Saturday, November 30, 2013

When Joseph Went to Bethlehem

When Joseph went to Bethlehem, I think he took great care

To place his tools and close his shop and leave no shavings there.

He urged the donkey forward, then, with Mary on its back,
And carried bread and goat cheese in a little linen sack.

I think there at the busy inn that he was meek and mild

And awed to be the guardian of Mary's sacred child.

Perhaps all through the chilly hours he smoothed the swaddling bands,

And Jesus felt the quiet strength of Joseph's gentle hands.

And close beside the manger bed, he dimmed the lantern's light,

And held the little Jesus close upon that sacred night.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Lesson Plans: December 2013

Flipcharts and Visual Aides for Christmas Songs:

Build a nativity while you sing related Christmas songs.

Have the children choose from Primary Song-Themed Snowflakes.

Have a Primary Song Snowball Fight!

Make Christmas Gifts of unique Primary Song CD's (with a twist).

Create a living creche while you sing The Nativity Song.

Play The Nativity Song Matching Game.

Ideas for Christmas CD's or Baptism Gift CD's

I love the idea of handing out CD's for of the upcoming year's song's at Christmas time.  But, to be honest, as a parent I never even opened them.  Not once.  And as a Chorister, I feel like they will be getting enough of the program songs during the coming year.  So, this year I would love to give a CD of my favorite Primary songs that they've probably never heard.  Keep in mind that recordings you may own of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and other LDS artists are in most cases copyrighted and you are not allowed to include them on CD's that you plan to distribute.  Fortunately, though, there are resources with songs you may use.

Most of you already know that there are many gorgeous, church-approved songs that don't appear in the Hymnal or Children's Songbook.  The LDS Music Library has an entire section dedicated to Songs from "the Friend" and the other church magazines.  (Make sure to get approval from your Primary President before you teach them)  Many do not include recordings, but some of the most popular do!

Here are my picks for the playlist:

One in a Million (not on the above site.  Click the title for the correct link)

And if those aren't enough, you can include songs from the Songbook that you wish you had time to teach.  Mine would include:

Another idea for Christmas CD's is to make a recording of the Articles of Faith Songs, The Books in the Book of Mormon, Old Testament and New Testament, and Latter-day Prophets.   Those are all available to download here.   

My children learned their AofF without a minute of studying because we listened to a CD like this one in the car on the way to and from school. 

You might even include cards or a matching game:

Matching Game from the Friend

The Articles of Faith, Books and Prophets CD might also be a good idea for a Baptism Gift, as the children are getting ready to learn the Articles of Faith for their Faith in God requirements!

Any other great ideas?  Leave them in the comments!

Snowball Fight

This activity is a fun, easy way to review the songs the children love.  (And it's especially good for substitutes while you're on Christmas vacation!)

As the children come in to primary,  give them each a piece of white paper and have them write the name of a favorite primary song on it.     Ask the children to keep the papers under their chairs.

When Singing Time begins, explain that you are going to have a snowball fight.  Ask the children to take their papers out from under their chairs and crumple them into a ball.  Count down from five and have the children all throw their snowballs at you at once.  

Choose a snowball at random and sing the song written on it.  Continue until you are out of time.

(For Junior Primary or primaries that have trouble with reverence, you might bring a large bucket or basket and ask the children to try to throw their snowballs into the basket.  Have an older child help you collect the snowballs before you begin singing.  This helps you avoid the noise and distraction of having Sunbeams constantly running out of their seats to pick up snowballs and throw at you while you're singing.)

Saturday, November 2, 2013

The Nativity Song

For this song, I've created two documents.  

The first includes all of the pictures shown below, with the capitalized rhyming words.  

To teach the song, you could post the first half of each rhyme on the board and scatter the second half of the rhymes around the room.  As you teach the song, let the children find the matches.

To review, you might play a matching game.  Shuffle the pages.  Post them all at the front of the room with the picture sides hidden.  Have the children take turns turning over two pages at a time.  When they find a match, sing the corresponding verse.  (When I play the matching game, I like to post the pictures up-side-down with one piece of tape at the top.  Then when the children choose a picture, you can flip it up like a hinge instead of taking it completely off of the board.  You can also number the backs of the pages and ask children to tell you the number they want to see rather than turning the pictures over themselves.  This saves lots of time in large primaries.)

The second document shows only half of the pictures, with no words.  This document would be useful as a flip chart for performances.  It will help the children remember which verse comes next, but will not have enough page turns to be distracting.

This is the season, beloved of the YEAR

Sing a rhyme; Christmas time soon will be HERE.

Tell the true story of Jesus' BIRTH

When, as a baby, he came to the EARTH.

This is the new star, shining so BRIGHT.

Lighting the world on that first Christmas NIGHT

This is the angel proclaiming the BIRTH,

Singing "Hosanna!"  and "Peace on the EARTH!"

This is the stable, shelter so BARE;

Cattle and oxen first welcome him THERE.

This is the manger, sweet hay for a BED,

Waiting for Jesus to cradle his HEAD.

These are the shepherds, humble and MILD.

Hast'ning to worship the heavenly CHILD.

These are the wise men who followed the STAR,

Frankincense, gold and myrrh brought from AFAR.

See the sweet mother, Mary so FAIR,

Joseph, who guided the donkey with CARE.

See the dear baby of BETHLEHEM,

Little Lord Jesus, the Savior of MEN.

For the rhyming/matching document:

For the flipchart document: