Saturday, June 25, 2016

July 2016 Singing Time Schedule


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

Singing Time Schedule
July 2016

July 3rd:
Opening song:  The Hearts of the Children p. 92
Scripture song:  The Books in the Old Testament p. 116
Birthday song:  Happy, Happy Birthday p. 284
Welcome song:  We Welcome you p. 256
Singing Time:  My Flag p. 225
Activity: Learn a patriotic song from the songbook - probably using little flags to wave as we sing.   Ideas welcome! More to come!

July 10th:
Opening song:  Families Can Be Together Forever p. 188
Scripture song:  The Books in the Old Testament p. 116
Birthday song:  Happy, Happy Birthday p. 284
Welcome song:  We Welcome you p. 256
Singing Time:  The Love to See the Temple p. 95
Activity: Pin Moroni on the temple activity found HERE (this will be more of a review because our primary knows this song inside and outside, including both verses).

July 17th:
Opening song:  Truth from Elijah p. 90
Scripture song:  The Books in the Old Testament p. 116
Birthday song:  Happy, Happy Birthday p. 284
Welcome song:  We Welcome you p. 256
Singing Time:  If I Listen With My Heart 2016 Outline, I Will Follow God’s Plan p. 164, Stand for the Right p. 159, Beautiful Savior p. 62
Activity: Primary Flashcards (find last year's cards found HERE).  More to come!  This is a lengthy activity so I am planning on it taking 2 Sundays.  It also makes for a FABULOUS 5th Sunday singing time if you have the entire time!

July 24th:
Opening song:  Covered Wagons p. 221
Scripture song:  The Books in the Old Testament p. 116
Birthday song:  Happy, Happy Birthday p. 284
Welcome song:  We Welcome you p. 256
Singing Time: Little Pioneer Children p. 216 To Be a Pioneer p. 218
Activity:  Combined sharing/singing time activity found HERE.  Find all of my Pioneer Day lesson plans HERE.

July 31st:
Opening song:  Family History-I Am Doing It p. 94
Scripture song:  The Books in the Old Testament p. 116
Birthday song:  Happy, Happy Birthday p. 284
Welcome song:  We Welcome you p. 256
Singing Time: Praise to the Man Hymn #27, Search, Ponder and Pray p. 109, I Love to See the Temple p. 95
Activity: Finish the Primary Flashcards continued from the previous week.  Primary Fireworks review activity found HERE is also a great way to celebrate the month of July in singing time!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Chalkboard Review

I'm returning from a 2-week vacation with my family...so, needless to say, this Sunday is going to be VERY low-key!  But don't get me wrong, low-key doesn't mean low-fun or low-level of learning!  I'm just going to be utilizing the good ol' chalkboard and play Pictionary!  Find details for it HERE.  We will be reviewing all our January - June program songs.  You can also check out all of my review activities HERE for more ideas!

I had intentionally planned to do my Primary Flashcards (see how I did it last year HERE) but I am going to postpone this activity until the end of July as there are 5 Sundays next month and it makes for a FABULOUS 5th Sunday review!  And I'll be able to incorporate another month with it too!

Since I'm utilizing the chalkboard this week, I wanted to briefly discuss using it.  I've noticed several comments on FB Saturday night from various music leaders around the world asking for help as they have no idea what to do last minute for singing time the next day.  I usually comment with an activity that involves the chalkboard .  This valuable tool is way under-utilized in my opinion (guilty as charged right here!).  It's seriously your best resource that is always ready and completely FREE!  The church has even taken care of making sure you have ample chalk and erasers too (to clarify, I'm using the term "chalkboard" in conjunction with "whiteboard" if that's what your meeting house has instead).

There is valuable information HERE from the Curriculum Department entitled Chalk it Up to Learning that I would recommend every primary chorister should read.  There were some great quotes:

"If you’re looking for something new to help others learn the gospel, you might start by taking a fresh look at something old—The chalkboard!"

"I think that no teaching aid surpasses, and few equal, the chalkboard: first, because it is simple to use, and next, because it is universally available—everywhere in the world you can get a chalkboard. You can use it to focus the eyes of your students while the main lesson is presented audibly. As you talk, you can put just enough on the board to focus their attention and give them the idea, but never so much that the visual aid itself distracts them."

I also liked the introduction where he discussed how a teacher used the chalkboard to teach, even before class started.  An idea to implement the mentioned scenario into singing time could be to write a list of songs your pianist would potentially play and have the kids see if they can figure out which songs were actually played.  This would enforce reverence and listening skills, therefore increasing understanding in the gospel...all while saying nothing!

If you are low on resources and time (or not!), the chalkboard is your BEST FRIEND!  A lot of the activities that I post can be tweaked to incorporate the chalkboard in some way, simplifying the lesson plan further.  I searched "chalkboard" on my website page and found all of these lesson plans HERE where I somehow incorporated the chalkboard (some more than others).

I wanted to create a simple list of review activities or lesson plans that only involve the chalkboard.  Can you help me add to it?  How do you incorporate the chalkboard into your lesson plans to help simplify prep time and cut down on visual aid costs?  Leave a comment with your ideas!!
  • Pictionary
  • Erase a word
  • Draw pictures of keywords
  • Don't sing the particular word written on the board and a child who doesn't see the board gets to figure out what word is written there.  Similar to Word Nerd HERE or Word Quing HERE.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Don't Wake Dad!

In honor of Father's Day, I found this "Don't Wake Dad!" activity HERE that I really liked!  You can also check out all of my Father's Day posts HERE if you like!


The activity is meant to be printed professionally as an 11x17 (like at Costco) but I've tiled it HERE so you can print it at home in 4 sections (I'd recommend only printing the main page I have pictured above, omitting the "pieces with instructions" page).

If you don't want to print at all, this activity can EASILY be replicated by drawing everything on the chalkboard!  Another fun variation would be get pictures of all the primary children's dad's or grandpa's and posting them on the chalkboard (if you have kids without a father figure in their life, I'd not recommend this variation).

You can use the board with any songs you like!  Review program songs, sing various Father's Day songs found in the songbook, wiggle songs, or even phrases of a song you are teaching.  Each dad represents a song or a phrase.  Simply make yourself a key so when a particular father is chosen, you know what song/phrase to sing (if using a chalk game board, simply write in the songs too!).

To play, place the image on the chalkboard (or draw it with chalk) then find candy that would be fun to use for the nose, or better yet, a tie (I'd make sure it's all individually wrapped - ideas would be Life Savers for a nose or flat suckers for a tie)!  Tape the candy pieces to the board.

The activity is simple.  A child goes out into the hall, the rest of the primary chooses a dad to "wake" then the child in the hall is called back into primary.  The child points to a dad to wake up.  If no response from the primary, the child continues on until they point to the chosen dad where the primary whispers "Shhh! Don't wake dad!"  The child can then take down their piece of candy and the primary sings the song assigned to that dad.

Replace the candy that was taken down and repeat with a new child and a new dad to "wake."  If low on time, you can pick 2 (or more?) dads and 2 children to go into the hall at a time and only sing one song in between turns, or at the end of primary, make sure every child who didn't get a turn, receives a piece of candy.  I don't see a problem bringing in an occasional treat to primary as long as it fits with the lesson, but if that conflicts with your primary, find an item to substitute.

If the same dad is repeatedly chosen, I'd still sing a new song - the kids will NEVER know!!

More variations would be to have the primary sit in a large circle around the primary room and play with the image on the floor.  This would omit the need for taping the candy.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Getting Ready for Father's Day

I have a confession...I posted on my June schedule HERE lesson plans that I actually WON'T be doing (if I'm being honest, I've done it before too...ever notice that I never seem to have Stake Conference :).  Anyway, my little fam is heading (driving!) east to Ohio to visit my husband's brother's family for about 2 weeks.  We are going visit a few church history sites on the way out there, stopping at Kirtland and Nauvoo to shake up our drive a bit ;).  If you have some great travel tips for these places, let me know as we leave Saturday morning.

So I'll be gone for 2 Sundays but lucky for me, one of those Sundays is our Stake Conference (also Father's Day) so I only had to find a sub for one Sunday and not have to prepare anything for a sacrament meeting musical number.  I was able to simply hand my wonderful sub my Primary Position Cards (found HERE and did you notice I made more HERE??) and then Susan Fitch's singing cards HERE and have her review all of our January - June songs with them.  Easy!

Now, I have no intention of leaving the rest of you in a lurch!  If I were staying in town and working on performing in sacrament meeting for Father's Day, here is what I'd be doing...

Our ward has a sweet family who lost their dad 2 years ago to cancer so I try to be sensitive to them at this time of year.  So my pick would be We'll Bring the World His Truth and then the classic Daddy's Homecoming.  You can check out all of my Father's Day posts HERE as well.

I have this dad puzzle HERE that I've used for Daddy's Homecoming (you can simplify this activity by having children choose a piece of paper that has a body part of a dad to draw with chalk instead too - refer to my puzzle for body parts to draw).  The kids all know that song by heart so there really is no sense in reviewing it.  I'd simply have them sing it at the beginning of singing time for a review and call it good.  Then our primary learned We'll Bring the World His Truth a few years ago with my lesson plan HERE so I'd have them review this song using the dad puzzle linked above (but this activity will work with ANY song you choose!)...


On the back of the puzzle, you will need to write 7 different words/phrases that are in your song.  The more times each word appears in your song the better.  These are what I'd pick to put on the backside of the puzzle for We'll Bring the World His Truth:

all the "we/we'll" words in the song
"goodly parents"
"build the kingdom"
"take the gospel"
"lord commands"
"prophet declares"
"study and prayer"

Have the pieces face down on the table and pick a child to come place a puzzle piece on the board.  On the back of the puzzle piece will be words or phrases that they not sing (or you could sing that phrase a little louder than the rest of the song which I would recommend for Junior).  The child places the puzzle piece on the board (or draws the body part with chalk) then the primary sings the song through omitting the phrases/words.  Repeat until the dad puzzle is complete and the song has been sung several times, omitting the various words/phrases.

If you want to challenge the primary (definitely the older kids), once a phrase has been omitted, it won't be sung again so you continue to add on phrases to omit each round, gradually making it more challenging to sing.  If you can't remember the phrases, you can write them next to the puzzle with chalk.  For Junior primary, I'd only omit the one phrase each round unless you think they could do it.  Make sense?

Anyway, good luck this week with singing time!  I'll be traveling through probably lots of your states!  How fun would that be to run into each other - ha!  We'll be going to church in Wooster, Ohio on the 19th of June if anyone wants to come say hi :).

Also, stay tuned for a fun Father's Day activity next week to sing a whole bunch of Father's Day songs!!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

MORE Primary Yoga!

If you haven't tried Primary Yoga in your primary, you are missing out!  This is a great activity to get the kids moving as you sing!  These cards have been such a hit that I decided to double the amount of positions and create 12 more!  Find the original 12 cards, along with instructions for using them in primary HERE.


(I'm re-thinking the 2nd image on this page - girls in skirts in this position may not be a good thing.  Maybe they can hold up their skirts with their hands.  Or, turn the paper so they are just sitting on the floor instead)






Download them HERE.

Friday, June 3, 2016

June Song: Song of your choice from the Children's Songbook

June is a "your choice" song!  To pick my June song, I looked at June's theme for the month and started from there (it helps our program jive a little better!).  June's theme is "The First Principles and Ordinances of the Gospel Make It Possible for Me to Live with God Again."  Here are my suggestions (which I chose from "Ordinances" in the Topics section in the back of The Children's Songbook!):

A Young Man Prepared p. 166
Baptism p. 100 (find my lesson plan HERE)
Families Can Be Together Forever p. 88 (find my lesson plan HERE)
I Know My Father Lives p. 5
I Like My Birthdays p. 104
I'm Trying to Be like Jesus p. 78 (find my lesson plan HERE)
Listen, Listen p. 107
Love is Spoken Here p. 190
Search, Ponder, and Pray p. 109 (find my lesson plan HERE) - this is what I chose!
The First, Fourth or Fifth Articles of Faith p. 122, 124, 125 (find my Article of Faith prompts HERE)
The Holy Ghost p. 105 (find my lesson plan HERE)
The Priesthood Is Restored p. 89
The Still Small Voice p. 106
Truth from Elijah p. 89
When I Am Baptized p. 103 (find my lesson plan HERE)

For ideas for teaching the songs where I don't have a lesson plan linked, I'd reference the following:

A Children's Songbook Companion.  Find details of this book HERE.
Sugardoodle HERE and search for the song alphabetically.
Search past files on Primusic on Yahoo Groups (find details HERE)
Google, Pinterest, Facebook (Chorister's Group HERE), or other singing time blogs of course - I have several linked to the right and scroll down!

What are you teaching this month?  Leave a comment to help someone else decide!

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Search, Ponder and Pray

I've updated my old post to reflect my lesson plan for this week.  Check it out HERE.  Should be fun!!