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Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Iron Rod Flip Chart

I've made several flip charts for different songs, but I don't know how to put them on here yet.  I did however, submit my first flip chart to Sugardoodle of the song "The Iron Rod".  So you can follow the previous link to get to it. :)

Snowball Fight with Favorite Songs

An anonymous visitor left this idea on Sugardoodle.

"A fun idea is to have each child write their favorite song on a piece of paper. Then, they wad the paper up like a snowball. Sing a song, and the class that sings best gets to throw their "snowballs" at the song leader. Continue until all the classes have had a chance. At the end, pick up all the snowballs. For the next weeks singing time, have them guess the "top ten" favorite songs from the week before. WAY FUN!"
I'm going to try it in a couple of weeks.  I'm a little worried about it getting out of hand, so I'm going to have a large bowl as a back up, if they get too rowdy throwing the "snowballs" I will gather them in a bowl to choose from. :)

Dress For Winter Game

This idea was submitted on Sugardoodle by someone named Rain.

"Today the children are going to help me dress for the winter weather.
I have 2 boots - inside each are the songs "Come follow me" and "I'll walk with you"
I have 2 gloves - "I have two little hands" and "Children holding hands around the world"
I have a coat - "Home"
I have a scarf - " Once there was a snowman"
And I have an ear wrap - "This is my beloved Son"."

I only changed one song.  Since we're learning "If I Listen With My Heart", I used that one on a pair of ear muffs (instead of the ear wrap).

We only had time for six of the seven songs, but it was fun!

If I Listen With My Heart

I really love the Theme Song that they've chosen for this year.  The more we sing it, the more I love it! 

Week 1: Introduction and "chorus"

To introduce the song "If I Listen With My Heart", I chose an idea from Loralee Kurzius:

Call a helper to the front. As you do so the Pianist discreetly makes a small tapping noise, peaks over piano and says, “Did you HEAR that? What is thatPretend you can’t hear it. When the kids tell you they can, tell
Ask the helper to tell you about their favorite scripture story. After they begin, cover your ears.  If they stop talking, tell them to go ahead, you are listening and then start to hum and walk away while they are talking.

  • Discuss whether or not you were really listening.
  • What does it mean to “listen with my heart”?
  • Ask them how to listen with your heart (eye contact-not being busy, etc.)
Week 2: Verse 1

I also used part of an an idea from Loralee Kurzius and changed it just a little:

If we had been little children when Jesus lived on earth we could have walked with him and listen to his words.  Well, we can’t go back to that time, but how can we hear his words today? (pull out scriptures) Discuss how reading the scriptures is listening to Christ's words.  Although He isn't here in person, we can hear His voice through the scriptures.

  • Read a scripture quickly (she suggests Matthew7:26). Was I really listening to what I read?
  • Ask how to listen with your heart when reading (with the spirit)
  • Ask them to listen with their hearts while you read again (vs. 24).
To teach the words of the 1st verse, I wrote each line with a different color marker on a white board.  We went color by color to learn the verse.  That way, they knew when to stop and it broke the song up into learnable pieces.  If you were reviewing, you could erase each color as they learn that part really well.

Week 3: Verse 2

For this week, we reviewed verse one and the chorus and then learned verse two.  I found an idea that I really loved on the Teaching LDS Children website.  I laminated the whole thing so that I can use it over and over!  I showed it to my family the night before church when I got it all done, and they loved it! 

You can go to their website for the full directions and patterns. :)  It's really great!

Week 4: Verse 3

Next week, I plan on using part of an idea from Tanya Conrad:

I have several sounds recorded (from  The ones I chose were:

1. Laughter of a Child
2. Doorbell
3. Elephant
4. Ambulance (these are louder sounds). 

Then we will talk about how those are easier sounds to hear.  What about quieter sounds?  Then I will play:

1. Wind
2. River
3. Sparrow
4. Whisper (I whisper "And if I listen with my heart I hear the Savior's voice)

I will ask the children if they could understand what I said.

As I am using this for a different verse than she did, after I play the sounds I am going to talk about how the Holy Ghost is a quiet sound and we have to listen carefully to hear him.  We will discuss how if we listen to the Holy Ghost, we can hear the Savior's voice.

I also really love this idea from Loralee Kurzius:

"When I teach the third verse of this song , (HG comforts me) I'll not only wear my warm, fuzzy slippers, but I'll get the presidency
and teachers to do it too. The kids will be so curious about them by the time we get to Singing Time that they'll totally go home
talking about it and remembering that the Holy Spirit give you a warm, comforting feeling!!!"

To teach the words of the song, I think I'm going to use another idea that I found on Teaching LDS Children:
"Tell the children that they are now going to learn the third verse of the song “If I Listen with My Heart”. Explain that this verse is about the Holy Ghost being a way we can hear the Savior’s voice. The Saviour communicates with us through the Holy Ghost.  There are many different things that the Holy Ghost tells us that the Savior wants us to know.  
Ask the children if they have ever seen a stain glass window. Explain that a stain glass window is many pieces of colored glass combined to make a beautiful picture. When light comes through the window, its beauty can fill us with joy, and uplift and warm our souls. Explain that the Holy Ghost can also fill our lives with joy, warm our souls, and light up our life with beauty. Like the different pieces of a stain glass window, there are different things the Holy Ghost does. A few of those things are mentioned in this verse."

There's a story to go with it as well from The Friend with photos she's put together that you could use if you have time.  She does such a great job!

Click here for the story pictures, stain glass pattern, and word pages.

Week 5: Review

For the last week I want to review all three verses a couple of times. Before we sing, I'm going to review the three different ways we can hear the Savior's voice (the scriptures, the prophet, and the whisperings of the Holy Ghost).  I'm going to use this idea I found on Teaching LDS Children where you put a picture of the Savior in the back and use pictures of the scriptures, the prophet and the words "whisperings of the Holy Ghost" printed on vellum to place over the picture of the Savior showing how you hear his voice through those three ways.  Cool huh? (Click here for the verse one pictures and words to print.)

I will sing through the whole song with the flip chart I printed. (There are several different ones you can choose from on Sugardoodle) .  The second time through, I'm going to hand out "Listen/Hear" sticks for the children to hold up on the right word as we sing.  (This idea was originally in the Outline for Sharing Time 2011 pg.27) You print out these hearts with "Listen" and "Hear" on them and glue them to either side of a popsicle stick.  (Click here for the link to the "Love Cards" or go to for a simple b&w version you can color).

They have to listen for the right words to hold them up on.  The two words are used a lot more frequently in the first two verses, and only in the chorus on the third, but I that's ok.  They'll have fun with them.  :)  (Update: The kids LOVED these!  I've used them for a couple weeks now!)

Update: I actually ended up doing something different that the heart sticks.  I'm going to use them in February.  Instead, I used an idea that I found on Precious Primary for reviewing songs called "Leaping Frog".  It worked so well, and the kids LOVED it!  There were only enough lily pads for the first two phrases (18 notes) in the song,  so then I used my frog on a popsicle stick to mark the melody up and down (as they suggest). (For following the lily pads, I used one on a skewer like the picture below).  Once the kids got the hang of it, I passed out a "frog on a stick" to every child and let them follow the lily pads in their mind, hopping with their own frogs and then do the melody up and down like I had done.  That was the most involved our little Sunbeams and CTR 5 classes have been in Singing Time and even the "big kids" thought it was fun!  This one is definately a keeper!!!

More Review:

In February, I plan to use another idea from on Teaching LDS Children to help them memorize the song.

"You put all the words the first verse seperate (or in small groups) and put them on the board.

Then I will have each child search for their "Valentine Word" under their chair (if you have Jr. and Sr. Primary split, they'll need to put them back).  Each word will be one that is sung in the song throughout the verse (the more frequent, the better).  You call multiple children up to take out "thier words" so you can sing it again. You could do this several times with kids taking words out each time." 

You could even adapt this to all three verses by adding words from the other verses and numbering the words 1,2, or 3.  Then after you have sung each verse through once,  you'd call multiple children up with the right number (verse 1, 2, or 3) to take out "thier words" so you can sing it again. 

For the second verse, I'll take the word strips from week three off the rings and magnet them in order (with their help) on the board.  We may see if someone can put them in order while we sing. :)

For the third verse, we may take the stain glass window apart piece at a time or something.  I'll have to think about that one some more.

I'm hoping to have it memorized in time for our Ward Conference the end of February when the Stake comes to visit!  :)

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Snow Song Search

I got this idea from Debbie Huber on Sugardoodle  she wrote:

I brought a plastic box full of snow (living in California, we used fake snow, but if you're lucky you could try this with real snow). I cut out big block letters on white cardstock and laminated them. The letters spelled a mystery word (we did SLEDS). Each letter represented a snow song to sing. A child would come and search through the snow to find a letter. I would hang that letter up once it was chosen. At the end of singing time, they tried to figure out the mystery word. Here are the songs we sang:

S = If You're Happy (clap your gloves, stomp your boots, shout whoo-hoo)
L = Once Their Was a Snowman
E = Do As I'm Doing (shoveling snow, throwing snowballs, catching snowflakes with your tongue)
D= Pick any song but pretend to be shivering and cold while singing the song.
S= Popcorn Popping (Snowflakes falling on the evergreen tree - taken from Primary To Go)

"I looked out the window, and what did I see?
Snowflakes falling on the evergreen trees.
Winter's brought me such a nice surprise,
Snowflakes falling right before my eyes.
I can make a snowball, I know I can.
Three snowballs make a big snowman.
I know it's really so, And I'm glad to see
Snowflakes falling on the evergreen trees."

I adapted it a little. For snow I used Poly Pellets (little clear plastic pellets used for crafts, like bean bags) for the snow and put them in a large metal serving bowl. For the letters, I used plastic alphabet tiles. The kids loved it! Everyone really loved the "winter versions" of "If You're Happy", "Do As I'm Doing" and "Popcorn Popping". I also used the songs "Falling Snow" and the snow version of "Rain Is Falling All Around".

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Scripture Songs

We started the year off with one of our favorite scripture songs, "Scripture Power".  Of course the children had to raise their scriptures in the air on "Scripture Power", they LOVE this song.

Since this year's theme (2011) focuses on the scriptures.  I set a goal to have all the Primary children learn the books in each of the standard works through the songs in the Children's Songbook.  So today I introduced them to the children by just singing through each of them.  They already know the "Books in the Book of Mormon" one pretty well, but I have plans to work on each of them little at a time throughout the year until they know all of them.  For teaching "The Books in the New Testament" and "The Books in the Old Testament" I plan on using some ideas I read on Sugardoodle , Sugardoodle 2 that I really liked.

Snowflake Matching Game

January is snow month for me.  I kind of have a fettish with snowflakes.  So today I wore a sweater with snowflakes on it (and necklace and earrings).  We sang "Rain Is Falling All Around", the snow version and "Once There Was A Snowman".  I also prepared some die cut snowflakes for a matching game.  Years ago I purchased some really beautiful ones from Shindigz for an activity and I've used them over and over for different things.  They were perfect for this game.

I wrote numbers on the back of five of them that corresponded to the five songs we sang for singing time and then taped them with five matching ones to a board.  As each helper came up, I had them choose a snowflake and it's match to find which song we would sing.  It was fast, simple and fun.

A New Beginning

I've been the Primary chorister in our ward for almost a year now.  I LOVE my calling and I love that there are so many people out there who are so talented and share their talents, thus making my job so much easier!  I've decided this year to keep a blog of ideas that I find or come up with, in hopes that it'll spark ideas for others and that others will also share with me.