Introducing – My Heavenly Father Loves Me

February is fast approaching and I, like you, have been dreaming up ways to teach My Heavenly Father Loves Me. I have to say upfront that this is one of my favorite primary songs, I loved singing it when I was little and I’m excited to teach it! I don’t think many of my kids know this song (if any) so I’m planning on spending a decent amount of time with it. Even though it only has 2 verses, it’s pretty long so I’m thinking it’ll probably take me 3 weeks to teach. I’ve been having a lot of fun going back and studying this song and really pulling out some of the patterns in it. The central message is that our Heavenly Father loves us of course, but the lyrics really point out all the evidences all around us that prove that to us every day. And they’re things that we don’t notice so much in this technology-based world we’re in. In fact, I don’t think any of my kids have ever seen a lilac tree (I’m from the South). And, as you’ll learn in this activity, we’ve been blessed with all of our senses and our physical bodies to be able to enjoy them! It’s all pretty amazing, so I really wanted to pull out those main concepts when teaching it. Here’s how:

My Heavenly Father Loves Me {PDF}

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**UPDATE: Now you can print these in a larger, full-size page! Some of the pictures are a little fuzzier, but kids will be able to see them easily from the back row! Here it is in PDF and in Word so you can change or re-size whatever you’d like! Just print them double-sided and you’re good to go!

My Heavenly Father Loves Me LARGE {Word}

My Heavenly Father Loves Me LARGE {PDF}

Print out these cards (I promise they’re not all blue, the first ones just worked out that way!) and fold them in half so that one side is a picture and one side has the question. When you look at them all you’ll notice that the whole first verse is sensory experiences and ends with being glad at what Heavenly Father has created for us. Then, in the second verse, every other question points to a blessing that we’ve been given and how we might use it and ends with the central message, that Heavenly Father loves each of us individually. Pretty cool, right?

In Junior primary, I’m going to sing the whole song for them first, and have them listen for the answer for just the first question. Then I’ll post the picture side so they’ll have a reminder as we go, and we’ll sing the first line together. Then we’ll move on to the next question but I’ll only sing the line that the answer is in. Once they’ve answered the question we’ll sing just that line, then the first two lines together, and so on until we’ve learned the whole thing!

In Senior primary, I’ll post all of the cards with the question side showing up front and tell them to listen to answers for all of them as I sing the whole song through. We’ll see how many they remember (in order only!) and we’ll sing each line together as we turn the card over to the picture side. Once we’ve got the whole song down, we’ll start taking the pictures away until we can sing it without any help at all.

HAPPY SINGING!

My Heavenly Father Loves Me { A Poster }

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A new sticker design is up! You can click on the image to go to my sticker store! There are lots of other great designs there too, some are very multi-use like my Super Singer sticker and I heart Primary Music and there also a few holiday ones and one for I Am A Child of God. I’m thinking I’ll be doing one for each song we learn this year, so look out for those! I think they would be great for a sticker chart to keep track of which songs your primary has “passed off” and are program ready!

And, since you guys have loved my I Am A Child of God poster, (it’s the second most downloaded printable from this site!) I’ll be making one of those for each song this year too! The poster and the sticker will kind of have similar elements to them to keep everything cohesive, like this:

My Heavenly Father Loves Me Poster February {PDF}

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Hope you guys love it! Let me know what you think!

HAPPY SINGING!

Reviewing I Am A Child of God {with rhythm}

Don’t be scared by the lack of pictures in this post! I think you will really like this activity despite its lack of visual interest!

Here’s why this activity is so great:

  1. Everyone will be engaged (trust me, your kids will want to be allowed to make this much noise in church, however organized)
  2. It’s a buildable activity so it can go on forever if you keep changing up the patterns
  3. You can make it REALLY simple for the younger kids and REALLY challenging for the older kids
  4. Keeping beat and knowing how to separate beat from rhythm is a great skill to have especially for studying music or dance
  5. Everyone participates all at once, so there’s no hurt feelings over turn-taking
  6. If you have special needs kids, they will probably LOVE this
  7. You can use this with ANY song

Junior Primary

It seems like there’s a much bigger difference in age and maturity in my junior primary right now (probably because we’ve still got screaming sunbeams!) I’ve been having a little bit of a hard time keeping all of them engaged with age-level appropriate activities for all of them. My solution? Rhythm. Most kids can keep rhythm even at a really young age (not promising every single one, but MOST), and a lot of kids think and learn better when they’re doing something with their bodies that reinforces what they’re learning, and this activity will keep everyone engaged.

We’ll start with the everyone just clapping the beat. Then I’ll add a different pattern to the 4-5 & 6-7 year old classes like – lap clap lap clap – (since it’s in 4/4), and once they’ve got that down, I’ll add a different pattern for the 6-7 year old class like – lap clap snap clap – and we’ll have all of these patterns going at once! I’m only going to be singing the second and third verses since those are the ones that are new to most of my kids. We’ll probably do a couple of different patterns (lap lap clap snap – snap clap clap clap, you get the idea) and then we’ll move onto the rhythm. So instead of clapping the beat, we’ll clap the rhythm of I Am a Child of God. We’ll sing it all the way through once just clapping, then the Sunbeams will stay on that (I’m guessing a lot of them will still be clapping the beat instead of the rhythm, but that’s ok) the older kids will move on to – lap clap lap clap – but with the rhythm, and then the oldest kids will do a – lap clap snap clap – pattern.

Senior Primary

In Senior Primary, we’ll sing a verse once through and I’ll challenge them to find the beat on their own, without my help. We’ve done a couple of rhythm activities in the past, so I’m hoping that they’ll be able to find it! Once they’ve got that down, we’ll do another verse where we just clap the rhythm. Then, I’ll split them into two groups and one will do the beat and the other will do the rhythm. Then, we’ll trade which group is rhythm and which is beat and throw in some different patterns in each group like we did in junior primary, singing each verse at least once. Now the real fun starts. In one hand, they’ll be tapping the beat against their laps and in the other, they’ll tap the rhythm. My senior primary loves activities like this where they are challenged and even some of the adults have trouble keeping up!

If your kids enjoy this rhythm activity, check out my post on Blue Jello that I used with Keep the Commandments. If you get really into rhythm activities, you may want to look into getting some rhythm tools like these rhythm sticks,

or these shakers

HAPPY SINGING!

I Am A Child of God {Part 2}

For week 2 of learning I Am A Child of God, We’ll be learning the third verse. (I’m only teaching the first 3 verses to my primary, but if you have decided to teach all 4, you could adapt each of these activities for the third and fourth verse.)

Junior Primary

For junior primary, I’ll be using a story I found in the Friend from January of 2008. You can find it here. It’s included in the “For Little Friends” section, and it’s kind of a comic-style story about a little girl who gives a talk in primary about how she is a child of God.

I Am A Child of God Story – Junior Primary {PDF}

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I’m going to cut out each little box of the story. I’ll read the first one and then teach them the first line of the third verse. Once they’ve got it down (it’s the same as all the others!) I’ll read the next part of the story. They’ll have to earn the next parts of the story by singing each new line of the song and then the whole third verse. We’ll review the second song and then sing all three verses together to earn the last couple of pieces of the story!

Senior Primary

I don’t know about your senior primary, but mine learns songs really fast! Especially when it’s one they’re kind of familiar with. And when you think about it, with this song they only have to learn 3 new lines for each verse! The first line is always the same and they already know the chorus. My senior primary has been really fast at catching the words lately so I’ll just go over the third verse quickly with them and we’ll jump right into a review game. I feel like this method works better for most of them and the ones who need a little more time will get it in the review game.

We’ll be using these word strips:

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I Am a Child of God Word Strips-PDF

I’ll have one child come up and choose a strip, then decide if it is true or false. Then I’ll have the group decide which verse the strip goes with and we’ll sing it. For example, “Heavenly Father created the earth for his children to live on” is true. It goes with verse one’s line “Has given me an earthly home.” There are a couple that don’t go with a verse directly, so if we can’t pick one out, I’ll let them pick which verse we want to sing.

This senior primary plan is yet another lesson inspired by this book: I love the method of using these questions to really make our kids think about the gospel messages that are presented in the songs we’re teaching them. Even in the songs they already know, there are probably fundamental gospel messages that they just haven’t thought about because they’re so used to singing the words!

Hope this helps you finish up your lesson on I Am a Child of God!

HAPPY SINGING!

P.S. Now you can like Sunbeam Singing on Facebook!

2013 Primary Music Leader PLANNER!!!!

I saw this adorable Primary Presidency Planner on Sugardoodle , but I searched and couldn’t find one for us Music Leaders! Sure, there are monthly calendars with little spaces to fill out and weekly lesson planning sheets, but no complete book with places to keep track of everything you need for the year! So what did I do? That’s right, I made my own! And I’m sharing it with you!

2013 Primary Music Leader Planner {PDF}

2013 Primary Music Leader Planner{Word}

I posted both a PDF and a Word version so that you could hopefully change things that you’d like to, but if you have formatting problems, you’ll definitely be able to print the PDF! This planner was created using Word 2011 on a Mac in Publishing Layout. I hope it will be compatible for your version of Word as well!

This is the cover!

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And this is what one of the monthly planning pages looks like!

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I made these in black and white so it wouldn’t use up an entire cartridge of colored ink!

A FEW PRINTING NOTES: If you want to make this into one book, you’ll need to print these pages double-sided (some printers call this duplex printing). Each printer is different, but most will print all of the odd pages first and then ask you to reload them to print on the other side. Follow the directions your printer gives you! You could have these punched and spiral bound or stick them in your 3-ring binder!

In addition to the monthly planning pages there are a couple of pages at the end that you can use to set yearly goals, keep track of songs your primary knows and songs you’d like to teach them, which activities were hits and which were misses, all kinds of things like that!

Since there are a couple of months where we get to choose what song we want to learn, I left spaces blank in the top corner for you to fill in! I also left some room at the top of the months October through December since I like to pick one song to focus on then too!

I hope you find this planner useful and if you have any suggestions on ways to improve it, please let me know! I hope you have a very successful 2013 in Primary!

HAPPY SINGING!