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

Thursday, May 31, 2012


Late Posting Disclaimer: I typed this post up a couple of weeks ago and just plumb forgot to finish editing it and posting it on the blog, so although I talk about ribbon wands in conjunction with May's song below, ribbon wands can be used for just about any song any time.

Of course it is time to talk about
because May's song,
"When I Am Baptized"
is just
 for my rainbow ribbon wands
to be used.

Ribbon wands can be an investment in time and money depending on how many you make, but if you can swing it, you won't regret it. The children just loooooooooove using these. They never tire from them. They are great for teaching and feeling the melody of the music. The kiddos get plenty of movement to keep those wiggle worms at bay...and of course, you will certainly get your exercise in for the day. By-the-by, do any of you feel like you've just finished your workout at the gym after you get home from church??? I'm sure I would be in much better shape if I did my "Primary Workout" on a daily basis instead of once a week!

Anywhoooooo, I made my ribbon wands a couple of years ago and use them at least a few times a year. The kids would probably love it if I would use them more often, but there are always so many other things I want to try and do. These are great for nursery too! I first introduce the ribbon wands in Primary after we did the program. It was a great, fun way to release all those wiggles they had held inside of them from sitting so well in Sacrament meeting and it was an easy singing time just singing fun songs and taking turns following the leader in twirling the wands. I've done this for the last two programs and plan on using them again this year, so I guess it has become a tradition.

Ribbowands are easy to make, but will take a little time to put together if you plan on making quite a few. There are a variety of ways to make them, but this is how I made mine.

  • 12" long (I think the diameter I used is about 1/4")  (a 4' dowel will give you 4-12" ribbon wands)
  • Small eye hook
  • Small fishing swivel
  • 36" long double-sided satin ribbon x 1" wide (I did my ribbon 1 1/4" wide x 86" long for the wand I would use because it is just cool to see how a full-length one works. Don't make the children's too long because they would be too difficult for the little ones to use.)
  • Scissors
  • Saw to cut the dowels or have them cut at the hardware store, but they may charge per cut.
  • Drill and drill bit smaller than the eye hook screw or a big headed push pin
  • 2 Pliers
  • Sand Paper
  • Thin blade screw driver 
  • Lighter or lit candle (no, this is not to help set the mood)
  • Spray paint (optional)

  1. Cut the dowels into 12" lengths.
  2. Sand smooth the cut ends and any other areas that are rough. Don't want any slivers.
  3. Drill or use a push pin to start a hole to screw in the eye hook. If you use a drill, be very careful in holding the stick so you don't slip and hurt yourself with the drill. You may also want to put a piece of tape around the drill bit to help mark how deep you drill to in the stick. Make sure the drill bit you use is thinner than the screw part on the eye hook so that the screw "bites" into the wood when it is screwed in.
  4. If you want, you could paint your dowel. I decided not to because I didn't have the time and I figured over time the paint would start to chip off making them look less attractive. But that's your call.
  5. With one plier in one hand grip one side of the eye hook and with the other plier in your other hand, grab the opposite side of the eye hook and slightly pry open by bringing one hand towards you and the opposite hand away from you to open the eye hook wide enough so you can hook on the fishing swivel then close the eye hook back up. Don't try to pry the hook open in a split fashion. It is much harder to close if you do. Hope that is clear as mud.
  6. Screw in the eye hook and fishing swivel combo into the hole in the dowel. To help save on your fingers, use the thin blade screw driver to slip into the eye hook hole as leverage to help twist the screw in or use your pliers.
  7. Thread one end of the ribbon through the other end of the fishing swivel.
  8. Tie a double knot on the end of the ribbon so it won't pull through the fishing swivel. I did not tie a knot directly to the fishing swivel's loop because it didn't seem to swivel as well, it looked a little more bulky and it was harder to tie a knot on the swivel without ending up with a long tail.
  9. With the lighter or lit candle, carefully melt the edges of the ribbon to help prevent fraying.
  10. Voilà! Now you have a fantastical ribbowand.

Here are a couple of other quick ribbon wand variations.

  • You could use thinner ribbon such as 1/4" wide double-satin ribbon in different colors. Decide on the length you want and double that measurement. Cut 2 or more ribbons in that length. Thread the ribbons through the eye hook (depending on your ribbon width, you may want a bigger eye hook). Even out the ribbons so your eye hook is in the middle of the ribbons. Tie the ribbons in a double knot. Seal the cut edges from fraying and you are good to go. You could add a swivel if you want the ribbon to swirl better.
  • A less expensive way is to use 6-7 36" strips of curling ribbon and glue it on the tongue depressor sized craft sticks. Then glue some ribbon around the area where you have glued to help give it a finished look and extra holding power. I have several colors of curling ribbon on large spools that I bought a long time ago from an Xpedx store that I use for gift wrapping. There is a lot of ribbon on those spools that have lasted me for years. Use just one color or several colors. This size is great for those little nursery hands.
I'm sure you could probably find a variety of other ways to make ribbon wands on the internet as well as you can purchase them off the internet, but they can get quite pricey.

Later I will post ways to use ribbon wands along with cheat sheets for different pattern movements to help you in choreographing your songs.

Saturday, May 26, 2012


Here is a flip chart for the first verse of "Love at Home". Someone on a Primary Chorister forum had asked if someone had a FC for this song, so I thought I would post mine. Their primary will be singing it for Father's Day, which I thought was a great idea. If you are trying to figure out what to sing for Father's Day, this might be an idea for your primary.

Love at Home FC Nalani

Saturday, May 19, 2012


Using the classic game of BATTLESHIP to help review a song or songs was an idea I originally saw on Divine Secrets' blog back in 2009 and I thought it would be something fun to do sometime, so I put it down on my "Someday To Do Idea List" and there it sat just patiently waiting for me. Now with the advent of the movie BATTLESHIP coming out this weekend, I thought it would be a fun time to pull it out. No, I haven't seen the movie nor have I heard anything about it or even seen any previews, but, maybe the older kids have and might find this fun and exciting. And hey, a good ol' classic game, I don't think you can go too wrong with that. So here is my take on the game.
I created a gamboard grid and markers that you can print out if you like, but you could also play it the way it was originally done with pencil and paper, well, chalk and chalkboard for the Primary room. Just draw a grid on the chalkboard with the alpha-numeric headers and draw in X's and O's or other shapes for the hits and misses as you play. Basically, you play it like the classic game of BATTLESHIP with just a few fun musical changes.

  1. Print out the game board on card stock. I specifically made each section on its own sheet instead of it all being on one sheet that you print out into a poster format because I wanted to make sure the squares would be the correct size to fit the markers. If I had you print it in a poster format, than the squares would vary in size depending on what size each of you printed it since each printer can vary a little on the percentage from its original size even if I gave you an exact percentage to print out. Yeah, I know . . .blah, blah, blah.
  2. Print on card stock one page each for all the markers that you want to use. Remember there are enough colors for up to five music ships. You will need to print multiple pages for the Treble Clef and Coda markers.
    1. There are a total of 35 squares that you will need markers for.
  3. For the game board, cut off all four sides of each page just along the inside of the dotted lines and for the solid lines, cut lengthwise down the middle of the solid lines, that way when you butt the pages up together, you won't have thick lines since you will be leaving a half a line for each page except the top "A" row, cut that top row of solid lines along the out side edge so you have a full, thick line. Sheesh, hope that all makes sense.
  4. You can tape them together in the correct order by butting them up or mount them to a poster board. You can size the game board to fit a poster board if you cut off the bottom set of numbers. 
    1. You can laminate your poster if you prefer. I am mounting mine to this thick poster board I get from work that comes with this plating material we purchase that just gets thrown away (it is like several poster boards thick and just a little larger in size). I love it because it is sturdy and free. So, I won't be laminating mine and besides, I have found over the years that poster board does not hold up well with lamination. Some posters I've laminated in the past have begun separating so now they are looking like a poster board in a baggie. I've been told by my copy center that lamination sticks mainly to itself and over time it will separate from the paper surface of thicker and larger pieces.
  5. Cut out the markers along the outside of the solid lines or insides; your preference. Laminate these if you prefer. I will because that will help them hold up better.
  6. Mount a square piece of self-adhesive Velcro (hook and loop tape) to the center of each square on the game board. Mount the opposing square piece of Velcro to the markers. This makes the game reusable. 
MARKERS (Musical Symbols—see the first picture)
  • Miss: Treble Clef 
    • For the blank spots—do nothing
  • Music Ships: Connected Eighth Notes—3 of the same color per ship
    • There are enough sets of colors to do up to 5 Music Ships if you do 3 per ship.
      • You may want to only assign one or two markers per song instead of three depending on how much practice you want to do for each song.
      • If you want to use this as a songs review instead of just concentrating on one or two songs, just assign a different song to each ship.
    • The markers represent the song(s) you are reviewing
    • Assign a verse or song you are working on to each ship and you will sing it each time they hit that color
    • I am not planning on assigning a specific verse to each ship color. Because I want to be more orderly in singing this song through, the first ship they hit will be verse 1, when they sink that ship and we hit the next ship, we will sing verse 2. My 3rd ship will be verse 3 of "If the Savior Stood Beside Me" that we haven't had much time to work on.
  • Submarines: Single Eighth Notes OPTIONAL
    • Fun, wiggle, program or other songs
  • Sea Mines: Coda OPTIONAL
    • Song questions: make a list of questions about the song or songs—one question for each Sea Mine used in the game

HOW TO PLAY (see update below)
  • Post the blank game board and have a child call out a coordinate (one letter and one number) e.g. A-2 
    • For JR you may just want them to quickly come up and point to a blank square.
  • Using your key sheet, determine if it is a miss, hit, submarine or sea mine.
    • If it is a miss, place the Treble Clef marker in the square and have another child select another space. You could have the JR child put the marker up.
    • If they hit a Music Ship, sing the verse of the song or song for that music ship. If they sing it well, place that ships color marker on the game board and have another child select a coordinate.
      • Each time they hit the same part of the music ship, you sing that verse or song over again. I plan on using my visual for "When I Am Baptized" and after the first time through, removing two of the visuals for that verse and one visual from the chorus off of the board so by the time they hit the ship the 3rd time they will need to sing the song without the words for the 1st verse and they must sing it well in order to sink that music ship.
      • Add more Music Ships for more songs if you use this on a Sunday you have the full Singing and Sharing Time allotment. 
    • Optional Way To Play: If you want to do a combined Singing and Sharing Time or if you happen to be the music leader and a Primary President or counselor that is doing a double duty calling (usually in smaller wards/branches), this game is a good one to use as a combo Singing and Sharing Time. In between sinking the Musical Ships, use the Sea Mines for questions and/or discussion moments for that week's topic or about the song.
    • Optional: If they hit a submarine, you can have them sing another song like a wiggle song, another program song, or whatever song you want them to sing, hey, you are the captain admiral. This will give a little variety.
    • Optional: If they hit a sea mine, they must answer a question about the song. I plan on using a few questions just to help fill up some blank spaces and to review/test their understanding of the song and melody. Use this if you want to have less blank spaces or if you will have a longer singing time.
  • I will have my little over-bedazzled treasure box, I made a couple of years ago and have used for a variety of things on several occasions, to hold some baptism stickers to give out at the end of singing time after we sink all the Musical Battleships. I'm hoping that might be incentive for those older boys who may just try and not pick the Musical Battleships after they make one hit on it. Always trying to stay one step ahead of those rascals.
This should be a fun way to review a song or several songs over-and-over again.
Here are a couple of pictures of the key sheets showing three music ships and three submarines. Add Sea Mines (Coda Symbol) if you want.
Key Sheet 1

Key Sheet 2
The file for the game is below and includes the game board, game markers, blank key sheets and 2 sample key sheets.

Bombs Away On Your Singing Time!

As much as I plan what I am going to do for singing time, something I have learned as a Primary Music Leader is that things don't always never go the way you plan. Depending on how much time you have or what is going on in your Primary that day, you become good at adjusting and adapting during your singing time. Because of a little shorter time and wanting to keep the game moving more, I made some changes to the game on the fly that also helped in adapting to how the children liked to pick the coordinates. They seemed to like to pick randomly on the board instead of trying to find the three in a row. So here is an adaptation idea to play this game that is more freeform that will help keep things going. Instead of having the three ships in a row, I randomly had the ships individually scattered on the key sheet along with the sea mines and subs. Each time they found a ship, any colored ship, we sang the first verse and continued to sing it each time a ship was hit until the first three ships were found. After singing it three times, that part of the song was sunk (still removed some visuals the 2nd time through and then no visuals on the 3rd time as in the instructions above). For SR I only did two ships for the first verse since they didn't need much practice on that verse. The next three ships found would be for the next verse and so on. Same rules as above, just random placements of individual ships. I'll admit to tweaking the game a little during play if after a few misses were found in a row, I would have the next guess end up being a ship even if it wasn't where one was planned on the key sheet. So in actuality, I had my key sheet handy and used it as a general guideline, but adjusted where the ships, subs or sea mines were a couple of times to make sure we kept singing without too much down time. Hope that all makes sense. You could really just pretend to use a key sheet and just randomly let them hit a ship, sea mine or sub. Yeah, that is rigging the game, but hey, you gotta do what you gotta do in the short time you have. The main object is to just have some interesting fun while the children learn the songs.  

Musical Battleship—Nalani

Friday, May 18, 2012


Apparently the Tabernacle Choir is having a "Conduct the Choir" contest on their Facebook page. Sounds like a fantastic opportunity if you are brave enough. Leslee Edwards is one brave soul who has submitted her video. Wouldn't it be cool if a Primary Music Leader could win? Read her info below and click on the Facebook link to check it out. If you vote, don't forget to vote daily.

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir is having a Facebook contest to win a chance to conduct them!  It's a once in a life time opportunity.  My primary president, and former primary chorister, Becky Sais has submitted a video and we need votes.  I helped shoot and edit the video.  We went down to the beach to conduct the waves!  The sun came out just for us and we even "summoned" 2 humpback whales!  It was amazing.

I was hoping that as primary choristers you might support us by voting.

Click on  It will take you to the MoTab Facebook page.  Scroll down and you'll see videos.  Click on page 2 and look for "Conducting Waves".  Click on the 5th star to give us 5 points.

We need to reach the goal of 200 points each day and we are only getting about 150.  Voting goes for the next 7 days.   

Thank you!

Leslee Edward

(Me again, on a side note, very busy week, so it will be late tonight before I have the chance to post my plans for Sunday, so check back if you are interested.)

Saturday, May 12, 2012


Any way you say it, it means
Happy Birthday
 to you!

Well, I'm finally getting around to posting my visuals for "Feliz Cumpleanos." Since birthdays are supposed to be FUN, I decided to do this visual as placards for the birthday children to hold as we sang, but you could omit the stick and use as posters. You will need to print the poster version on 11" x 17" size paper. Maybe your workplace or definitely a copy center has the capability if you don't. I just printed on regular paper stock and then mounted on different fluorescent colors of poster board. I've also included a file for a flip chart version.

Here is how I put it together:

  1. Paint 4 large-sized paint stirring sticks, the kind used to stir paint in the 5-gallon sized buckets (not the typical gallon sized can.) They are about 21" long. The DIY stores are usually happy to give you a few if you ask.
  2. Cut 2 of each color of poster board into about 13" x 19" rectangles.
  3. Take 2 of the same colored poster boards and center and adhere them to a paint stick, one on each side. Repeat with the 3 remaining sticks and poster boards.
    1. I used a staple gun to adhere the poster board to the stick, but you could probably use a glue gun.
    2. I did this step first before glueing the words on so that my staples wouldn't show. If you use a glue gun to glue the poster board, I guess that wouldn't matter.
  4. Glue the first verse of the printed visual to one side of the poster board with each phrase on a different color. Repeat with the second verse on the opposite side of the placard.
  5. Optional: Staple or tie some colorful curly ribbon on the stick just under the poster for an added festive look. I was planning on doing that, but have never gotten around to it. I always seem to remember about doing it as I'm leaving for church. I think I am going to have to try really hard to remember to do it some day soon. 
I've hauled these placards to church on many occasions in my handmade poster carrier and they have held up quite well. The kids love to hold them as they learn how to say "Happy Birthday" in a variety of languages.

Feliz Cumpleanos Flip Chart

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


These are the beautiful loving hands
of my daughter-in-law
A couple of month's ago I took pictures of something I was holding in my hands. My first impression upon looking at the pictures was, 
"Ooooooooo, my hands are so old and worn looking." After staring at the picture for a bit, I noticed the scar on my hand from when I was crossing a busy street one day when the baby in my womb moved in such a way to pinch a nerve that caused me to loose all feeling in my left leg, which resulted with me falling to the ground in the middle of the crosswalk. The scar reminded me of my attempt at protecting the child of mine from the fall and despite the blood and pain from my arm and hand at the time, I was exhilarated from the life I felt that let me know that this baby was still alive. Having lost several babies before around the 6th & 7th month of pregnancy, every movement I felt was a JOY no matter how much pain or discomfort it caused. As I continued to look at my hands, I began to also SEE the things I cleaned around the house, the foods I cooked, the dishes I washed, the clothes I ironed, the dresses and costumes I sewed, the weeds I pulled in my garden, the places I drove to take my children, the diapers I changed, the school projects I helped put together, the pages I turned during bedtime stories, the massages I gave to tired and aching muscles, the hugs I gave to give comfort and love, the hands I held in moments of fear, the tears I wiped in times of sadness and joy, the kleenex I held to wipe runny noses, the babies I held to rock gently to sleep, the many letters I wrote to my sons serving missions. . . oh, the list goes on-and-on and let's not forget the children who are led in song in Primary each weekLooking at my hands I saw a lifetime of hard work and love given to others. So yes, every scar, wrinkle, freckle, age spot, puffy vein, cracked and pudgy part have all been well earned and told the story of my life and the loving things I did. That is what got me thinking about the loving hands of those who love and take care of us.

So in-light of that, this is what rattled around in my head back then to do when Mother's Day came up. As a side note, using the gloves and dynamics part to sing can also be used any time you want to review a song or do a choose and review activity.  
  • Take pictures of the loving hands of all the Primary children's mothers or where applicable, those who help take care and raise them, because these days, not all children live with a mother. Sometimes it is their grandma, their dad, an older sibling, an aunt, a foster mother, so take a picture of their loving hands if the mother is not available.
    • It has taken a few hours to get pictures of loving hands for every child (I'm still trying to get the last few), so a quicker solution is to only take pictures of a select few, especially if you have a large Primary.
    • I'm probably going to print out the pictures of the hands and group several together to post on the board at a time, but another option might be is to show them on a laptop or iPad, but that might be more cumbersome to flip back-and-forth with if you have a lot of pictures.
  • Before I begin I will have the children take a look at their hands and ask them to think of kind things they have done with their hands this past week and maybe have a few children share. I'll also make a quick mention along the lines that our hands are capable of doing many kind and good things and when we do kind and good things, our hands become loving hands. I'll then segue into how we also have people in our lives who help us with their loving hands.
  • Post on the board or hold up a few pictures of loving hands and have the children see if they can recognize any of the loving hands. I am a little nervous on how much time this might take, so be careful and only give them a little time to guess before giving them the answers. Depending on how many pictures you have you could print one or two sets of hands per page. I wouldn't go smaller since it might be difficult for the children to see the pictures.
  • Have a selection of gloves displayed in a basket or laid out on a table. I will use my singing apron with big pockets to put the gloves in. The children will choose a pair of gloves that will determine the song to be sung and how the song will be led with loving hands. I may have a child help lead with the gloves, but I am leaning this time towards leading myself to help save on time and because that will also give me more control on leading the songs with the various dynamics since sometimes kids can get a little silly. I'll give a list of possible gloves that you can use and some dynamics for how to sing below.
  • If you don't want to use gloves, you could just assign a song to the picture or group of pictures or maybe you just want to use the gloves and not worry about the pictures of the hands.
  • After singing a song, repeat taking a moment to guess a few more loving hands pictures before going to the next song.
  • Here are a few options for types of songs to sing:
    • Mother's Day songs
    • Program songs
    • The mother's favorite Primary song. If you are choosing songs by picture instead of gloves and have a lot of pictures you are grouping together, you could ask the mothers for a few of their favorite Primary songs instead of just their favorite and then group the pictures together of those that have a similar favorite song. So far in the list I've gathered of the favorite songs from mothers and grandmothers there are many common ones between the mothers which helps make it easier to group together since I am trying to get pictures of all the loving hands.
    • Have a mix of Mother's Day songs, program songs and some of the favorites off of the mother's favorites list you've made. I'm going with this option using the gloves.
  • Gloves—Here is a list of possible gloves you might have around the house to use for the children to select from. Assign songs and a way to sing the song to the gloves. If you want to just review a song over and over again, just assign a way to sing to each pair of gloves you use:
    • Evening or Dress Gloves (I love the elbow length gloves)
    • Gardening Gloves
    • Work Gloves
    • Cleaning Gloves
    • Oven Mitt
    • Winter Gloves
    • Surgical Gloves
    • Driving Gloves
    • Leather Gloves
    • Exercise Gloves (biking, weight-lifting, etc.)
    • Baseball Glove
    • Car Washing Mitt
    • Ski Gloves
    • Scuba Diving Gloves
    • Boxing Gloves (yes, mothers do fight for us in so many ways)
    • Maybe you can think of other gloves to help demonstrate the many things loving hands do. If you do, please leave a comment to share.
  • Dynamic Ways to Sing—assign to songs/gloves and lead the children switching between the dynamics. These are great ways to practice with the children on following you and familiarizing themselves with the different ways to sing in relation to how you will lead them. I do exaggerate a little on the leading to help them differentiate between the two I'm switching between and it also helps to keep their eyes on me. The kids seem to really pay attention to my hands when I put on gloves. I guess it gives them a focal point or maybe it is just my exaggerated "maestro" conducting. I've listed the musical terms and their definition. The list below is pretty self-explanatory on how you would lead them, but I'll give an explanation on a few that may not seem as clear.
    • Forte (strong and loud) & Piano (gently & softly)
    • Allegro (cheerful & fast) & Largo (slowly)
    • Staccato (short) & Legato (flowing & smoothly)
    • A Capella (without accompaniment) & Con Musica (with Accompaniment)
      • I will hold out my right hand in a stop mode toward the pianist to stop playing while I continue leading with my other hand then I lead with both hands for the pianist to play or you could lead up high for A Capella and down low for with the piano if leading with your non-dominate hand is more difficult.
    • Crescendo (growing in sound) & Diminuendo (diminishing in sound)
    • Ragazze (e is pronounced like an a) (girls) & Ragazzi (i is pronounced as an e) (boys)
      • Lead right-handed for boys and left-handed for girls and both handed for both to sing or up high, down low and in the middle
    • Fermata (every now and then, have them hold the note)
    • Vibrato (vibrating/pulsating change of pitch—like opera—you could have the children wiggle their finger on their throat) & Straight Tone (normal voice)
      • Use your finger on the throat for vibrato and off the throat for normal singing
Happy Mother's Day to all you fantastic women out there that give so much with your loving hands!!!

Friday, May 4, 2012


Happy, happy birthday children dear;
Happy days will come to you all year.
If I had one wish, then it would be
A happy, happy birthday to you from me!
Yep, it's my Birthday today. I'm one year older better and wiser too! So in celebration, here is a FC for "Happy, Happy Birthday". Yeah, I know that probably most Primary's know this song, but I have discovered that there are some that don't. So, here it is in case someone needs it. 

P.S. I was wanting to post "Feliz Cumpleanos" I got so busy relaxing on my birthday (being another year older is much more exhausting you know) that I forgot to take a picture of the placards I use. I'll try and remember tomorrow, but I am older and that short-term memory thing may start to kick in at any moment, so . . . who knows?!?

Happy Happy Birthday FC Nalani


Thought I'd combine my mini poster flip chart I originally created when I first started as the Primary Music Leader and my new visuaimagery visual from my last post to create a flip chart for all those traditionalists out there. Here you go. Enjoy!

When I Am Baptized-FC-Nalani

Thursday, May 3, 2012


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

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

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

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

When I Am Baptized-Viz-Nalani