Friday, January 19, 2018

I Am a Child of God

Now that I've introduced everyone new in primary and the primary to our 2018 theme, I'm FINALLY ready to start teaching I Am a Child of God.

There was a post shared on the Chorister's FB page HERE that I really liked which incorporated the plan of salvation chart found on HERE.  I really liked the idea but wanted to keep the kids singing and and quickly answering questions about the song rather than having and in depth discussion about the plan of salvation (something that would fall under the Sharing Time umbrella).  

So I came up with a merger idea!

Download my document HERE.  I printed on white card stock, laminated then cut each piece out.  On the back of each piece I wrote the name of the piece of the puzzle and verse each question belongs to (just to help me stay a bit organized while teaching):

Premortal life - chorus
Birth - chorus
Earth Life - 1st verse
Death - 1st verse
Spirit World - 2nd verse
Resurrection - 2nd verse
Final Judgement - 2nd verse
Telestial Kingdom - 3rd verse
Terrestrial Kingdom - 3rd verse
Celestial Kingdom - 3rd verse

I'll tell the kids that I have a puzzle that I want them to see if they can figure out what it is that coorelates to the song we are learning this month.  Then I'll proceed to post one piece at a time of the plan of salvation question chart I created on the chalkboard (post pieces as indicated on the image above where it says "illustration" beginning with the white premortal life bubble/question then peach colored birth/question, etc).  I'll read the question on the 1st piece of the chart then sing the correlating chorus or verse it belongs to then hang the piece on the board.  Once the whole chart is hung up (the words will all be vertical but that's part of the fun!), we've answered all the questions and sung the song several times, I'll ask them if they recognize the chart.  Then I'll write "The Plan of Salvation" in chalk at the top and we can have a quick discussion about how the song I Am a Child of God is all about Heavenly Father's Plan of Happiness or The Plan of Salvation.  Then bear testimony and end.

If I find that Jr. primary needs movement, I may do some simple hand actions for the chorus and sing it each time we sing a verse.

lead me, guide me:  a "come here" action repeated twice using both arms
walk beside me: arms sway out front together twice
help me find the way: arms rainbow above head one direction then back
teach me all that I must do: {not sure yet! Thoughts?}
to live with Him someday: arms out front slowly raised toward heaven

Next week I'll review I Am a Child of God lesson plan using the bells found HERE, more as a review.  The Sr. primary will use the obbligatto bell chart and the Jr. primary will use the chorus bell chart.  More to come on that. 

Thursday, January 11, 2018

2018 Sing-Along Videos

Each January, I like to present all the upcoming program songs using video Sing-Along Flip Charts. Shannon shared files she created for this activity on the Chorister's FB page (a HUGE thank you for saving us all SO much work!!).  I uploaded them all HERE.  If you have songs you will be teaching and you need a video, I created a tutorial on how I created these HERE.

I loaded each video onto my phone.  I have a cable that I'll run from my phone to the library's TV to view each of these videos.  Here is the cord you need found on Amazon if that helps:

Apple brand:
No-name brand:

These cords will work on iPhone's 5 and newer.  I'm not sure what the equivalent cords would be needed for a Androids (if you have different methods of digitally sharing or cords that you use, will you please share what they are?).  I never rely on the church building to provide the necessary cords - I'm assuming they don't have any but it would never hurt to ask your librarian if they are tech savvy.

I'm pretty sure you can burn these onto a DVD as well but I've never done it.

Now, not techy? No problem {honestly, neither am I - so thanks hubby!!}  You can download and print flip charts for each of these songs from and simply bring the songs on CD (if you made a 2018 Primary Program Songs CD, your life will be that much easier! Find details on my CD HERE).  I'd suggest placing each flip chart in plastic sheet protectors and putting them in a binder for easy flipping.  It may be a lot of flip charts but if you plan on using them later in the year, you'll be saving yourself work later on, right?  You could also ask various ward members to come in and do a musical performance of the songs!                                                                  

To break up each song, I created this simple worksheet for the kids to fill out after we watch each video:

Download the worksheet HERE.  If your 2 song choices are different than mine, there's a version with those months left blank.  There's also a completely blank version.  Print what you need. Sorry, I don't have one that you can edit on the computer.  You can do some literal "cutting and pasting" with the information you need added.  The font I used is Cambria, size 24.  Just photo copy it all on and you'll never know it once you make copies!

I know that the little Jr. kiddos won't understand most of the worksheet but at least they will have something to color while we watch our videos ;).

So, pass out a coloring utensil to all the kids, along with a worksheet and push "play."  I'm going to encourage the kids to sing along as much as they can and if there are songs they don't know, they can go home and listen to their CD's that were given at Christmas.  If you really want to go the extra mile, bring a movie treat!

It should be a fun and simple way to introduce all the program songs for 2018 (as long as we don't have any technical difficulties)!

I've also uploaded the videos I will be using to YouTube here:

Thursday, January 4, 2018

President Monson Tribute

With President Monson passing away this week, I thought it would be appropriate to do a special singing time dedicated to him.  I will still quickly sing Here We Are Together to welcome the new Sunbeams (in Jr. primary) and the new Jr. primary kids (in Sr. primary) and all the new teachers.  See how I do that HERE.  I'll just omit all the name tags so we can quickly welcome everyone.  I will probably forgo my Article of Faith songs (see what those are HERE) at the beginning of singing time as well and just do those the next few weeks.

I liked this idea HERE that Renae posted on the Chorister's FB Page HERE. It is simple to implement and a way to sing LOTS of songs all while centered around President Monson.  I just created some visuals and added songs that related to the quotes to go along with the lesson plan (I did omit a few quotes because they were redundant and there is no way we'll get through all 13 of these!).  Find them all HERE.  I created documents without the suggested songs to sing in case you want to sing something else.  Find those HERE.  Then I've also got a version without the quotes HERE - mostly so those who need a translated version can just hand-write it in.  If you want to make your own as a Word document or something similar, I downloaded the pictures from HERE.

MORE UPDATES:  A request was made for more current quotes.  I updated about half the quotes using the same song suggestions.  You can find that update HERE.  If you want more quotes, find a great article HERE.

I used the photo of President Monson from my collection of pictures of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve apostles but you can simply download and print a picture HERE.

For the activity, I'll place the picture of President Monson on the chalkboard and we'll talk about how he passed away this week.  Then I'll post his various quotes one at a time that relate to primary songs and we'll sing the songs, posting the words as needed.

Tina, in the comments suggested listening to his final General Conference talk at the end.  Great idea!

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

2018 Scripture Prompts

Our primary has the current month's scripture taped to the podium so the child who was assigned to read the scripture has it right there in front of them.  No more turning and reading it on the wall behind them so the rest of the primary can't hear!!

To make them easy to transition each month, the prompts fit on a half sheet of paper and are all inserted into a half-size sheet protector.  Amazon sells them here:

The sheet protector is taped to the podium on 3 sides with the pocket left open.  The whole year's worth of scriptures are stored right behind the current month's (it's a bit tight at first but it works - if it's too tight, only store 6 month's worth) so when a month is over, you simply pull out the top month to reveal the following months' prompt.  It has worked well in our primary!

You can download all of the prompts for 2018 HERE.

And along a similar topic...assigning the scriptures, talks, prayers, etc., a few years ago I created Assignment Cards to help in opening exercises.  You can find details for them HERE.

Friday, December 29, 2017

January 2018 Singing Time Schedule

See how I use my singing time schedule HERE!  Then download an editable and printable version of the below information HERE or use my January 2018 Singing Time Planner HERE.

Make sure you check out my post with details on the 2018 Pat Graham Workshop this month HERE.

For our Scripture Song (see how I sing these in singing time HERE), we will continue to focus on the 13 Articles of Faith.  See how we'll incorporate those HERE.

Singing Time Schedule
January 2018

January 7th:
Opening song: I Need My Heavenly Father p. 18
Scripture song: The First & Second Articles of Faith p. 122
Birthday song:  Your Happy Birthday p. 283
Welcome song: We Welcome you p. 256
Singing Time: Here We Are Together p. 261
Activity:  Introductions using the lesson plan found HERE.  We'll introduce all the Sunbeams, all the new Sr. primary kids and all the kids to all their teachers!  Then incorporate the Wiggle Worm jar found HERE as needed.

January 14th:
Opening song: How Dear to God Are Little Children p. 180
Scripture song: The First & Second Articles of Faith p. 122
Birthday song:  Your Happy Birthday p. 283
Welcome song: We Welcome you p. 256
Singing Time: I Am a Child of God p. 2, My Heavenly Father Loves Me p. 228, If the Savior Stood Beside Me – Outline, On a Golden Springtime p. 88, Book of Mormon Stories p. 88, When I am Baptized p. 103, Families Can Be Together Forever p. 188
Activity:  2018 Sing-Along Videos (aka Program Showcase) - check out my 2017 post HERE until get 2018's posted!  Until I get that put together, the videos I'll be using are videos that Shannon posted on the Chorister's FB group HERE (a HUGE thank you!!).  I uploaded them all HERE for easy access and my 2018 worksheet is HERE.

January 21st:
Opening song: I Will Follow God’s Plan p. 164
Scripture song: The First & Second Articles of Faith p. 122
Birthday song:  Your Happy Birthday p. 283
Welcome song: We Welcome you p. 256
Singing Time: I Am a Child of God p. 2
Activity:  Find my lesson plan HERE using a Plan of Salvation chart along with a Q&A

January 28th:
Opening song: Choose the Right, hymn #239
Scripture song: The First & Second Articles of Faith p. 122
Birthday song:  Your Happy Birthday p. 283
Welcome song: We Welcome you p. 256
Singing Time: I Am a Child of God p. 2
Activity:  Find my lesson plan HERE using handbells to review

Celebrating New Years Around The World

I ran across this idea HERE on the Chorister's FB group.  I thought since New Year's Eve falls on Sunday this year, it might be fun to do this instead of my annual SINGO activity that you can find HERE (which is still totally fun!).  Another fun one is a Primary Song Countdown using your top favorite primary songs from the year or any random songs you want and putting them in poppers.  Find details on that one HERE.

This dea is from The Friend found HERE.  You can download my map HERE and have it printed at Costco as a 20x30 poster for $9.99 or Amazon sells a cute kids' version here:

Hang the map on the chalk board. Explain that we will be learning how Heavenly Father's children around the world celebrate the New Year! Point to each country, quickly reading each country's custom so more singing is done than talking ;).

DENMARK: In Denmark, kids save broken dishes all year to smash on their friends’ doorstep for good luck. “Do As I’m Doing” page 254 and pretend to be breaking dishes

ENGLAND 1: Families clean their house to get a “clean slate” for the New Year. Give each child (or a class) a wipe and they clean their own chair while we sang Saturday p. 196

ENGLAND 2: When they hear the church bells ring they open the doors to let good luck in. Our Door Is Always Open p. 254

IRELAND: People believe that they will have good luck all year long if their first visitor is a tall man with dark hair. Get a tall dark male to knock on the door then sing We Welcome You Today To Primary p. 256 (1st half only).

ITALY and FRANCE: People give each other gifts for New Years. One of the best gifts we can give people is to be kind and be their friend. We Are Different p. 263 verses 1 and 3

BELGIUM: Kids sneak all of the keys to the house and then, on New Year’s the kids lock the adult out of the room and won’t let them back in until they get a gift. Do As I’m Doing p. 276. Pretend to lock doors.

ZIMBABWE: People like to come together with friends and family and eat and laugh and have fun! I’m Trying To Be Like Jesus p. 78

GERMANY: There is an old tradition that on New Years, people try to live that day like they want to live each day of the new year. I like to think of it as being the BEST you can be! I Like To Look For Rainbows p. 102

SPAIN: In Spain, for each stroke of midnight, people eat 12 grapes! Count in Spanish: uno, dos, tres etc to twelve (bring grapes if you like!). We love to speak other languages and so does Heavenly Father! Children All Over The World p. 16

JAPAN: They give money to the kids. In this custom, parents give a decorated envelope to the children. The amount of the money, which the Japanese offer to the children, depends upon the age of the children. Bring pennies and have the kids place a penny in a tithing envelope then sing I Want To Give The Lord My 10th p. 150

SOUTH AFRICA: An older custom explains how people used to fire shots in the air at the stroke of midnight and then in some neighborhoods, they would arrange to throw old refrigerators over the balcony! Then the government thought that might be too dangerous so they don’t do that anymore. Keep The Commandments p. 146

ESTONIA: Estonians followed a custom of trying to eat seven times on New Year’s Day, to ensure abundant food in the coming year.  For Health and Strength p. 21

UNITED STATES: People like to kiss the person next to them, like moms and dads, grandmas and grandpas, uncles and aunts etc. Daddy’s Homecoming p. 210

END: Introduce January's song (I mean play it for them once so they can hear it, NOT try teaching it to them), you could say something like "all of these people in all of these different places are children of God, just like you and I are. Here is a song about how each of us is a child of God and about how much He has blessed us with." I Am a Child of God p. 2

Find my Lesson Plan To-Go HERE so you can take it to primary.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Pat Graham 2018 Workshop!!

Make sure you don't miss this!!

I was browsing Day Murray Music's website HERE and noticed that Pat Graham's workshop in January has been posted!  She has several sessions this year!  If you live close (or not - it's worth the drive!), I'd HIGHLY suggest attending!

If you see me there, please come and say hi!!  Here's a picture from 3 years ago of me (on the right) with Sister Graham (middle) and Barbara (on the left who is another fellow chorister)!  It's a pretty fun primary music leader party :).

Pat Graham Workshop
Teaching Primary Music Workshop
Friday, January 19th 2018
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

REPEATED (this is when I will be able to attend):
Saturday, January 20th, 2018
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Day Murray Music
4914 South State Street, Murray

Price: $10.00

To reserve a spot, I'd recommend buying it online from the link above.  In the past I've also called to reserve myself a spot - but do either of those as soon as possible as seats fill up quickly!  If you call, you can pay over the phone (which I'd recommend) or you can pay the day of (but plan to wait in line).  Arrive early as parking is limited.

If you purchase a Saturday morning spot, there is also a live stream version online!

Pat Graham is a "retired" General Board member who helped put together The Children's Songbook.  She, and along with a few other board members, also created A Children's Songbook Companion (find details about the book HERE) which is a very valuable tool.  She has a great teaching technique and always has some fun ideas of how to teach the current year's primary program songs.

A few years ago I received special permission to record her workshop.   If you are interested in viewing it, you can find details HERE (which was 2013 which is also this year's material but she's always got new ideas every year).  I won't be recording it this year, or posting notes as it isn't permited with it available online.