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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Easter Sing-A-Story

I created this Easter review/Sing-A-Story last year when we reviewed for our Easter Sacrament Meeting musical number.  It worked great.  So as to not re-invent the wheel, I'm going to use it again!  You can find details about it HERE.  The great thing about it is it also doubles as a great Easter Sing-A-Story (non-reviewing) for singing time.

The only changes I'm making this year is we are singing I Stand All Amazed this year in addition to Hosanna.  I'm working with our Ward Choir Director and making this a big musical number using the arrangement that was posted on the Chorister's Facebook page HERE.  I have the organist, violinist and our primary pianist all on board.   Our Ward Choir Director will lead the congregation on the 2nd and 3rd verses.  I'm super excited and hope it turns out AMAZING!

I'd love to use this as the Sing-A-Story version - maybe one day!

Then we are performing our annual rendition of Hosanna with the handbells.   You can find that lesson plan with the note chart HERE.
Happy Easter!!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Family is of God, Chorus & 1st Verse

To teach the chorus and 1st verse, I'm using a lot of the ideas suggested by Sister Pat Graham found HERE.

To introduce the song, I'm going to get a copy of The Proclamation to the World from the library.  And quickly discuss how important families are.  So important, that we have a proclamation about them!  Our new song's words come from this document.

Pass out the bells (you can see how I use my handbells HERE) and have the kids play the chorus, without the piano, while you (and the teachers if they know it) sing the words.  Switch bell ringers and play the chorus using only the bells in between asking these questions:

How does God share His love? {by giving us families}
Why did God give us families? {to help us become what He wants us to be}
What words are on this melody? {have the bells play "for the family is of God"}
Sing the chorus with the piano and bells

You can access my bell chart for the chorus, HERE.
*NOTE:  The notes with the black circle are the HIGH notes.

We'll hopefully spend about 10 minutes with the chorus then move on to the 1st verse.  I may collect the bells temporarily while we learn the verse then pass them out again if we have time to review everything together - we'll see.

For the 1st verse, I'm going to simply hang pictures from the Gospel Art Book (GAB) on the chalk board as we gradually learn each line (see how I use my book HERE and scroll down a bit):

For "Our Father" I'm using GAB # 90, The First Vision:

It's one of the rare pictures we have of Heavenly Father.  And, it's where the nature of God was discovered, so I think it's appropriate.

"Has a family, it's me, it's you all others too, we are his children" I'm using GAB #5 Adam and Eve Teaching Their Children:

"He sent each one of us to earth, through birth" I'm using GAB #3 The Earth:

"To live and learn here in families" I'm using GAB #108, Passing the Sacrament:

You can download and print each of these pictures HERE if you need.  I'd recommend buying the actual book HERE.

For Jr. Primary I'm going to also add simple actions for the 1st verse.  I saw a really simple version on Facebook Chorister's group and now I can't find it. If anyone can, leave a comment!  There are several options when I searched but I can't seem to find the one I saw before.  The actions were for:

Father (ASL sign for God)
family (ASL sign for family)
me (point to yourself)
you (point to others)
all others too (hold both arms out to include "all")
children ("pat" children's heads)
earth (arms make a circle over head)
birth (rock a baby)
live (fingers make L's and arms are lifted like growing)
learn (point to temple)
families (ASL sign for family)

Then stay tuned for my lesson plan with the 2nd, 3rd and 4th verses.  I taught it a few years ago and the kids had a great time when we did it!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

April 2014 Singing Time Schedule

Here's what April looks like for us.  You can see how I use my monthly schedule HERE.

Singing Time Schedule
April 2014

Reverence song:
Scripture song:
Birthday song:  
Welcome song:
Singing Time:

April 13th:
Reverence song:  Families Can Be Together Forever p. 188
Scripture song:  The Thirteenth Article of Faith p. 132
Birthday song:  Your Happy Birthday p. 283
Welcome song:  We Welcome you p. 256
Singing Time:  The Family is of God, 2014 outline
Activity:  Teach the chorus & first verse to song.  Really like Pat Graham's suggestions found HERE.  More to come.

Reverence song:  Easter Hosanna
Scripture song:   The Thirteenth Article of Faith p. 132
Birthday song:  Your Happy Birthday p. 283
Welcome song:  We Welcome you p. 256
Singing Time:  I Stand All Amazed Hymn 193 (1st verse) & Hosanna p. 66
Activity: Practice for musical number in Sacrament Meeting.  Using the arrangement for I Stand All Amazed HERE with a violinist and organist.  Then singing Hosanna with the handbells.  Lesson plan for that found HERE.

I also have a great Easter sing-a-story I did last year that you can find HERE.

April 27th:
Reverence song:  A Happy Family p. 198
Scripture song:  The Thirteenth Article of Faith p. 132
Birthday song:  Your Happy Birthday p. 283
Welcome song:  We Welcome You p. 256
Singing Time: The Family is of God, 2014 outline
Activity: Finish teaching the 2nd, 3rd and 4th verses.  Will dress up the oldest boy, oldest girl and youngest child with each verse.  Bring "dad" "mom" and "children" items to dress children in.  Each item will have a key word taped to it.  As we "dress" the kids, we'll learn the song.  More to come.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

General Conference Singing Time

I always LOVE to take the week before Spring General Conference and have a General Conference themed singing time.  I never have time in the fall because we are always reviewing for the upcoming program.

I begin my lesson with Latter-Day Prophets.  If your songbook is outdated (like mine!), make sure to print off the current version HERE for you and your pianist.

There are some really fun actions that I like to use:

Joseph Smith: #1 with right hand

Brigham Young: #2 with right hand

John Taylor: #3 with right hand

Wilford Woodruff: sign language "w" right hand then left hand for each word

Lorenzo Snow hands showing snow coming down

Joseph F. Smith: pointing to temple on head (to "remember the F")

Heber J. Grant: pretend to hit a baseball (he was determined to play baseball and through hard work he made the team)

George Albert Smith: pretend to shake a lot of hands (he made a promise "not to be an enemy to any living soul)

David O. McKay: use both hands to make "O" when saying O

Joseph Fielding Smith: blow a kiss after you say his name (he loved children)

Harold B. Lee: pretend to play the piano (he loved playing the piano and was good)

Spencer W. Kimball: milk a cow (worked hard on a farm)

Ezra Taft Benson: make the scout sign (he loved scouts and was a great scout leader)

Howard W. Hunter: draw a big pretend heart with your hands (he was sweet and wanted everyone to treat each other better)

Gordon B. Hinckley: arms out for an airplane (he flew all over the world to meet with members and build temples)

Thomas s. Monson: have your hand up and out like holding a tray being a server (he is always talking about service)

I keep all the pictures of the prophets (with their names typed up at the bottom) in a binder (you can purchase the pictures from the Distribution Center, print a document HERE (scroll down) or there are pictures found in the Gospel Art Book (GAB) but they are just smaller).

I'll have a helper come up and flip pages for me so I can do the actions then switch helpers.  We'll spend maybe 5 or so minutes on this song and then move on...

Next up is the Living Prophets Song set to the tune of Book of Mormon Stories.  Find music with words HERE.  I like to have all the pictures hung up on the chalkboard with magnets, but out of order.  It will be the kids' job to put them in order.  As we put each picture in order, I'll read a LITTLE (and be quick about it) information on each of the apostles found HERE.  Then sing in between.

Again, I purchased these from the Distribution Center  You can find them HERE online.  Having these just to use for my own little family during General Conference has been fun - we hang them all over the fireplace mantel and point to each one when they speak - making purchasing them TOTALLY worth it!

Last year I played General Conference Singo with the below JPEG.

It was a lot of fun too!  Find more details on that lesson plan HERE.

So, here's to a week off - hooray for General Conference and going to church in my living room in my jammies!!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Word Scramble & Red Rover Review Games

This week on my schedule is to review the 2014 program songs we've learned so far this year:

January - He Sent His Son
February - I Will Follow God's Plan
March - I Stand All Amazed (first verse ONLY)

This is my plan:

For Sr. Primary, I feel like giving them a good challenge so I'm going to have them do a word scramble with each of the songs, once the song is unscrambled, we'll sing it.

Print 3 copies of the 3 songs from HERE (so 9 copies total), cut out each of the words and put them in 9 envelopes (keep each song separate!).  Then label each envelope either "January," "February," or "March."  3 groups of kids, about 6-7 in each group.  **NOTE: I only printed the 1st verse for I Stand All Amazed so I didn't print all 3 verses**

To play divide the primary into 3 groups (I'll probably have them count off so the younger and older kids are all mixed) and pass out the 3 March envelopes (I want to make sure we review I Stand All Amazed as it's the one we know the least so we'll do it first!).  The groups will have to put the words of the song in order (probably crouch together on the floor).  The pianist will be playing while the teachers and I sing the song.  The first group to have it correct wins {nothing, but wins nonetheless!}.  Then we'll sing the song to correct answers.  If anything is wrong, we'll stop, continue unscrambling and try to fix it until someone has it right then sing the song.  Then move to February and January's songs (He Sent His Son is LONG so I'm going to do it last).

UPDATE:  We only got through 2 of the songs so plan accordingly.  But the Sr. primary did very well and were really engaged!  It was nice to see the oldest boys participating.

Now, most of Junior Primary can't read so obviously the Word Scramble won't work.  I really want to keep this week simple and I saw on the Facebook Chorister's group that someone did Red Rover.  Seemed something my little singers would enjoy.  To play you divide the primary down the middle.  The side that sings better will get to pick a singer (or maybe a girl and a boy) from the other side to come over (plan on having a few extra chairs on each side).  Just rotate through the 3 songs as much as possible. I heard someone say they rigged it so one side won (had the PP be the judge), then the other side one, etc so it was even and not really a competition (and none of the kids even noticed). 

If you want other ideas for review games, I have several posted throughout my blog (click on each of the games to direct you to that post):

Next week we'll be preparing for General Conference with my annual General Conference singing time.  More to come!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

I Stand All Amazed - Bell Chart

I was asked for a bell chart for I Stand All Amazed so I thought I would share it with anyone who is interested.  It is best to be played with the 20-note Kidsplay handbell set.   However, the 13-note set would suffice, you just wouldn't have the octaves.  If you want to know how I use handbells in Primary, or where to purchase a set, find more information HERE.

You can download a copy of my bell chart HERE.  I'd recommend printing on card stock and placing in sheet protectors.

**With this chart, the notes that are to be played using the higher octave bells (like the C, C# D, and D# on page 5) are deNOTED (ha!) by a black circle around the note.  The lower octaves do not have a black circle.  If you do not have the 20-note set and only the 13-note set, just disregard as it can still be played without the octaves.  If it's too confusing for the kids, just have both octaves play at the same time.  Leave a comment with any questions.

(if you find any mistakes, PLEASE let me know!)

Monday, March 17, 2014

New "Song Index" Tab

I don't know if many of you have noticed but I have added a new "Song Index" tab at the top (oh, and a new banner just to keep things interesting ;).

The Song Index contains a simple list of all the songs I have taught which link to the lesson plans I have posted throughout my blog.  If a lesson plan for any particular song was posted in a Part 1, Part 2, (etc.) version I have linked everything up so they are easy to reference.

I'll keep adding to the list of songs as I create new content.  I'm also trying to find new ways of improving so if you ever have suggestions, I'm all ears!  As always, thanks for reading and all the nice comments!  I hope I can help you enjoy your calling as much as I do!!