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Saturday, June 27, 2015

July 2015 Singing Time Schedule

See how I use my singing time schedule HERE and download an editable and printable version of the below information HERE.

Singing Time Schedule
July 2015

July 5th
Opening song: My Flag, My Flag p. 225
Scripture song:  The Ninth Article of Faith p. 128
Birthday song:  Feliz Cumpleanos p. 282
Singing Time:  Come Follow Me Hymn 116 1st verse**
Activity: Using the suggested activity found in the 2015 Outline for Sharing Time HERE (scroll down to the "Helps for the Music Leader"section) with footstep images found HERE  - will be modifying it slightly so stay tuned!

July 12th:
Opening song: Baptism p. 100
Scripture song:  The Ninth Article of Faith p. 128
Birthday song:  Feliz Cumpleanos p. 282
Welcome song:  We Welcome you p. 256
Singing Time:  Come Follow Me Hymn 116 1st verse
Activity:  Reviewing using the footsteps used the previous week - more to come!

July 19th:
Opening song: Covered Wagons p. 221
Scripture song:  The Ninth Article of Faith p. 128
Birthday song:  Feliz Cumpleanos p. 282
Welcome song:  We Welcome you p. 256
Singing Time:  Whenever I Think About Pioneers
Activity:  Teach a new pioneer song - more to come!

You can scroll through all of my Pioneer Day lesson plans HERE.  I know Pioneer Day is a Utah holiday, but don't feel like you can't celebrate the pioneers because you don't live in Utah!  The pioneers are part of our entire church's heritage and in my opinion it's worth celebrating wherever you live.

July 26th:
Opening song:  Love One Another p. 136
Scripture song:  The Ninth Article of Faith p. 128
Birthday song:  Feliz Cumpleanos p. 282
Welcome song:  We Welcome you p. 256
Singing Time:  I Know That My Savior Loves Me outline, He Sent His Son p. 34, Follow the Prophet p. 110, The Church of Jesus Christ p. 77, Faith p. 96, The Holy Ghost p. 105, Come Follow Me Hymn 116
Activity:  I'll be teaching the kids how to lead music then reviewing with glow sticks and the lights off!  Each child will get a wand and a turn to lead a song as a class.  And did you know that learning to conduct passes off a Faith in God requirement?  See details HERE.

**I usually don't have time to celebrate the 4th of July in singing time because I do Pioneer Day instead.  But I really liked this idea posted on the Chorister's FB group for a possible 4th of July idea.  So if you'd rather celebrate the 4th instead of the 24th, here's a great lesson plan:

Tonya from FB Group:

I found this idea last year and loved it! Each of the colors of the flag represents something- each colored star has a song that goes along with that word. If you want the list of songs let me know

Ok, here is the list of songs I used for the red/white/blue & star singing time-

Nephi's courage-120
Called to serve-174
I will be valiant-162
I asked them why they thought each song was for courage

I love to see the temple-95 ( purest place on earth)
When I am baptized-103
My Heavenly Father Loves Me-228 ( everything reminds us of Heavenly Fathers pure love) 

Search, Ponder&pray-109
(It takes perseverance to gain a testimony)
I'm trying to be like Jesus-78 ( trying every day takes perseverance)
Scripture power ( studying every day takes perseverance).

2015 Primary Flashcards

I'm pulling out the same {but different!} activity I did last year found HERE.  I've just updated all the information to be 2015!  It was a lot of fun both in Senior (they LOVED it!) and a simplified version for Junior.  All instructions on how to play are in the link above.

Download the 2015 documents HERE.  I printed mine on a fun orange colored paper this year!  If you happen to have a different song for May, I got most of the "mumbles" songs from the Chorister's Facebook post HERE.  There's a document posted under the files section called "Music Mumble Game 2" which has most of the songs in the songbook.  That document is HERE if it helps.  And I created a fill-in-the-blank document HERE if you need.

Super easy and super fun!!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Father's Day

I'm keeping it REAL simple this week!  Summer is in full force and I'm in no planning mode!  So we'll be singing He Sent His Son (February's program song) along with Daddy's Homecoming.  If you want to see all of my Father's Day posts, you can find them HERE.

We'll just quickly stand and review He Sent His Son and then pull out my Dad Puzzle found HERE to review Daddy's Homecoming.  Easy!

If the Puzzle is too much work, I saw a similar concept on the Chorister's Facebook group this week (find the actual thred HERE if you are a member of the group): 

Here's what Megan shared:
"Easy prep, just prepared a lot of ties, and drew a bunch of different Dad's on the board, a variation of some other ideas I've seen in the last couple of weeks. I scattered the ties around the room, and would pick a kid to put a tie on a Dad, and on the back of the tie would either be a review song, or a silly way to sing the month's current song. I estimate the prep time taking 20 minutes. Make sure you have some "manly" tie colors. The boys just don't want to pick pink, yellow, or purple ties."  Thanks for sharing!!

You can find some downloadable ties HERE or HERE or simply cut some out on scrapbook paper and save your printer for another lesson :).

Happy Father's Day!!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Teach a Song using ASL!

I've just wrapped up teaching this month's song using sign language.  I received several "technical" questions on how to use sign or ASL to teach a song.  Seeing that I am no interpreter and am assuming a lot of other choristers aren't either, I've written up a few things that have worked for me.
I like to occasionally use sign language to teach songs in primary.  The Junior primary loves the large muscle movements and seems to retain the words better when they can put an action to it.  And Senior primary seems to enjoy the challenge of remembering what hand motions go with what words.

Since I don't know sign language - AT ALL, I just kind of "wing it" every time I teach it.  I've actually had a few teachers tell me that they didn't know I knew sign language - ha!  Fooled them!!  Is it always correct? No.  But that's not my intention.  I couldn't teach the correct ASL to those little kids - especially where I don't "speak" it, myself.  It would also be really overwhelming to me and the kids.  So I omit most of the signs and usually only teach signs for the key words.

To learn those key word signs, I use SEVERAL resources combined.  Below are some of my favorite websites:

My first go-to website is the church's Primary songs in ASL (this is SO complicated for me but it's a start!):

The church also has a list of simple ASL videos of the more unusual vocabulary we use in the Church (I LOVE this resource!):

This link is an ASL dictionary (for any words that aren't on the church's site):

And here's another one (I'm more familiar with this link):

Woot productions on YouTube has several of the current year's primary songs in simplified ASL:

Then there are several who post videos of their own.  Here are a few samples:
I'm never afraid to ask others to help out where I lack the talent :)

Then I like to create my own notes.  You can find some examples of my notes HERE (scroll through all of the posts).  I personally wouldn't take a video into primary to teach from but that's just my preference.

If you have any children in your primary who know ASL, a great suggestion may be to have them help you teach the song.  I've never experienced this - if you have, I'd love some feedback!

In order to teach the signs, you MUST know them beforehand - both the words to the song and the signs.  I like to bring my notes because sometimes I get stuck and need a reference but I don't want to be stopping to read my notes throughout my entire lesson plan - BORING!!

I've also brought in scarves:

I bought mine from Amazon here:

If clicking on the icon above doesn't work, you can also find it HERE.

I just have the kids tie one on their pointer finger and we do our actions with the scarves.  They provide kind of a fun visual!  I only bring these out AFTER the signs have been learned.  They can be a distraction from learning the actual signs.

Now, once you have your signs and song learned, you need to teach them to the kids.  When I learn the signs, I usually learn them backwards (or with the wrong hand - I mirror what I see in the videos).  Then when I start signing in primary, I practice with the kids mirroring some simple actions.  I'll wave with my left hand and ask them to pretend we are looking in a mirror - what hand would they use?  Then we practice with the other hand by patting our heads or something.  So when I move my left hand, they move their right and vice versa.

Once we've established which hands should be used, I just add one sign and phrase at a time.  I sing the phrase (sometimes posting that phrase on the board) and sign it.  Then I discuss the sign (maybe give them a silly way of remembering it), show them the action, they repeat it without singing, then we sing the phrase while we sign it.  Then add on - next phrase with the next sign.  We'll sing that phrase while signing it.  Then we'll sign and sing everything we've learned so far.  Clear as mud? :)

I like to try to have one song learned in ASL for the program.  In the past, we've performed a song by only signing it, then repeating it with singing and signing.  It's pretty neat!

I've created a "Sign Language" label over on the right under the "Labels" section for quick reference.  It includes any of my lesson plans I've taught using this method of teaching songs.

What are tips that you use when teaching sign language in primary?  Leave a comment with suggestions!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

The Holy Ghost, 2nd Verse

Find the link for teaching the 1st verse HERE.

For the 2nd verse, I'll be continuing on with the signing.   I created a little video of the signs I'll be teaching using VERY simplified ASL!  If you are having trouble viewing the embeded video, you can get the direct link HERE.

If a video of yourself doesn't make you self conscious, I don't know what will!  Just pardon my sweats and pool hair, ha ha!!  And all my signs are backwards so when the kids watch me, they mirror me, thus doing it right.  I read somewhere that what hand you use doesn't matter but that's just how I do it anyway.

I'll be using the 2nd verse word strips I printed out when I taught the 1st verse as well (found in the link above).

Below are my crazy notes (a downloadable version HERE) with links if I could find one for the signs if that helps:

Confirmed: I can't find a link for confirmation, but if I follow the boy in the video, it's pointer fingers move down in front of chest, then the left pointer finger touches the right side of the chest, then the left.

Sacred: HERE show a fist with the left hand then open it and rub palms with the left hand facing down with right palm facing up.  Left hand moves outward.

Priesthood: HERE make a "finger man" with left hand and a fist with the right at chest level. Tap the middle finger of the left hand on the fist and bring  it up and together with the pointer.

Holy Ghost: HERE I just do the 2nd half where you "pull the string" with thumb and pointer fingers and I do it with a wave.

Given: Just following the video, all fingers on both hands touch chest

Hour: HERE right palm at chest level, facing left.  Left hand pointer finger makes a "clock" circling the other palm going upward and outward.

Listen: HERE Tap right ear with right pointer 

Still Small Voice: HERE (sign for voice) but the boy above does it a little differently which I like: place hands on chest, fingers spread and bring them up to throat.

Light: HERE the link is for "the light of Christ" so I'm only doing the middle sign on the video - left hand up near head, palm facing out, thumb extended.  Hand moves upward and outward slightly

Do What's Right: Not sure on the translation - left hand makes a fist with thumb up, placed on right palm.  Begin at chest level and outward and bring inward and up.

Choice: HERE Hold up 2 fingers on right hand, then left hand chooses (brushes) pointer finger then middle finger with all of left hand fingers.

Then, once we've learned all the signs, I'm going to give each child a scarf that I purchased from Amazon:

You can find them here:

If you are having trouble with the icon above, you can click on the direct link HERE.  If that still doesn't work, search "West Music 27" Hemmed Square Movement Scarves Set" on Amazon and hopefully you can find them.

This is totally optional but I think it will be a fun way to change up the monotony of signing.  I'll just have the teachers tie a scarf onto each child's finger.  Then we'll sign and sing the whole song with the 1st and 2nd verses using the scarves, just like my video here:

You can find the video HERE at the direct link as well.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

The Holy Ghost, 1st Verse

I'll be pulling out an old lesson plan from way back when (okay, I did update the picture!)...
I LOVE when I can do that!!  Find it HERE.

For the program, I usually try to do one song using simplified ASL.  When teaching a song with ASL, it engages the kids really well and they tend to retain the words better - especially those littles.  The sign for "holy ghost" (see below) is pretty vivid!  I'd love to teach The Holy Ghost using simplified ASL but I can't find any SIMPLIFIED videos to this song.  I've put out a few requests to several who have posted videos before but I should have asked over a month ago!

So my hope is to simplify the church's video below (I can't even imagine trying to memorize and teach all this - YIKES!):

I'll post any updates I do.  Or if anyone else simplifies, please share as I know there is more interest than just mine! UPDATE:  Thank you to everyone for your input - for your comments below and on the Choristers FB group!  What a great help!!  I've updated below to include my finished lesson plan!

You can find a printable lesson plan with my ASL notes HERE if you like.  Below are the words we'll be signing in ASL and a link to hopefully help with my somewhat crazy notes!!

Christ: HERE make a “c” with left hand, touch right shoulder, then left hip
Earth: HERE left hand, using thumb and middle finger, placed on top of right wrist and moved back and forth
Promised: HERE  right hand a fist at chest level, left hand pointer to lips, then opens up and is brought down to right hand.
Send: HERE left hand brushes outward something off the top of right hand
Holy Ghost: HERE (may just simplify this even more) by pinching thumbs and middle finger together and pull a string - just the last half of the sign.
Comfort: HERE right hand is pulled through left hand and vice versa
Friend: HERE pointer fingers, rounded, cross then switch
Holy Spirit: Same as Holy Ghost
Whispers: HERE the boy makes a trumpet with both hands with his fingers wiggling (different from link)
Still Small Voice: HERE (sign for voice) but the boy above does it a little differently which I like: place hands on chest, fingers spread and bring them up to throat.
Testifies: HERE sign the letter “t” by placing thumb between pointer and middle and making a fist; place left hand at chest level then bring forward to right flat palm
God: HERE make a shepherd's staff shape from middle of chest, ending at forehead using left hand, palm facing right
Christ: same as above
Heart: HERE draw a heart on your chest
Rejoice: HERE palms facing chest, move in a circular motion, up then out

HERE's an amazing link by the church that Tara let me know about in the comments! It has simple videos of the more unusual vocabulary we use in the Church!  Love it!

For the 2nd verse, I'll just be continuing on with the sign language and wordstrips.  And I just ordered these scarves (2 sets of 12 for our primary) for the kids to hold to liven up the signing:

More to come!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Faith Follow-Up

This is the follow-up post for my Faith lesson plans (found HERE for the 1st verse, HERE for the 2nd, and HERE for the GRAND FINALE!).  The purpose of these is they help others, going forward, tweak plans for their primaries, stray away from lesson plans that flopped {yes, it happens to everyone...even me!!}, and give feedback (don't be too harsh!) about how it went in general.  You can find my response below.  These posts will be linked back to the actual lesson plan so they'll be easy to reference.

So, I ask you...

If you taught any of my lesson plans for Faith, how did it go, what things did you change, what do you wish you would have done differently, would you do it again?  Leave a comment below!

Here's my response:

This was overall a fun and VERY different lesson plan.  I loved how I used the eggs for 3 weeks of teaching - a total bonus!  The kids responded well to the visual of growing the grass.  For a growing tip, just leave the eggs on the counter under a window and keep them moist.  They will do much better than outside (at least that's what I learned!).  I didn't change much for my 1st verse lesson plan.  The "growing markers" for the 2nd really could have been omitted.  I kept forgetting to remove them from the chalkboard and then didn't remove them at all in Junior.

The egg-cutting was really fun. The kids sang their little hearts out (even those 11-year old boys!) and had fun cutting, decorating and taking home their eggs!  I'd totally do it again.  Here's even a little lesson-plan-in-action shot...

Thanks for commenting and sharing your feedback!!