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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

December 2015 Singing Time Schedule

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

We're in full swing for the holidays!!  I LOVE this season in singing time!!

Singing Time Schedule
December 2015

December 6th:
Opening song: Sleep Little Jesus p. 47
Scripture song:  The Thirteenth Article of Faith p. 132
Birthday song:  Feliz Cumpleanos p. 282
Welcome song:  We Welcome you p. 256
Singing Time:  Picture a Christmas p. 50
Activity:  Continue on with lesson plan from previous week HERE. More to come!

December 13th:
Opening song:  Mary’s Lullaby p. 44
Scripture song:  The Thirteenth Article of Faith p. 132
Birthday song:  Feliz Cumpleanos p. 282
Welcome song:  We Welcome you p. 256
Singing Time:  Christmas Bells p. 54
Activity:  Use the handbells - lesson plan found HERE

December 20th:  SING IN SACRAMENT MEETING - Picture a Christmas & Christmas Bells
Opening song:  Have a Very Merry Christmas p. 51
Scripture song:  The Thirteenth Article of Faith p. 132
Birthday song:  Feliz Cumpleanos p. 282
Welcome song:  We Welcome you p. 256
Singing Time:  Samuel Tells of the Baby Jesus p. 36, When Joseph Went to Bethlehem p. 39, Away in a Manger p. 42, Stars Were Gleaming p. 37, The Nativity Song p. 52, Christmas Bells p. 54
Activity: A Primary Christmas Song Nativity found HERE

December 27th:
Opening song:  There Was Starlight on the Hillside p. 40
Scripture song:  The Thirteenth Article of Faith p. 132
Birthday song:  Feliz Cumpleanos p. 282
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

Picture a Christmas II

You can find all my Christmas lesson plans HERE in case you are teaching songs other than what I'm doing this year.  Or you can also go to the "Song Index" tab above and search for any songs you are teaching - I may have a lesson plan for it if it's from the Children's Songbook.

This is my second go-around teaching Picture a Christmas.  You can find my original lesson plan HERE where the kids (or I for Jr. primary) draw the nativity items on the board with colored chalk.

To teach the song this year, I created a digital nativity set because, sadly, I don't own one!  That said, if you own an actual nativity set, please, go ahead and use it for this song.  Since this song is so visual, it would be fun to create a live nativity as well!

You can download the stable HERE.  It prints on 4 pages so it will be large enough to fit the rest of the pieces.  Then the rest of the nativity images can be downloaded HERE.

I printed mine on white card stock, cut them out, laminated, then attached sticky magnet tape I bought from Walmart to the backsides.  Amazon sells it too:

Now, to teach this song, start with the chorus.  It frames out the theme beautifully - all centered around Christ.  Sing the chorus to the kids as you put up the image of baby Jesus.  Then post the 5 keywords around/below him (similar to how it's pictured above).  Ask the kids the following questions and sing the chorus after so they can listen for the answers:
  • Why should we think of Jesus' life and why are his words so dear?
  • Why do we sing praise to Him?
  • Why should we remember Him?
Have the kids begin to sing the chorus with you.  Repeat until they know it well.  Then remove everything from the board.  Begin to build the nativity following each song phrase (stable, 3 small clusters, angel, large star, baby Jesus, joseph, Mary, shepherds & sheep).  Sing the phrase to the kids, add the image to the board, then have the kids sing the phrase with you.  Repeat until all images are on the board, creating a full nativity scene and the song has been sung several times through.

Time permitting, tell the kids to take a "picture" of the nativity scene and start removing items, repeating singing the song through each time an item is removed.  Repeat until the pictures are removed and the song has been sung several times.  This could also be done as a next week's lesson for review!!  Which I may be doing using a fun "what's missing" review activity!  Stay tuned!!

Monday, November 23, 2015

It's Autumntime & Autumn Day

Looking for one last fall singing time before delving into Christmas music?  Try this easy activity for learning these 2 fall songs (probably best suited for Junior primary)...

I was at our local storytime when they passed out these leaves to all the kids:
(sorry for the crazy library carpet background!)

I knew they would work well with a few of our fall primary songs, It's Autumntime and/or Autumn Day.  The leaves are really simple to prepare - laminated leaf die-cuts with a hole punched into them and about a 8 inch string attached.

When we used them in storytime, each child got a leaf and held it by the string up high (while standing).  As we sung, the leaves started falling downward, in a back-and-forth motion.  We ended with the leaves resting on the ground.  The kids LOVED it!  What a great fall wiggle song!

To learn the words of the songs, you can have the kids mimic the actions while you sing, or while they listen to the songs on CD.  The next time sing each phrase to them while they echo it back while still mimicking your motions.  The last time, have them sing along with you.

Also ask questions as you sing each phrase:

For It's Autumntime:
vs. 1
  • How many times did I sing "It's Autumntime?" [4]
  • Where are the leaves falling? [down]
  • Where is autumn all around? [the town]

vs. 2
  • What color of leaves are mentioned? [yellow, red and brown]
  • What can be found? [bright colors]
  • This is such a beautiful time of year.  The things that make it so beautiful are the colorful autumn leaves falling.
For Autumn Day:
  • Who should we not forget? [God, who gives]
  • Each child should be happy with all that lives.  The song doesn't use the word happy.  What word do you hear? [glad]
  • What does God give us when autumn comes our way? [richest gifts]
  • If we look on every side, what will we see? [pleasant things for you and me]
  • We sing six words that describe the apples.  What words do you hear? [red, yellow, round, juicy, sweet, mellow]
  • Round, juicy apples load the trees until the trees do what? [bend over and their branches brush the clover - which is a type of green grass]

Sunday, November 22, 2015

2016 Primary Music CD

Every year for Christmas, our primary hands out a primary music CD as our Christmas gift.  It contains all of next year's program songs plus an extra 2 songs for each month (36 songs total - 3 songs per month).  I've gone through the 2016 outline and picked songs for each month that go along with that month's theme (a majority of the extra songs are found in that month's sharing time as suggestions).  I figure a CD with only 8 songs is kind of a waste so I include a few for each month which I will eventually use as all my opening songs throughout the year.

To start, I created a Word document that contained all my songs.  You can find my editable document HERE.  I submitted it to my Primary President to get everything approved.  But for easy viewing, below is my song list (I chose Beautiful Savior for April, and Search, Ponder and Pray for June as my "your choice" songs):

1. If I Listen With My Heart 2016 outline
2. Scripture Power 
3. Seek the Lord Early p. 108

4. I Will Follow God’s Plan p. 164
5. I Lived in Heaven p. 4
6. My Heavenly Father Loves Me p. 228

7. Stand for the Right p. 159
8. Follow the Prophet p. 110
9.  Keep the Commandments p. 146

10. Beautiful Savior p. 62
11. I’m Trying to Be Like Jesus p. 78
12. Love One Another p. 136

13. Praise to the Man Hymn #27
14. The Priesthood is Restored p. 89
15. Book of Mormon Stories p. 118 

16. Search, Ponder and Pray p. 109 
17. Faith p. 96
18. The Holy Ghost p. 105 

19. I Love to See the Temple p. 95
20. Families Can Be Together Forever p. 188
21. Truth from Elijah p. 90

22. The Lord Gave Me a Temple p. 153 
23. I Feel My Savior’s Love p. 74
24. The Word of Wisdom p. 154

25. We’ll Bring the World His Truth p. 172
26. I Hope they Call Me on a Mission p. 169
27. I Want to Be a Missionary Now p. 168

28. I Pray in Faith p. 14
29. If With All Your Hearts p. 15 
30. A Child’s Prayer p. 12

31. Reverence is Love p. 31
32. Kindness Begins with Me p. 145 
33. I’ll Walk with You p. 140

34. He Sent His Son p. 34 
35. Samuel Tells of the Baby Jesus p. 36
36. The Nativity Song p. 52

Once approved, I created a playlist using iTunes with these songs.  I own all the Primary Songs on CD which I've uploaded to iTunes.  But if you don't own the CD, you can download all the songs in the Primary Songbook HERE, Praise to the Man can be found HERE and If I Listen With My Heart can be found HERE (make sure when you download, you select "Vocals and Music").

I bought CD-R's and jewel cases from Amazon this year (apparently Costco no longer sells anything that has to do with a CD - dated material I suppose):

(note, these aren't the cheapest that Amazon sells but I prefer the Sony brand compared to the no-name.  For some reason, it makes for easier burning and I have less "non-usable" cd's - just my experience!)

Then I started burning a million CD's!   Once burned, I simply took a Sharpie marker and wrote "2016 Primary Songs" on the actual CD.  I did take a few random CD's and put them in my CD player to make sure they burned correctly.

We give one CD per primary family.  For our Primary it's about 30 so I've burned 35 to have as a few extras to keep in the cupboard just in case we have move-ins, someone loses theirs, or sometimes a few families ask if they can have another copy, etc.

For a CD cover, I created this...

You can get the document HERE along with a blank one without the song list (just in case your songs are different than mine).  To use the blank one, I suggest typing up a list that looks similar to mine (the font I used it just Times New Roman), cutting it so it will fit within the blank square space and taping it on.  When you make photo copies, you will never know that you literally copied and pasted.

I do like the black and white cover only because I make copies at the library and they are free.  I also tell the kids they are welcome to color their CD cover to make it more personalized.  The artwork I chose is from found HERE.

Once I have my copies made, I cut around on the black lines with the exception of down the middle.  I fold it there and simply slide it into the cd jewel case.  The size, once cut out, measures 5 inches and 5.5 centimeters both across and down, making it a perfect square.

I then tie on Christmas ribbon and attach a treat of some sort for each child (we've done ring pops, tootsie roll suckers and Now & Laters - I need to find something for this year - thoughts??). A family with 4 nursery/primary kids would receive one CD tied with 4 treats.  I also attach a tag (signed by our ward's name on the bottom):

Find the document HERE.  I hole punch the top corner and slide it onto the ribbon.

When I have a finished product, I'll update with a picture :).

We'll pass these out the Sunday before Christmas and deliver them to the kids who are not/less active.

And that's that.  Pretty simple and nothin' fancy but if you know me, you should expect that ;).

Another option instead of doing a CD is a DVD.  They would be similar to the lesson I did HERE for our 2015 Program Showcase, but using 2016 video flip charts.

2016 Outline for Sharing Time

My Primary President handed me the 2016 outline today!  Hooray!  If you don't have yours yet, you can get it a few different ways:

  • Ask your Primary Presidency if they have received their copies from the Bishopric (or ask the Bishopric directly!).  We only got 3 copies, but in my opinion, the Music Leader should be one to receive a copy!
  • Head to your local Distribution Center (if available)
  • Download the outline HERE

I've been thumbing through it to get my 2016 CD song list ready go to (our primary hands out CD's as a Christmas present from the Primary each year.  See what I did last year HERE.  You can also make a DVD.  See how used them in a DVD format last year HERE!).  UPDATE:  Find my 2016 CD tutorial HERE.

Here's a quick summary of next year's songs:

January: If I Listen with My Heart 2016 outline p. 28 - find my lesson plan HERE
February: I Will Follow God's Plan p. 164 - find my lesson plan HERE
March: Stand for the Right p. 159 - find my lesson plan HERE
April: Beautiful Savior* p. 62 - find my lesson plan HERE
May: Praise to the Man vs. 1 & 3 Hymn #27 - find my lesson plan HERE
June:  Search, Ponder and Pray* p. 109 - find my lesson plan HERE
July:  I Love to See the Temple pg. 95 - find my lesson plan HERE
August:  The Lord Gave Me a Temple p. 153 - find my lesson plan HERE

*These are my 2 "song of your choice from the Children's Songbook" choices.

This year, I am contemplating teaching Scripture Power in addition to the regularly scheduled 8 program songs.  There are several repeats and/or simple songs this year (we all know I Love to See the Temple) so I think with any extra time during the months, I'll throw this one in, call it our theme-of-the-year song!.  Find the sheet music HERE and you can listen and download the MP3 HERE.

As I've been looking through the outline, there are some great tips and teaching advice:

Page 1 has a "Singing Time" section which gives simple instruction on how singing time should run, how much time you get, etc.  Also are guidelines for the Sacrament Meeting Presentation.

Page 7 has "Helps for the Music Leader" for teaching Stand for the Right...

It also has a "Tip" on the right that says, "Singing about a doctrine helps children learn and remember it.  Children also learn better if they see a visual or perform an activity in conjunction with the music.  The suggestions for this month model several different ways to do this.  Consider ideas similar to these as you plan other lessons (See TNGC, 172-175)"

Page 26 - 27 is entitled "How to Use Music in Primary" and has some great information on attracting children's attention, directing the children's listening, involving the children and how to sing, sing, sing (which can actually be really hard)!!

I'd say a really valuable tip is on pg. 27...PRACTICE AT HOME: To teach a song effectively, you must know the song yourself.  Practice at home so when you teach the children you can look at them, not at your book.

Page 28 is a copy of this year's theme song (to be taught in January), If I Listen With My Heart.  You can download the music by downloading the whole PDF 2016 Sharing Time Outline found at the link above.

Anyway, there you have it, a brief outline of 2016's outline.  If you haven't looked through it yet, I'd highly recommend it!  January is just around the corner and it's nice to have a head start on next year!

Coming shortly is my 2016 Primary Music CD Tutorial...stay tuned!!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Thanksgiving Sing-A-Story

Pulling out yet ANOTHER oldie but goodie (and might I add...EASY!).  Find my Thanksgiving sing-a-story HERE.  It's my annual favorite to do around this time of year!

You can also scroll through all of my Thanksgiving singing time ideas HERE!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

I Know the Scriptures are True Bulletin Board

I've been working with our primary presidency to come up with a new primary bulletin board for 2016.  Below's what I've been designing.  It's still in its infantile state so I'll be continually updating.  I just thought I'd get this out there for those who are looking for ideas!

The plan is to turn each of the kiddos in to a scripture hero:

In January, we will be taking all of the children's pictures - head shots - just outside of our church building (it makes for better lighting than what the yellow church lights produce!).

As we take their picture, we'll ask them who their favorite scripture hero is and jot it down.  Ideally, we are going to try and have the kids go home a week prior and seek out their favorite scripture hero then report it to us the week we take their pictures.  But I think we'll also have a list of heroes to help them (especially Jr. primary).

After I digitally edit each of the pictures, I'll print them at Costco as a lustre photo.  Then simply hang them on the bulletin board.  The bulletin board will have white butcher paper as the backdrop, with the 2016 theme at the top and the question about their scripture hero at the bottom, just like I have pictured above (obviously, the image above is not drawn to size).  As soon as we have it completed, I'll add a picture of the finished product.

For the scripture hero clip art, It's from one of my favorites...Susan Fitch of course!!  You can find details about this artwork HERE or buy it from her Etsy shop HERE.

If you'd like to see the one I did last year for more ideas, you can find it HERE.  I'd love to know what your primary is doing for your 2016 bulletin board!!  Leave a comment with your ideas!