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