Saturday, December 27, 2014

I Wonder When He Comes Again

I wonder, when he comes again

Will herald angels sing?

Will earth be white with drifted snow

Or will the world know spring?

I wonder if one star will shine
Far brighter than the rest;

Will daylight stay the whole night through?

Will songbirds leave their nests?

I'm sure he'll call his little ones
Together 'round his knee,

Because he said in days gone by,
"Suffer them to come to me."

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Lesson Plans: December 2014

Flipcharts and Visual Aides for Christmas Songs:
Teach When Joseph Went to Bethlehem using scarves.   (Unfortunately, I couldn't find the author of this idea.  If it's yours, let me know and I'll give you credit.)

Build a nativity while you sing related Christmas songs.

Have the children choose from Primary song-themed snowflakes from 2013 and/or 2014

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.

In Week 1, the theme is "The Sacrament is a time to remember Jesus Christ."  Teach the song "To Think About Jesus" in American Sign Language.  I used this easy visual from Christy's Clipart.

On Week 4, the theme is "Jesus Christ will come again."  Try teaching the second verse of "On a Golden Springtime."  or the first verse of "I Wonder When He Comes Again."

Friday, November 21, 2014

2015 Organizational Tools

Excuse me for a moment while I put on my Primary President hat.  I'm creating organizational folders to go with the 2015 theme.  As I create new documents, I'll post them below.  They're all in Word format so that you can easily make small adjustments (for example, if you don't want to use A4 paper).  If you have other requests, let me know and I'll see if I can get to it.  Feel free to pass this on to your presidency if you think they could use it.

Near the top will be documents you can use in your music callings.

Monthly Opening/Closing/Birthday/Baptism/Reverence Song Planner
make a copy for the pianist and one for the chorister

Singing Time Monthly Planner
Make one copy for the Chorister.  The first document has my tentative plans already filled in- in case you need ideas.  The second document is blank.

Scripture/Talk Reminder Wrist Bands
Print all pages and cut (leaving the white edge on the right)
Store each weeks assignments in a page protector with the previous week's conducting sheet so that you will remember to pass them out.
At the end of Primary, tape or staple the ends together to form a wrist band

Prayer/Article of Faith Reminder Wrist Bands

Weekly Conducting Sheets
Make one copy for the conducting binder.
Adjust as necessary (add prayers and articles of faith, etc.)
Fill in the week before as you pass out wrist band reminders

Friday, November 7, 2014

2014 Primary Song Snowflakes

UPDATE:  Click HERE for an editable Word version of both years' snowflakes.  Adjust margins and image size to suit your software and printer if the documents below don't work.

Last year's snowflake activity was such a success that I decided to design flakes to go with this year's songs. (For last year's designs, click here.)  Below are my song suggestions, but feel feel free to adjust the song choices to fit your primary.


Child with thought bubble of cross and hearts



Houses and hearts

Nativity Scene

Magnifying Glass and Eye

Below is the pattern document for each of the new snowflakes.  Fold and cut out according to the instructions on last year's link.  For the family snowflake, cut out the darker grey pieces first, then unfold and cut the hair and dress off of every other mother/daughter to make dads and sons.  I've left the document in Word so that you can adjust for your paper size. 

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Lesson Plans: November 2014

-To go with the week 1 theme of faith, teach the song "Faith"
-The Sharing Time plan for the first week involves teaching the story of Samuel the Lamanite.  Reinforce this message and get a jump on Christmas by teaching "Samuel Tells of the Baby Jesus."
-The second week Sharing Time theme is "Prayer is reverent communication with Heavenly Father."  Explain what reverence means by teaching "Reverence is Love" or teach about Prayer by reviewing the songs "A Child's Prayer" or "Children All Over the World."
-Review types of prayer with this activity.
-During Sharing Time on the third week, children will learn the story of the Anti-Nephi-Lehis (Ammonites).  Continue this story by talking about the Stripling Warriors.  Then teach a song which mentions them, such as "Holding Hands Around the World," "I am a Stripling Warrior," or "We'll Bring the World His Truth."

-If you are celebrating Thanksgiving this month, try the Thanksgiving Gratitude Activity or play the Hot Potato Game (maybe with a sweet potato?)
-If you're celebrating Guy Fawkes Day (UK), try the fireworks activity.  Maybe don't mention why you do fireworks on this holiday…
-Depending on which hemisphere you live, try one of the autumn or spring activities.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

"The Family: A Proclamation to the World"

The Sharing Time theme for the first week of October is "'The Family: A Proclamation to the World' came from God to help my family."  Because of General Conference and other scheduling considerations, your primary may or may not be covering this lesson.  The Outline for Sharing Time suggests giving a sentence from the Proclamation to each class and asking them to think of a song which relates to that sentence.  If your Primary Presidency is teaching this lesson, consider working with them.  If the lesson is being skipped, you can use the activity on your own for Singing Time.  

-If your primary is familiar with the pictures in the Matching Game, you might print a picture to go with each of the chosen songs.  Post them all on the board at the front of the room.  As you read each quote, ask the children to decide which song they feel fits.  

-In larger Primaries, or those which are split between Junior and Senior, this activity might be too difficult for the younger kids.  Along with the quote from "The Proclamation," you might give the children three song suggestions and ask which they believe fits best.  

Below, find my suggestions for quotes and songs.

"We, the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children."

Latter-Day Prophets - 134

"All human beings -male and female-are created in the image of God.  Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny."

"In the premortal realm, spirit sons and daughters knew and worshipped God as their Eternal Father and accepted His plan by which His children could obtain a physical body and gain earthly experience to progress toward perfection and ultimately realize their divine destiny as heirs of eternal life."

I Lived in Heaven -4

"The divine plan of happiness enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave. Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally."

Truth From Elijah - 90
The Hearts of the Children - 92
Family History, I am Doing It - 94
I Love to See the Temple - 95

"Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, and to teach them to love and serve one another, observe the commandments of God, and be law-abiding citizens wherever they live." 

The Twelfth Article of Faith - 131
Love One Another - 136
Love is Spoken Here - 190

"Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ." 

How Firm a Foundation - H85 (Senior Primary should remember this from several years ago)
A Happy Family - 198
The Wise Man and the Foolish Man - 281

"Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities." 

I Pray in Faith - 14
Faith - 96
The Fourth Article of Faith - 124
Family Night - 195

"By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families."

The Family is of God, verse 2 - 2014 Outline for Sharing Time
Daddy's Homecoming - 210
My Dad - 211

"Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children."

The Family is of God, verse 3 - 2014 Outline for Sharing Time
Mother, Dear - 206
Mother, I Love You - 207

"...we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets."

Keep the Commandments - 146

"We call upon responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society."

Dare to do Right - 158
Stand for the Right - 159

Monday, September 1, 2014

2015 Songs Have Been Announced

If you have the mobile LDS Library app, you can see the new 2015 Outline for Sharing Time and Sacrament Meeting Presentation.  I haven't seen it on yet, but I would assume that it will be available there soon.

(2010 Outline Cover)

The theme for the year is "I KnowMy Savior Lives" and the songs are as follows

January:  I Know that My Savior Loves Me
February:  He Sent His Son
March:  Follow the Prophet
April:  The Church of Jesus Christ
May:  Song of your choice
June:  The Holy Ghost
July:  Come, Follow Me (Hymns)
August:  Song of your choice

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Lesson Plans: September 2014

In September of 2014, most of us will be focussed on Primary Program review.  Try the activities on my page Review Links for the 2014 Primary Program.  There you'll find a list of activities, games, tips and tools for your upcoming performance.  You might even consider trying one of these fun arrangements of the 2014 songs.

Since September 21 is the first day of fall (or spring in the Southern Hemisphere), you could work the program songs into a game of Autumn Opposite Day (or this Spring activity).

Don't forget, though, that the program is not meant to be the the focus of Primary.  Spend some time reinforcing the weekly themes.

On week 1, the subject is "I show my gratitude by offering thanks for all my blessings.  You might want to teach the cute song, Can a Little Child Like Me.  Or, try the gift option of the Gratitude Activity and discuss the blessings we've been given in our lives.  Bring it all together with a short review of My Heavenly Father Loves Me.

On week 3, try teaching one of my favorite old primary songs, "I Believe in Being Honest."  If you want to keep the lesson short, just teach the first three pages.

The week 4 subject is "By living the gospel I set a good example for others to follow."  Start out with a couple of rounds of "Do as I'm Doing" with the help of these adorable cards by Susan Fitch Design.  ?Then teach one of my favorite missionary songs, "The Things I Do."

Alternate Arrangements of 2014 Primary Program Songs

Here are a list of my favorite alternate arrangements of this year's songs.  I've only included those which I think could reasonably be adjusted for a primary choir.  Most of the arrangements below are free for church use, but please double check for copyright issues and clear your decisions with your Primary Presidency.  If you know of other arrangements, please let me know and I will add them!

He Sent His Son,
Sally DeFord with flute/violin
Michael Moody with violin/flute
Betsy Lee Bailey with violin/flute

I WIll Follow God's Plan

I Stand All Amazed
Hamilton and Son Music with options including violin/flute
Ward Choir

The Family Is Of God
Ben Chan with flute/violin

Baptism simplified sheet music (for a child to play?)

Seek the Lord Early

Love at Home

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

I Believe in Being Honest

I love this song because it's quick and easy to teach and it's catchy enough to get stuck in the kids' heads.  If I were chorister, I'd be using it for the third week of September, 2014 to go with the theme of "We believe in being honest," and as a break from practicing program songs.  Because I don't want to overwhelm the kids with learning a new song at this time of year, I've included the words in the flip chart at the bottom of the page.  Feel free to copy and paste the pictures into your own document if you prefer flip charts without words.  

I believe in being honest;  
I believe in being true,

That honesty should start with me

In all I say, in all I do.

I'll form good habits in my youth,

To keep my word, to tell the truth,

To speak up in defending right

And keep my name and honor bright.

I believe in being honest;  
I believe in being true,

That honesty should start with me

In all I say, in all I do.

Monday, August 4, 2014

"Seek The Lord Early" Lip Sync

(If you're looking for "Heroes of the Scriptures" puppets, there is another set here:

Inspiration for these characters comes courtesy of Jennifer on the Choristers Facebook Page.  All credit to her :)  I told you that these Sisters were geniuses!

I've modified the activity a bit based on ideas from this talk given by Robert J. Matthews.  I want to reinforce to the children how important it is to seek the Lord early, and what they can accomplish with the Lord's help, even while they are still young.

To prepare for the game, print the document below and cut out the mouths.  It is a good idea to print on cardstock if you have it.  On the back of each page, write the name or page number of the song in light pencil.  Print out the scripture references and/or descriptions of each of the characters.

To play the game in Junior Primary, have a reverent child choose a character.  Quickly read the scripture (reading directly from the scriptures is better than from a printed slip of paper) and explain who the character is and how he/she sought the Lord early.  Sing the song associated with the character.  As you sing, let the reverent child hold the picture up to his or her face and show his lips through the hole, making it look as though the character is singing.  

To play in Senior Primary, you might incorporate a scripture chase and let the children each do their own "seeking."  In this case, make sure to have extra scriptures on hand so that children without scriptures (or with scriptures on electronic devices) can participate.  Read the scripture reference and let the children all chase to find it.  Ask a child to read the scripture aloud and briefly discuss the person whom the scripture references.  Sing the song.  My song suggestions are below.  Remember that singing time should have far more singing than discussion.

  • Use this activity as an opportunity to practice "Seek the Lord Early" and sing the same song with every character.
  • Practice for the Primary Program by assigning one of the program songs to each character.  Be careful not to include songs which are very reverent i.e. "I Stand All Amazed."

Captain Moroni




Joseph Smith




Stripling Warrior

Captain Moroni
Captain Moroni was still a young man when he took command of the Nephite army as they defended themselves from the Lamanites and Zoramites.  He told his people that they must defend their country, family, freedom, peace and religion.  With much prayer and inspiration from the Lord, Captain Moroni was able to lead the Nephites to victory. 
Alma 43:16-17
"I Will Be Valiant"

David offered to fight Goliath, the Philistine giant who was challenging Israel, but King Saul was worried because David was so young.  David told King Saul that the Lord had already saved him from wild animals and he had faith that He would save him from Goliath as well.  David slew Goliath and saved Israel
1 Samuel 17:33

We don't know how old Esther was when she married the King, but many scholars believe she may have been fourteen years old.  Haman tricked the king into signing a law that all of the Israelites should be killed.  Esther risked her life to tell the King that she was an Israelite, too.  She asked him to spare her people.  The King agreed.
Esther 2:17
"Stand for the Right" or "I Will Follow God's Plan for Me"

When he was just a boy, Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers, but through his faith and long-suffering, he eventually became one of Pharaoh's most trusted advisors.  He helped Egypt prepare for a great famine and even saved his own family from starvation.
Gen 37:2

Joseph Smith
At 14 years old, Joseph  Smith was confused about which church he should join.  After a long and earnest prayer, Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ appeared to him and told him not to join any of the churches.  He became the first prophet of the latter-days and helped to restore Christ's true church to the earth.
JSH 1:7
"On a Golden Springtime v3" or "An Angel Came to Joseph Smith" or "A Child's Prayer"

We believe that Mary may have been just 15 or 16 years old when an angel appeared to hear and told her that she would bear the son of God.    
Luke 1:28

Of Laman, Lemuel, Sam and Nephi, Nephi was the youngest.  But Nephi was chosen to be a ruler over them because of his righteousness.  He slew Laban, retrieved the brass plates and built the boat which carried their family to the Promised Land
1 Nephi 3:7

Noah received the priesthood when he was just ten years old.  As a prophet, Noah, tried to teach the people.  When none repented, he was instructed by the Lord to build an ark.  He gathered two of each animal, along with his family and provisions.  Because he obeyed the Lord, they survived the great flood which covered the whole world.
D&C 107:52
"Follow the Prophet, v3" or "Build an Ark"

Stripling Warrior
When the Lamanites attacked, the Ammonites wanted to help defend their brothers, the Nephities.  The Ammonites, however, had taken an oath never to fight.  Some of the young men were not old enough to have taken the oath.  They volunteered to fight against the Lamanites.  They served valiantly and were ultimately victorious.
Alma 52:20
American Sized Paper