a scanned image of the "X" & "O" markers, so if you want to make a poster, you can print at least 5 sets of these markers out on card stock paper, cut them out and laminate them without having to go through the work of making them from scratch. I did add Velcro on the back side of the markers as well as on the game board so they can easily be placed or removed with each game played, but you can use good ol' masking tape like I did back in the day. If you don't want to make a game board, just use chalk and eraser.
Easy and Quick!
To play this game, I am actually going to have them sing one of the verses of the song first before asking and having them answer the question. Since we haven't sung some of these for a while, this will help them review it, hopefully they will concentrate on the song so it will reinforce it in their mind as well as help them so they can answer the question correctly. I will be reviewing the songs/verses in the order I have on the Q&A sheet.

Here are the general game rules to play. I've attached the file and questions below if you want to print them out. I have more questions than can be done in the 20 minute allotment, because I will have the full Singing and Sharing Time this week, so adjust to fit your Primary and time slot. 


  •  Sing the song or verse to review before each question.
    •  Split the songs into verses so you can focus on each section at a time and to give more opportunities for questions.
    • Singing first will help to review the song while giving the children the opportunity to concentrate on what they are singing and to also motivate the children in singing in the hope to be chosen to have a turn to come up.
  •  Ask the question for the song/verse just sung.
  •  The child that answers the question correctly gets to come and put up a game marker.
    •  Rotate selecting a child from each class to have a turn to answer.
  •  Alternate the “X” and “O” markers with each question. 
  • Warn the children, if necessary, that if they do not participate or are not reverent, you will remove one of the game markers (start with the center one since that is the most strategic spot.)
  •  Continue singing and playing until there are three in a row.
  •  Start a new game if time permits.
JR optional ways to play with teams

Primary vs Music Leader (you)
  •  Play the game similar to the rules above; however, the Primary will be “X” and you will be “O”.
  •  If a child answers correctly, they put up their marker. If they give a wrong answer, you get to put up your marker.
  •  You do not answer any questions; just the children.
 Teachers vs Children
  •  See the SR “How to Play” rules.
  • Divide Primary into 2 groups.
  •  Sing the song or verse to review before each question.
    •  Split the songs into verses so you can focus on each section at a time and to give more opportunities for questions.
    •  Singing first will help to review the song while giving the children the opportunity to concentrate on what they are singing and to also motivate the children in singing in the hope to be chosen to have a turn to come up.
    •  Let the teachers and children know that their teacher will be watching to see who is participating and paying attention and will be picking who gets to come up and play for their team.  If you are playing teachers against the kids, have a presidency leader help look for the children who are participating or you can just pick.
  •  After singing, select a class on each team and have the teachers select a child from their class to come up to be the game contestants to answer the questions. You should have 2 contestants.
  •  Ask the question to the song/verse just sung.
  •  The first contestant to ring the bell or buzzer and answer the question correctly gets to put up their team’s game marker on the Tic-Tac-Sing board.
    • The contestant has 5 seconds to answer the question correctly. If he/she cannot answer correctly within the 5 seconds, the other contestant gets a chance to answer correctly and put their game marker up on the board.
    •  If neither team answers correctly, no “X” or “O” gets on the board at this time. Just have any child answer the question 
    • OR
    •  Sing the song/verse again and then pick someone from the team that was singing the best to answer the question. If he/she answers correctly, that team gets to put up their game token on the board.
  •  Repeat playing the game until one team has three markers in a row.
  •  Start a new game if time permits.
  •  To help keep some semblance of reverence, let the children know that if at any time their team doesn’t sing or gets noisy; they will have one of their markers taken off of the board.
  • Split the room in half
  •  Girls vs Boys
  • Children vs Teachers
  • Play a life-size version by using painters tape to make a grid on the floor or use small chairs and have the child that answers correctly stand or sit in the spot. You may want to have the child hold an "X" or "O" to help visually.
  • Play the game to just review one song over and over again as you practice each phrase of the song.
  • In reviewing one song, you could take turns for each team to sing the song and if they sing it well, they get to place a marker.
  • Do a combo version with "Name that Tune". Have the pianist play a few notes and the contestant that names the song correctly gets to place their marker then sing the song.

Tic Tac Sing Program Song Review Nalani

Tic-Tac-Sing X-O-Nalani

Saturday, June 9, 2012


In this Nephi post from last week, I posted some links to church published figures for the first two verses of the song "Nephi's Courage" that you could use for stick puppets or even board stories (aka flannel board stories but nowadays, we have magnetic boards.) This week I decided to ENLARGE the figures as much as I could on the page so they could be better seen by my Primary. Since I couldn't find a Laban figure I liked that matched the look of the Nephi figures that have been in The Friend magazine, I took the liberty to use another Book of Mormon figure that looked like a wealthy man to represent Laban. Okay, he looks more like a king, well... maybe because he is a king, King Lamoni, but I dont think they will know the difference. Oh wait a minute! They just might. Those kids are pretty perceptive at times. Oh well, it will have to do. The tools are optional to use. I just threw them in for fun since there was space on the page; however, the picture was not the best resolution so they didn't enlarge very well especially around the edges, so I just outlined them with black and brown Sharpie pens to help them POP better. They don't look so bad now. Just print the stick puppets you want onto heavy card stock, cut them out, laminate if you prefer and mount onto tongue depressor sticks if you want to use as stick puppets or put magnetic tape on the back if you want to use them for a board story.

As mentioned in an earlier post on  "Nephi's Courage", let the children use the puppets to help retell the stories in the song as the Primary sings or use them as visuals to help the children remember the order the song goes in. Mixing them up and letting the children put in order is always a good ol' standby activity. 

Nephi's Courage Stick Puppets-Nalani

Friday, June 8, 2012


Well, if you are looking for another fun way to review
WheI  ABaptized
you can always use your bells or chimes.
Here is a bell chart using the fun rainbow and cloud theme for the song.


  • There are three pages in the file: one for each verse and the chorus. 
  • Print each page out individually into a 4-page poster format in Adobe Reader (you could go 6 or more pages depending on how large you need it for your Primary to see or maybe if you have a very small Primary, one or two pages will do you.) I did mine at 185% for 4 pages per verse/chorus for a total of 12 pages, which I think is a good size for most Primaries. The percentage will vary depending on your printer. Just review the image box in your print dialog box for best size and placement before printing.  See the "Preparation" section in this post for a little info on printing a poster format.
  • I didn't select the check boxes for the cut marks or labels on this one since I was able to size it so half of the verse landed on the upper 2 pages and the last 2 lines landed on the bottom 2 pages.
  • Cut the excess edge off of each sheet (only the side where you will need to butt the pages up together), then butt and tape the first two sheets/lines together.
  • Repeat with each 2 lines.
  • I did not tape all 4 lines to each verse/chorus together. This will help make it easier to store. I can just fold each double-page section on the seam and file it away.
Here is a list of the bells needed for the song and how many times each bell is played per verse. 
  • C (low): 4
  • D: 1
  • F: 15
  • G: 4
  • A: 8
  • A#: 7 (B flat)
  • C: 16
You could have a child play both the D & G bells since they aren't played as much.

When I Am Baptized—Bell Chart-Nalani

Thursday, June 7, 2012


Is it really
Father's Day
in a couple of weeks?
So many things always going on each month it seems. Well, here is a flip chart for
"Daddy's Homecoming".
As an FYI, a few of these pictures are not from church publications since I couldn't find enough pictures to fit the wording, so considering the type of song, I took the liberty to use other pictures that seemed appropriate for the song.

Actually, this is a fun one to do actions with the little ones.
This wiggle song version can give you a bit of a workout though.

Here are the actions I've come up with to use:
  • I'm so glad when daddy comes home
    • With your pointer fingers on both hands, point to the corners of your smile on your face rocking your head side-to-side to the rhythm.
  • Glad as I can be
    • Raise hands above head to one side and then lower until your elbows are about shoulder height while flashing your hands wide open on the up and very loosely closed on the down, then repeat raising your hands again above your head to the other side. Do this in an excited fashion alternating on each side for a total of 2 times on each side.
    • Sometimes you can change it out by swaying both arms back and forth above head letting your upper torso sway too. 
  • Clap my hands
    • Clap hands 2 times
  • And shout for joy
    • Jump up throwing your arms up with joy.
    • A more subdued method would be to place both hands by the mouth as if to shout.
  • Then climb upon his knee
    • Pretend to climb (kind of looks more like jogging in place I guess) then point to knee.
  • Put my arms around his neck
    • Bring arms to a circle in front of you
  • Hug him tight like this
    • Bring arms in from circle to hug self
  • Pat his cheeks 
    • Pat both of your cheeks on each word
  • and give him what?
    • Palms up and hands out to the side, but slightly forward, with arms at about a 90 degree angle to the body and then on the word "what?" tilt head to the side while shrugging your shoulders. Basically, this is like doing an exaggerated "W-h-a-t?" action. 
  • A great big kiss!
    • Blow a kiss like they did on the Dating Game Show in the 60's but don't turn to the back so far as they did. If you are one of those young'uns that wasn't even born yet, although I think they did bring it back in the 80's or 90's, you do the Dating Game kiss by putting the palm of your hand over your mouth, twisting/turning your body slightly to the back and then after you sing the word "kiss" you make a big "KISSING SMACK" sound while swinging/turning your body forward throwing your hand and kiss out.
Now go get practicing on those hugs and kisses for your daddy!

Monday, June 4, 2012


"The Wise Man 
and the Foolish Man"
song has always seemed like a wiggle type song to me, so when I saw the song in this year's outline, I'll admit I was a bit Surprised and not excited to use it in the Sacrament Meeting Program. And then after reading the small print in the outline, I was relieved that I could choose a song instead, which I did. YEAH!!!

Okay, now here is the kicker that is causing me to rethink things. There is a new blog by Terri Hutchings that her friend Peggy told me about who is sharing her musical adaptation of the song. Words still the same; just put to different music. After listening to it I couldn't believe how changing the music gives the words such a different and more reverent feel. I also love how she has separated the girls from the boys voices to give it a more choral feel. What a beautiful rendition of the song.

Here is a link to her blog if you would like to check out her version of the song.

Saturday, June 2, 2012


"Nephi's Courage" is a fun and easy song to teach without a flip chart. It is what I consider to be an action song that you can put some fun movement to. So I'm Excited to work on this action song because I know I could use a bit more exercise and singing time seems to be the only time I can find time for a WORKOUTif you know what I mean. Here are some ways I've used before to teach other songs that have worked well that I am implementing in introducing or rather reintroducing this month's song.

(Sorry this is so late. Although I have my plans pretty well outlined weeks in advance, finding time lately to formalize it in writing and to post it has been difficult. When I started this blog, I knew it would be difficult with my busy life schedule, but I am determined to keep going because I have so much I want to share.)

With guest appearances, I've used the interview method to introduce songs before and the children always seemed glued to listening to what is being said. I'm going to do a similar take on this by doing it more as a song skit " Guest Apperance".

Doesn't my son make
a great Nephi?!!!

Kids were just mesmerized
by his storytelling.

  • Book of Mormon with 1 Nephi 3:7 marked
  • Pictures for each story or the flip chart (optional)
  • Ask an adult to come and play Nephi
  • Have "Nephi" dressed in a simple costume and props to help set the stage (optional)
    • Costume/Props Suggestions: Outfit, leather belt, sword, bow and arrow, headband, wristbands, sandals, brass plates, boat, etc. (mine is simply put together with just some pieces of fabric and safety pins; one to wrap around the waist and then over the shoulder, another to wrap around the waist, then some vinyl for a "leather" belt tied around the waist to help hold the "wrapped skirt" part up and more vinyl cut into a slight cone shape to fit the forearms for the wristbands using some self-adhesive Velcro to help keep them closed and some sandals on the feet—was quick and easy to put together—nothing fancy, but it turned out surprisingly well—the kids recognized who he was instantly, so I guess we copied the picture pretty well.)
  • Make sure your Nephi is familiar enough with both stories told in the song so that he will be able to tell the stories to the children.
    • 1 Nephi 3-4: Nephi obtains the brass plates.
    • 1 Nephi 17-18: Nephi is commanded to build a ship
  • Start off by showing the Book of Mormon and ask them who the first person that is mentioned in the Book of Mormon.
  • Read 1 Nephi 3:7 (Have SR look up the scripture so they can look at the words as you sing.) 
"And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I awill go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no bcommandments unto the children of men, save he shall cprepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them."
  • Ask the children to listen as you sing the chorus to see if they hear some of the same or similar words (different but with the same meaning).
  • Teach the chorus using the ASL/Actions Combo listed below.
  • While you are singing the chorus with the children the 2nd time, have your "Nephi" walk in towards the end of the chorus and come up front. Act surprised and after you stop singing, you can use some dialog like this:
NEPHI: Hello boys and girls. I heard you singing the words I said to my father, Lehi about being courageous and obeying Heavenly Father's commandments. You sounded really great singing those words to music.

YOU: (Acting a little surprised to see him) Oh, my goodness! Children, do you know who this is?


NEPHI: Yes, that is right. I am Nephi.

YOU: Nephi, we are just learning a song about you and your courage. What do we need to have and do to be courageous like you? 

NEPHI: You need to have FAITH first and then OBEY to go and do the things the Lord commands. If you are faithful and obedient to His commandments, the Lord will provide a way for you to follow those commandments because He truly wants wants whats best for you. And your FAITH grows stronger making it easier to obey.


YOU: To help us understand about FAITH and OBEDIENCE, will you please share with us your story about getting the brass plates from Laban?

NEPHI: Yes. I would love to.
  • Nephi tells the story. Try to keep it to around a minute or two making sure to point out the key points of the song and story and his faith and obedience.
YOU: Let me make sure we understand what you did Nephi. Let me sing the story to you and the children. Children, when I get to the chorus part that we just learned about Nephi's courageous answer, will you please join in and sing it with me?  (For SR, if they are already familiar with the song, let them go ahead and sing the whole verse with you.)
  • Sing the first verse using the actions so that the children have the opportunity to hear the song and see the actions, then have the children come in on the chorus.
  • Have the children sing the whole verse and chorus with you this time.
  • Repeat singing the verse if time permits.
NEPHI: That sounded wonderful.


YOU: Nephi, will you please share with us another story that shows us how you had faith and obedience?

NEPHI: Yes. This is when the Lord commanded me to go and build a ship.

  • Nephi tells the story. Try to keep it to around a minute or two making sure to point out the key points of the song and story and his faith and obedience.
YOU: Let me make sure we understand what you did Nephi. Let me sing the story to you and the children. Children, when I get to the chorus part that we just learned about Nephi's courageous answer, will you please join in and sing it with me?  (For SR, if they are already familiar with the song, let them go ahead and sing the whole verse with you.)

    • Sing the second verse using the actions so that the children have the opportunity to hear the song and see the actions, then have the children come in on the chorus.
    • Have the children sing the whole verse and chorus with you this time.
    • Repeat singing the verse if time permits.
    NEPHI: Again you all sounded great!

    VERSE 3

    YOU: Nephi, in these two stories you have shared with us, what would you say is the message you want to leave with us?

    NEPHI: The message is to have FAITH when the Lord gives us commandments and asks us to obey.

    YOU: But you know, sometimes I am tempted to choose another way. When I’m discouraged and think I cannot try, what can I do Nephi?

    NEPHI:  Do what I did. Have FAITH and be OBEDIENT to the Lord's commandments and you will find happiness. (Nephi then sings the chorus.)
    • I will go; I will do the thing the Lord commands. I know the Lord provides a way; he wants me to obey. I will go; I will do the thing the Lord commands. I know the Lord provides a way; (short pause for emphasis) he wants me to obey.
    Depending on time, you may only be able to have the children sing each verse through one time so that you can get through the whole song skit. This skit is to mainly help introduce the song and to help give the children a better understanding of Nephi's scripture stories in the song. Next week you can focus more on learning it. I will only have my Nephi there this Sunday (thanks to my youngest son's help with playing Nephi—he is going to look so Nephi—tish with his dark tan and strong muscles), but if you only want to work on a verse a week and are able to to have your Nephi there each Sunday, you could split this up.


    This is a fun one to use actions with in telling the stories in the song. Action songs are great to use as a warm up in singing time and in getting wiggles out.
    I have used both ASL and miscellaneous actions in this song. Here is my version.

    (Do these actions "left-handed" so the children can mirror you)

    VERSE 1
    For the ASL links, click on the word.
    • The Lord [ASL: God] I use "God" instead of "Lord" since we have used it a lot in many songs and I like how pointing up to heaven helps to point out better who it is.
    • commanded [ASL: Commandment] (I chose to use commandment instead of command since we have already used commanment in other songs like "Love One Another" and it will be consistent with the third verse as well as command is the same as reply that I will be using for reply.)
    • Nephi [ASL: the letter "N"]
    • to go and get the plates [make book with hands.]
    • From the wicked Laban [make a mean look on your face and place your fists on your hips as you pan the room while singing]
    • inside the city gates. [with palms facing you, touch the finger tips of both hands together and open and shut like a gate]
    • Laman and Lemuel [as you sing each name, extend left hand out to the side palm up and then the right hand]
    • were both afraid to try. [turn hands palms down and shake both hands like they have the "shakes".]
    • Nephi [ASL: the letter "N"]
    • was courageous. [flex your arm muscles showing strength with arms bent at the elbow into a 90 degree angle.] 
    • This was his reply: [ASL: Reply]
    • "I will go" [with your index finger, point to self on "I" then extend the arm out front keeping the finger pointed]
    • "I will do"  [with your index finger, point to self on "I" then point up in the air keeping finger pointed] 
    • the thing the Lord commands. [ASL: Thing—can do with both hands if you want to involve the other hand in the action]
    • I know [ASL: Know
    • the Lord provides a way; [ASL: Way]
    • he wants me to obey.  [salute]
    • Repeat chorus actions but fold arms on the last "obey"
    VERSE 2
    • The Lord [ASL: God]
    • commanded [ASL: Commandment]
    • Nephi [ASL: the letter "N"]
    • to go and build a boat. [pretend like you are hammering something in your other hand or waves.]
    • Nephi's older brothers [as you sing each name, extend on hand out to the side palm up and then the other hand] 
    • believed it would not float. [wiggle your hand with palm down as if a boat floating on the waves of the ocean and then on the word "float", have your hand sink downward like a sinking ship—could also at the same time shake head in "no" fashion" depending on how coordinated you and the children are]
    • Laughing and mocking, [with one hand slightly in front of mouth, pretend to laugh and point your finger with the other hand]
    • they said he should not try. [shake head and finger in a "no" fashion"]
    • Nephi [ASL: the letter "N"]
    • was courageous. [flex your arm muscles showing strength with arms bent at the elbow into a 90 degree angle.] 
    • This was his reply: [ASL: Reply]

    VERSE 3
    • The Lord [ASL: God]
    • gives us commandments [ASL: Commandment]
    • and asks us to obey. [salute]
    • Sometimes I am tempted to choose another way [do each action pointing your index fingers in order to the tempo as you sing keeping the elbows close to the body and using the elbows to pivot back and forth on: 
      • Sometimes: extend left arm out to the side
      • I am: extend right arm out to the side
      • tempt—: pivot left arm back to cross in front of your body
      • —ed to: pivot right arm back to cross in front of your body
      • choose an—: pivot both arms back out
      • —other: pivot both arms back in to cross in front of your body
      • way: pivot both arms back out
    • When I'm discouraged [frowny face and pretend to cry and rub fists on eyes]
    • and think I cannot try, [shake head and index finger in a "no" fashion"]
    • I will be courageous, [point to self first then flex your arm muscles showing strength with arms bent at the elbow into a 90 degree angle.]
    • and I will [point to self]
    • reply: [ASL: Reply]

    Here is a synopsis of how I would do an interview version.
    • Introduce to the Primary that you have a special guest that has come a long way to visit us and to teach us about following the Lord's commandments.
    • Introduce Nephi.
    • With a toy or real microphone and clipboard in hand with your questions to help you look more reporter-like (optional), pretend to interview Nephi asking questions with Nephi answering to help tell the story that correlates with the first verse.  
    • Make sure to keep this to the point, quickly moving along and keep it to about a minute to two for each verse interview. 
    • You can repeat back to the Primary what Nephi said by singing the first verse so that the children have the opportunity to hear the song. Before you sing, you could say, "So let me make sure I understand your story and what you did" or "Children, this is what happened" and then start singing the first verse with actions. Have the children come in on the chorus.
    • Have the children sing the whole verse and chorus with you this time. Repeat a 3rd time if time permits.
    • Repeat the process with the second verse.
    • You can repeat the process with the third verse but instead of telling a story, continue the interview by summarizing the message of the song in the third verse, for example: 
    REPORTER: Nephi, in these two stories you have shared with us, what would you say is the message you want to leave with us?

    NEPHI: The message is to have FAITH when the Lord gives us commandments and asks us to obey.

    REPORTER: But you know, sometimes I am tempted to choose another way. When I’m discouraged and think I cannot try, what can I do Nephi?

    NEPHI:  Do what I did. Have FAITH and be OBEDIENT to the Lord's commandments and you will find happiness. (Nephi sings the chorus.)

    • I will go. I will do the thing the Lord commands. I know the Lord provides a way. He wants me to obey. I will go. I will do the thing the Lord commands. I know the Lord provides a way. (Short pause for emphasis) He wants me to obey.
    Another way to introduce this song is by doing a dramatization.


    • Assign each verse to a group of children along with a bag of simple props that go with their verse. You don't have to use costumes and props.
    • Post all the words on the board. 
    • Have the children review their verse in their group and figure out how they can pantomime the song when it is sung.
    • Sing each verse at least a couple of times while the group of children pantomime the song.
    • You may want to sing the song slowly so the children will have time for their acting.
    • Make sure to tell them to keep it simple.
    • After your initial intro and song acting with your groups, if time permits you could take turns having a few children come up and put the props on and act out the song story while you sing. This will give you several opportunities to get in that repetition singing.
    • Instead of physically acting the song out, you could use stick puppets. Here are some figure drawings that you could print out on card stock, laminate if you prefer and adhere them to the craft stick tongue depressors from various issues of The Friend magazine.
      • Colored Drawings for verse 1 & 2: page 1page 2page 3 from the Feb. 2008 & Feb 2012 issues.
      • Line Drawings for verse 1 & 2: page 1page 2page 3 from March 1996, Nov 2000 and March 1992 issues.

      Gotta go! My daughter just called and she is in the hospital in labor! YIPPEE!

    Nephi's Courage Script-Nalani