Friday, May 30, 2014

Love at Home v1

Since we get to choose our own songs for June 2014, I've chosen "Love at Home," which goes well with the overall theme for the year.  Also, my own children might need a reminder :).  Anyway, I've only illustrated the first verse, and I think that should be enough, but if enough of you would like it, I can try to do the other verses.

Start by playing or singing the song to the children and ask them what it is about.  Then play it for them again and ask them to count how many times the words "love at home" are sung.  Play it a third time, dividing the primary into three groups and have each group stand when one of those three words ("love at home") are said.  

By this time, they will be familiar with the melody and already know most of the words!  Print and cut out the document below and use it one of several ways-

  • Start with the song displayed on the chalkboard in front of you (having written out the words which aren't illustrated.)   Each time the children sing through the song, remove several pictures and see if they can still remember the words.
  • Start with the pictures displayed randomly on the board in front of you and see if the children can put them into the correct order
  • Paste the pictures, in order, onto cardstock and make your own flipchart.
I've left the document in Word format so that you can size the pictures if necessary.  If your computer does not support Word, just right click on each of the photos on the blog page, copy, and paste into a different document format.  To save ink, you might not print the chorus.

There is 
When there's

There is
in every
When there's

When there's
When there's

For other ideas for June 2014, click here.

Priesthood ordinances bless and strengthen my family

On the first week of June, 2014, the topic is "Priesthood ordinances bless and strengthen my family.  Review examples of Priesthood ordinances by putting these pictures in chronological order.  As you do so, sing a song related to each ordinance.  My suggestions are listed.

Baby Blessing
Receiving the Holy Ghost:
The Holy Ghost
The Still, Small Voice

Receiving the Priesthood:
The Priesthood is Restored
A Young Man Prepared
v2 of Love is Spoken Here

Temple Ordinances:

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Lesson Plans: June 2014

  • In support of the theme for the first week, "Priesthood ordinances bless and strengthen my family," teach or review the second verse of the song "Love is Spoken Here."
  • Or, discuss and sing about different priesthood ordinances with the Ordinances Activity found here.
  • In support of the theme for the second and third weeks, "Temples make it possible for famlies to be together forever," and "I can prepare now to be worthy to enter the temple," review the songs "Families Can Be Together Forever" or "I Love to See the Temple." Practice through repetition with the activity Teaching the Whole Family.
  • On the third week, June 22, it is officially summer!  (Or officially winter for our friends in the Southern Hemisphere).  Plan to review the songs you've learned so far with the Summer/Winter Opposite Game.
  • In support of the theme for the fourth week, "Family History work connects me to my ancestors," teach "Family History, I am Doing It" or "The Hearts of the Children."  Introduce the song by briefly discussing why we do Family History and/or showing this short video clip.
  • To help the senior primary children make connections with other gospel experiences, invite them to fill in this pedigree chart and family group record at home.   Point out that doing so fulfills one of their Faith in God requirements under "Learning and Living the Gospel."  Or, order one of the new My Family Booklet for each family and encourage them to fill it in with their families as they teach them the songs they have learned.  
  • For your  monthly song, consider teaching the hymn "Love at Home" with the activity found here.
  • If you have extra time and want to teach something a little more lively, try singing "I Have a Family Tree."
  • Remember that Fathers' Day is in June.  You'll probably be asked to sing a song in sacrament meeting to the fathers.  You might try the second verse of "The Family is of God," or "Daddy's Homecoming."
  • On Fathers' Day itself, you could try one of these fun Guess the Dad activities!
  • One popular incentive which I've never tried is "cut the tie."  Buy an inexpensive tie from a thrift store.  Tell the children that if they sing well for Father's Day, you will cut the bishop's tie off.  Ask him to play along by wearing the tie and coming to Primary to thank them for singing.  

Guess the Dad (or Mom)

For Father's Day, try one of these variations of "Guess the Dad" and get the children to review some primary songs while they have fun.

In preparation, you'll need to ask some or all of the fathers of your primary children for their favorite primary song.  It's probably been a while since they were in primary, so you might want to list a couple of suggestions- especially those songs which you think the children ought to review or would enjoy singing.  Then, choose one of the following to ask all the dads for:

  • a photograph of his hands
  • a photograph of the back of his head
  • a photograph of his shoes (these three are easy to collect AT church with your phone if you think your dads may not be reliable in getting you one of the other items)
  • his favorite tie
  • a picture of him when he was a child
  • a short list of clues about him
  • or a recording of him singing his chosen song
When you have all of your items and songs, choose a way to display them.  You might hang the ties on a clothesline, place the pictures in a photo album or on a posterboard, or write the clues on folded pieces of paper and place them in a bowl, etc.  Have the children choose an item and guess to which dad it belongs.  When they have figured out who it is, have all of the children sing his favorite Primary Song.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

I Need Your Help...

Below, I've left the original post so that new readers will understand what I'm talking about.  First of all, I have to be clear that I've never felt like anyone was mean or judgmental about my work.  You've all been very kind.  My only concern was that, if so many people were uncomfortable with what I do, maybe I was too biased to see that it wasn't appropriate.  I'm so grateful for all of your comments.  They were overwhelmingly positive, which has really helped me to make a decision.  I'll continue to post helps and ideas each month and I'll illustrate songs whenever possible.    

For the last several months, I've been having a moral dilemma, and I need your advice.

First of all, this blog got started when I began drawing pictures for use in my own home and then my Primary.  Eventually I decided that if I was spending all of this time on art, I might as well see if anyone else could make use of it.  I never intended to distribute it, so I hadn't worried too much about church policy.  I just drew on what I'd seen in Deseret Book and  the Friend for inspiration on what's "ok" and what's not.  

As I began sharing my art, I was made aware of policies I'd never read regarding the depiction of Diety.  I decided to remove all drawings of Heavenly Father (I only had one song), and to be extremely careful about drawing Christ.  However, after a lot of careful study and prayer, I still felt that my drawings of Christ were acceptable for the reasons stated near the bottom of this page.  I had a strong desire to serve and didn't want to be a "slothful servant," waiting around to be asked to serve, so I chose to continue making and sharing my art.

I know that many members still feel that my pictures of Christ shouldn't be used in church, and I absolutely respect that.  For several months I've been thinking about skipping songs which I can't figure out how to illustrate without including those pictures.  However, recently, I've seen several people say that they're hearing from their leadership that they shouldn't use anything that isn't produced by the church.  To this point, I'd been working with the understanding that we are to use church-produced material whenever possible and then other materials when we can't find anything that fits our needs.  I'm sure that's what I'd read in the manuals.  But bf that policy is changing, or if I've misunderstood it, then I feel absolutely awful for having misled anyone into using my "banned books."

Now, my immediate leadership has been supportive to this point, but I'm currently in the process of checking with "higher-ups" to see if I'm missing anything.  In the meantime, I really need your opinions.  As I've said before, whether or not my stuff is "allowed," it won't benefit the kids if you're unsure about using it.  They won't feel the Spirit.  So, my question to you is...

  • Do I keep illustrating every song and let you decide what is appropriate and what is not?
  • Do I illustrate just the songs that don't require a depiction of Christ?
  • or- Do I shut down the site, reclaim my 40 hours each week, and stop leading people into mists of darkness?  

Now, be gentle, because I'm a huge baby, but I really do appreciate your opinions, no matter what they are.