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

Saturday, April 28, 2012

I OFTEN GO WALKING

When I think of singing Mother's Day  songs in Primary, 
"I Often Go Walking"
is the first one that pops in my head and brings back those sweet memories of my Dear Mother, so of course, this song is a favorite of mine. Here is a flip chart I would love to share with you for this song.


This song has a beautiful melody that just gently floats UP and down and lends itself to having the children pitch lead with their bodies raising and lowering themselves to the melody as they sing.


Another fun way to sing and learn the song is by using actions and/or sign language.


What about having some of the children come up front and act out or pantomime the phrases to the song while the Primary sings?


Of course, don't forget to bring an armful of BLOSSOMS OF BLUE to decorate your singing table!



I Often Go Walking-FC-Nalani

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

DON'T FORGET THE LYRICS SONG(S) REVIEW

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
DON'T FORGET THE LYRICS!
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. 


PREP
  • 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.
HOW TO PLAY
  • 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!

FILE


Sunday, April 22, 2012

JESUS ONCE WAS A LITTLE CHILD


I love how this month is all about our
Savior, Jesus Christ 
and how he is such a wonderful example to us. Here is a classic song I remember from my youth in the days of going to Primary after school,
What  a simple message to remind us how even as a child, Jesus is a perfect example for us to try and be like him...try, try, try.
I just  love the sweetness of this song. In fact, I am thinking of adding this to the song "I'm Trying to Be like Jesus" in the program. My thoughts are to have a little child sing the first half of "Jesus Once Was a Little Child" and then the child's mother or a female sing the second half. They will only be singing the first verse. I hope I can find a mother/female and child combo. Then the whole Primary sings "I'm Trying to Be like Jesus" and at the very end, the Primary repeats a bit slower and with purpose and emphasis the end of the chorus that says, "for these are the things Jesus taught". I did think of some other ways to fancy these two songs up together that I think would be awesome, but what it comes down to is that these songs need to be kept in their sweet and simple state...
just like a little child.








Jesus Once Was a Little Child-FC-Nalani

Saturday, April 21, 2012

MY MOTHER DEAR: PROPS (OBJECTS)

Flip charts and posters are great ways to visually teach a song; but it's not the only way. Props are another great way to visual portray a song and its message. Select an item(s) that best portrays a word or phrase for each part of the song. Sing the song to the children giving them discovery questions to listen to for the answers as you sing. Then as the children answer after you have sung, have them come up and hold the props as you work on each section at a time.
Simple and Easy!


Here are the 4 simple items I use for the song.
Here is how I have used props teaching"My Mother Dear".


PROPS

  • Sun: The child raises the sun up.
  • Flower Spinner: Something I picked up at the $ store once—the child spins the flower—or use a bouquet of flowers or even cut some from your garden now that spring is here.
  • Stuffed Bluebird: My bird is a pull toy that the child pulls the bird down while holding the ring and the bird flutters back up to the ring. For a stuffed bird, have the child make the bird "fly" of course, I don't mean "fly" by throwing it. You always have to be on your toes with how you give instructions. Those kiddos know just how to twist those words into something silly. 
  • Picture of a mother: The child holds the picture with one hand and with the other hand, does kind of a "Vanna" thing or the child could draw an imaginary heart around the picture with his or her finger. (Just a side note, that is a picture of My Lovely Mother Dear  whom I wished could have been here on earth to have seen and known her grandchildren. I missed having her here when I became a mother. I  love you mom!)
DISCOVERY QUESTIONS YOU COULD ASK
  • Listen to find out who this song is about? [My mother]
    • Have the child that answered correctly come up and hold the picture.
  • I'm going to sing about THREE springtime things that help to remind us about our mothers. Listen to find out what they are. [Sunshine, Flowers, Birds]
    • Have the children that answered correctly come up to hold the props in no particular order.
  • Oh, do we have these in the right order? Let's find out. Listen again as I sing. [Receive the answers and have the children move into the correct order.]
  • The children should be ready to begin singing the first phrase with you.
  • As you sing through each phrase you could ask more discovery questions and then have the answering child come up and take a turn at holding and using the prop.
  • You could also have the children sing the first half of each phrase with you and you sing the second half by yourself so they can listen for the answers and then everyone sings the final phrase together.
  • Here are some other questions you could ask for each of the phrases:
    • How is our mother like sunshine in the morning? [She awakens day from night]
    • The song describes our mothers like flowers in the springtime. Why are they like flowers in the springtime? [Because they are colorful and bright]
    • Bluebirds sing happy songs. How are our mothers like the happy songs of bluebirds? [Because mothers also fill the air with cheer]

I'm sure you can find all sorts of objects around the house for all sorts of songs and activities. I certainly was able to and I've SQUIRRELED them away in a storage tub to pull from for all sorts of activities and songs. Someday maybe I'll show you my little, hidden stash! 


P.S. I'm trying to upload the completed flip chart of "If the Savior Stood Beside Me" on Scribd, but the file is pretty large and is having a difficult time uploading. Maybe I'll have to split it into verses.  Just keep checking "If the Savior Stood Beside Me" post for the updated link to the complete flip chart.


Thursday, April 19, 2012

MOTHER, I LOVE YOU


There are so many songs to sing this time of year and so little time to sing them all in. Easter is barely behind us with Mother's Day  fast approaching. There is never enough time to sing all these FANTASTIC songs.
SIGH!!!
Well, if you haven't already started, here is a flip chart for "Mother, I Love You" to get you going. I have to admit that after seeing all the cute pictures of moms and children in the LDS image library, I was tempted, and yes I was weak, and yes I succumbed to giving my old flip chart a makeover. Not a good idea when there are so many others on my "To Do" list. Oh my, what is a Primary Music Leader to do??????


A cute way to end the song is to sign "Mother I love you; 
I love you, I do"  and when you get to "do" you make a heart shape with your hands over your chest.


Click on the words for the ASL links:
Mother
I (as in "me")
Love
You  

Tell them that now they can say "I Love You" in sign language.  They will think that is COOL!!!



Mother I Love You—FC-Nalani

Saturday, April 14, 2012

IF THE SAVIOR STOOD BESIDE ME: OBJECT LESSON

Being in this calling means that at times the best laid plans may have to be changed once in a while; like with the change I did last Sunday.  Although my plans were to teach this month's song this Sunday, the counselor that was scheduled for sharing time needed to leave town, which has now given me the opportunity to have the full singing and sharing time. Although I do secretly enjoy the extra time once in a while, this does come with mixed feelings with being excited for the extra time but then thinking, "OH, NO!" How am I to fill the time?" (However, filling the time has never been a problem so far so I'm not sure why I worry.) Even though earlier this week I was still planning on teaching the song ITSSBM, I soon realized I couldn't pass up the opportunity to take this chunk of time and do some fun reviewing of songs, especially the program songs that we haven't sung for the past few weeks because of conference, Easter and other things. So, I pushed that lesson off to the side to work on the new plans. However, I do recall mentioning about posting this week for "If the Savior Stood Beside Me".  So, feeling a bit guilty, I decided to try and finish up the lesson plan and post it. So in essence, I will post my next week's singing time this week and this Sunday's singing lesson I'll post next week.  Oops! Maybe I shouldn't promise to post it next week. Okay, I'll post it when I get around to it. :-P At least I'll be ahead of the game for next week having the lesson done. YEAH!!!


To introduce the song for my ATTENTION GETTER, I plan to start out with an object lesson to help demonstrate the concept of Jesus being there beside you even if you can't always see, hear or feel Him. This object lesson comes from something I found some time ago about the Holy Ghost, but with some tweaking, I felt it would fit in perfectly with this song.


An object lesson is a memorable way to teach a message by using an object or by doing a demonstration to help illustrate a principle or teaching. It can also help to make an abstract concept more understandable. When using an object lesson for singing time, remember to keep it short and simple. Singing time should not end up being "Sharing Time" (yeah, I know, that can be hard at times to keep the talking parts down.)
For the Singing Experience time I plan on standing next to a picture of Jesus Christ on an easel that I will have covered up. I will sing the song to the children playing the music with the flute accompaniament from Sally DeFord's site that I downloaded. You could sing along with the pianist, but I just love the arrangement and thought it would make it a little more special in introducing the song. I've also made my flip chart so that I can have the pictures separate from the words for the children to match up to. I also made a handout with a picture of Christ and the children with a spot for the child to draw or adhere a picture of themselves to when they get home and then they can place it somewhere in their home so that they will see it often. I plan on using either my egg shakers or rhythm/movement scarves in teaching the other verses the following week. I'll post about the scarves at a later date in case you aren't familiar with how to use them. Always trying to work movement into singing time for the little ones.


For parts of my singing lesson I drew my inspiration from the Friend magazine in the March 2008 issue. This song was used in that same year's program, although the song was originally introduced in the Friend in October 1993.


For the program, I am strongly thinking of having a couple of children each singing a verse and the whole Primary coming in on the last verse, so my emphasis will be on teaching the 3rd verse. I do like to give these type of opportunities to children; after all, it is their program! Now I just have to talk some brave souls into singing solos.


HERE ARE THE LINKS TO THE FILES



Wednesday, April 11, 2012

EGG-CITING EGG SHAKERS


Now that  Easter is over, it is time to confiscate all those plastic Easter eggs probably lying around the house void of the  yummy treats once inhabited inside, or check out the clearance sales or dollar store and purchase them for cheap because now is the season to make some fun-to-use. . . 

EGG-CITING EGG SHAKERS!!!

This is a great, easy rhythm instrument to make that doesn't cost much (hey, you may already have everything just sitting around the house) and the kids will love them as they learn songs through rhythm. You play the eggs similar to maracas by shaking them to the beat or to add accents to the rhythm. An accent example would be like; shake—shake—shake-a—shake-a—shake. Can you hear me saying this and visualize me shaking my egg?
"Shakeshakeshake-a-shake-ashake!"
LOL Yeah, so hard to demonstrate this in words. These are great to use in nursery too!

HERE'S HOW TO MAKE THEM

Materials
  • Plastic Easter eggs
  • Filling: rice, popcorn kernels, lentils, barley, beans, etc.
    • Experiment with each to see what sound you like the best. I first made mine with rice but soon discovered after the first use that the plastic eggs have some small air holes in them and some of the smaller pieces of rice came out on the floor when the kids shook them. So I redid them using popcorn kernels.  HAH! Now those suckers won't pop out of the holes!
  • Hot glue gun and hot glue sticks
    • I tried a variety of glues and the hot glue seemed to work the best.
  • Ribbon, optional
  • Egg cartons for storage or some other container like a box, bag or basket.
Instructions
  1. Open the plastic egg separating it into the two pieces.
    • If the egg is hinged, you may want to cut the hinge off to make it easier for gluing.
  2. Put a tablespoon or two of your filler in the bottom half of the egg. Use more or less filler depending on how you like the sound.
  3. Run a bead of hot glue around the rim of the egg. If you don't think you can be very neat, run the bead of glue on the inside rim of the top half of the egg; however, you usually can peel dried hot glue off of the outside of the plastic egg.
  4. Carefully attach the top of the plastic egg to the bottom half.
  5. You can glue a piece of ribbon around the outside of the seam for a more decorative look if you like. 
    • If you use these for nursery, depending on how rough your little ones can be, you may want to glue the ribbon around the seam for added security. See the one lone egg with the ribbon around its middle in the picture below. Unfortunately, I have not gotten around to finishing putting ribbon on the eggs. Someday...
And there you have it!  Easy-peasy!

OTHER IDEAS FOR PLAYING THEM
  • There are two main ways to hold the egg shakers: one is simply in the palm of your hand shaking up and down, which is usually the easiest. Another way is holding the larger end of the egg between your fingers (mainly with your thumb and first two fingers) with the pointed end facing out in a forward position and shaking it in a forward and back pattern. In this position, the filler has a little more room to go back-and-forth in making it a little easier to do more accent-type shaking as well as being able to do a good, crisp shake.
  • Alternate shakes raising your hand up and down.
  • Do a couple of shakes above the head and a couple at chest level or to each side of the body.
  • Do a strong shake on the downbeat and soft shakes on the other beats or every-other beat.
  • Alternate each side of the room having the children shaking their eggs to the beat.
  • Tap the egg shaker in the opposite hand in different beat or rhythm patterns.
  • With the older kids, have them snap their fingers or slap their thigh on the downbeat with one hand and shake the egg on the other beats with the other hand.
  • Shake to the rhythm of the song while pitch leading. It is easier to do this holding the egg in the second position I mentioned above with the pointed end of the egg facing out while holding between the fingers.
  • March or incorporate some other movement while shaking the eggs.
  • For an added choose and review fun activity, you could fill several plastic eggs each with a different filling as mentioned above as well as other household items like paper clips, marbles, coins, jingle bells, buttons, pasta, small toys, etc. Go with the jumbo sized eggs for extra oomph on this one. Then shake an egg and let the kids guess what is inside the egg. You could give them a hint by listing the different fillings or showing a sample of the fillings and seeing if they can match the eggs up one-by-one. When they guess one of them right, sing the song you have assigned that egg. Continue singing the assigned songs as they guess each one.
NOW, GO GET SHAKING!!!



Saturday, April 7, 2012

EASTER: SING-A-STORY

Click here for a "Book Cover" for your storybook


On Sunday I was initially planning on introducing this month's song that I had been preparing, and which, by-the-way, I will be teaching the song "If the Savior Stood Beside Me", so stay tuned if you are interested; however, I just kept getting this nagging feeling prompting about doing something a little more special with it being Easter Sunday  and that focused more on Christ's life. So earlier this week I put the brakes on my original plans and started thinking of what to do and then I remembered something in last year's issue of the Friend magazine that focused on the last days of Christ's life before his Crucifixion and Resurrection. After pulling out the magazine and re-reading it, I knew that is what I needed to do.  Click here for the April 2011 issue. I know I've said this before, but probably can't say it enough, but the Friend magazine is a wonderful resource of information that can be tweaked into some wonderful singing lessons.


Click here for the PDF version

Click here for the PDF version


For JR I plan on posting one picture for each day around the room (or you could post on the chalkboard) and doing an "I Spy" kind of thing. This will not be a formal narration type sing-a-story for the JR. I have quite a lot of very young children in the JR Primary.  For the narration, I will basically follow the short stories found in last year's Friend magazine (see link above.)
  1. I'll first explain to them about this being a special day about our Savior, Jesus Christ and that we will discover some wonderful things that Jesus did during His last week of His life before He was crucified and then resurrected.
  2. I will ask them to fold their arms when they figure out which picture I am talking about so that I know they know which picture it is, but they will have to listen really, really well in order to hear the clue.
  3. I'll begin by saying something like, "I spy with my little eye the day Jesus walked to a place called Bethany. Do you see the picture that looks like Jesus is walking to a town called Bethany?"
  4. Select a child to retrieve the picture and have that child hold the picture while you continue telling about the day.
  5. I plan to have other pictures that go with the narratives in a binder, like a storybook, that I will use as I tell each day's story. I think this will help to keep the children's focus. If it is helpful, you could also write out the narrative and place in the binder in order with the pictures so you can read it to the children like a storybook. It is best to do more telling than reading though and make sure you inflect with your voice and facial features to help express the mood or feelings of what is being told, but yes, having the words there can be helpful for those times your brain decides to take a nap during your thought process and you end up with a blank look on your face.
  6. I will also have any flip charts I plan to use in the binder between the pictures in the order they will be sung just to help things flow more smoothly so I won't have to switch out between pictures and flip charts. Some of my song visuals will be my small and large posters that I will have posted ahead of time on the board or an easel. The visuals are mainly to help the teachers and the few older children that can read especially since some of these songs we haven't sung in quite some time, that way I won't end up singing solo on some of the songs. In fact, one of the songs we will be singing is not one we have ever sung before, but I know the little ones will enjoy listening to it.
  7. I will continue telling them that, "In Bethany Jesus found a man named Lazarus who had been dead and Jesus brought Lazarus back to life from the dead (picture of Lazarus being raised from the dead in the binder.) Jesus stayed in Bethany for five nights with His friends, Lazarus, Mary and Martha (picture of Mary and Martha.)  Mary showed her love for Jesus by putting oil on His tired feet and wiping His feet with her hair. Jesus showed love for His friends and Mary showed love to Jesus by putting oil on His feet. We should love one another just like Jesus did." Keep it short. In fact, my little example blurb might be just a tad too long.
  8. Sing "Love One Another" doing the sign language.
  9. Continue to the next day with, "I spy with my little eye Jesus riding into the city of Jerusalem on a donkey." Have a child retrieve the picture, finish the narration of that part of the story showing additional pictures in the binder if you have them and sing the corresponding song.  Continue the process for each day. You probably won't have enough time to sing a song for each day, so select the songs that you feel will get the message you want across to the children.
  10. At the end I will make a comment similar to the Easter Sunday paragraph in the magazine and bear my testimony of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Redeemer.
  11. Closing song if time permits.

For SR I plan on being more formal in the presentation of the sing-a-story since they are older and their attention span can be held a little longer. In fact, I was speaking yesterday with the counselor who is doing Sharing Time this week and the funny thing is . . . she was looking at the same article in the Friend magazine from last year and also felt impressed to present those last days of Jesus' life with the SR Primary. So, naturally we decided to combine our efforts. For SR, this will hopefully allow us to sing a song for each day and expand a little more using the scriptures. I'm excited and know it will be a wonderful experience for the older Primary children, as well as myself. 
  1. We will have one of the male teachers be the narrator who will read in turn each short story for the day found in the Friend magazine
  2. A pre-assgined child will read the scripture or part of the scripture that correlates with that day.
  3. We will then sing the song.
  4. We will continue on repeating this process for each day.
  5. If there is time at the end, we will have a few children share their thoughts and feelings about our Savior.
  6. For closing remarks, a teacher has been asked to share her testimony.
  7. A closing song.
For a regular 20 minute Singing Time, if you don't combine with Sharing Time, don't do the scriptures or the children sharing or the teacher's testimony parts, except still share your testimony; those are more sharing time activities anyway. And like JR, you may not be able to sing each song for each day.
  • Here is a key sheet of the songs we will be singing. Select songs that best fits your Primary. 
  • The pictures I used are from the old Gospel Art Kit and the Gospel Art Book. You should be able to find these in your church's library if you don't have them in your personal file. You can also access many of them in the LDS image library online (click on the "Resources" page tab above and then click on the LDS Media Library link to go directly there.) Can I just say how excited I am that they have started putting together this wonderful resource. This will certainly make my life easier in finding church appropriate visuals to use. I've even noticed they have started including some pictures from church magazines. As they expand that, maybe I won't have to take so much time searching through past issues for pictures. YEAH!
  • Here is a link to a file I put together of the pictures I will be using from the Gospel Art kit and book in case you are unable to find some picture and need to print some of them.
  • There wasn't a picture for when Jesus was teaching on the Mount of Olives, I chose to use the picture of the "Sermon on the Mount" to help depict Jesus teaching on the Mount of Olives. 
You could also download the pictures and display them on an iPad or laptop instead of in a binder format.

Have a very special Easter Sunday!




Thursday, April 5, 2012

SING-A-STORY

Who doesn't like to hear a story? What child is not fascinated by the magic of storytelling? Throw music into the mix and you have a winning combination. I like to do a sing-a-story once in a great while as a special treat to introduce a song or to emphasize a particular story, topic or theme especially when you want to set a special mood. Although this is a simple concept, it does take some preparation in writing up a short narration and organizing the songs, but it can be so worth it.  I have done a few of these in various ways; short 5 minute singing skits up to full singing and sharing time combos and they have always been those Sundays you go home knowing you really caught the children's attention, they listened and gleaned gospel principles that were taught and most importantly, you know they felt the spirit testifying to them.
TIP: Preparation is important so that all flows as smoothly as possible with minimum disruption.
The main premise in a sing-a-story is to use the songs and music in telling the story as much as possible by arranging them in a sequence to be sung that lets the story unfold adding brief narrations when needed between the songs to help in the continuity of the story. Once you have determined your topic, you can look in the topical index in the Children's Songbook or Hymnal to help you select the appropriate songs to fit your story. To help keep the flow from narration to singing, it is a good idea to work with your pianist and give her/him a copy of the script so the pianist can quietly start the intro in the song as the narrative portion is finishing up so that you can go right into the song, although, this is not always possible to do with some presentations, it is a nice feature. It really depends on how you are presenting it. Sometimes it is also nice to have the piano playing softly in the background during special parts of the narration.
Here are some ways I've presented a Sing-A-Story and some how to's:

  • Make a book with pictures in it that coordinates with the story you are telling to be used as a "storybook".
  • Display pictures around the room having the children find the picture you are telling about.
  • Use the scriptures as the narrative script and in helping to introduce each part of the story and song.
  • Write a simple script.
  • Have children act out short parts using simple costumes during the narration.
  • You read the narratives or have an adult or let the children read the parts.
  • In introducing a song, break the song up into parts and use the song as the script singing each section using another person to bounce the "conversation" against by him/her speaking or asking questions that leads into your singing part. There are songs in the songbook that work very nicely with this method.
This is a successful way to really emphasize a special topic and one the kids will love.  


P.S. Although I will be posting my Easter Sing-A-Story next, I hope to be able to post other sing-a-story examples now and again.


P.S.S. It's late and I ended up working late at work today, so I didn't quite get my Easter Singing Lesson done in time to post tonight. I'm almost done, so I guess it will be Friday after work before I can finish it up and post it. So, check back later if you are interested. 




HE DIED THAT WE MIGHT LIVE AGAIN

This is a lovely song I plan on teaching my Primary children this Easter Sunday in my Sing-A-Story.  A simple message of our Savior's crucifixion and resurrection. Below is a flip chart I've put together.


He Died That We Might Live Again: Flip Chart