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 “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

Teaching We Thank Thee O God for a Prophet

There are some really great ideas for teaching this song in the Sharing Time Outline! I liked a lot of them but I wanted to put my own twist on things, so I made my own word strips. Each line of the song is cut in half and matched with color and a little picture to make it easy to put together. I think that makes it more usable for both junior and senior primary groups!

We Thank Thee O God For a Prophet Word Strips {PDF}

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You can use these to teach this song for the first time, or to review it in a lot of different ways. In Senior Primary, I started with just the first halves of each line up on the board. I had our pianist play through it once while they listened, and while a lot of them said they had heard it before, only one of them knew the name. But, once we started singing it, just having the first line up was enough for them to be able to remember it well enough to sing through it pretty completely. As I went over each line, I put up the second half until all the word strips were up. This went really fast since the song was somewhat familiar. We did talk for a minute about the meaning of the line “Bestowed by thy bounteous hand” and we also talked about why we say words like “Thee” and “Thy”. Once all the strips were up, I had a child who was singing well come up and pick two strips to hide somewhere in the room. I told them we were hiding them for Junior Primary so to think about how high and how difficult to hide them for the younger children. Once all the strips were hidden again, I picked three children to walk around the room while we sang and see if they could find just the first halves of each line. This turned out to be trickier than I thought it would be! I thought they would have figured out that the picture was always on the left side for the first part of the line but they didn’t. It was still very effective though, because they would bring up the wrong half of the line and then I would ask the rest of the primary if it was a first half or not. Then the child that had brought it up had to say what the whole line was and then go and find the actual first half and re-hide the second.

When Junior primary came in right after Senior, all the second halves of the lyrics were hidden. I told them we were learning a song called “We Thank Thee O God, for a Prophet” and we talked about who our prophet is today (we have a picture of President Monson above the chalkboard) and who some other prophets have been in the past. Then we learned the first half of the first line (“We Thank Thee”) and I held up the word strip and showed it to each row up close. I asked them what picture was on it (a person behind a podium talking into a microphone) and I had them guess what they thought could be in the second part of the line. I explained that the rest of the line would be on the exact same color and have the exact same picture on it as the first half. Then, I sent one child to find the second half. When they did, we reviewed the words and made sure that each picture and color matched. We went through each line this way. We took a break in the middle for  a couple of wiggle songs and then finished the rest of the song.

There are a lot of ways to review with these strips as well. You could start with all the strips on the board in the wrong order and have a child put them in order as you sing, or you could have all the first or second halves in the right place and then scramble the other half. You could hide all or half of the strips taped underneath chairs in the room and have the person with the right strip come up when you sing their line. You could do a call and response where one half of the room only sings the first half of the line and the other half only sings the second. You could print several copies and have a race to see which class or other group could put the words in order the fastest. There’s a lot of possibilities here! If you have other ideas on how to use these strips, post them in the comments!

HAPPY SINGING!

Easter Review – If The Savior Stood Beside Me

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Easter Eggs and Basket Singing Time REVISED {PDF}

**Note, if you downloaded this file prior to 3/28/13, you will notice that the first egg says “John 31:15” but it should be 13:15.  You could re-download or you could just watch your kids struggle to find the 31st book of John. Either way**

It was very clear to me that we still needed to spend some time with this song! But I still wanted to reinforce the message and importance of Easter, so I came up with this activity to do both! We’ll be using the same visuals in both Junior and Senior primaries but in a totally different way. This would work great if you wanted to use actual Easter eggs and put the scripture references inside too!

Senior Primary

On each egg there is a scripture reference that corresponds with one of the verses of If the Savior Stood Beside Me. There is a key sheet included in the PDF file so you can keep track and help your kids recognize which line of the song the verse goes with if you need to. I also included a few fun review songs and a special egg with a star so we could sing all three verses together. To start this activity, I’ll have one child come up and pick an egg. They’ll look for the verse on it while we sing the song through once to review it. I like to organize it that way so we can get through as much singing as possible and so everyone has something to do all the time. When we’re done singing, the child who found the scripture verse will read it to us (or I will if they don’t feel comfortable). Then we’ll decide which verse (or other song) it matches and sing it. I really like incorporating scriptures when I can, especially if they have the opportunity to find them on their own and get familiar with where things are in the scriptures. We’ll collect the eggs in the basket (included in the PDF) as we go.

Junior Primary

Last week, we played hot and cold, which they had such a good time with! So I thought this week we could do something similar with this Easter activity! It will be kind of a combination of hot/cold and pin the tail on the donkey. I’ll have the basket posted at the front of the room. Then I’ll pick someone to come up and pick their favorite egg (I won’t be using the scripture reference with this age group) and get blindfolded. We’ll spin them around a few times and then let them see if they can put their egg in the basket. The rest of the primary will sing soft if they are far away from the basket and loud as they get closer to help them find it.

Combined Primaries

If you have both junior and senior primaries together, you can combine both activities above! Have a member of senior primary come up and pick an egg and find the scripture verse on it while the rest of the primary is singing. Let them read the scripture and then decide which verse it goes with. Then, as you’re singing that verse, have a member of junior primary blindfolded and trying to put the egg in the basket while another member of senior primary has chosen the next egg and is finding the scripture. I think this activity would be really cool with both groups together!

HAPPY SINGING!