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

Tuesday, January 31, 2012


2/5/12 UPDATE: Since there has been so much traffic at the current link that has caused it to be temporarily out of service, here is another link for the flip chart.  Click on this link for a medium res file that should be much quicker to download.
I love singing hymns, but when it comes to translating the song into a Primary flip chart, that can be a little bit of a challenge.  Often times the “grown up” words in hymns are hard to conceptualize into a visual format for the younger minds.  After perusing a myriad of pictures looking for what I felt I wanted in portraying the message of the song, I hopefully, have come up with a flip chart to do the song justice.  I’m happy to share the work I’ve done, so please feel free to use this flip chart if you would like.  I've done all three verses.  Below are some sample pics.

As a side note, flip charts are not the end all in teaching a song to children.  There are so many ways to teach children, but I do think they come in handy depending on what I am doing as I am teaching.  For example, on occasion I may not teach from a flip chart the first time I introduce a song.  I may focus on the melody  first, especially if it is a song they may not be familiar with, then I will move on to learning the words and then the meanings of words and their messages and bringing in a flip chart when needed for reinforcement or review.   Besides, singing the song over and over while they listen to the melody or to whatever I have directed them to listen to through discovery questions helps them to familiarize themselves and feel comfortable with the song.  Here is a link to a wonderful blog that goes into more details on discovery questions.  Kathleen has a plethora of fantastic ideas.

Another great reason I will use flip charts or some other visual, is because children are visual learners.  I for one am a very visual person; if you haven’t noticed yet by my blog.  Emotions are often connected to images.  How many times have you looked at a picture or watched a T.V. show with an image that brought tender tears to your eyes or made you double over in a fitful burst of guffawing laughter or effect some kind of emotional response from you???  That emotion caused a connection with you; thus, connecting that image with your memory.  People link those emotions with the different meanings they extract from what they visually see.  Children especially have a visual ability to “see” a story in a sequence of images.  A BONUS side affect of using visuals is it also keeps the teachers entertained focused and they tend to sing along more readily.  Besides, how often do you see adults singing without a songbook in church?  Catch my drift?!?!  Believe me, it doesn't get any easier the older we get to remember the words to songs.  Also, as a result of the children seeing and hearing their teachers sing, they are getting added support from their teachers.  
A WIN! WIN! WIN! situation.
So, my point here is, learning from visual images is another wonderful way children learn to sing.

P.S. I am planning on posting a few ideas later this week that I may use throughout the month in teaching and reviewing this song as well as a melody map in case you are interested.

Thursday, January 26, 2012


Usually at the end of the month I like to review program songs in a fun way.  Since this is the first month of the year and we only have one program song under our belt, I thought we would review some other songs along with “As a Child of God” (we may be a bit rusty on this one since we missed a week with Stake Conference being last Sunday) as well as a couple of wiggle songs for the JR Primary.  So this week is a Choose & Review Week.   
We have had a dry winter here in Utah.  We really haven’t had any snow.  Not that I miss it really, but it would have been nice to have some for Christmas and now and again to help clean out the air.  Being in the Wasatch Front Valley area, we can get a lot of inversions trapping in all those lovely pollutants.  
       Oooo, Bad, Yucky air.  
The ski resorts have been pretty busy making their own snow this season since Mother Nature hasn’t cooperated.  But FINALLY, we got snow this week.  Ahhh, we can breath a little better now.  So in celebration of the snow, here is the
Mr. Singing Snowman  I made.  He has a bit of a frightened look on his face. Maybe it is because of the pom-pom snowballs that will be flying at him come Sunday.  OH MY!

I don’t have a pattern, but I can give you general dimensions and instructions in case you feel you need a little Singing Snow Fun.  The snowman poster was pretty easy to make.

  • I just used one of those tri-fold project boards so it could stand on a table on its own.  I may put an extra one I have behind it leaving some space between the two to help corral the snowballs that make it through the holes or maybe I will just have the kiddies take turns being helpers in picking up the snowballs. 
  • I cut the snowman out of 1 ½ sheets of white poster board (on sale for 4 sheets for $1 at Hobby Lobby—got the blue project board with the 40% coupon too.)  The body circle was cut from the full sheet of poster board and is about 21 ½” in diameter and the hole is 10 ¼” diameter.  His head is about 13 ½” diameter with a 6” hole for the mouth.
  • For the body I used a hand-made version of a compass to make a large circle; pencil and string.  I measured the poster to find the center from top-to-bottom and side-to-side then tied a pencil on each end of the string so I had about 10 ¾” of string between both pencils.  Stuck one pencil in the center and drew the circle with the other pencil keeping the string taunt between the pencils. The other circles I just scrounged around my house to find something circular to trace that would work.  I ended up using two different plate sizes and a pot lid.
  • I chalked around the outer edges of the circles with a light blue chalk to help give the body some depth.  Sprayed the chalk areas with a Fix-it sealer but you can use a fine aerosol type hairspray to put a protective layer over the chalk or don’t worry about it since there isn’t that much chalk and it won’t really be handled much.  You could also just use a crayon or not even worry about coloring the edges at all.
  • I placed the white circles on the board to mark where I needed to cut the holes.  Then I removed the circles so I could cut the marked holes with an Exacto knife.
  • I glued the body on first then the head.  I used a spray adhesive since that is usually easiest for large areas, but of course, any adhesive that is handy should work.  (Nothing like standing out in the freezing cold to spray the adhesive on and then to quickly run inside through the living room then to the dining room table zig-zagging around all the furniture to hurry and glue it on before it dried.)  Brrrrrrr, it was cold outside.
  • I cut all the clothes and body features out of glitter craft fun foam, because . . . well. that stuff is just plain ol’ fun to use.  Also, I thought it would give a little dimension to him; although you really can’t tell by the picture.  But, paper works just as well.
Here are some rough dimensions to help give you an idea.
  • Arms are about 14” long.
  • Hat is about 10 1/2'” wide for the brim and the top hat width is 7 ½” wide x 8 ¼” tall.
  • The blue hat trim is about 1 ½” high and the width of the hat.
  • The eyes are irregular circles since of course, coal is not perfectly round.
  • And let us not forget the google eyes to give him a little life.  I cannot live without google eyes.  I use them all the time for all the fun things I make for the kids.  They are sooooooo much fun and bring a smile.
  • For the carrot I just cut out a long, skinny shaped triangle with wiggly edges and took an orange Sharpie to line around the edges and draw detailed squiggle lines inside the carrot to help make it look, well, more carroty.  You probably can’t see the detail from the picture, but the simple details help to bring the carrot to life.
  • The scarf I just freehanded a template on paper first until I got it how I liked it and then traced it onto the fun foam.  I cut the end of the scarf to resemble fringes.  I also cut some circles out of fun foam and glued them onto the scarf for a “designer” look.  Some fun, patterned scrapbook paper would make a cute scarf too.
  • I had some white, glittery, plastic snowflakes from Christmas decorations of looooooong ago that I adhered to the board with Self-adhesive Velcro.  The snowflakes are numbered on the back for the songs to sing that I’ll have listed on a key sheet (not enough room on the snowflakes to write the songs.)  There are more snowflakes than what we will have time to sing, but just had to add more ‘cuz it just looked better. Paper snowflakes will work just as well using painters tape to adhere to the board so the tape won’t tear the board.
  • I cut the shanks off of two buttons and then glued them on the snowman to give him more of that GQ look.
  • Oh yes, I also glued a snowflake on his hat to make it stylin’.

 I made pom-pom snowballs out of white yarn.  These are easy to make.  I just made me several one night watching TV.  You only probably need about 2-4 snowballs.  I just got carried away having fun making them.  They are about 3 3/8” in diameter.  I almost wished I had made them 4” but that might have been a little big for those tiny hands.  I used a pom-pom maker tool by Clover (the gadget in the picture) but you can easily make them with a piece of cardboard.  In fact, in the August 2011 Friend magazine, there are instructions on making the “Warm Fuzzies” on page 3.  Just make them bigger.  You can also search the Internet on how to make pom-poms.  There are actually quite a few methods floating around, even one using a CD and popsicle sticks.  I bet I’ve got you wondering on that one!  If you don’t want to do pom-poms, you could use wadded up paper shaped into a ball or Styrofoam balls for the snowballs.

The object of the game is to have the children take turns throwing the snowballs at the snowman trying to make it through one of the holes.  I'll probably just give them two snowballs per turn to throw.  Take some masking tape to mark where the throw line is (make it closer for JR).
  • If they get a snowball in the big tummy hole, they can pick a song snowflake.  If they get a snowball through the smaller mouth hole, they get to pick their favorite Primary song to sing.  
  • You could also list the songs on the snowflakes on one side of the poster and the snowflakes on the other side could be ways to sing the song, e.g. Boys vs Girls, Loud vs. Soft, Sing vs. Hum, etc.
  • Maybe you could have the children write their favorite song on a piece of paper then wad it up and have them try and throw them through the holes.  Then pick the songs to sing from the snowballs that made it through the hole.

I found this cute little 2 gallon bucket at work that was going to be thrown out and my Primary Singing Brain just started churning to figure out how to use it for singing time.  I’m always thinking of how I can use those odds and ends that I find around; it’s one of those side effects you get from being the Primary Music Leader!  What can I say???  Anyway, a thought came to me about how fun it would be to use it to carry my snowballs in and for the kids to pick up the thrown snowballs from the ground and put them back in it.  I think they had just as much fun picking up the balls and putting them back into the bucket as they did with the snowman.  I just printed and cut out some of these snowflakes and the “For Sale” sign and adhered them to the bucket.  I probably should have put something like “Snowballs for Sale for a Song” instead.  Oh, there really isn’t that many snowballs in the bucket as portrayed in the picture.  I just put some stuff inside the bucket so I could place the snowballs on top for the picture.  

What other ideas can you think of for using this for singing time?

I hope you have Snow Much Fun with this!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


Kids cannot live off of program songs alone.  They need a variety of other songs to nourish them.  I try to teach at least one other song each month besides the month’s program song to my JR and SR Primary along with reviewing other songs we’ve learned here and there.  This year in SR Primary the children are learning from the Book of Mormon in their Primary classes, so I thought it would be fun to bring out “The Books in the Book of Mormon” song.

Here is a flipchart I made for “The Books in the Book of Mormon” song.  There are a few ways you can make this.  You can print it onto white card stock and leave it as is OR you can have a little more fun with it and make it into a GOLDEN PLATES version like this:
 Here is how I made mine.  I got some shiny, gold card stock from the craft store.  The gold paper is a little pricey but I used 50% off coupons to buy a couple of packages.  The scrapbooker in me just loves paper so I couldn’t help myself, but you could also do it on a yellow-gold card stock.  I printed this file with just the words onto my gold paper then I printed the full flip chart file with the pictures and words I mentioned earlier onto white card stock (you could use paper too).  I cut the pictures out of the white paper and glued them to the appropriate “gold plate” pages.  I didn’t print the colored pictures directly onto the gold paper because the pictures wouldn’t come out as clearly on the darker, gold paper.  I inserted the pages into page protectors and bound them with 3 golden, spray painted binder rings and voilà!  
                           You have your GOLDEN PLATES flip chart. 
WARNING! You do have to flip the pages fast as you sing, but that is part of the fun as the children sing faster and faster.

If your primary is smaller, you could do a mini version like this one by printing two pages of the flip chart to one sheet of paper (select the layout option in your printer options) then cutting them in half to make a smaller book or you could use magnets on the back and post them on your board.  I laminated my smaller version for durability.

I like to use a variety of ways to teach a song.  There are many ways you can sing this song that the kids will love.  
Here are some suggestions:

  • Start off slowly singing the song and each time you sing it, sing it a little faster.  Depending on how good your pianist is, your pianist will either love the challenge or shoot you the evil eye
  • Use a stopwatch and time them each time they sing the song to see if they can beat their previous time.
  • Ask the kids if they recognize what melody this song comes from.  Challenge the teachers too. [Ten Little Indians]
  • Split the Primary into groups by class with each class taking turns singing one of the books in the song as you rotate around the classes.
  • Split the Primary in half or do boys and girls each alternating singing each book.
  • Do the following clapping rhythm pattern in order increasing the speed each time you sing it:
    • clap hands on the lap
    • clap hands together
    • snap fingers
    • clap hands together
    • repeat
    • There are a total of four counts per cycle.
  • If you want to be adventurous and give a really good challenge, you could have the kids partner up after they have learned the song fairly well and do the following clapping game:
    • clap hands on the lap
    • clap hands together
    • cross right hand over and clap partner’s right hand
    • clap hands together
    • cross left hand over and clap partner’s left hand
    • clap hands together
    • clap both hands against the partner’s hands
    • clap hands together
    • repeat. 
    • There are a total of eight counts per cycle.
  • Have the flip chart or mini version posted on the board.  Have a child stand up front with their back to the board or you can blindfold them (you can pick up one of those sleep eye masks for $1 at the Dollar Store—great for all sorts of singing activities.)  Have another child remove one of the books from the board making sure the first child doesn’t see.  Sing the song omitting the book that was removed then have the child guess which book was not sung.
  • Using the mini version visual, hand out the different books to the children and have them stand up and sing when it comes to their book they are holding.
  • Mix the visuals up on the board and have a couple of children come up and put the books in order.
  • Have children come up front and give them each one of the books in a mixed up order and have them put themselves in the right order while the rest of the Primary sings.  I would suggest to only do one verse at a time, otherwise, it might get a bit crowded and disorderly.
  • Quickly review a story from each of the books after each time you sing it. There are scripture references to a story for each book on each page of the flip chart.

After the children know it a little better, challenge them with the letter code visual from here, see if they can sing it with only the help of the first letter of each word.

Have fun with this song.  The kids will love it!

Thursday, January 19, 2012


Kids just love to do things with their hands; especially the young ones. So I’m always trying to think of ways to keep them moving and/or their hands busy.  Besides, they are less likely to be bugging their neighbor if they have to watch me in order to follow me.  Ahhhh, the things we do to trick them little ‘uns.  Kids also just looooove things on a stick; of course, mostly edible things, but as you know, it’s mighty hard to sing if their mouth is stuffed with food.  Next best thing?  A picture on a stick.  Yeah, I know, not a novel idea, but a tried and true idea that can be used in different ways in teaching music.

Every year I have made something on a stick to use here and there that coordinates with the year’s theme.  One year I took a picture of every child in the Primary, there were about 100 kids, and stuck the pictures on a stick.  The kids just loved doing activities with a “puppet” of themselves.  Oh, aren’t the children so lovably narcissistic. Last year of course, it was hearts.  This year, what else could it be for the stick . . . you guessed it—a CTR shield on a stick!

I used these to help pitch lead “As a Child of God” with the melody map.  See the previous post for a few ideas.  Next month I am going to use them to hold up whenever they hear me sing or we sing “Choose the Right” or maybe even the word “right” as well.  There are four “Choose the Right” phrases & 3 “right” words just in the first verse that they can raise their sticks to or pop up from their chairs and guess what?  Even more in the last verse.  WAHOO!
You can also use the sticks for movement with the rhythm or the beat of the music:
  • Lead the music by making a triangle (3/4), square (4/4) or rainbow (2/4 or 6/8) shapes in the air to the beat/tempo of the music.
  • Make swirls way above the head, on each side of the body and down by the feet.
  • Try swaying them back-and-forth making a big rainbow above the head.
  • Do circles up high working your way down low. 
  • Zig-zag them in front of you.
  • Let the children take turns being the leader by choosing how to move their sticks with the rest of the children following him or her. 
The children will enjoy doing these movements to the rhythm or beat of the music and of course, sing as you go.  Body movement with music is another wonderful way children learn to sing.

I like playing around on the computer and creating things, but sometimes life can get busy making it a bit difficult to find time to get things done.  The other week I had an AHA! moment.  Okay, maybe it was more like a DUH! moment because it just clicked in my little brain that I had a son who had just graduated in graphic design.  See what I mean by DUH!  I had a resource right under my nose to help me the past few years and I didn’t even realize it until the other week.
So, credit goes to him for helping me with creating the rainbow of CTR shields.  He was a good sport to help me while I was busy being so sick through the holidays.  Here is the file for the CTR shields.  I’ve tried to cover a variety of options; so hopefully, one will fit your needs.  If you are a traditionalist, one page has all green CTRs.  If you are one who loves the colors of the rainbow, there are a couple of pages of CTRs in 10 fun, loving colors to “choose” from.  If you like the simple things in life or don’t have the capacity to print in color, you can print the black and white version on white or colored card stock.  Just print the page that tickles your fancy.
All you have to do is print, cut and laminate (optional if you want more durability) and then glue them on a stick.  I use scrapbooking glue dots to adhere them to the stick: easy and clean.  Yes, I loooooove to scrapbook but haven’t done much of that since I got this calling.  Because there are only so many hours in a day, being Primary Chorister has taken over as my creative outlet for the moment.  Sorry, got a little off topic there.  Anyway, I prefer to use the tongue depressor sized sticks instead of the Popsicle size.  I find the bigger ones are easier to hold, at least for me.  I got a box of about 300 sticks a few years back at Walmart for around $6 and I still have about 1/3 left.

Oh, by the by, I just discovered a blog post that also has a link to some CTR shields if you prefer the classic version.

Go ahead and make some and then have fun using yours and your children’s creativity! 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


I have on occasion used a melody map to help reinforce the melody of a song either when I introduce a new song or on a repeat week in teaching the song.  Getting children to pay attention to the music seems to help them learn the words to the song faster.  Don’t you find that when you are listening to music at times the music itself captures you and you will listen to it before you will really pay attention to the words of the song?  I know I will listen to the melody of a song over and over before I will start to sing it.  That is one way children learn music.  Understanding the melody helps us to understand how the words relate to it.

SO WHAT IS A MELODY MAP?  It is just a simple way of using shapes, lines or symbols to visually represent the ups and downs and rhythms of how a melody moves in a song.  Although most children in Primary probably don’t read music, a melody map can help them visually understand how musical sounds can be written.  In a sense, they are not just hearing the melody, but also visually putting the melody in their head.

Here is a melody map of “As a Child of God”.  The song is divided into four phrases and there are 3 sheets to each phrase and they are color-coded.  I printed mine on card stock but you can print on regular paper if you prefer.  There are letters along the left side of each page in the file.  Those were just for references in placement of the shield "notes" when I was creating the melody chart.  Cut them off, about ½” on the left side of each page and about 1 1/2" inch off the bottom of each page so each page is about 7” x 10 ½ ” (it will depend on how much margin your printer will require, so adjust how much you cut off accordingly) and then tape the three pages of a phrase together leaving a slight space between the pages so you can fold them for easier storage at the taped sections.  You don't have to cut off the bottom section but I did just to give me a little more room to display on our chalkboard.  You don’t necessarily have to tape them together either.  You could just display them in order.   I would suggest writing a number on the back corner of each phrase section in the order they are sung to help you know the order to put them up.  Very helpful if you ever drop them and they get mixed up.  Not that it has EVER happened to me before.

I’ve also linked a file for a smaller version of the pictures from my flip chart that can be used with the melody map if you like, but you can use the melody map by itself.  I laminated the pictures and put a magnet on the back of each to make it easier to put up and remove.  There are also a few more of the small pictures than in the FC because I did add a couple more for the chorus to put up on the melody chart because it just looked a little bare naked with one picture; added the girl for "As a child of God" and a CTR shield for the end of the song.  There are a couple more CTR shields and another child I just threw in there to fill up space and in case I wanted to use them for something else, so you could ignore them or use them.

Here are some melody map suggestions for use:
  • Explain that each CTR shield represents a word or part of a word we sing in the song.
  • Hold one of the pictures above the first shield (“note”) on the map and as you sing move it over each “note” of the song.  Have the children clap when you come to the “note” that the picture should go on then place the picture over that “note”.  Continue on with each picture. 
  • Have the children look at the pictures you posted off to the side of the melody map and then listen to the song and put some of the pictures above the “note” in the right order as they come up in a song. Repeat until you have all the pictures up.
  • You could mix the melody map up and have a child number them 1-4 in order on the chalkboard next to each.  I have those magnetic letters and numbers that children play with that I use now and again for different activities.  You could use the magnetic numbers to help put in order instead of writing with chalk.
  • If you didn’t tape the phrase sections together, you could have a child put a phrase together in order.  For SR, that can become pretty easy after the first couple of times so have them try to put two or more phrases together before you finish singing the song.
  • You could have the children use their finger or hand to draw the movement of the “notes” in the air as they sing.
  • The children could pitch lead with their hand going up and down with the “notes” or from left to right starting back on the left side for each phrase just like the melody map.  I used a CTR shield on a stick that I made for each child to pitch lead with.  I’m planning on using these for other activities throughout the year.  Stay tuned and I’ll try and post those tomorrow.  They come in some fun colors to "choose" from!
You could use directed listening questions to get them thinking about the relationship the “notes” have with the song as you sing.  Here are some general questions to ask when using melody maps or make up your own.  The questions to use depend on how you did the melody map. (Not all of these questions apply to this particular melody map.)  Use the ones that apply for the given melody map you use.  For the questions that need to be answered by pointing, I have a finger pointer on a stick that they can come up and point with.  After some of the questions, you could sing that part to show them how it relates, for example, have them listen to see if it sounds like it is going down a slide.
  • What do you notice about this melody map?
  • What is the same?
  • What is different?
  • What do these shapes have to do with the song? Sing the song.
  • Show a pattern on the melody map.  Do you see another pattern that looks or almost looks like it?
  • Where on the map do we hold a note longer than the rest?
  • Where do we sing the highest or lowest?
  • Which ones look like we are climbing up stairs or mountains?
  • Which ones look like a slide?
This melody map is color coded by phrase.  It is NOT colored coded for the type of note being sung, e.g. whole note verse quarter note, etc.  That is a version I have made before but did not do it on this one.  Here are a few questions to ask if the melody map being used has color-coded “notes”.
  • What do you think this one stands for? (Could color-code each type of note)
  • Which ones do we hold the note longer for?
  • Which ones do we sing quickly?
 As you can see, there are many things that you can do with a melody map.  Always be patient if your children are not use to thinking through songs.  In teaching the children to sing, there is more than just cramming the words into their little brains to memorize for the program.  It is about understanding and feeling the music along with the gospel message the song brings.

Sunday, January 15, 2012


I know most have already introduced the song, but since I'm just getting started on this blogging thing, I thought I would just start from the beginning and try to catch up, but perhaps you could use an idea or two from here to review or practice the song.  Here is a flip chart I made. Be patient since it might take a little bit to download since it does have a lot of high res graphics.  I could have fitted more words per page reducing the number of pages but I did it this way so that I could review as a challenge later by having children match up the phrases while we sing. I usually put my FC in page protectors in a binder.  When I'm teaching a new song, I don't put them in a binder but post them on the magnetic chalkboard as I go.  

Here is my lesson plan on how I introduced and taught the song using directed listening.             


EXPLAIN: (Show the gift with the "Power to Choose" flip chart (FC) in it.)  Heavenly Father has given us a gift.  It is an important part of Heavenly Father’s plan for us.  It is a gift of a special power.  Listen as I sing to see if you can figure out what this special gift of power is.
  • SING the 1st verse and receive answers then open gift.  (Will probably need to repeat at least the first phrase depending on how familiar your kids are with pulling answers from the song.) [Power to choose]
  • DO SING AND REPEAT (you sing a phrase then they repeat singing it after you).
  • COMBINED REPEAT SINGING both phrases together.
Continue to sing and repeat and combined singing after each question then sing the whole first verse through.
  • Good choices bring blessings.  LISTEN for the answer to whom the good choices bless.  There are 2 answers.  [Me & my family]
  • Sing first verse (not chorus).
You know, Heavenly Father gave us another gift to help us use this gift of power to choose correctly. 
  • LISTEN to see if you know what this gift is. (Sing chorus and turn on the light box when you sing “light”.) Receive answers. [Holy Ghost]
  • Take turns with some children to turn on the light when we sing “light” using the remote control.
    • I have this light box that is used for tracing that I put the picture of the boy praying and the words behind the boy so that the words popped when the light came on.  Here are the two light box pics.  I have a remote control adapter that I plug in the wall then plug the device into it so I can use the remote control to switch it on and off.  Got it at Home Depot and use it for a lamp at home.  
    • If you don't have a light box, you could use a flashlight for them to turn on and point at that part of the FC.
    • Another activity option would be to take turns having a child point the flashlight on the part of the FC you sing (FC posted on board.)

There are other blessings we receive from choosing the right.  
  • LISTEN and see how good choices can make you feel. [Safe & happy]
  • Where do the feelings of peace come from? [Family love]
  • LISTEN and see what I will do in my own home. [Happily serve]
  • Who does the good works help to strengthen? [My family]
For JR I sometimes hold up two or more of the FC for the phrase(s) in the wrong order and had them tell me which order they should go in after they listened to me sing the phrase.

For SR I used the crossword puzzle asking the question(s) for them to discover while I sang each phrase then had the child that answered correctly come up and fill in the answer on the crossword puzzle.  They got to choose what color of marker they wanted to write with.

Here is the link to the crossword puzzle.  I have a large primary, so I made it big.  I just cut off a little from the left and a little more off the top of the papers so that they would match up better and then taped them together.  The puzzle is 3 pages down by 4 pages across and the pdf will print them 3 pages down then he next 3 pages down moving from left to right.   Hope that makes sense.  Do not tape the Question and Key sheet and blank sheets to the puzzle.  

To repeat singing this song we played this game.  (Only had time left to play this a couple of times.  Kids loved it, so I brought it back the following week and did it a few more times.)
  • SHOW the children the objects that represent the song for the first verse.
  • After showing the children the items holding each one up as you go through the song (helps to reinforce the song again) hide the objects on the table from the children's view by holding up a blanket or using a 3-sided presentation board (like you use for science projects).
    • I made my own that is not as tall as the presentation boards by taping three pieces of sturdy cardboard together so it could stand up on the table hiding the objects.  I made sure there was about 1/8"-1/4" space between the boards before taping them together like hinges so I could fold it flat.  I've used this for some other things like when I have to set something up ahead of time but don't want the kids to see what it is yet.  
  • Choose a Super Singer child to come up to select an object and have the child hide it in a bag and then behind their back while we are singing a verse of the song.
  • After the song, remove the tri-fold board and have the children guess what is missing that the child chose.
  • To select the children who will take turns to hide an object, give a teacher a "choosing stick" to hold (this was a glitter wand I had, but anything will do) to then give to a child that was singing well after the song. That child gets the next turn after the children guess what is missing from the child that just took a turn at choosing something to hide.
  • Repeat singing the next verse as time permits rotating the choosing stick among the teachers.
  • Add more items for each of the verses as you sing that verse to make it harder. (SR: use the items all at once.)
These are the items I used to represent the song. I'm sure you could come up with other items, but these are what I have on hand.  They are listed in the order of the song.

VERSE 1 & CHORUS:  Small Globe, CTR Shield or Ring, Finger Pointer (choices), Small picture of ME as a child, Small Picture of family, Flashlight, Dove Figurine
VERSE 2:  Lock, Smiley Face, Wooden Peace Sign, Heart
VERSE 3: House Statue,  Sponge or Scrubber,  Little Barbell, Little People figures

Here is a link to the  sheet music for the song.

Saturday, January 14, 2012


 Well, I’m finally taking the blogging plunge.  I’m new at blogging but I thought it was about time I share with others the things I have come up with for LDS Primary Singing Time.  There have been so many wonderful choristers in cyberspace that have influenced me with so many of their great ideas; I guess it is time to give back.  I love being creative and I love making things.  Sometimes I spend a little too much time making things for singing time, but that is a part of the calling I love as much as teaching the children.  I’m hoping that if others can benefit from the work I’ve already done, then maybe I won’t feel so guilty taking the time to make them.  Okay, I really don't feel guilty . . . that much.  Some ideas I’ll share will be my own ideas and creations (or at least I wasn’t aware of someone else with the same idea—if so, oh well, great minds think alike) and some ideas refurbished from others that I’ve put my own twist on.  I’m hoping that between my job, my primary calling, my family and the other zillion things I am involved with, I will be able to find the time to share with you all on a regular basis.  So stay tuned!!!!!!!!!!