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Friday, December 14, 2018

12 Songs of Christmas

I was going through this month's Friend and happened upon "Have a Song-A-Day Christmas!" activity.  I thought it would make for a FABULOUS singing time activity!!  I always love incorporating ideas from the Friend!

You can find it in the Friend HERE.

I thought it might be fun to associate each of the songs with images Nativity images.  Since the kids RARELY see the beautiful illustrations in the Children's Songbook, I thought why not utilize those images found there.

To use in primary, Simply show the picture, read the quote and sing the song.  Simple!  To get through all 12 songs, it might take 2 weeks or simply sing the first verse of each song, moving along quickly between songs.

1st Song of Christmas:
"This is the season beloved of the year"
Song: The Nativity Song p. 52

2nd Song of Christmas:
“The blessed angels sing”
Song: It Came upon the Midnight Clear  Hymn 207

3rd Song of Christmas:
“His praises we sing” 
Song: The Shepherd’s Carol p. 40

4th Song of Christmas:
“To the earth it gave great light”
Song: The First Noel Hymn 213

5th Song of Christmas:
“He was meek and mild”
Song: When Joseph Went to Bethlehem p. 38

6th Song of Christmas:
“Jesus, to Thee be all glory giv’n”
Song: Oh, Come, All Ye Faithful Hymn 202

7th Song of Christmas:
“Jesus is born in Bethlehem”
Song: Christmas Bells p. 54

8th Song of Christmas:
“Oh, let us gladly sing”
Song: Samuel Tells of the Baby Jesus p. 36

9th Song of Christmas:
“Proclaim the holy birth”
Song: O Little Town of Bethlehem Hymn 208

10th Song of Christmas:
“The child is the Son of God”
Song: Who Is the Child? p. 46

11th Song of Christmas:
“Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth”
Song: Silent Night Hymn 204

12th Song of Christmas:
“Glad tidings of great joy I bring”
Song: While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks Hymn 211

You can download and print my document HERE or simply find pictures of the nativity/Savior either from the Gospel Art Book or other church sources, or omit pictures altogether.

Make sure to post the words as necessary like I do HERE to encourage singing.

  • Use the Sing-along-app in LDS.org.  I haven't used this and don't know much about it but I've heard that lots of the primary songs (not sure about the Hymns, however) are in sing-along-form that the children can watch the videos and sing along.
  • Bring out a piece of the nativity as each song is presented.
  • Come up with actions as you sing each song.  Have the children help you improvise!

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Christmas Review Activities

I'm going to assume that this Sunday, most primaries are reviewing Christmas songs they'll be singing on the Sunday before Christmas.  I've got 2 REALLY SIMPLE Christmas singing time activities that might be really useful this Sunday - perfect for this busy time of year!

For my primary, we'll be reviewing When Joseph Went to Bethlehem (find my lesson plan HERE) and Christmas Bells on the bells (find my lesson plan HERE).  I'm still trying to decide if I'll review with those lesson plans or pull out one of these fun review activities below.  Such decisions!  I may do a mixture of both.  I need the Sr. primary kids to practice the bells a little but I'm a little "rung" out with the bells this week (if I'm being totally honest!!).

The first one is Silent Singer Christmas Style found HERE.  It's SO easy and the kids LOVE it!

The next idea, I can't take credit for.  It's Elf Yoga or Elf Position Cards.  Amber shared these on the chorister's FB group HERE.  If you aren't on Facebook, download them HERE (note there are 2 different sizes so print only the pages you need).

You use these the same way as my Position Cards (aka Primary Yoga) HERE.  If you haven't used these in primary, you should!  They are a total hit!!

If you aren't reviewing this week, check out my list of Christmas singing time lesson plans HERE for more ideas!  We'll be playing Christmas Singo the week after Christmas!

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

We're All Together Again

I've introduced another NEW welcome song this month - We're All Together Again.  And honestly, this one is new to me!  I've been learning it by playing it while I work on the computer and come Sunday, I'll be WELL versed in this song!

It's got a quick, catchy tune, and the kids will love it once they learn it!  When we sing it, we've been simply marching in place, getting out some of those wiggles!  I always post the words to new songs.  Find more details on posting words HERE.

If you want to check out my list of welcome songs, you can find that HERE.

If you need to get out more wiggles, this song also doubles as a fun wiggle song.  Check out my Wiggle Worm Jar HERE.

Next year, I'm going to still be implementing welcome songs but I'll be calling them "transition songs."  More to come!!

Friday, December 7, 2018

When Joseph Went To Bethlehem

I'll be teaching this song this week using actions with scarves!  It's a really beautiful and spiritual lesson plan...one of my favorites!  If you don't have scarves, come up with something similar like scraps of fabric or cut squares from tulle or some other light-weight fabric.  You can also do the actions without the scarves but I HIGHLY recommend the scarves!

Find my lesson plan HERE (including details on where I purchased my scarves).

Make sure to check out all of my Christmas lesson plans HERE for more ideas!

Thursday, December 6, 2018

2019 Singing Time Planner and Scheduler

I've seen LOTS of singing time planners and schedulers out there.  I'm more of a simpleton when it comes to my scheduling.  I like to plan only a month ahead (with the exception of my outline summary found HERE.

Along with my annual CD found HERE.

If you aren't familiar with my monthly singing time schedules, you can check them all out HERE.

I personally use a simple Word document like this (nothin' fancy!):

But I get several requests from those who like to plan out the whole year asking if I have something - well, now I do!  But this planner can be used monthly as well so use it how you like to plan!

I think my favorite planner out there (and from what I can tell, I'm not alone!) is the one from Primary Singing Time Ideas found HERE.  It's  basic and simple yet very organized and efficient - just the way I like things ;).  Unfortunately, Brittney (the blog author) isn't currently updating her blog - at least what I can see.  So I've taken the liberty to create a 2019 Singing Time Planner and Scheduler using her template as a guide.

Download each each monthly planner HERE.  I've kept each month as it's own document so you can easily print one a time.

UPDATE:  Due to feedback, I created a planner HERE that follows more closely to what is recommended for singing time beginning in 2019.  Only an "opening song," "singing time" and "other" are options to be filled in.  Hopefully this is more helpful.

There's also a blank one that would work with any month and any year.  You simply print and fill them in by hand.

I left all the details for opening exercises that have been done in the past "as-is."  I know some wards will be omitting a lot of this and others will be keeping it or moving it around, etc.  Just know that this is as generic as I can make it.

If you prefer to type details in, there's an editable Word version that Emily posted on the FB group HERE (you can download it HERE if you aren't on Facebook).  It's only for January but you can update it as you need.  Thank you Emily!

If you see any mistakes, PLEASE let me know ASAP!!  I'm prone to mistakes - more than I care to admit and it can be terribly embarrassing!!

If you follow me throughout the year, I'll help you get it all filled out with my monthly Singing Time Schedules that I post the last week of every month.  Watch for January's schedule to be posted the last week of December!  Also, if you struggle staying organized in this calling, you can scroll through all of my Staying Organized posts all found HERE (I'd recommend reading them from the last post to the first post).

How do you like to plan your singing time and keep yourself organized in this busy calling?  Leave comments to help others out!

Thursday, November 29, 2018

New Primary Music Leaders

This time of year brings on LOTS of new primary music leaders!  Welcome!  I just want to spotlight my "New Choristers" tab at the top to those who are new.  Or you can find it HERE for easy navigating.  It's filled with links to lds.org resources, suggested props that I often use in primary, organizational tips and more.

Then I would encourage you to get familiar with all the other tabs at the top of my page.  Those are the few items that I've whittled down to be very helpful.  During 2019, I'll be adding lots of posts to my "2019 Outline Songs" label HERE (this link is found by going to my "Index" tab and scrolling down to "Listing by Category").  It should help get you through next year's curriculum.  My hope is to post lesson plans for every suggested song even though I personally won't be teaching them all.  A lot of what is suggested can already be found throughout my website.  All those lesson plans can be found by scrolling through that link.

If you are not new, thank you for continuing to stick around!  I've loved watching this little space grow over the years.  I started this website with the simple intention of storing my ideas online that I could easily share if anyone ever asked.  I never dreamed it would turn into what it is today.  I love your comments, ideas and friendship!

If there is anything you'd like to see here, I'd love to hear!  I have a personal goal to try and get a lesson plan for as many of the songs in the Children's Songbook as I can before it changes.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Christmas Bells - Bell Chart for Melody

If you are new to handbells but would LOVE to try them this Christmas, this post is for you!  Christmas Bells is the simplest Christmas song in the songbook when playing the handbells.  What's best is there are no sharps so you only need the basic 8-note set to play the entire song! I lied!  There is an F#!  Sorry about that.  I've corrected my chart below.

Download my chart HERE.  I like to print charts on card stock and place in sheet protectors.

Check out my post HERE that goes into detail about using handbells in primary (where and what to buy as well).

I also have a handbell chart for Christmas Bells that plays the optional descant HERE.