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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Christmas Bells

It's time for my annual REPEAT of Christmas Bells!  Find my lesson plan and downloadale chart HERE.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

A Primary-Christmas-Song Nativity

This is a great lesson the Sunday before Christmas.  You may want to combine it with sharing time as it may take longer than your allotted 20 minutes, but you'll need to plan ahead for that.  This would also work GREAT for your ward or family Christmas party entertainment!*

(these are pictures from my family party where we act out the Nativity each year)

You'll be presenting the Nativity as it is found in Luke along with the birth of Christ in America in Helaman.  In between scenes, you'll be singing 4 Christmas songs found in the Children's Songbook.

You'll need costumes for all the actors/participants as you would for a regular (non-musical) nativity.  Costumes can be as simple as using bathrobes, fabric, etc.  You could even do a "poster" nativity where each child held up a poster costume, similar to Children All Over the World posters I've made found HERE (however, this version could potentially be LOTS of work!).  Oriental Trading has costumes for purchase (or even for ideas to DIY!) found HERE.

Here are the scriptures you'll be reading and the songs to sing after each:
  • Helaman 14:2 - 13 (Samuel the Lamanite on the Wall) - Samuel Tells of the Baby Jesus
  • Luke 2:1, 4-5 (Joseph & Mary traveling) - When Joseph Went to Bethelehem
  • Luke: 2:7 (The Nativity) - Away in a Manger
  • Luke 2:8 - 10 (The Announcement of Christ's Birth to the Shepherds) - Stars Were Gleaming
  • Luke 2:11 (The Birth of Jesus) - The Nativity Song
  • Christmas Bells (Just because!) with the bells, find details HERE

Have children re-inact what you are reading in the scriptures (silent acting while someone narrates the scriptures).
  • Have Samuel up on a wall with other primary children below shooting "arrows" at him, not listening, etc.
  • Have someone hold the decree from Caesar, then Joseph and Mary wearily traveling (not sure how you'd do the donkey - maybe a poster!)
  • Mary, Joseph & Baby Jesus only
  • Shepherds and the angel telling them to fear not
  • The nativity again with the baby Jesus, Mary, Joseph, Shepherds, Wise Men, angels and all cast members.

In between scenes, sing each primary song - congregation and primary actors.

*If you do this for the ward Christmas party, make sure to pass out copies of the words.  I've typed them up HERE for the congretation to help sing.  Then post the words like I do HERE for the primary kids as well!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Stars Were Gleaming 2nd Verse

The 2nd verse to this song is a BEAR!  All those matchy words...I'M having a hard time with it and I'm sure the kids will!

 Image found HERE.

But, to teach it, I think I'm going to just utilize the chalkboard again like I did with the first verse (find that lesson plan HERE).

I'm going to bring my nice, colored chalk:

and to draw big yellow stars on the chalkboard across the top portion of the board.  Inside the stars will be all the matchy key words because they are SO difficult! (each line below will be one star):

lovely showing
shining growing
onward going
gleaming glowing

Then with the bottom half of the chalkboard I'm going to draw a brown game board going from left to right (think a simple sideways ladder with 6 spaces, one for each star/keyword listed above) and a desert scene. I may add some palm trees to try to get a look like the image above.  I'll also draw a nice, big yellow star on the very right of the gameboard which will be my "finish."

The repeat game will be to move the wisemen marker from the left to right so they get to their star.  Every time we erase a keyword star and the kids sing the song through correctly, the wisemen will move one space to the right.

This is the wisemen marker:
Download it HERE.  I printed mine on card stock, cut around the square and laminated it.  I'll use a magnet to move it from square to square (masking tape will work too).

If time permits, after we've moved the wisemen across the gameboard and all the keyword stars are erased, we will review the 1st verse by starting the game over.  Each time the kids sing the verse correctly, the wisemen will move one space.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

December 2014 Singing Time Schedule

Singing Time Schedule
December 2014

December 7th:
Reverence song:  Samuel Tells of the Baby Jesus p. 36
Scripture song:  The Second Article of Faith p. 122
Birthday song:  You’ve Had a Birthday p. 285
Welcome song:  We Welcome you p. 256
Singing Time:  Stars Were Gleaming p. 37, vs. 2
Activity: More actions, find first verse HERE

December 14th:
Reverence song:  The Shephard’s Carol p. 40
Scripture song:  The Second Article of Faith p. 122
Birthday song:   You’ve Had a Birthday p. 285
Welcome song:  We Welcome you p. 256
Singing Time:  Christmas Bells p. 54
Activity: Find it HERE

Reverence song:  Have a Very Merry Christmas p. 51
Scripture song:  The Second Article of Faith p. 122
Birthday song:  You’ve Had a Birthday p. 285
Welcome song:  We Welcome you p. 256
Singing Time:  Stars Were Gleaming p. 37 & Christmas Bells p. 54
Activity: Christmas review activity, more to come

December 28th:
Reverence song:  Mary’s Lullaby p. 44
Scripture song:  The Second Article of Faith p. 122
Birthday song:  You’ve Had a Birthday p. 285
Welcome song:  We Welcome you p. 256
Singing Time:  Picture a Christmas p. 50, Away in a Manger p. 42, When Joseph went to Bethlehem p. 38, Oh, Hush Thee My Baby p. 48, Christmas Bells p. 54, Once Within a Lowly Stable p. 41, The Nativity Song p. 52, Sleep Little Jesus p. 47, Stars Were Gleaming p. 37, Who Is The Child p. 48
Activity: Christmas Singo. found HERE

Friday, November 28, 2014

Stars Were Gleaming 1st Verse

This week we're starting Christmas songs!  We'll be performing Stars Were Gleaming and Christmas Bells (using the handbells) in Sacrament Meeting the Sunday before Christmas.  We sing Christmas Bells every year.  You can find that lesson plan HERE.

I decided to go with some simple actions found on sugardoodle.net HERE.  I did change a few of the actions:
  • Stars were gleaming (open and close fingers like you are doing a blinking light)
  • Shepherds dreaming (tilt head to the side on hands like you are sleeping)
  • And the night was dark and chill (wrap your arms around you like you are cold)
  • Angels' story rang with glory (put your hands like you are holding a book)
  • Shepherds heard it on the hill (cup your hand to your ear)
  • Ah, that singing! (cup your hands around your month)
  • Hear it ringing! (pretend to ring a bell)
  • Earthward winging (flap arms)
  • Christmas bringing (bring hands toward you like you are saying come)
  • Hearken! We can hear it still! (cup your hand to your ear)

Before Primary I will write each phrase on the board (on it's own row) with chalk.  We'll learn the actions to each phrase/row, then gradually erase each phrase.  I know the little Jr. primary kids can't read but I think they'll still enjoy erasing!

Find my lesson plan for the 2nd verse HERE.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Calling All 2015 Planning Calendars

Have you created a great planning calendar for singing time for 2015?  Would you be willing to share it with others?  I've seen several flying around the LDS Choristers Facebook group (find out more about that group HERE) but it would be nice to have them all in one place so everyone can pick one that works best for them.  If you'd like to share yours, please contact me using the "Contact Me" tab above and I'll get you my email address for you to email me your document OR leave a comment  below with your link.  This way they can all linked here on this post!

I'll share how I do mine:  I personally like to plan out one month at a time.  The last Sunday of the current month, I pass out the next month's calendar to my pianist and presidency.  I like planning only a month out because then I know schedules better (Stake Conference, if I'm going on vacation, etc.) but others like to plan out the whole year and get it all complete.  Find more information on my VERY simple schedule HERE.

OCD Primary Chorister has a post up, "2015 Organizational Tools" with some GREAT information!  Find it HERE.

Laura over at Would you Like to Sing a Song has her's HERE.  Thanks Laura!

Amy posted on Facebook: Primary Opening Songs 2015

Karen shared hers HERE.

Thanks for sharing!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Thanksgiving Sing-A-Story

I LOVE pulling out previous year's work!  I'm like to do my Thanksgiving Sing-A-Story the week before Thanksgiving!

Find details HERE.

Happy Thanksgiving!  Next week...CHRISTMAS!!