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Thursday, May 21, 2015

Faith, 2nd Verse

To continue on with my "growing" theme in teaching Faith, I created these plant markers to teach the 2nd verse:
I'll be bringing in and using the eggs-growing-grass that we planted last week.  Find my lesson plan HERE.  Pictured above is 4 days of growth!  I've kept them on the kitchen counter in the sun and made sure they stay moist by watering them a little bit every day or so.  If you didn't use this lesson plan to teach the 1st verse, any simple potted plant would work or even just some soil in a container.  Or, it really can be omitted all together.

You can download and print the document HERE to make the plant markers.  I printed 2 pages on white card stock - one page to review the 1st 4 phrases in the 1st verse and another page to teach the 4 phrase for the 2nd verse.  Then I cut them out and taped them to popsicle/craft sticks.
I got my popsicle/craft sticks at Wal-Mart.  Amazon also sells them:

Before primary, post the 8 markers on the chalkboard down the left side of the chalkboard using a magnet.  Then draw a long line with chalk going across the chalkboard after each marker.  So the chalkboard would read "Faith Is..._____________________________" 8 times.

For the activity, review the first verse and have the kids gradually fill in the blanks.  Sing after each line is filled in.  As each blank is filled in, remove the marker from the chalkboard and place it randomly in the growing grass.  You can discuss the benefits of having a marker - they let you know what you are growing where.  And you can tie in that we should always know what we are "growing."  Quickly move along to review the first verse.  

For the 2nd verse, sing or play the song on CD while the kids help you fill in the blank.  Ask the following questions between each line and have the kids listen for the anwer.  Sing through to that point:

1st phrase:  When did I live with Him?
2nd phrase:  When will I return to Him?
3rd phrase:  What is another word that means "believing in?"
4th phrase:  How is my faith strengthened?

Bear testimony of the plan of salvation referred to in this verse and how it takes faith to believe it is true.

To help give the Junior Primary some movement, I will pass out a little "Faith Is..." plant marker for each child.  They can take them home after the lesson:

I printed these on regular copy paper and taped them to a popsicle stick.  Whenever they hear/sing the word "Faith" they can raise up their sticks (or even stand up, turn around in their seat, jump...the list goes on!).  Download the document HERE.

Also for Junior, instead of writing the words out on the chalkboard, I may also just post my visuals used for teaching the 1st verse (found in the link above), then just add the last 4 pages of this flipchart found HERE for the 2nd.  It will make it a little more visual for them and less reading.

Next week I'll be reviewing all of the program songs we've learned this year using the eggs YET again.  We'll be cutting the eggs' long "hair!"  Should be fun! Stay tuned!!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Faith Update

I updated my post on teaching the song Faith to include 1 week's worth of growth on my little plants...find my results and lesson plan HERE.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Faith, 1st Verse

I have a Mother's Day singing time scheduled for this week.  If you are looking for that post, find it HERE.  But I've posted my Faith lesson plan (song of choice for this month) in case you already did Mother's Day last week and are ready to delve into this month's song!  If you have a different one chosen, see if I have a lesson plan for that particular song HERE in my Song Index tab.  If you are still trying to decide, see my post HERE with some suggestions.

My idea for teaching this song came from the Chorister's FB group.  Find that thread HERE.  Thank you to those who contributed to that post and all the information!

Now, this will take a little prep so start gathering egg shells asap - one for each child in your primary (hit up a few of your neighbors if need be!).  When you crack them, make sure you only crack open the top as you want them to look like little "heads."

The whole egg-head growing thing can be skipped if you are short on time, but it really provides a great visual for having faith!  Just scroll through this part if it won't work for you.

I buy my eggs by the 5-dozen at Costco so I saved the carton for storing/transporting them.  I need about 60 eggs for my primary so this was perfect...

All you have to do is fill the eggs about halfway full with some potting soil.  The kids WILL NOT be filling their own egg with dirt - can you imagine the mess?  Ha!

I did want to do a test run with one so I sprinkled about 1/2 tsp. of hard white wheat kernels (from my food storage) on top of the soil, then I added a little more dirt to fill the egg to about 3/4 full.  I added a bit of water and put it outside in the sun.  I'm crossing my fingers (and having FAITH!) it starts to grow this week!  I'll keep you posted.

UPDATE:  After a week of watering and sitting in the sun, here are my results:

I see one little shoot on that egg on the right - see it?  I think I have a few more about ready to break the surface.  I'm not sure if I should be worried?!  This week wasn't very warm, with lots of rain.  I am still going to proceed as planned.  I'm hoping (and still having LOTS of faith!) that the weather will be warmer these next few weeks.  I think I'll also be keeping these on the counter in direct sunlight instead of outside.

Now, on to implementing this egg/seed growing stuff into a lesson plan...

Before primary, cut out and tape one of these pictures randomly under each child's chair (if you have a Junior and Senior primary, make sure you tape 2 of the same ones under each chair):

Then print these 4 pictures.  I printed these on white card stock and placed in a sheet protector.  I wanted VERY simple visuals to teach this song:

Download all the above documents HERE.

For the activity, ask the kids if they know the sun will come up tomorrow, if they know Heavenly Father hears their prayers, if they know plants will grow from seeds and if know they have a heart.  Then ask how do they KNOW these things?  They are demonstrating faith!  To have faith is to know something exists, even though we haven't seen it.

Then tell the kids to look under their chairs and to retrieve the picture taped there (if there are 2, instruct them to leave the other one there!).  Sing the song to the children as they find their pictures.

Gradually you will be placing each picture on the chalkboard that coincides with the phrase.  You can also write the key words with to each picture on the chalkboard underneath each picture.  As you put up the pictures on the board, the kids with the matching pictures under their chairs will get to come up and sprinkle about 1/2 tsp. of wheat into an egg.  I'll probably have about 4 - 6 kids come up at a time.  I'm planning on having a big bowl of wheat and several 1/2 teaspoons for them all to use.  While they are planting their seeds, the rest of the primary will sing the song through to the phrase that's posted on the board.  I'll also ask questions in between each phrase like:
  • How are you showing faith by simply believing the sun will rise?
  • How are we showing faith when we pray?
  • How is faith like a seed and what must we do to help our faith grow?
  • How do we feel that we have faith?
I may have a presidency member oversee the planting so I can continue on with the lesson.  By the end of singing time, each of the 4 pictures will have been placed on the board, all the children will have "planted" seeds in an egg, the phrases will have been discussed, and the song will have been sung several times.

After the song is learned and time permitting, you can have the kids only sing the line of the picture that was under their chair, then maybe have everyone trade pictures with a neighbor.

After primary, add a little more dirt over all the wheat, gently water and place in the sun.  Then show YOUR faith and watch it grow for the next 2 weeks until you use it to review at the end of the month!  If progress is being made by the next week, I will probably bring in the eggs so everyone can see.

Find my lesson plan for teaching the 2nd verse HERE which also incorporates these eggs.

For the review activity, we will be cutting the egg's "hair!"  Stay tuned!!

Reverence Eggs

Our Junior primary has been OUT OF CONTROL the past few weeks!  To the point I've been dreading teaching them.  Mostly the Sunbeams - their teacher recently got called as the new Young Women's President so she's been replaced...and she has been missed by more than just the kids.

Anyway, last week, as they were entering into primary, I could tell it was going to be another one of "those weeks."  So I scrambled to the primary closet, found some colored construction paper and quickly cut out some eggs (they looked horrible but the kids didn't notice!).  When it was time for singing time (and I was right - they were awful all through opening exercises), I held up the eggs and told the Sunbeams that if they could keep their eggs warm, under their pockets and "hatch" their egg, I would give them a surprise after sharing time (so they had to sit on it for both singing and sharing time).  But if the presidency or their teachers saw their eggs, we'd have to take it.  As a surprise I had a bunch of random stickers that I use for nursery.

It worked like a charm with those Sunbeams!  I have NEVER seen them sit like they did and so reverently!  However, the rest of the Junior primary was really upset they didn't get an egg (mostly my 5-year old daughter - grrr - why is it that my own kids are the worst?) so after primary was over, I gave everyone a sticker on their way out the door and told them that next week everyone would have an egg to sit on.

My idea came from OCD Chorister's post HERE.  But again, like everything I do, I wanted to motify it so I made my own eggs.  I wanted each child to have their own favorite colored egg, be able to write their name on it, and just cut around squares because I'm lazy like that:

There are 2 of the same colors per page and I printed as many of the colors that I needed.  I also printed mine on white card stock, wrote their name with a sharpie marker at the bottom then laminated.

Download my document HERE.

I also created a few blank ones for visitors.  You could omit writing their names on each egg but I wanted names so we can assign seats if need be!  Before they come into primary, we will quickly place certain children in certain chairs (not next to chatty neighbors, next to their teacher) as needed.

Then we will remind the kids that they need to keep their egg warm.  If the presidency or teachers see their eggs, they will take them (we will probably follow the 3-strikes you're out rule but we'll see).  Those who still have their eggs at the end of primary will be able to "hatch" their egg and get an animal surprise.  I will be very serious about obeying this and will not be afraid to take eggs.  They've got to know that I mean what I say.

And since I didn't want to be constantly giving away stickers (it can get costly with needing 30 every week), our primary now owns these great animal stamps from Amazon:

And a whole bunch of individual colored ink pads:

Every Sunday I'll just pick an animal and a color and everyone will get the same thing - the surprise will be which animal and which color - how's that for exciting?!  Some of you may feel that we shouldn't be stamping kids' hands at church (I personally don't have a problem with it - obviously!) so if you don't want to do stamps, other surprises could include stickers or treats (like Sweedish Fish, animal crackers, goldfish, gummy worms/bears, etc.).

I'll be storing everything in a basket and keeping it in the primary closet - no way am I toting this to and from church every week!

I really think this will be a great way to positively reinforce reverence with our Junior primary.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Mother, Tell Me the Story

I've posted my Mother's Day lesson plan a week early for anyone who will be doing a Mother's Day singing time this Sunday in order to prepare for Sacrament Meeting musical numbers the following week!  I won't be using this until Mother's Day (we have Sacrament Meeting last so I can teach the song we'll be singing right before - works like a charm! I always post the words found HERE when we perform).  If you want to find my lesson plan for this week, check it out HERE.

You can also scroll through all of my Mother's Day posts HERE.

For Mother's Day, our primary is going to be singing Mother, Tell Me the Story.  I will only be teaching the first verse and then a sweet sister from our ward will be singing a solo on the second verse.  Then the primary and our sweet ward sister will sing the verses together.

To teach this song, I thought I would go simple (afterall, it is MOTHER'S DAY!) and pull out some easy props.  It's been a while since I've brought props.  I'll be following a similar idea found HERE on  Here's what each prop will will be, the phrase it coordinates to and some simple discussion questions:

1st phrase: "Mother, tell me the story that I love to hear.": a book with a pink cut out heart on the front {gosh, if I have time, I may just read them that book if I can get through it without bawling my eyes out!}, ask if any of the kids' moms/parents/guardians read them stories and maybe what their favorite ones are.  I got my copy from Amazon here:

2nd phase: "Tell me of heaven and why I came here.": a baby doll, ask, why DID we come here? [to gain bodies, to be tested, to have joy, etc.]

3rd phrase: "Mother, tell how you love me, and gently speak,": a "photo booth" prop of red lips for "gently speaking" {our primary purchased this set of props found HERE but you can easily make your own by cutting out some lips and attaching them to a stick!}, ask how can we gently speak to our mothers and show we love them?  Ask what the word "gently" means.

4th phrase: "And then I'll go to sleep.": a pillow.  Ask if their mom/parent/guardian has ever fallen asleep when putting them to bed.  Also ask if it would help their parents/guardians if children went to bed when told.

**I'm sure I'll get LOTS of eye rolling from my Senior boys with some of these props - I'm excited - ha ;).  And I can only imagine all of them vying to sleep on that pillow!!  Maybe for the Senior primary, I'll have them help me put the props in order as the teachers and I sing the song, at least the first time around.

Then at least for Junior primary I'll call up 4 children one at a time to introduce the phrase and it's associated prop.  Once the phrases are learned/discussed, I'll pick 4 more kids to come up and hold a prop as we sing through the whole thing, then repeat with more kids until everyone has had a turn.

Singing Cards Review

If you are trying to prep for upcoming Mother's Day instead, you can find lots of my Mother's Day posts HERE.

I've been wanting to give Susan Fitch's Singing Time Cards a try and this week I'm ready for them (you can buy/download them from her Etsy shop HERE for $5.00).  We got shorted last month due to General Conference and since May has 5 Sundays, I thought I'd do my "program reivew" Sunday from April this week.  Next Sunday I'll focus on Mother's Day and then the next Sunday I'll FINALLY get to our May's song!  Never a dull moment!!

Just to keep it simple, I printed the 4 pages of cards (not the spinning wheel option) on white card stock, laminated them then taped a dowel to the back.  Then I just put them in a bucket for easy storing.

To use them, I'm considering to options:

1.  Pick a good singer to come up and lead the primary with the card-on-a-stick and the primary will sing how the stick suggests for that verse.

2.  I'll pick random cards and change them up while we sing.  I think I'm leaning toward this option :).

I'll just start with January's song and run through them all, in order until we end with April.

One of the cards activity's is to "make up your own actions" and I may bring my Position Cards found HERE just to add some more variety :).  And if you haven't tried the Position Cards yet, they are WAY fun!  They can be a singing time of their own!!

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

May is a "your choice" song!  To pick my May song, I looked at May's theme for the month and started from there (it helps our program jive a little better!).  May's theme is "Principles and Ordinances of the Gospel Lead Me to Jesus Christ."  Here are my suggestions (they are all listed under "Faith" and "Ordinances" [which refers you to "Baptism," "Holy Ghost," "Priesthood," "Sacrament," and "Temples"] in the Topics section in the back of the Children's Songbook.  So LOTS to choose from!):

Faith p. 96 (this is what I chose - more to come on my lesson plan.  Find a general idea HERE)
Baptism p. 100 (find my lesson plan HERE)
God's Love p. 97
I Pray in Faith p. 14
Nephi's Courage (find my lesson plan HERE)
The First, Fourth or Fifth Articles of Faith p. 122 or p. 124 or p. 125 (find my Article of Faith propmpts HERE)
I Like My Birthdays p. 104
When I Am Baptized p. 103 (find my lesson plan HERE)
The Holy Ghost p. 105 (find my lesson plan HERE)
I Know My Father Lives p. 5
I'm Trying to Be like Jesus p. 78 (find my lesson plan HERE)
Listen, Listen p. 107
Search, Ponder and Pray p. 109 (find my lesson plan HERE)
The Still Small Voice p. 106
A Young Man Prepared p. 166
Love Is Spoken Here p. 190
The Priesthood Is Restored p. 89
Before I Take the Sacrament p. 73
Help Us, O God, to Understand p. 73
The Sacrament p. 72
To Think about Jesus p. 71 (find my lesson plan HERE)
Families Can Be Together Forever p. 188 (find my lesson plan HERE)
I Love to See the Temple p. 95 (find my lesson plan HERE)
The Lord Gave Me a Temple p. 153 (find my lesson plan HERE)
Truth From Elijah p. 90

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!