Back To School Singing Time! { A Program Review }

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It’s time for another year of school! Summer is always over too quickly, isn’t it? For this review activity, you’ll need a brand new pencil for each member of your primary! (If the thought of fighting the back to school sales is too much for you, you can use the same printables below, just tape them to the bottoms of a few chairs around the room!) These cute pencil wraps will fit around about half of a standard #2 pencil!

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There’s 30 on a page, so print however many you need to cover your primary! Once you’ve got one of these papers taped around each pencil, go back and put these special papers on some of them! (If they don’t fit around the other side, you can just tape one short end to the pencil and wrap it around the bottom the long way!)

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There’s a school subject and clue to go with each song to review! Go up and down each row and let each child pick a pencil! Have them look for a special school bus clue to a song, and see if they can guess which song their pencil goes with! If their pencil doesn’t have a school bus clue, they still get to keep the pencil, and be reminded to choose the “write”!

Back to School Singing Time Pencil Wraps { PDF }

Happy Singing!

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A Child’s Prayer { A Poster }

Can you believe this is the last song in the sharing time outline this year!? Time has flown by and it’s crunch time for program prep! Check back soon for some ideas of how to get your songs in tip top shape!

A Child’s Prayer Poster { PDF }

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And this is NEW in the etsy shop this week!

{ Teaching } Families Can Be Together Forever

Accra Ghana Temple

For this lesson you’ll need:

  • Pictures of Temples from Around the World (Chances are you already have some! First check your own collection of visuals, the Friend or your Building’s Library, but if you need them, go here.)
  • Pictures to go with each phrase of the song (Check your own collection, the Friend, etc. first, but if you just want to print some, this blog post has some great ones. Think a picture of the earth for “I have a family here on earth”, a parent helping a child with homework or a family working together for “They are so good to me” etc.)

Have the pictures of the temples from around the world posted in the front of the room where everyone can see them. On the back, (or posted behind if you want to be sure not to damage your temple pictures) have your phrase pictures attached.

Senior Primary

Tell them the title of the song you’ll be learning this month. Chances are they’ll even know it, or at least the chorus. Ask them a few questions to get them started. How can families be together forever? When can you be sealed to your family? How big is your family? Why should we do family history work?

Point out the first temple and see if they can guess which country it’s in. (You’ll probably want to have a few more recognizable ones!) Then turn it around and show the picture that goes with that phrase. Keep going until all of the phrases have been learned, making sure that you sing the whole song at least a couple of times. Then you can go back and turn around some of the pictures so that you can only see the temples and see how much they remember.

Junior Primary

Set up your pictures the same way as for the Senior Primary. Have them look at all the pictures for a few seconds. Ask them what kind of buildings these are. What do they have in common? What can happen inside them? Tell them that you’ll be learning Families Can Be Together Forever this month. Show them the picture for the first phrase and spend a little extra time talking about it. Sing it together several times before moving on. Depending on how familiar your junior primary is with this song, you may want to only teach the chorus the first week, and then spend a full week on each verse.

HAPPY SINGING!

New in the Etsy Shop this week!

 

 

Teaching “When I Am Baptized” { The Chorus }

Last year I taught this song to just our 6&7 year old class since they were preparing for baptism soon. For some reason it was a struggle to get them to remember this one! It was a combination of things I think. First, I taught it to them in a group with just them during their class time and I think changing up their routine was a hindrance. Also, it seemed like the same group of kids were never there two weeks in a row, so getting everyone on the same page was very difficult. My group learned that first verse about rainbows in no time and then struggled with the chorus and the second verse. This time around, I’m taking it slow with the whole group. I’m starting with the chorus and we’ll move on to the verses once that’s firmly ingrained.

As you may know from following my blog, sometimes I like to throw a little basic music theory into the mix. And, as you have probably seen pointed out on many other websites, this song has some lovely ‘rainbow’ and ‘raindrop’ musical motifs that make this song especially suited for visual learning. The chorus is the rain because of the way the melody moves and really, the rain should come before the rainbow right? I’m just restoring the natural order of things. You’ll want to print and cut out these rain drops with the words to the chorus on them:

When I Am Baptized Chorus Raindrops {PDF}

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You’ll want to draw a staff on the chalkboard to put the raindrops on. (One of these to hold your chalk in just the right spacing makes it so much easier!)


Or you may want to consider one of these really cool roll-up dry erase staffs! They have reusable adhesive on the back that doesn’t leave residue on your chalkboard or wall, and it erases really cleanly. This would be an awesome addition to your primary music closet and since it rolls up it’s really easy to store without taking up a lot of valuable space.

Eventually, you want your board to look like this:

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With each raindrop on it’s corresponding staff line or space. How you get there will be different in Senior and Junior Primary. ***WARNING: this is a long paragraph and you may fall asleep somewhere in the middle. If you already guessed where I was going based on the images above then feel free to skip to the Junior Primary Section!

 

SENIOR PRIMARY

In Senior Primary, start with a blank staff. Have your pianist play just the melody of the chorus. Talk about how it sounds like raindrops. Put the first raindrop where it goes, at C, on the staff. {If you don’t read music, just copy the top line in the Children’s Songbook. Ask your pianist if you get confused 🙂 } Sing the first note together. (I’ll be skipping the words until later when we’re familiar with the melody, but if your kids are more familiar with this song, then sing the words as you go.) Have the pianist play the next note and sing it together. Decide if this note is higher, lower, or the same. (As you can see it’s the same.) Put that raindrop where it goes, in the same space as the last. Have the pianist play the next note, sing all 3 together and decide if this note is higher, lower or the same as the last two. Once you decide that it’s lower, decide how much lower, and have a child come up and put the raindrop where they think it should go. You may want to have your pianist play all the notes in between so they can hear how many there are. Once the raindrop has been placed, have your pianist play the line as it is written on the chalkboard and decide as a group if that’s right, comparing the sound of the correct melody to the one the child has chosen. Move the raindrop until you get it in the right place, on F. Continue until the first 8 notes are placed. At this point it should be much easier for your kids to be putting the drops in the right places. It’s a good stopping point to stop and take a look at the pattern you’re forming if they haven’t already pointed it out. It’s here that I would also introduce the words that go with these notes. Ask them where the next 2 notes should go based on the pattern and put them there. Have the pianist play the whole line. Ask them how boring it would be if it was just this same pattern over and over again, and tell them that it’s about to change. Have your pianist play the next 4 notes (that go with ‘right after rain’) and talk about how it sounds different. Have someone come up and put all 4 drops where they think they should go. Once you’ve got them in the right places, it’s on to the next line. You can go through this one much more quickly now that they’ve got the hang of it. Have your pianist play the first 4 notes, and ask them if that sounds familiar. You should be able to quickly decide to put those 4 in the very same places as you did on the first line. Tell them that the next 4 notes will be really close to the same but a little bit different and to listen closely for just ONE note that’s in a different place. Listen and decide which one it was, then have someone come up and put all 4 where they should go. You’ll see that over the word ‘can’ there is a fermata. Now’s a great time to teach or review what that symbol means and what it looks like when you conduct it. Place the raindrop with the fermata on it above the word ‘can’. Then tell them it’s time for their hardest challenge yet, and that they have 6 notes to put in the right place. Let them place all 6 and have your pianist play it to decide if they’re right or what they need to change. Once the whole chorus is placed correctly on the board, you can play any of the games that you’ll read about below in the Junior Primary Section. (If you read all of that pat yourself on the back, stretch, grab a snack and settle in for the Junior Primary portion of our program.)

JUNIOR PRIMARY

In Junior Primary, I will start with all the raindrops in their correct places on the board. First, I’ll ask everyone to think about the last time it rained. What did it sound like? Did it smell differently? How did it feel? Then ask what happens to things that get left outside in the rain. What if you got one of your toys dirty and then left it outside in the rain? Wouldn’t it be clean when you went back to get it? You can even talk about how rain can clean the air, especially if there is a forest fire nearby or a lot of dust or pollution. This song is about how the earth is very clean right after a rain storm and how we can become clean too by getting baptized. Have your pianist play while you sing the first line of the chorus to them. Sing again and point to the raindrops as you go, explaining that when you read music, you can tell whether to sing high notes or low notes by looking at how high or low the notes are on the staff. Move one of the notes in the first line to a different place and have your pianist play how it would sound if you changed the place of that note. You can even hold a raindrop and move it up and down on the staff with your pianist playing along to demonstrate how the staff works. If your piano is placed in a good spot, you may even want to let one of the children come up and move the raindrop around on the staff while the piano follows them. Move on to the next line, again pointing to where the raindrop is that you’re singing. Have a child come up and pick one word to move and sing it that way. Then move it back and sing it the right way. Continue through the rest of the chorus this way. On the last line take a moment again to talk about the fermata and what that means. Once you have learned all of the chorus, you can play a couple of different games. You can give one child a pointer (I have a sparkly star wand they love to use) and have them point to the raindrops as you sing. You can let one child come up and pick one raindrop to move to a different place on the staff and sing with the pianist playing the incorrect note. Have everyone raise their hand when they hear the ‘wrong’ note.

If you feel like your kids need a break at any point, stop and sing “Rain is Falling All Around” (#241) or teach it if it’s new to you or your primary. They’ll learn this one super fast and it’s so perfect with this lesson. Try a couple of the suggested alternate phrases, especially ones fitting the weather that day. Here’s hoping for sunshine.

HAPPY SINGING!

{ Reviewing } We Thank Thee O God for a Prophet

Sometimes I find it a lot harder to review songs with Junior Primary than with Senior, but I have learned that they like to hear you tell stories! (Well, short stories. They have the attention spans of…well, 3 year olds.) I’ve also learned that they don’t usually know the answers to questions I ask them about scripture stories which is understandable since they’ve only had maybe 18 months of their lives to learn them. Keeping that in mind, I knew we were going to need a lot of review for this song because of its length. I started with my Prophets that I use for Follow the Prophet in Nursery which you can print and read about here. I already had all the resources I needed right there in my nursery bag and my brain! Don’t you love when things work out that way?

I thought about writing out the stories to go with the prophets, but first of all, I think most of you guys know them already, and even if you don’t know them yet, your primary will be SO MUCH MORE engaged and entertained if you can keep eye contact with them and really get into the story. So instead I decided to give you the scripture reference of where they can be found just in case you need a refresher! And of course there are plenty of other equally wonderful stories about each of these prophets that you could tell!

Nephi

1 Nephi 18:11-20

Nephi’s wicked brothers Laman and Lemuel tied him up on the ship he had just built for them all to sail across the ocean. Nephi was rescued by Heavenly Father who caused a big storm to scare them and set Nephi free.

Joseph Smith

JS-H 1: 13-20

Joseph Smith’s account of the First Vision.

Samuel

Helaman 16: 2-8

Samuel preaches to the Nephites on the wall of the city and cannot be hit with their arrows.

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I used President Monson’s experience as a little boy giving a train set at Christmas time. You can read his account of it here.

Noah

Genesis 7

Noah’s Ark, of course! This was one of the few that they knew, so ask them if they can tell you the story first and see how far you get!

Enoch

Moses 7:66-69

The City of Enoch is taken up into heaven.

daniel

Daniel 6:16-24

Daniel in the lion’s den.

Moses

Exodus 14:21-28

Moses parts the Red Sea.

I used 8 prophets because I thought we needed to review the song line by line. We reviewed each line and then I looked for a good singer to come up and choose a picture of a prophet that they would like to learn about. To adapt this activity for Senior Primary, I would ask one child to choose a prophet and then tell us everything they knew about him. If they couldn’t remember the story listed above I would either tell it to them or have them look it up in their scriptures depending on how much time we had.

HAPPY SINGING!

You can find subway art for this song and others at my Etsy shop!

We Thank Thee O God for a Prophet PREVIEW