Friday, February 27, 2009

My eternal family, verse 2

I had some requests to do verse 2, even though I am not planning on teaching it.

I've actually seen lots of great flip-charts for this verse, so if you don't like this one, I'm sure you can find one you do like. Carrie has a great one here too.

You can download my version of the flip- chart to verse 2 here. I did not include the chorus, since it was on the last visual file.

We have stake conference this week, so I get a break! But as for the following week, I don't really have any great ideas. I didn't get as far as I'd like with the song last week, so we'll just be playing games to review the phrases, like turning over pictures, or mixing them up and having the kids put them in the correct order by the time we finish singing the verse.

However, because there are 5 sundays this month, the presidency is giving me the entire singing/sharing time for music, so I'll have to come up with something really awesome. :) If your primary doesn't have something special to do on 5th Sunday's, you might ask if you can have the time, especially since it's really hard to teach these songs with just 10 minutes each week!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

My Eternal Family: visuals and plan

UPDATE: For safety reasons (Just trying to be extra cautious and to prevent spam) If you have left your e-mail address in the comments, I'll delete the comment after I send the e-mail. If your comment is deleted and you did NOT get an e-mail of the PDF, please let me know.

TIP: Sugardoodle has an AWESOME collection of clipart and pictures to make your own flipcharts!!but you probably already knew that...

So, I'm going to be honest, and say that this song is NOT my most favorite. And luckily for me, my presidency feels the same way, so we plan on only doing the first verse. I had a hard time finding visuals that I liked for this song, but found one that came close on Sugardoodle (click here) Like Carrie, my pictures came from the sugardoodle clipart file and MSN clipart, and also the one image (the construction man) by Valerie Gardner.

I wanted more pictures than the one on Sugardoodle, because I have lots of kids in Junior primary that would learn better from lots of pictures, than words. This is my version of the 1st verse for a flip chart HERE to download the file. This is my first attempt at the shared file thing, so let me know if it doesn't work for you, or if you'd rather have the file e-mailed. Here is what they look like.
I think I got this idea from the primusic group, but I can't remember. I'll show them this picture and ask them to tell me what this man does for a job. After they tell me he is a "builder" I'll tell them that this "builder" is also my Dad! (He's so awesome and took this picture for me on Saturday night!)

I'll describe the things he has built, i.e. most of the homes I lived in as a child, other buildings, and now oversees the building of LDS churches and temples in the Texas area.

But that is not all he has built. He helped to build a righteous family. (I'll have the latest picture of all my siblings and their families from out last reunion, and tell them that by being a righteous priesthood holder, having family scripture study and prayer, and being a great example to us, he helped build a firm foundation for each of us to start building our own righteous families. Then I will tell them that we will learn a song about how we can be our own builders of a righteous family.

I will then show them the blackboard with the same visuals from the flipchart, only bigger, separated (only one picture per half sheet of paper) and without words scattered on the board. I'll tell them we need to build this song. We have all the right pieces, but we have to put them together to make our song. I'll sing it through a few times to help them hear the melody, while they look at the pictures and try to figure out the correct order.
(the scattered visuals)

Then, one at a time, I'll call up a "builder" (I'll probably bring my son's toy construction hat) let them wear it, and find the correct picture for each phrase. As we find the pictures to complete each phrase, we'll sing through that phrase a few times. If they get stuck, I'll sing the entire verse to them. If time allows (I'm very lucky to usually have 20+ minutes for singing time) we'll turn over the pictures to help them memorize the verse.

If you want the plain PDF file for my "scattered" visuals, let me know in the comments so I can e-mail it to you. This is NOT the flipchart. Just the pictures without words that my kids will listen to to the song to put them in the correct order. The flipchart is in the link above.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Give the bishop a heart attack

We did this to make a Valentine's card for the Bishop, but it could work anytime during the year.

(Sorry, no pictures! Put it together late last night)

Fold poster board in half. Cover says: Bishop: The primary gave you a heart attack!
Inside says: We sang with all of our hearts today!

I had a clear jar filled with cut out paper hearts. I told the kids that as I saw them trying their very best to sing/learn the song, I would ask them to write their name on a heart and put it on our card for the Bishop, because they were trying with all of their hearts to do their best. The kids did seem to try harder, but it was also hard for me to teach and try to call on kids to put their names on hearts at the same time. Next time, I would have a presidency member picking the kids, so I wouldn't have to worry about it.

Hand jive for Birthday Song

I read this idea on the yahoo groups. LOVED it, so did the kids. :)

To "You've Had a Birthday". It might work on other songs, but I haven't tried it.
I told them they were so good at all the birthday songs, it was time to make them more tricky.

Teach them the hand jive first:
Slap legs twice, clap twice, wave hands in front of the other twice, then switch and REPEAT!

It is also suggested to do the chicken dance to this song. I'll try that next time, since the jive was such a hit. Helps to get wiggles out too!

Chicken Dance:
both hands make a "talking"motion, 4 x
flap wings like a chicken (hands by armpits, and wave the elbows up and down) 4x
make body twist back and forth (4 beats)
clap four times, repeat.

Reader Trisha adds:
It works for the "This month is such a special one. It's birthday time for you" song as well.
The last measure, I do the hands on top of each other and switch which hand is on top, then with both hand, point out with one finger towards the birthday children on "to you."

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Popcorn Popping in Portuguese

We are the first ward in the building this year and have had issues with kids leaving the Primary room right after the closing prayer in the past - kids running out into the parking lot, disturbing classes getting out later, etc. So now we keep all the kids in the Primary room until their parents come. Yep, not always a lot of fun. We're working on ideas to keep their interest and their reverence until we can release them to their parents. Any ideas are welcome!

So far, the one that has worked best (and really only works for certain types of kids, I fear) has been with the impromptu help of a teacher who served his mission in Brazil. He taugh us the word for "popcorn" in Portuguese. It's "pipoca" (pronounced pea-POH-kuh). We then sang Popcorn Popping, changing all the popcorns to pipocas. It was really entertaining.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Verse Review

I used this to review the first verse of How Firm a Foundation, but it could be used with any song.

My visuals for the first verse look like this. . .

The previous week I had introduced the visuals, explained the song and taught the verse. My goal now was to review and cement what they had learned.

I had the oldest class put the visuals in order (as shown above) on a bulletin board before we finished singing through the song twice. When they were done we sang it together as an entire primary (ours is combined Jr & Sr) to check it.

I told the children I was going to trick them by turning over one visual. Then they sang it again--without me singing on the part with the visual turned over. We did this over and over until all the visuals were turned over and I wasn't singing at all. Each time I made a big deal about how NOW I could trick them or said things like, "Oh well, I have only turned over red so far and I KNOW I'll trick you by doing a YELLOW one" etc. As they sang, I would cover my mouth and put my arms out or my hands on my hips with an expression like "I got you now!" on my face. The kids ate it up. They LOVED it. We sang the song repeatedly and they had a lot of fun trying to prove to me that I COULDN'T trick them. After everything was turned over I told them they must have super x-ray vision to see through the paper and I bet if I turn the bulletin board around THEN it would trick them. Even the little sunbeams were singing their hearts out to prove me wrong. The kids had a lot of fun and didn't even realize how many zillion times we sang the verse!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Magic potion; a review for How Firm a Foundation

I have read about this idea several times, but wasn't sure how to adapt it for what I wanted. Thanks to my awesome sister, we came up with a plan! I'm so excited to try this tomorrow and am sure it will be a hit!

They have only learned the first verse of How Firm a Foundation, so I wanted to review it this week before moving on to the third verse.

Preparation: write out verse in different colors on a dry-erase board to match your magic potions. (I got mine at wal-mart for $8!) Gather supplies: vinegar, cups, spoons, baking soda, and food coloring.

How it works:

1) Fill several clear containers (I used plastic drinking cups) with about 3/4 cup water and 1/3 cup vinegar. (the ratio can be varied, but more vinegar= more fiz= more fun! PLACE CONTAINERS on a BAKING SHEET, as this WILL MAKE A MESS!!!!

2) place one small drop of food coloring on a metal spoon (don't use clear, since you can see the color on the other side), then place a heaping teaspoon of baking soda on top, or enough to make sure the food coloring is covered.

3) Have a child come up and pick a spoon to stir in a cup of "water".

It will fiz like crazy and remain clear while fizzing, so make sure they keep stirring.

Once the fiz has settled down, the color will show up.

I will be using 6 different colors. red, green, yellow, blue, orange (one drop yellow and one drop red), and purple (one drop red and one drop blue)

(notice the water on the bottom of the baking sheet? It WILL bubble over and make a mess. Paper towels would be a good idea to bring...)

My plan:
We will review the first verse of How Firm a Foundation, with the picture visuals I taught them with, and tell them that I am looking for a super singer to help me with an experiment. After singing, I'll show them this board:

I'll pick my super singer to come up to the front and pick a spoon to mix into the solution. Once the potion has made its magic color, we'll erase the words on the board with that color. (I didn't have a yellow marker, so black will represent yellow). I'll pick several kids to come up and help erase the words so more kids will be able to participate.

Then we'll sing the verse again, this time with our board with colored words, and again, I'll tell them I am looking for a super singer to help me. Repeat the process as time allows, or until all the words are gone.

Friday, February 6, 2009

More Games!!!

These ideas are from Penny Judkins and were emailed to a past Primary chorister who then printed them out and left them in the binder. Bless you, Karla!!!

The ideas were all just in a list so I've tried to break them up into categories - I'll make a different post for each - to make them easier to find/more helpful when you are desperate for a game or an original source of motivation! I have also tried to include any further suggestions (or warnings!) I have in parenthesis or otherwise. (Some parenthetical information is hers.)

Here it is as I've retyped it into my computer:


A year’s worth of Singing Time Ideas

Gathered and compiled by Penny Judkins of Vancouver, Washington.

These are all fun ideas, but the most important thing to remember is to follow the Spirit. Pray about your Primary children and your calling. Use only those things that you feel inspired to use. Always bear your testimony because, above all, we are teaching Heavenly Father’s precious children the gospel through music! – Penny Judkins

GAMES: (These incorporate lots of songs. Holiday ideas are italicized.)

· BALLOON POPPING – Put titles of songs inside balloons and then blow them up. Have the kids come up and sit on the balloons to pop them to see which song to sing. Or you can put phrases inside and you sing the song until you get to that phrase

· BALL TOSS – This is a mini basketball hoop with a miniature basketball. Depending on how many shots they make tells us which song we sing. If they can’t make any, we sing what the pianist wants to sing. ((S)he likes to pick once in a while.)

· BEAN BAG TOSS/PASS – Have the pianist play a song that you need to review. Everyone sings the song as they pass the beanbag. When the music stops the person holding the beanbag sits down. You can also toss the beanbag to a child and they have to tell you the next word in the song. (I like to add that if they get so many correct in a row, they get to pick a fun song.)

· BIRTHDAY CAKE WITH TOO MANY CANDLES – I made up a birthday cake the size of a poster board. I filled it with candles. I tell the kids I’m getting WAY TOO OLD! And I need them to help me get some of these candles off. The candles have the #’s and ideas on them. The kids love to help me not be so OLD. Can also be turned about and made to put the candles on the cake. The candles are separate and can be taped on and off as everything is laminated.

· BOOK OF SINGING STORIES – Make a book with poster board. On each page have a picture or “clue” depicting a Primary song. (There is an example in one of the previous posts. Very nice, Trisa!) The kids get to turn the page to the song they want to sing. I have several pages that I can change out. You can use color copies of the GAK pictures. They’re lovely!

· BOWLING FOR SNOWMEN (Yep, not my original idea) – Use snowmen clip art (I have a cute hyperlink in my post from December) and print out several snowmen. Tape them to water bottles. Cover a basketball with batting (I used a volleyball) and wrap white string around it to hold the batting in place. The kids try to knock over a snowman with a snowball. The snowmen will have #’s on them for the songs.

· BOY WITH BACKPACK – This is a poster of a boy facing away and we’re looking at his back. He’s wearing a backpack that I’ve slit the top of. I attached a large gallon-sized Ziploc bag onto it. Inside I have pictures of books, ruler, pencils, erasers, etc. Things you use for school. I have used the backpack to “fill” to get ready for school and to empty it for Spring Break or the end of the school year. On the back of each item is the # or idea for the song(s) we’re learning.

· BUILD A JACK-O-LANTERN – I use a real pumpkin. Not carved. I made different eyes, noses and mouths and let the children choose faces and put them on the pumpkin. Duct tape works best to attach them. I laminate everything so I can use it over and over. Black construction paper works best for this feature.

· CHAOS & DANGER – This game came from teaching “Keep the Commandments”. Plan in advance to have the pianist play a different song than you’re singing. The kids realize how important it is to STAY within the guidelines the Lord has given us. They have to figure out which song the pianist played and which song we were singing.

· CHIMES – Make or buy chimes and have the children play the corresponding tone to match the song. (According to another source, this can be done using 9/16-inch electrical conduit. Cut the first pipe 8-1/8 inches long. This is “D”. Cut the second 8-3/4 inches. This is “C”. (9” – B; 9-3/8” – Bb; 9-9/16” – A; 10-1/8” – G; 10-3/8 – F#; 10-5/8” – F; 11” – E, 11-3/4” – D, 12-3/8” – C; 12-7/8” – B)

· COMBINED EASTER PROGRAM FOR SINGING/SHARING TIME – Take any holiday story or parable from the scriptures. Add songs intermittently and you have a wonderful combined Singing/Sharing Time. Some can be found in the Primary files.

· CONCENTRATION – Put pictures or words up on the chalkboard and cover each with a piece of paper. Take turns flipping the paper. I flip one and the children flip the other. When they match one we sing that song.

· DICE – I made a musical die by wrapping a small square box with white paper. (I used a foam cube and wrapping paper.) I wrote on each side of the box a different way to sing the song. (See Motivators: Voices.) I have several different die I’ve made with different things on them – fast, slow, staccato, legato… (I really like to teach musical terminology whenever possible. I will use vivace, andante, etc… Kids are like sponges and they learn it so well! Don’t be afraid that they’re too young to understand. Don’t a lot of people take up piano lessons while they’re in Primary?)

· EASTER BUNNY WITH EGGS/SONG TITLES IN PLASTIC EGGS HUNT – Use plastic eggs that come apart. Put #’s for the songs, who can sing, or anything applicable to what you are learning at the time. Be sure to talk about the “true meaning of Easter” and that we’re just pretending and having a fun time.

· FISHING- Attach paper clips to song titles, have a baton or play fishing pole with a magnet at the end for the “hook”. The children fish for the songs to sing or how many measures you will go into the song.

· FISHING FOR CRICKETS WITH SEAGULL – I attached a Little Mermaid Scuttle (seagull) to a dowel with yarn. I hot glued a magnet to his beak. I printed out crickets from the Mulan movie and glued paper clips to them. Near the 24th of July, I tell the story of the crickets and seagulls as we sing the pioneer songs.



· HOLIDAY THINGS (easy!) – It’s just use your imagination time! Around any holiday you can find things that correlate. Build a snowman or “undecorate” the Christmas tree in January. Have love letters in February. And so on…

· “JEOPARDY!” – I got BIG cardboard pallets from Costco (they use them in between their toilet tissue cases). I have 4 categories listed on top. Some of these might be: Seasonal Favorites, Blast from the Past, Sacrament Meeting Program (I like to add Past and Present), Shake, Rattle and Roll. (I love to throw in a Worded Weirdly category.) Under each category, in a column, have the numbers 1-4 listed. Behind each number will be a question. As the children pick the category and the point value, you give them the answer (i.e. the Lord provides a way) and they give you the name of the song in question form (i.e. What is “Nephi’s Courage”). Then you sing the song.

· MAGNETIC LETTERS – Use the magnetic letters that you use on the fridge. Put them in a bag or appropriate container for the season. The children draw out a letter and choose a song that starts with the letter they pulled out. For the sake of time, I use the letter that correlates with the number in the alphabet that letter is. - 1-26 – and make a list ahead of time and you CAN use the songs over and over.

· MEMORY GAME – There are many variations to this game. Use your imagination for this one. I had two boards with pictures that depicted songs. They turned over one from each board. If they matched, we sang their choice. If they didn’t, we sang my choice.

· NAME THAT TUNE – I give a clue to the song and they tell me how many notes they need to name the song according to what help the clue has been. Sometimes I turn it around and they choose the song, give me a clue and I have to guess.

· PICK A FLOWER – I put flowers all over the Primary room in cups. I had a vase in the center up by me. Each time a child chose a flower, they came up and put it in the vase. When we finished singing time that day, we gave the flowers to the pianist.

· PICK A PICTURE – Match it with a song. I got a bunch of pictures from the library and put them in a box. The kids choose a picture and tell us which song it reminds them of. Then we sing it. This is great for taking a break after learning a new song.

· PIN THE BEE ON THE FLOWERS – This is like Pin the Tail on the Donkey; however, I have a poster board full of flowers. The flowers have #’s on them. The kids pin the bee on the flower and that tells us which song to sing, or if we’re working on it, how many times in a row we will sing it. Or course, we use a different “voice” (see Motivators: Voices) each time.

· PUNCH POSTER – I made a poster board with 9 holes cut out of it. (I used one of the demonstration boards to it would stand on its own.) On the front of the poster, I put words under each hole like: Hi-yah! Ka-pow! Hit Me! Etc. On the back of the poster, I put a single piece of tissue paper masking taped on the back of each hole (masking tape is easier to take off and replace later to re-use the poster). I also taped a piece of yarn above each hole on the back. To the yarn I tape whatever I want. (I cut out some foam circles and will write the title of a song on a piece of masking tape on the circle.)

· SILLY HAT SINGING TIME – I went to a thrift store and bought a small lampshade. I turned it upside down and attached the ugliest 3” ribbon I could find. The lampshade is brown gingham, the ribbon has colorful circles. I cut music notes from construction paper and laminated them. Whichever class is singing the best, their teacher has to wear the “hat”. I start out wearing it first. I have also turned it around and let the child singing best and sitting reverently wear it and lead the next song. The kids love to have their teacher be the one to wear the hat!

· SINGING BASEBALL – Draw a baseball diamond on the chalkboard. Divide the group into two teams. Coach has a player in the warm-up box and one in the batter’s box whenever their team is up to bat. Player steps up to the pulpit when at bat. The Questions are “pitched” (read) to players and score is kept according to value of question. Paper hats are moved around bases according to hits and runs. Each team only gets two OUTS per inning. After two RUNS, change team up to bat. A “bell” is rung every 3-4 minutes, then it’s time for a MUSIC QUESTION. Sing the song when the question is answered correctly.

· SINGING OLYMPICS – During the Olympics in SLC we opted to “pass the torch” in Primary as well. I made a torch out of a flashlight with red cellophane paper over it and we passed it around the room. When our song finished the next person got to pick the next song. We also had 4 different games going for our Olympics.

· S-I-N-G-O GAME – Take a piece of foam core board or poster board and make a grid on it like a Bingo card. At the top instead of writing Bingo you write “Singo”. In each square you put a small piece of one side (hook) of Velcro. Then you make two sets of markers – one for them to draw out of a basket and one that will be on the board. I laminated these. (I used foam.) I made mine different colors so I could easily keep them straight. One side can say anything you want – I put “You’re a singing superstar” on some of mine and the other side will have different categories on it. You then put a small piece of the other side of Velcro (loop) on EACH side of the board pieces. (I cut my loop pieces in half so that I wouldn’t have leftover hook pieces.) To play, you put the markers on the board with the category side facing out and a child draws a marker from the drawing set. They then have to choose a song to sing that fits the category they have drawn. If the group can sing it well enough in your opinion, then they get to turn the matching piece around on the board. The goal is to get a straight line just like in Bingo. For the free space, let them have a free choice marker. (I start with this one and they sing the CSMP song we’re working on for the month.)

· SNOWBALL FIGHT – (paper toss) – I give each child a piece of paper. Make sure you stress the fact that we’re in the church and sometimes we “toss” snowballs! (Be careful or this activity can get too rowdy.) The kids (with teachers’ help sometimes) write their names and their favorite Primary Song. I invite a class at a time to wad and toss their “snowballs” to me. Then I pick up a snowball and we sing that song. This activity serves a dual purpose; I keep the snowballs and make a list of the children and their favorite song. Then I have my Top 10 Favorites list!

· SONG (WORD) SEARCH – Make a word search puzzle with song titles hidden in it. There are many sites on the Internet that will do this for you. All you have to do is print out and blow them up. (Much more fun for Seniors.)

· SONG TABOO – This is the same as the game Taboo; you make up cards for the children to pick from. They have to guess the song title without saying the words on the card. Then you sing the song: i.e. “I Am a Child of God” – taboo words: Heavenly, Father, Parents, Children.

· SPIN THE WHEEL – (Song titles)

· TARGET GAME – I made a huge cardboard target (could draw on the chalkboard) and made 8 sections. I had the children make paper airplanes. As they sang the songs, I picked the one sitting most reverently and smiling while they sang. They got to fly their paper plane at the target to see which # (song) we would sing next. Tons of fun! At the end of singing time, I let everyone fly their planes at the target.

· TIC TAC TOE – Theme the X’s and O’s after the season. For Thanksgiving, paper pilgrims and turkeys, for Christmas, angels and shepherds, etc. Draw a large grid n the chalkboard or poster board. Each playing piece has a song listed on the back appropriate to the situation.

· TOILET TISSUE UNROLL – Unroll a roll of toilet tissue and write song titles on random squares and re-roll. Then let each child take off one square and the ones with song titles get to lead their songs.

· TOP 10 SONGS OF THE YEAR – (See Snowball Fight or Easter Egg Hunt) or Poll the Primary. Put together a list of the most requested songs. Start at #10 and sing your way to #1.

· TURKEY SHOOT – I bought the little accordion fold turkeys. I took a dart gun and let the kids shoot a turkey. Whether they hit the turkey or not, they got to choose a turkey that had a number written on it. The number corresponded with a song. The kids sing the song and tell me what blessing the song reminds them of.

· TWO BAGS – I went to fast food places (2 or 3) and asked for donations of their paper wrappers and French fry wrappers. Most of them are very happy for the advertisement. I put song titles in them and let the children reach in their favorite bag and pull out one thing. That’s what we sing.

· WHAT SONG AM I? – I made up a poster that has big colorful music notes on it. Eight to nine in all. Sit the poster on the ground and either a child or I throw a beanbag and whichever note it lands on tells us either a phrase from a song, the page # of a song, or tells us three words in a row in the song. The kids guess which song it is and then we sing it.

· WHO WANTS A MILLION BLESSINGS? – This game is the same as the Millionaire game but you use questions about the songs you’re working on. The lifelines can be: 1 – ask the audience, 2 – check the book, 3 – 50/50.

· YEARLY THEME GAME – Take the theme of the year and make up a song to go with each letter in the words or a song for each word. Let the kids pick a word and sing the song that correlates with it.

More Motivators!

MOTIVATORS: (Can be used to keep singing the same song over and over while keeping it fun.)

· CLAP, SNAP, STOMP – Use it individually or with partners. “Can your hands follow my hands?” Or use body rhythm pattern such as clap, clap snap, snap, stomp stomp. Partner Rhythm pattern such as patsch (pat thighs), clap, cross touch to elbows.

· DANCING SINGERS – Have a group of about 8 children come up to the front. Make a circle. Go around in a circle, stepping up tall on one beat and down low on the next and so on. Really fun for “Truth of Elijah”.

· DRESS THE MISSIONARY – Bring two sets of each item – suit coat, name tag, shoes, Book of Mormon, etc. Select two helpers. The team that sang the best got to “dress” their missionary. Then the team that had their missionary dressed the most when time ran out got to sing their favorite song.

· HOT & COLD – Make a note out of black poster board. Send one child out of the room. Hide the note. Then the children are to sing loudly if the “seeker” is “HOT” (near the note) or softly if the seeker is “COLD” or far away.

· MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS – The children love to play the tambourine, maracas, cymbals, rhythm sticks, etc. I love to pick them up at tag sales, thrift stores, etc. Or make your own. They’ll sing the same song 5 times in a row and not even notice.

· PAPER ORCHESTRA – This is so much fun! Everyone gets a piece of paper and you make different noises with the paper. You can roll it and sing through it, you can blow on it and make a squeaking noise, tap it for “raining” sound, use your imagination! Time is your only limit. At the end of our time, I have them tear them into little pieces and see how quietly they can sing to see if they can hear all the pieces hit the bottom of the trash can as everyone walks quietly by it.

· SCARF MOVEMENT – I bought a bolt of material at a sale really cheap! I cut it into squares. Each child gets a square or scarf. You “paint” with the scarf by moving them through the air. Such as: move it gently, it’s so gentle just like this song and just like Jesus.

· SHAKERS – (toilet paper tubes with rice) – I made shakers out of toilet paper tubes filled with uncooked rice. I wrapped them with wallpaper that I got free from a yard sale. The kids love to keep time or match the rhythm to the songs. Make sure the paper you wrap them in is pretty sturdy or you’ll have rice everywhere!

· SINGING IN A CAN – Cover a Pringles/peanut can with cute paper or musical notes. Make papers that give directions to sing such as: Sing with your eyes closed, Humming only, Sing with your favorite accent, Sing standing up, Sing with your nosed plugged, If you have a gerbil don’t sing, Sing every other word, Sing with your mouth closed, etc.

· SQUIRT GUN/CRYING MOTHER POSTER – I use this poster for Mother’s Day and for after the program. I drew a picture of a mother’s face, big on a poster board. I cut out her eyeballs and hold (usually ask for help) two squirt guns in the holes. As the children sing beautifully, the mother “cries” as she is touched by the beauty. This can get out of hand easily, but each time I have used it, the Spirit is strong and the kids try really hard to sing beautifully. I tell them they bring tears to my eyes sometimes. (This has to be done in “good taste”.)

· STOP & GO – Make a traffic light out of 2 black poster boards. Cut out 2 traffic lights and put red, yellow, and green cellophane in between where the lights should be. I let the children come up and shine a flashlight through the colors. We sang on green, stopped singing on red and did something different every time on yellow (girls, boys, clap to rhythm, hum, etc.)

· UMBRELLA/RAIN – I use a real umbrella and a mist bottle (squirt bottle) with plain water in it. I use the finest mist so no one really gets wet. As we are learning a song, the better they get the words and melody, the more it “rains”. I spray on top of the umbrella and the child is holding the umbrella. Once in a while I get a little crazy and spray toward the audience…oops!

· VOICES – I.e. Cowboy voice, opera voice, MoTab voice, mouse voice, boy voice, girl voice, etc… ***Note from Wendy: Be careful when using “voices”! The first time I used them, I made the mistake of using them while we were singing program songs and we ended up with “cowboy voice” on “I Know that My Redeemer Lives”. Not good! When singing reverent songs, I think it is best to stay away from “voices”. Instead, I prefer to teach the children to follow my hands dynamically – we can even crescendo and diminuendo now!***

· YARN SINGERS – I took 3 colors of yarn, cut them in different lengths and tied them all back together in no particular order. I wound them up and put them in a paper sack decorated really cute. As the children sang a child pulled the string between their hands. Each color determined who would sing. One color was for boys, one for girls, one for everyone. As the string was different lengths of colors, it was fun to see the “change”.

New Song Teaching/Review Ideas

· CROSSWORD PUZZLE 1 – Make up a crossword puzzle for the song you’re learning. The clues would be the key words to the song. (I had the key words to vs.1 all going across and vs.2 all going down.)

· DETECTIVE CLUELESS – Make up a question for each phrase of a song. Reduce font to smallest size possible. Label a large envelope “Classified Files”. Place the questions inside. Dress as Detective with trench coat/hat/sunglasses… Bring a magnifying glass. Make five question marks labeled with the five W’s – laminate, stick magnetic tape on back to place on chalkboard. Five important W’s. All detectives (or reporters) know that they need to ask these questions when looking for clues to solve a case. WHO-- WHAT-- WHEN-- WHERE-- WHY. For each question, call up a child (assistant detective) to read a question with the magnifying glass.

· ENVELOPE GAME – Print out the words to the song and cut them out. Make enough envelopes with song lyrics for groups of 3-4 children. I use pictures for Jr. Primary since they can’t read. As you all sing the song, they put the words (or pictures) in the correct order. Good way to learn a song!

· ERASURE PASS – Preparation: On the board is a list of words in groups of three. Each distinct group includes one word from the song being taught and two words that mean the same or opposite. Example: The song being taught is Seek the Lord Early. I would choose SEEK as my first word and with it place the words LOOK and SEARCH. My next group might be for the word YOUTH. With it CHILDHOOD and ADOLESCENCE. Another group might be FATHER, MOTHER and HOLY GHOST. Stand in front of the children and state the rules: 1 – No talking, 2 – No throwing the eraser, 3 – Give the eraser to someone who hasn’t had it, 4 – Erase only the words NOT in the song. (We want the words that remain on the board to be the words in the song in the order they appear in the song) and 5 - DO NOT STOP SINGING! (You may go through the song 10+ times before all the wrong words are erased.) The children then come up one at a time and erase one word not in the song. Teachers may help non-readers or you may need to prompt when few words are left. Make sure you keep the rules in effect. If a child erases a wrong word, be prepared to write it back on without stopping your singing. After all the wrong words are erased, have the children sing only the words on the boar. Then switch and have them sing all the words except the ones on the board. (This may take a while for them to catch on to. Especially since they don’t know the song to start with. Plan accordingly for time. Don’t use this with a long song!)

· LEPRECHAUNS & SHAMROCKS – This is a poster to help us learn songs. In each of the leprechauns hands are shamrocks that have phrases from the new song. I have also had the letter from each word on the shamrocks and they have to put them in the right order.

Program Progress

· CELESTIAL CHALLENGE – This idea is from The Primary Page. It has a gold sun, silver moon, and white stars all on a black board. Each is labeled accordingly – celestial kingdom, terrestrial kingdom, and telestial kingdom. On little squares of poster board, I have made up “icons” for each program song – a picture and the name of the song, for both the younger and the older children’s benefit. They are taped in “Outer Darkness” at the beginning of the year. Then once a month, we have our “Celestial Challenge”. I have them sing each song and the presidency tells them whether or not they have sung it well enough for the program (Celestial Kingdom/sun) or maybe it needs some more work. The goal is to get them all on the sun (Son).

· COOKING UP A SONG – Take kitchen containers, a mixing bowl, a spoon and an apron. Tell the kids that we are cooking up a song. I had a volunteer put on the apron and choose a container (empty Cool Whip, etc.) and add the “ingredient” to our mixing bowl. Each container has a slip of paper that says either line 1, 2, 3 or 4. While they are stirring, we have to sing that line 5 times to help it cook. Believe it or not, this really worked. They all wanted a turn, and I told them lots of stuff about how their singing helps it to cook. You decide which order to put the ingredients into the mix!

· CROSSWORD PUZZLE 2 (Okay, my pride says I have to take credit for this one!) – This one works better for Senior Primary, but you could have teachers help in Junior Primary. You can review multiple songs at a time and still keep their attention with this one. Pick out the key words to multiple songs, say 4 songs, 5 words from each. Keep a list of which word comes from which song. Create your crossword puzzle. Color code your clues so that the kids know which clues come from which song. Clues are then written as “the missing letter”. For instance: If you chose “lived” from “I Lived in Heaven” and “foundation” from “How Firm a Foundation” you would write the clue for 1 DOWN – I_IH and 1 ACROSS – HFA_. The blanks represent the key words. Just make sure that all your words from each song are the same color or it will be too hard. Sing each song. Tell the kids what color clues go with the song. You will most likely have to sing each song a couple of times through for them to figure out what line all the blanks come from.

· GET THE BUGS OUT – I went to a Party/Dollar Store and bought real looking plastic bugs. (I think they cost me 8 for $1.) The kids got a real kick out of it. I put them in a paper bag and had attached a small piece of tape to the bottom of each bug. I had a number written on each so I could control which songs we sang. The kids pulled one bug out or “caught” one and then had to hold it while we sang the song. We then decided if the bug had been “caught” so we could put it in the BUG JAR (a big Miracle Whip plastic jar that I had decorated with bug stickers). If not, the bug went back into the bag. Great for reviewing CSMP songs!



· QUICK-DRAW SONG – When the attention is wandering or I just need to bring them back, I tell them we are going to do a “quick draw”. Everyone think of your favorite song. Put both hands on your knees. When I say, “Go!” raise your hand. The first one I see gets to pick the song, “On your mark. Get Set. Go!” This can also be like Pictionary where they draw a picture on the chalkboard of the song they want to sing.

· ROCKET – BLAST FROM THE PAST – (I am so going to do this for 2009!) – To incorporate past songs that the children have learned into weekly singing without always picking the same ones over and over, I am going to make a rocket out of a tall empty cheese ball or Pringles can with a lid. Decorate it to look like a rocket. Put all of the songs from the last several programs and any songs they already know from the book in it. Add the new songs as we learn them. This would also be good for substitutes or to hand over to a new chorister so they will be up on what songs the kids know.

· STAND UP, SIT DOWN – Print the key words to the song out. As you pull out the key words, you stand up and sit down when those words come in the song.

· YOU BE THE CHORISTER TODAY – I walk around and touch the children being most reverent and best examples. They get to lead the music in Primary that day. I’m still up there teaching but they get to lead.