Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Picture a Christmas

I'm still here. Barely.

I was released last Sunday, but am now the first counselor in primary. However, we have a christmas program coming up on December 12th, so they are having me do double duty until that is over.

I would still like to post ideas and flipcharts as they come, so don't forget me entirely!

So two weeks ago, I tried to introduce the song "Picture a Christmas". It was a TOTAL flop. Probably my worst singing time ever. I think I confused the kids more than I helped them.

So, I thought more about it during the week, and came up with something more simple and MUCH more effective.

In fact, we learned BOTH verses very well, in only 10 minutes.

I appologize that these are not *quality pictures. I remembered to take them right before leaving for church, so it was just a spread-them-out-and-snap-a-picture moment.

I found pictures to correlate with the things sung in the song:
Picture a STABLE
Picture a sacred silent, NIGHT

you can find my file of pictures HERE. I found them from google searches and sugardoodle clipart. 
(NOTE: the pictures are NOT in the order of the song. I just formatted it that way...because I was in a rush and put pictures in when I found them.)

I went through the 1st verse and put the pictures up on the blackboard with a magnet, as we got to each phrase, so they would understand which pictures went to which phrase. 

Then, we sang through the song together. I took a small 5x7 picture frame, and "framed" each picture we sung about. Then, I called up a child to do the same thing. I think it was a sunbeam. She did perfect. Some of the pictures are oriented landscape while others are portraits, so they had to rotate the frame to fit the picture.

After we had done that a few times (each time a different child "framed" the pictures), I mixed them up and scattered them around the blackboard. They did the same process of framing the pictures, but it was more tricky since they now had to "find" the pictures. 

I told the children I was watching for those that "knew" the song really well to come help me. That really motivated them to sing out and try their best. I was thrilled that this activity worked well from the sunbeams all the way to the 11 year olds. We were able to sing it OVER, and OVER, and OVER, and...you get the point. 

Again, this activity could work for any song, but I liked it because we "pictured" each event of the song.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Fill-in-the-blank game

Lame title, I know.  Let me know if you can think of something else to call this...

So, the songs have hopefully all been taught, and now we just need to polish up and review all the songs from the year. 

This is a quick-prep activity that you can use on many songs, or just one song. 
We chose to work on just one song.

When the piano stops playing, fill in the words. 

1)  Have two players come up to the front of the room.

2)  Roll the dice to find out how many words the kids will need to remember, after the pianis t stops playing.  (For example, I rolled a 5)

3) Start singing the song, and the pianist will pick a spot to stop playing. 

4) Starting with the next word, the kids will need to fill in the next words. Since we rolled a   five, the kids will need to write in the next five words. I love my dry-erase boards for this, but you could also use the chalkboard, or a regular piece of paper.

5) This is NOT a race game, so if BOTH kids get it correct, both teams get a point.

6) In between "rounds," we sang through the whole song/verse. While we were singing, I'd walk around and pick the next two players, and motion them to come up to the front. I like this game, because there is really little "down time" and the kids need to concentrate on the exact words.

7) The "winning team" got to listen to a personal performance of the song/verse, by the losing team. :)

Some primaries may not be able to "handle" competition games, and be so concerned about the losing/winning that reverence becomes an issue. I have a great primary who just enjoys playing the game, so we can do these competition games.

I think this is appropriate for SR primary only, since writing words is involved. You could play a similar game with the juniors, by just having them SAY the words.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Didn't get a PDF in your e-mail?

I'm afraid I may have missed several of your requests for files, specifically the motivation chart PDF. 

It's much easier for me to track who I've sent it to, if you e-mail me at sillysinginglady@gmail.com

I'm so sorry if I've missed you. It certainly wasn't intentional!

The Singing Lady

Saturday, September 4, 2010

The Holy Ghost Flipchart

             So, I know this was a song taught several months ago, but I was planning on reviewing it today with my kids, and realized I didn't have any visuals. I desperately searched for one already made, but I just didn't feel comfortable with the way the Holy Ghost was depicted in many of them.
             I really feel the Junior's do better with visuals, to help them remember the words. So, if you need help with this song, hope this helps!

Word document HERE

(Oops...I just realized I didn't capitalize "He". Hopefully you can just change it with a pen?)

(I realize this picture would go much better with the same line on the second verse "Oh may I always listen, to that still small voice", but I'm only teaching the first verse, and thought it still fits.)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Please Excuse My Mess

I'm trying to clean up the blog so it is easier to use, but I'm not very good with computers. Please bare with me as I figure this out!

Quick review idea

HELLO! (...hello... hello... hello...) Anybody there? (...there...there...there...)

Once again...I find myself appologizing for the lack of posts. With vacations, and school starting, I've been trying to find the "balance" between all things. Isn't that what I said last time too? Has anyone ever figured out "the balance"? We're getting closer, and I've neglected you long enough...

So, the next few posts will be about review ideas. My program is not until Halloween, but I know some of yours' are coming up in the next few weeks, if you haven't had it already.

I did this idea with my kids last week (this week was Stake Conference). I'm trying to isolate some of the songs that are starting to be "forgotten" and need some review of the words.

We took the song "I know that My savior loves Me," to work on.

I placed the visuals randomly around the room, on the wall, on chairs, the piano, etc. All places where the children could see them. I told them the visuals to our song were scattered around the room, and I needed help getting them back in order. I told them to look at the pictures while I sang the song, and see if they could find the right pictures to the words. After singing it once, we went through the song, phrase by phrase, as they brought up the correct pictures. We reviewed each one as many times as needed for them to get it. By the end, they had it down again.

Hand out the visuals to the kids, randomly. Then, ask them to come and put themselves in the right order, before you and the primary finish singing the song. Challenge them to get faster and faster each time.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Skittles game

on our new facebook page, Annie left this idea just moments after I started up the page. I can tell the facebook page is going to be a great resource for ideas and information! Check it out!

Skittles game:
(As always, be sensitive to food allergies.
Fruity candy is usually safe, but always get approval from the primary presidency first!)

"We take a bag of Skittles and I draw names and the child comes to the front of the room. They close their eyes and put a skittle in their mouth and try to guess the color. If they get it right then the get to pick a song, but if it's wrong then it's my choice. It's a great way to review program songs, the kids love it, and it's super easy...hardly any planning involved. I always give each child 3 or 4 skittles after singing time so there's no fighting."

Some variations I thought of for reviewing ONE song:

  • You could use this like I use the magic potion game. Write out the words to a song on a dry-erase board using marker colors to match the colors of skittles you have. If they guess the correct color, you erase that color of a word. If they guess it wrong, you don't erase any words. You can switch this, depending on the tendency of your primary, i.e. they prefer to get them wrong so they don't have to erase any words. :)
  • The color of the skittle represents a certain phrase of a song. If they guess it right, they sing just that phrase. If they guess it wrong, you sing the entire song.
  • The colors represent different ways to sing the song, if guessed correctly. If guessed wrong, you just sing it normal.
  • Do you have any ideas? suggestions?
Love this idea, Annie! Thanks so much!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Lesson plan for Sunday

Here is my "lesson plan" for Sunday

Review song: "Follow the Prophet"

I'm going to bring in a few rhythm instruments:

a triangle

wood agogo (I had to google it to find out what it was called...:)



One at a time, I'll have a child come and play one of the following rhythms while we sing a verse of the song:

For example, on the triangle, the child will play the quarter note, followed by 3 quarter rests. (I'll help them if needed)

For Senior primary, we'll add on each time we sing. So, we'll have the triangle play the first rhythm, the agogo play the second rhythm, the guiro the third rhythm, and the maraca play the rhythm of the melody, all playing simultaneously.

For Junior's, we'll keep it simple, by having just one instrument and one rhythm at a time.

Month's Song:  "Come Follow Me"

I'm going to try the "Balloon-pass"  found on this blog. I'm focusing on the first verse this week, and will learn the 4th verse next week. 

Idea: Pass around a blown-up balloon while singing through the song. Whoever has the balloon when the song ends, will pop it. (For kids that are afraid of the popping, have a pair of sissors to trim off the knot, so it won't "pop". ) 

Inside the balloon, is a paper with a question or scenario. Have the child read and answer the scenario/question. Continue with a new balloon. 

I'm slightly worried about kids holding on to the balloon so they can pop it, instead of passing it on...so I'll try to think of a remedy for this....

I hope to sing through the song 5 times, so here are my 5 questions:

1) My brother hit me, because I wouldn’t let him have a turn playing a game on the computer. What should I do?
2) Mom is calling for me, and I know she’s going to ask me to do a chore, but I’m busy doing something. What should I do?

3) I’m bored in sacrament meeting. What should I do?

4) Name one way we can follow the savior.

5) We just did a fun activity for sharing time and my friends are having a hard time remembering how to be reverent. What should I do?

*A special thanks to my own children for the inspiration behind these scenarios....

TIP: We have two singing times, one for Junior, and one for Senior, so I printed out two sets of questions, and have them pre-stuffed in the balloons. I don't want to haul around a bag of blown-up balloons, so I'll blow and tie them up behind the piano, during the opening exercises.
I have a bag for Junior primary, and a bag for Senior primary.

Other song:  "Here Comes the Ox Cart"

I do NOT like to spend a lot of time on visuals, unless I plan on using them over and over.  However, I made an exception for this song.  I am NOT an artist...which might help explain the gigantic cart pulled by the tiny ox....oh well....

The wheel turns with a little handle on the back. 
It's some hardware thing I found in my husband's tool box that is attached to a screw from the other side.

The kids can turn the wheel slowly, as we sing the song.

To introduce the song, I'll ask them to listen to what kind of song the wheel is.
(Sing the song for them)

        I cut the wheel into wedges that can be lifted up, to reveal a question about the song. 
I'll have a child lift a flap, read the question, we'll sing the song, and then have the primary answer the question.

1) How many times do we sing "creak"?
2) What is the wheel made of?
3) What kind of animal pulls the cart?
4) How fast does the cart go?

I put a little piece of double-sided tape under the wedges, so they would stay down when I needed them to.

You can easily put actions to this song. Have the kids roll their arms, and then bend from side to side at the waist for the "creak" part. I think this could be a fun "wiggle" song for July.

Another new blog and facebook page!

I personally am loving all of the singing time blogs out there! I just found this brand-new blog that someone linked to on the yahoo groups page.

(If you are not a member, you should join! It's an awesome resource!!)

The blog is called "Singing Testimonies". It only has two posts up, but quite a few ideas. One I think I will use this sunday.

Also, I have started a facebook page so we can better share ideas and ask questions. I receive lots of questions and great suggestions via the comments on this blog, but I'm afraid many do not see these suggestions. I hope the facebook page will be a better source.

You can check it out here. Let me know what you think!
*Remember, it was just created...so there's nothing there yet! That's where YOU come in!*

Friday, July 2, 2010

July flipchart: Come Follow Me

So, this flip-chart still isn't the way I wanted it, but my time has run out. Hopefully you can download the word-document  and tweak it the way you want! :)

I hope this is helpful to at least some of you! I only did verse 1 and 4, as that seems to be the pick of the majority.
Word document for verse 1
Word document for Verse 4
PDF file for verse 1
PDF file for verse 4

To introduce this song, I'm taking it straight from the Children's Sacrament Meeting Presentation outline for July, which is as follows:

"Encourage the children to follow you as you touch your nose, shake your hands, and fold your arms Tell them that we can follow Jesus by doing the things he did.

Have them tap the rhythm of the song with two fingers of one hand against the palm of the other hand as the music plays.

Prepare footprints with the words of the song written on them.  Invite the children to place the footsteps on the board one at a time, as you sin and they echo each phrase. Arrange the footsteps so they lead to a picture of the Savior." CSMP outline 2010, page 15

For SENIOR primary, you could then mix up these footprints, and have a child come and try to find each correct footprint in the right order, as the primary sings through the song. you could have them just point to each footprint, or actually put them in the right order. This last  option would work best if using magnets on a blackboard.

If you are planning on doing this as well, here is a link to the footprints I made, with the phrases on them.
Word file footprints
PDF file footprints
Here are pictures of the flip-chart:

Ordinary Adventures of a primary chorister has a GREAT flipchart as well.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Guest Post: Song review idea

The flipchart is comin...I promise! I have some family visiting, and time got away from me! I'll work hard and get it on here as fast as I can!

In the meantime...

I love it when you e-mail me with your ideas. Laura G. sent me this one, and I think it is such a neat idea! Thanks Laura!!!

I love to sing.I love to teach. 
I love children. I love Primary.
(It just may be the funnest calling in the church.)

Here is something I put together. I invited a different child up to choose an object and each one represented a new way to sing the song we needed to review for the month.
Ex: Flash light: turn the lights out and sing.
Slinky: Loud or soft.
Tissue: plug your nose
A Boot: March to the music as you sing
Pointer: Invite a child to lead the music or point to the chartMittens: Clap the rhythm while singing
Pictures of friends (or Friend Magazine): Turn and sing the song towards a friend
Cap: Sing Acapella (without the piano)
Turtle: Slow
Racecar: Fast
Ball: Invite 2 children to toss and ball back and forth
and every time they drop it you have to start the song over again.
Lala stick
Girls Only
Boys Only
Bumble Bee: Hum
Whistle: Whistle the song
Popcorn: Sing Popcorn Popping
Teeth: Sing with your teeth clenched
 Glue Stick: Pretend to glue a part of your body and sing it that way. Ex: Glue your hands to your head. Or your elbows together.
Wiggle hand puppet: Choose a wiggle song & change it up a bit.Microphones: you sing with 2 friends
Sun glasses: sing with your eyes closed.
Egg shakers: Sing staccato.you get the picture....with 24 total or as many pockets you need to fill up!

You could change it and be creative with anything you can think up!!!!

PS. I don't explain them ahead of time. Just as we go. Turned out to be a HIT! 

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Flipchart request

I'm in the process of making the flipchart for "Come Follow Me." I know, I like to ride it close to the deadlines...

I was wondering what verses you plan to do. I'm definitely doing the first verse, but not sure about all the others.

I think this song would be nice to make into more of a musical number, with a flute and/or violin. We have a few children in our ward who play these instruments, so it's great to give them the opportunity to use their talents.  There are lots of different instrumental arrangements for this song.

If you want flipcharts for the other verses, let me know which ones you plan on doing, so I can create something for you!


Thursday, June 17, 2010

June Song: The Holy Ghost

I appologize for my long hiatus! I've been trying to get my life more in order and give my kids more attention, and time just got away from me! I can't believe it's been almost a month since my last post!

Also, our primary sings at a nursing home, twice a year, one which occured just last week, so I've been trying to get ready for that and Father's day. I haven't even introduced this month's song yet!

That being said, I really struggled with this song. I sat down shortly after my last post, all excited to create a  flipchart, and just couldn't wrap my head around how to put images to the words. It's especially difficult, as we are not to try to portray the "holy ghost" in any way.

However, HUGE thanks to Tiffany from Port Orchard, who e-mailed me HER flip chart! I think it's awesome and hopefully it will be of help to some of you

Word Document here and PDF file here

She also did the second verse, but I just didn't post the pictures here....

As far as introducing the song...if you haven't already, I love this idea HERE on Camille's primary blog page, and also HERE, on I Sing U Sing. Both are fantastic resources as well

Friday, May 21, 2010

Potato Head Review

For Mother's day, I wanted to do something motherly-related for singing time.

I got the inspiration from this blog. She had real mom items to dress up with, but I didn't have enough of these things, so I came up with using the Potato-head toy.

This would work well for Father's day, or any day, for that matter.

This IS a "competition" game, which I generally try to stay away from. I did preface this game to the kids, by saying that we are often discouraged by competition games, because sometimes, the kids get too wrapped up in winning the game, instead of just having fun playing the game. Then I told them that I have been watching them for the 2 years that I have had this calling, and felt like it is something they could handle. I knew that THEY knew how to have fun, without making others feel bad, or getting out of control.

They did just fine. :)

Anyway. On to the game:

I had prewritten two posters with blanks on them. Except for the color of marker, the posters are the same.  I used heavy duty magnets, and posted them on the blackboard.

Each team gets a Mrs. Potato Head set.

(I think we had glasses and the purse too, but I forgot about these when I took the picture)

The game:
1) The primary sings the song continually, until the game is over (the poster is filled in).

2) Each person fills in TWO words on the poster, and puts ONE piece on the potato head.
(We had 11 pieces, so that makes 22 words to fill-in on the poster)

3) Once you have played, you can not go again. (I wanted to make sure that not the same 5 people were playing the game.) We let teacher's play as well.

4) First team to complete their poster and have the MOST complete Mrs. Potato head, wins. 

5) If you are caught NOT singing, I will pull off a part from your assembled potato head. I HIGHLY recommend doing this, or they get too caught up in the game, and forget to sing. I DID take off a piece or two during our game...

This was such a big hit, and I know THEY know the words to the song now. When the game was over, I didn't say anything about the "winner", but as soon as the winning team had one, I just stopped the game and said "Great job everyone! you guys did awesome!" and moved on to the next thing in my lesson plan.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Images for Faith poster

I received several requests for the images I used on my Faith poster.
There are two pages for this document.

I posted some more tips on how to make the poster on the original post.

Here you go!

PDF file, click here

Faith Images

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Faith poster

          The song I picked for May, is "Faith". I know MOST of you did NOT pick this song, but I think this idea could work for many songs. This song worked particularly well, because there were 4 main ideas presented. (Please forgive my photography skills. They are very lacking...)

I started by showing them this poster: 

I asked them what Faith is. After I got a few answers, I told them to listen to this song about Faith.

As I sang the song, I used the string behind the poster, to pull up the pictures out of their "boxes"

When I was finished, it looked like this.

Then, I pulled the pictures back down into their "boxes" and asked the kids what was in each "box". I was thrilled with their answers (and listening skills) when they used words and phrases from the song!

Then I called up volunteers to help pull the pictures out of the boxes as we sang the song. I love activities like this, that even the littlest kids can do. 

Here is another poster I helped my mother-in-law make. 

I love the blue!

TIP: use eyelets to help reinforce the holes, so they wouldn't rip
TIP: Put a piece of cardboard on the back of the poster, in between your string holes. This helps to keep the poster board from bending when you pul the string. 

I made my boxes from a 6x6 square of scrapbook paper. Then I scored a line 1/2" inch on three sides, and then another 3/8" of an inch towards the outside of the box.

Cut out the two bottom corners, fold them over each other and glue. 

This is what the "inside" of the box looks like. 

Funny side note:
When I started this blog, my sister was just called as primary chorister.
Then, my Mother-in-law.
Then, my mom 
(well, she's Stake Primary music leader, but ya know...same field..).
Then, My sister got released.
but now...
 my other sister has just been called as primary chorister. 
More ideas!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

May song?

"Apple" left this comment:

"I'm not sure where to post this, but here goes. I have noticed that May is a month that we can pick our own song to teach the children. Mother's Day songs are perfect but I am wondering what other songs choristers are teaching this month. We had a regional conference last week so this will be our first week of Primary for May. I am not sure what to teach. Would love to hear from everyone."

Great Question!
So, what are you teaching for May?

Our primary is doing "Faith" (CS 96)

Isingusing blog posted an awesome teaching idea for the "Fourth Article Of Faith" song. 

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Crying Mother

 Crying Mother Poster

So, some of you may have seen my cry for help yesterday, in figuring out the "crying mother" poster. 
Thank you for your suggestions!!

Well, here's what I came up with! 


My mom! 
(Isn't she beautiful!?)

Thanks mom for being such a great sport and letting me use you!

Ignoring the disturbing hole in my mom's eye, it looks like she is really crying! 

(I debated wether to put the whole in the tear duct, where tears actually come from, but thought the dark pupil would be less noticeable.)

 So, here's what I used:

  • I enlarged my mom's picture at Costco. It is a 16x20 for $5.99!  (I also debated about their poster-board option, but wasn't sure how sturdy it would be. I asked the lady at Costco to show me an example, and it is NICE stuff. a 16x20 would run you $14.99, but would elminate the need for a foam board, and spray adhesive...so it's almost even.)
  • Elmer's craft bond adhesive spray (Walmart)
  • Krylon finish spray (Walmart)
  • Color aplicator (Sally's Beauty supply $1.89)
  • Foam board (Walmart $2.84)

Here's a close up of the sprays.

**You can see on the first picture, the one that shows the finish project, that it blotchy. You might try another finishing spray, or even the gloss finish instead of the Matte. The finish is to keep the dripping water from destroying the picture and board.

1) Poke hole in eye. (I used my eyelet setter)

2) Spray adhesive to back of picture. Make sure to protect whatever you are spraying on, from the overspray. I just used an old towel.

3) Adhere picture to foam board

4) poke hole in foam board through the eye. (Yes, it's disturbing, but take deep, slow breaths, and you'll get through it...) again, I used my eyelet setter.

5) Spray lots of coats of the finish all over the board, in nice even coats. (Don't follow my example. apparently, I did not do a good job...) I also did a few extra coats on the hole of the eye, and also on the back of the board.

6) I had about 7" extra foam board that I trimmed off, so there was a nice, even border around the picture.

7) I still haven't figured out how to attach the bottle, but this is my plan for Sunday:
Yup! Mega blocks! (Yeah, I spray painted my bottle black, in an effort to be more sneaky with the kids. Totally unnecessary! I built a little tower, propped up the bottle, and when I'm ready, I'll just reach over and squeeze the bottle.  After the surprise has been made (that the mom actually cries), I'll just hold the bottle as I walk around the primary, making my mom cry. I'll post an update if I think of someway to hold the bottle to the poster. 

8) WAHLAH! Have a blast!!! I'm so stinkin' excited for Sunday!