Monday, November 28, 2011

Christmas Flipcharts

Hey Everyone! 
Happy Holidays! 
Merry Christmas! 
Feliz Navidad!

Here's the flip charts I have for Christmas:

Take a look at what the flip charts look like here.
Have fun!

P.S. Cub Master is, in fact, fun. :)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Two Words:

Cub. Master.
Or is it one big word? CUBMASTER. See?! I don't even know and I am a little freaked out about it.
Anyway, I'll be sustained Sunday and I don't know where to begin.

I know I have to go to the scout website and get certified or trained or something. I know I have to organize and conduct the monthly pack meetings. Other than that, I am really scared. I called the previous cub master to get the scoop, but her home phone has been disconnected. I emailed her...hope she checks it soon.

Help? Pleeeeaaase feel free to leave me any ideas. I am going to need them!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

It's Been Fun!

It really really has.

Best. Calling. Ever.

I was released today,  just before our Children's Sacrament Meeting Presentation began.

And then, the children sang better than I have ever heard them sing before. Awesome.

I have had a few requests for a 2012 Primary Music Schedule. Instead, I have created a generic sort of schedule:

The first page of the document is completely generic. Print of as many of this page as you need for the whole year, then fill in the Months, Monthly Themes, Dates, and all the songs.

Or, you can print the 12 additional pages that have the Month header already included, as well as the Prelude, Welcome, Birthday, Wiggle songs already filled in:
For months that have a 5th Sunday you will want to print an extra of either of the forms to add on an extra week.

I hope you will forgive any typos or inconsistencies. Also, if you have Microsoft Office Publisher (the program I used to create the schedule) and you would like to have my template so you can re-arrange it the way you want it, email me at and I will send you the editable Publisher file. After all, I'm still here. :)

Thanks to all of you for sharing so much love.
Have Fun!

How to Get Clip Art: Tutorial

Before I begin, I want to be clear about the Church’s policies on using art from church magazines for flip charts. Is it okay? I think in most cases it’s just fine. The statement below is taken from:

Can I copy pictures from Church magazines?  
Pictures in Church publications may usually be copied for noncommercial Church, home, and family use. However, they may not be copied for commercial purposes without specific written permission from the IPO. If a picture is restricted from being copied, words such as “may not be copied” will appear in the credits for the image.

Secondly, keep in mind that I am a PC and Windows Vista user. Other Windows operating system versions might vary slightly from Vista. 

Mac user? Rats. I Wish I could help you more.

My favorite places to search for images for my flip charts are Gospel Art Book found here and the older version, Gospel Art Picture Kit found here. I have found that using these images brings a special spirit of reverence to the music I am teaching, even more so than when I have found images from church magazines. But I do enjoy very much finding creative work from The EnsignThe New Era, and The Friend magazines. 

I also have found beautiful art images at the artwork section of which is an extension of What I love about this site is that when you find a picture you like, if it's legal to download, there is a floppy disk icon below the picture. If it's not legal to copy it, the icon is not there. That makes it easy to distinguish. 

First in this tutorial I will explain how to download and save a file from the 
Gospel Art Picture Kit found at Then I will explain how to download images from church magazines PDF's that are also available at

Download Images from the Gospel Art Book and Gospel Art Picture Kit 

1. Click here: Gospel Art Book and click on "Old Testament" (I have highlighted "Old Testament" below.)
(Click to view full screen.)
2. Now you will see all the pictures available in Old Testament category. 

Pick any picture you want to save in your clip art file, and click once on the title. I chose (101) Adam and Eve.
3. On the image of Adam and Eve, give it a right click of the mouse. A drop down list will appear. Click on "Save Image As".  Now a new window will open. 
The purpose of this window is to ask you where you want to save this image. Lets assume you have created a special clip art folder on your desktop. Click on the word "Desktop" on the left column. The right column will then show all the folders, files and programs on your desktop. In the right side column, find your clip art file and double click on it to open it in the window. 

4. Now, assuming you have nothing in your clip art folder yet, the right column will be blank. It's time to name your clip art picture. In the small white space below the columns, it says "File Name".  Type in a name for the clip art image here. You can choose any name you want, but I name my files something like this: "Adam and Eve 101 GAPK"  I use the "Adam and Eve" part, because in a search later on, (if I am looking for pictures of Adam and Eve) it will be easily found. I added 101 GAPK to identify where the picture is originally found. (Its #101 in the Gospel Art Picture Kit.) 

5. After you have identified where to save it, and given the image a name, click "Save". That's it! If you go to your desktop and click on your clip art folder, the picture will be inside. Open it and take a look. You can now copy and paste or drag that image into another program to create a flip chart. The image has been saved as a jpeg file, which is the same kind of file as the photographs you might have stored on your computer. 

For the new Gospel Art Book  its basically the same procedure as above. will need to click on "View" first. When you do a larger image will open. THEN you can right click on the image and select "Save Image As", following the steps above. If you don't click on "View", and you right click on the small image, the small image will actually be saved. You want it to be large, so always click "View" first. 

Another option, instead of hitting the "View" button, is to hit the "Download" button. A window will appear asking "Do you want to open or save this file?" If you choose open, it will open it for you in your picture viewer. From your picture viewer you can save it to your clip art file. If you choose "Save", it will download it into your "Downloads" file. Simply open your "Downloads" folder and copy and paste (or drag) the image into your clip art file.  I prefer the "Save Image As" procedure, it's just a little simpler for me.

Download Images from

Step One - Get Adobe Reader:

Make sure you have Adobe Reader installed. If you already have Adobe Reader on your computer, go to step two.

 If you don't have Adobe Reader on your computer, click here to download and install it. (No worries, it's free, and you are going to download it from the official Adobe website, so there won't be any pesky viruses or additional programs tagging along.)

When you open this page, find the red and white button that says "Get Adobe Reader" and click on it to start your download:

Next you will see a page with a big gold button that says "Download Now". Click it. Follow the instructions on the next page that appears to complete the download and installation.
Now you are ready for Step Two.

Step Two - Download a Church Magazine:

1.Click here to go to the Church Magazines. 

2. Click on whichever magazine you want to browse through or get a picture from. I am clicking on "The Friend", then  on the left column click on either "Current issue" or "Other Issues". If you clicked on "Other Issues", choose and click on any issue to browse through or choose an image from.

Your screen should look like this with whatever magazine you have chosen:
3. The top row displays the issue you have chosen. For me it is, "August 2011". On that row go to the far right column where it says "Download".  Click once on "Download".

Now a drop down list will appear, giving you the option to download "Audio" or "Text".  Click on Text.

A PDF version of the magazine will now open. (It might take a few seconds.) Your screen will look something like this:

At the top left of the page find the floppy disk icon. I have circled it here with a yellow highlight. Click on the floppy disk Icon.

Now a window will pop open. This window wants you to identify where you want to save this magazine (in PDF format) on your computer.

 I have Windows Vista, so if you have a different version of Windows this might look a little different, but the idea is the will figure it out if you explore a little.

File Name: this is at the bottom of the open window, and I have circled it with a yellow highlight. This little box contains the default name of the PDF magazine you are about to save to your computer. You can change this to whatever you want to call it. I generally change this to something like this, "2011 August Friend" so I can identify it easily later on.

Save In: Find where you want to save the PDF of the church magazine. It's easiest to save it on your desktop for now. Later you can create a folder to collect church magazines in, or just delete it when you are finished. (I have a file on my desktop called "Church Magazines" where I like to save mine.) 

Click on Save and the window will close. Close the PDF you just downloaded, and go to your desktop (or wherever you saved the PDF) and open the now saved PDF. 

Step Three - Grab the Clip Art

This is what you should see (the cover of whichever magazine you have downloaded) once you open the saved magazine:

Across the top is a button bar. On that button bar there is an arrow up and an arrow down. These arrows will take you to each page of the magazine. Take a look through the magazine until you find an image you want to save. Remember, if any image says, "Do Not Copy"....then don't.

I have found a great playground scene on page 6. 

Click on Edit. I have highlighted it in yellow on the top left corner of my page. A drop down list appears, and in that drop down list should be a camera icon that says "Take a Snapshot". Click on that.

Older versions of Adobe Reader might be different. If you do not see a camera icon or "Take a Snapshot" under the Edit menu drop down list, explore the other drop down lists available, or look for a camera icon on any toolbar. When you have located the camera icon, click on it.

When the camera icon is clicked on, a "+" symbol should appear where your mouse pointer was. Drop and drag the + over the area you want to capture, then let go. A message should appear telling you "The selected area has been copied."
Paste the image into any program you are using to create a flip chart. It's that simple!

If you have a program that allows to to save the image as a jpeg file, like Microsoft Office Publisher or Adobe Photo Shop, you might choose to collect lots of images in a file for later use. 

Have Fun!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Ultimate Name That Tune

This Sunday is our ward's Children's Sacrament Meeting Presentation! Wahoo! Here's the fun activity I have been dreaming up all week for after the program:

This idea for this game came from an old game show called
It's a great and entertaining clip to watch, and really fun to play along, too! My version of Ultimate Name That Tune is taken from the middle part of the game show, where three competing contestants are given a category, such as "Person". Next they listen to a song. The song, or song title, contains a clue about the person they are hoping to guess. If they know the song they hit the buzzer and try to guess who the person is, based on the theme of the song they just guessed. If they don't guess the person correctly then they go to song number two, which gives another clue about the person. The group of three contestants gets four song-clues to try to guess the correct person. 

So here is my version of the same game:

Ultimate Name That Tune!
Ultimate Name That Tune game cards displayed on the white/chalk board.
To guess and then sing the Ultimate Tunes, which are the 7 songs associated with each of the 7 clue cards. The Ultimate Tunes are listed on the back of the clue cards, followed by 4-6 hint songs that contain clues about the Ultimate Tune.  

You will need:
  • 7 sheets white card stock.
  • Magnets or tape to hold game cards on the white/chalk board. 
  • Ultimate Name That Tune.pdf 
  • Dry erase markers and eraser, or chalk and eraser. 
  • Open the above PDF. Select print, but make sure you have your printer set up to print on both sides of the card stock, then go ahead and print the cards. Print a second copy of the even pages on regular paper for your own reference, as you will be handing the card stock prints to your pianist to use. 
  • Display the game cards on the white/chalk board randomly, using magnets or tape. Save room on the white board for drawing your clues. 
To Play:

I plan on starting with the youngest class. Ask the teacher to send a reverent child to the front to choose a category card from the white/chalk board. Give the category card to your pianist without letting anyone see the song or clues printed on the back. *Note that the correct clue word from each song is underlined on the backs of the clue cards. Sometimes it won't be the exact word that is in the song, but very close. Such as "House" instead of "Home". 

Lets say it's the three year old's class, and a child from that class has picked the "Family" game card. Tell all the children that Sister So-and-So's three year old class gets to try to guess which primary song is about "Family",  by listening to and guessing clues within other songs played on the piano. 

Tell the pianist that the three year olds are ready to Name That Tune! Have the pianist play the first song on the clue card list, until the three year old class can guess the tune. When they have guessed it (or you have helped them guess it), tell them what the clue is from that song, and draw a simple picture of the clue on the white board. If the clue is "house", draw a simple stick house, and write the word "house" under it. Then have the pianist play the next tune containing a clue. When that song is guessed, tell the children what the clue from that song is, and draw a simple figure representing that clue on the white/chalk board next to the house. Put a big "+" symbol between the two drawings so that the children will understand that the clues need to be added up to make a song title. Do this with all the clues until you have enough pictures (with words) on the board for them to put them all together and guess what song you will all be singing. As soon as they guess the Ultimate Tune, go ahead and sing it, even if they have not heard all of the clue songs on the list. 

Be very flexible and easy going with this game. Of course, the three year old's will need lots of help, and they will raise their hands even if they don't have any idea what the song is. That's okay, play along with them! Give them lots of hints! If someone from an older class guesses the clue song, or the Ultimate Tune, that's okay too. Be sure to smile, and praise every effort. Have fun singing the Ultimate Tune when they finally put all the clues together and guess it. All the other classes will be very excited to try to guess the clues and Ultimate Tune right along with each class as they take their turns. If someone from another class shouts out the answer, ask the class guessing if they heard it and if they think it's correct. 

As you move on to the next game card and an older class, repeat the process. But as the children are able, let them guess what the clue from a song title might be without so much help. With the Sr. Primary you might not want to draw at all. Just have them guess which word in the song or title is the clue, and then have them keep track of all the clues in their head (or on their fingers). You might say something like this:
"So the category is 'Obedience'. You have already guessed the clues, 'Plates', 'Book of Mormon', and 'Commandments'. Do you know what the song is yet? No? Okay, Sister Pianist, play the last clue song."

If the children have all the clues but still cannot guess the Ultimate Tune, have the pianist play the Ultimate Tune on the piano until the children finally guess it, then sing it!

Another option would be to divide the room into two teams, instead of classes, or go boys/girls. You could have one child from each team come to the front to compete with each other, like in the Face the Music game show clip. In that case, use a desk bell or buzzer, or fly swatters for each child to slam on the table if they know an answer. Whatever you decide to do...

...Have fun! 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Yes, it was.

The Sunday-before-the-Sacrament-Meeting-Presentation-rehearsal, was, in fact, what nightmares are made of. Now I am not placing blame on anyone, but you know, sometimes, that's just how it happens. We just Keep Calm and Carry On.

We'll have another rehearsal this coming Saturday morning, and our Presentation is the next day. I just know it will be wonderful, heavenly, majestic in comparison to this past Sunday's...uh...thing.

 And that's all I am going to say about that.

Okay, one more thing. 

The 3 year old class on the front row....I am still laughing over! They sat there so reverently and still during the entire two hour sharing time rehearsal! About 10 minutes before it was time to go, one of the little girls started whimpering. She was absolutely worn out, and she just wanted her mommy. Her teacher picked her up and held her. Eventually, when the little angel could not control her choked-up sobs any longer, her kind teacher took her to her momma in Relief Society. And the other three year old angels - seriously, I have never seen anything like it! They were sitting there like zombies, frozen, eyes glazed over. I can't believe how good they were. Bless their little hearts.

Looking forward to Sunday. I have a fun idea for my Singing Time after the Sacrament Meeting Presentation.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Seeking Guitar Chords

*****GREAT NEWS!*****
Natalie Jensen from Utah has kindly responded with sheet music from, to which she has over-layed the guitar chords for If I Listen With My Heart. Here is the PDF of her adaptation:

 Thank you so much Natalie! Your gift is greatly appreciated!
(I wish I could hug you!)
What's going on, you ask? Here's my post from earlier today:
Hey All You Lovelies and Gents,

Robert, a new primary chorister from the Epsom Ward, Crawley Stake, in the UK is hoping to find  
guitar chords
for If I Listen with My Heart.

If you have them, or if you have the ability to create them, message me at, and I'll put you in contact with Robert.

If we can come up with the guitar chords I'll post them here if anyone shows interest. :) Comment if you'd like to see them posted. 


Saturday, October 8, 2011

Primay Pyramid II

This Sunday I am being given both singing and sharing times to rehearse the music for our Sacrament Meeting Presentation. (40 minutes with Jr. Primary and 40 minutes with Sr. Primary.) Next week we will be rehearsing the entire program in the chapel, and the following Saturday I believe there will be a Primary Activity Day where we will have a complete run through again before the Presentation the next day.

So for this week's 40 minute rehearsals I'll be doing an adaption of Primary Pyramid.

My original idea for Primary Pyramid is here, so you might want to read about it first.

Primary Pyramid II

I am going to post a pyramid on the white/chalk board, and it will look like this:
Click to open and print the PDF of the above pyramid:
Open and print the pdf. You will need 10 sheets of cardstock. You will need to change your printer settings to print on both sides of the paper, or have it print all the odd pages first, then flip them all over, reinsert the paper into the printer and print the even sides. 

To Play: 

Each point card has an attribute printed on the opposite side. The idea is that each point card card represents a song. (A song that you will assign, so you will want to make a list of songs in the order you want to sing them. I plan on doing the easiest songs for the lowest points, and the most difficult songs for the highest points.) Under each card there is an attribute, or way to sing the song, and the attribute must be performed perfectly before the song can be "passed off". Each attribute is expected to be performed perfectly on each additional song, as well.

Start with the 10 point card and flip it over to see the attribute, then sing the song you have assigned as the 10 point song. If the attribute is sung to your liking, tell the children they have passed it off and give them 10 points! (Tally points on the white/chalk board). After the 10 point song is passed off, move on to the 15 point song, and so on. However, if the 15 point song is not sung with the same perfection as the 10 AND the 15 attributes, erase their 10 points off of the chalk/white board and "bump" them down to the 10 point song and attribute, and they have to try to pass it off over again before moving up to the 15 point song again. I plan on only "bumping" down one point value when they don't pass off combined attributes, instead of to the very beginning.

Another example: Say you are singing If I Listen with my Heart for the 50 point song (No talking through-out entire song -including piano), and the children have just passed off Praise to the Man as their 25 point song (Start together, stay together, finish together). If there is a point at which the children don't start, stay, or finish together while singing If I listen with My Heart (even though it was the attribute of the previous song), stop them at wherever the mistake was made in the song and explain what the problem was. Then go back to Praise to the Man and sing it over to re-pass it off again before moving on to If I listen with My Heart again.

The last attribute (1000 points) is to make a Program Perfect recording of the last song, so don't forget to bring a recording device!

Complicated? Might be. I might have to adapt it in the middle of my music time if it's not working well, or if we are using too much time.

Adapt it to your own needs, especially if you don't have the 40 minutes that I do for this activity, or if there are just too many bumps in every song, just try to have the children do each attribute perfectly for the song you are singing, instead of bumping them back.

Have fun!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Possibly the Cutest Idea Ever

Right? I mean, how simple and adorable is that!?

I can't wait to try it. If you try it I hope you will share your comments on how it worked in your ward.

To see the original idea, how to use it, and for more clever ideas from the same source, click here.

BTW, I saw this on Pinterest. Is Pinterest sucking anyone else's brains besides mine? Sheesh! Love it!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Get the Bugs Out!

The primary counselor over music, Sister Siddoway, called me this week and said that the Bishop had one concern with our Sacrament Meeting Presentation script. It's the song Scripture Power.  Bishop Allred does not feel that the way that the children are used to singing Scripture Power ~ is appropriate for Sacrament Meeting. So we need to either tone the song down (make it more reverent and appropriate for Sacrament Meeting), or remove the song from the program (if the children can not sing it without toning it down).

The way the children are used to singing it is full of aNiMaTiOn and with much energy. I think it's probably their favorite song, and I love how every single child is engaged in singing, showing their real or imaginary scriptures high in the air when we do sing it.

The way Sister Siddoway explained it was that the children should not look and sound like "a bunch of Holy Rollers" while singing it. Okay, I am trying to keep a straight face while typing this. but I just can't. I'm about to burst out laughing. And Sister Siddoway and I did laugh about it together on the phone when she called. It was just her perfect explanation that set a mental picture for me. The only thing left out of my mental picture was tambourines and flowers for everyone's hair....oh....wait...'s all there now! Oh, imagine that.

So I told her of course, yes, most definitely we can tone the song down to make it appropriate for Sacrament Meeting. Bishop Allred is absolutely correct. We want to teach the children that the spirit of reverence is very, very important in Sacrament Meeting.

Because it is.

Tomorrow I'll be playing a little game called:

Get the Bugs Out

to work on, not only toning down Scripture Power, but also to work on other parts of different program songs that need a little polishing.

I have printed these bugs out on a sheet of magnetic printer paper:
Here is the same "Bugs PDF" if you would like to print them:

The bugs look a little fuzzy when you open the PDF, but they actually print just fine. The quality is not the best, but quite useable. You can find magnetic printer paper at Wal-Mart, or any office supply store. I just happened to have some from another project, so that's what I used, but it's not absolutely vital that you do. You could use plain paper or cardstock and either one would work just fine.

After I printed them on the magnetic printer paper, I cut out each bug, and they look like this:
Now you need to write out or print a list of "bugs" that are problem areas for the songs you are doing. Here's mine:

  1. Scripture Power - sing with reverence that is appropriate for Sacrament Meeting.
  2. If I listen With My Heart - Sing out ALL the words in each verse just as clearly as on the Chorus.
  3. I Will Follow God's Plan for Me - Sing the first phrase of the song all together and clearly.
  4. Praise to the Man - Memorize the words to the second verse and sing as clearly as the first verse and chorus. 
  5. Reverence is Love - Sing more reverently but fervently (with energy).
  6. I Love to See the Temple - point out differences and likenesses of first and second verse. Sometimes the children sing the phrases of the first verse in the second verse.
  7. The Lord Gave Me a Temple - Review second verse and try to sing without visual aids. 
  8. Practice standing up and sitting down all together.
Now, write corresponding number on the back of 8 bugs. I am going to choose a great big bug for problem #1, as it is a bigger problem that we need to work on. For smaller problems I'll write the corresponding number on a smaller bug.  

Last thing you will need is a fly swatter! I bought these at my local dollar store:

I will explain that the Sacrament Meeting Presentation is right around the corner, and that we only have three more Sundays to make sure the songs we have been learning all year are just the way we want them to be. Then I'll say something like this: "You know, sometimes when I am on my computer or using my phone, something bad happens and it shuts down. It's called "crashing". It happens because of a "bug". Not a real bug though. A "bug" like that just means that there is something wrong with the program or app I was using, and it needs to be fixed or corrected to make it work right.  People who make computer apps and programs work very hard to fix things over and over again, to make sure they work well on everyone's computer or phone without crashing. They call it, getting the bugs out. Today, we are working on a program of our own! The Primary Sacrament Meeting Program!  We have some "bugs" in some of the songs we are singing for the program, and we need to get them out so that our songs will be just right for the Sacrament Meeting Presentation! Lets Get the Bugs Out!!!

To Play:
  1. Place all the magnetic bugs on the whiteboard, chalk board, or other magnetic surface. If your bugs are not magnetic, tape them on the whiteboard, or just spread them out on the floor or table.
  2. Choose a child to come to the front and swat one of the bugs. 
  3. Pick up the bug that the child chose to swat, and see if there is a number on the back. If there is a number, explain the "bug" to the children, and how they can fix it. Sing the song (verse or chorus) that corresponds with the number once or twice in the correct way. Be sure to praise the children for doing it correctly. If there is no number, the child returns to his or her seat and another child is chosen to come up and see if they can swat a bug that is a "problem" bug.  
  4. Keep going until all the bugs are out!
Have fun!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Primary Idol

Tomorrow I will be gone,again. My 12th grandchild, Cambria Camille Thurman, is receiving her name and blessing, so I will be in my daughter's ward in Rigby, Idaho.
Cambria and me a few minutes after her birth.
However, I have an activity already prepared for my singing time. The idea came from Holly Allen, who contributed the idea a couple of weeks ago on my YOUR Ideas page.  I have asked my former primary presidency to fill in for me as chorister, and act as three judges. Here's the idea:

(NOT my former primary presidency, hahaha.)

 From Hollie Allen: One thing that I love to do to get ready for the program is bring in American Idol judges. I usually have the presidency or some of the teachers come up to the front of the room to be the judges. I give each judge a whiteboard, marker, and an eraser (laminated paper will work well of you don't have whiteboards). Then I tell the kids that we have 3 surprise judges today and they have come to judge their singing. I also inform them that one of the judges is a big stickler and that they have to sing really well to get a good score from that judge. Then I tell them that they have to get all 9's or above to pass off the song. (sometimes the tough judge will give them an 8.9 but they still have to sing it again) :) Then when they pass off the song, they get a new song to sing to the judges and so forth. My kids love it and it really keeps their attention. I hope this is helpful!

I asked one of the presidency members, Erin, to act as the "host" to get things rolling and explain how the judging will work. She's even got three white boards and offered to bring them. I can't wait to hear how it turns out! Thanks to Gina, Hydee and Erin for taking over for me tomorrow!

Have fun! 

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Review Fun

Tomorrow I am going to be recycling another idea that I came up with last year called:

This was a really fun activity and worked much better than I expected it to. I can't wait!

Have fun!

Saturday, September 3, 2011


*Yawn* *Yawn!* I am soooo tired.

It's been a long week for me. If you are up late looking for primary singing time ideas later than 10:00 PM on a Saturday night (church starts for me at 9:00 AM), then you are probably just as tired as I am! Maybe more so.

4th Sunday's the last week and the last chance I have to really solidify The Lord Gave Me a Temple before we start reviewing ALL the program songs for five weeks solid. So I think I am going to do a repeat of Singing Bee.

It's easy. It's fun.



More like B r i l l i a n t

Have fun!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Truth or Consequenses 2011 Program Review Edition

Ward Conference tomorrow!

We are going to play an updated version of Truth or Consequences (click here to go to my original post last October). We will play it the same way, but with trivia questions relating to all the program songs for 2011.

Here is the PDF with trivia questions for the 2011songs:

Click on the above link to open the file. Print the first three pages first (I did mine on cardstock), then flip the pages over so you can print pages 4-6 on the back side of the cards. Page 7 is a list of the songs and questions.
Keep in mind I have two additional songs, (The Iron Rod and Scripture Power), as well as the two songs that were songs of choice (Reverence is Love and The 4th Article of Faith). Your songs may be different so you'll want to add your own trivia questions to replace mine.

Have Fun!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

YOUR Ideas

I love your ideas! If you would like to submit an idea for anything related to primary music, or read some brilliant ideas others have come up with, click here!
(There's also a link at the top of the page.)

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Teacher Appreciation Day!

It always makes me happy when the get-down-dirty-nitty-gritty teaching part of a song is done, and it's a great feeling when you know the children have learned it well. I always look forward to the next week, which is this week, because it means fun!

I plan on beginning having the children sing The Lord Gave Me a Temple, both verses, one time through. I'll remind the children before we sing that they will need to pay close attention to the words and phrases of the song, so that their class can score lots of points in the game we will be playing. With this activity the children will sing The Lord Gave Me a Temple at least 6 times through, and never realize it will be to help them with memorization. Awesome!

Teacher Appreciation Day!

I'll explain it something like this:

"Boys and girls, there is someone very special in your class, someone you need to thank for all the hard work they do. That's why, today in singing time, we are going to celebrate 'Teacher Appreciation Day'! This means that we are going to let our teachers have a little bit of fun. But it's your job to sing super well, singing all the words, and everyone in the class should be singing their hearts out! I'll choose the class with the hardest working singers to send their teacher to the front for a fun challenge where they can earn points for the class!" {Remember, these are invisible points, and they don't mean a thing. LOL}

"I will show you what challenge can be your teacher's, before we start to sing each time. There are 6 challenges in all. Here's the first one:"

"It's a basketball shoot-out! We will sing The Lord Gave Me a Temple, and I will choose a class who is singing their very best to send their teacher to the front. If your class is chosen, your teacher will have the opportunity to shoot hoops for exactly 60 seconds! Every basket made equals 2 points that your class gets to keep! Forever! Okay, here we go..."

After the first teacher finishes the first challenge, shout out how many points that class has earned, then show your props for the next challenge.  I am going to give each class a turn for their teacher to do a challenge.

So, now you will need to choose 6 or seven challenges to go along with Teacher Appreciation Day (one for each class).  I am using challenges that are easy for me, with props I have handy.
  • The first idea, above, is the wooden basketball shoot. I bought this at a holiday craft fair several years ago. 

  • Dice on a Plank: give the teacher a wide Popsicle stick or tongue depressor, and tell them to put it in their mouth. Next they get to stack as many dice on the tongue depressor as they can. Give them 10 points (or whatever) for each dice that gets stacked without falling down within 60 seconds. Here's some pictures of my family doing this game: 
So easy, even my Grandpa Conover can do it!
My niece, Annalei. She won, actually!

  • Golf Putting: I actually have one of these, too. My husband won it as part of a health challenge at work. So I'll give each teacher 5 points (or whatever I decide, ha!) for every hole in one within 60 seconds:
  • Cookie on the Forehead: Have the teacher sit in a chair and face the children. Tilt his or head back and place a cookie on their forehead. Tell them they have 60 seconds to get it in their mouth using only their facial muscles. I'll give them 12 points for each cookie within 60 seconds. Here's my sister, Heather, with a demonstration:

  •  Bobblehead: attach a pedometer to a headband, and secure the headband to the teacher's head. Make sure the pedometer is set to zero. Start timing (60 seconds) and have the teacher begin bobbing his/her head up and down in order to gain "steps." Give the teacher and class one point for every step measured on the pedometer after one minute. Note: My pedometer, my ancient one from about 8 years ago, wouldn't work when I tried this at home. So instead, I downloaded a free app for my Android phone. It works great!

  • Paddle Balance: give the teacher a ping pong ball and paddle. Have him/her balance the ball on the paddle. Give them a point for every second the ball is continuously balanced on the paddle without falling. Maybe give them a practice try, first? 
There are a whole lot of fun ideas here at the Minute to Win It  website, or just make up your own. Be sure to list any brilliant ideas you have in the comments field!

Have fun!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

I Sing; You Sing

Last Sunday I used my The Lord Gave Me a Temple flip chart and I taught both junior and senior primaries the first verse, only. I played a game with them that is one I do frequently when teaching an unfamiliar song, and I'll be doing exactly the same thing this Sunday with the second verse. It's a game I call:
I Sing; You Sing
 I begin by singing the entire song to them, showing them the pages to the flip chart as I go. Then I go back to the beginning, and show the picture and phrase from the first page, and explain the phrase or any big words. Next I point to myself and say the complete phrase (or half of it) and have them repeat it back to me, sometimes, twice. They know that they always have to say it exactly as I have. If they don't, I wave my arms big and cut them off and say something like "Waaaiiiiittttt-a-minnnnnuuut! Whaaat was thaaaat?!......." (in a silly voice, of course!). I tell them to try again, and I point to myself and repeat the process. Sometimes I mix it up and enunciate one word or say the first part of the phrase normally, then the next part really fast. I just try to be creative and expressive.

Next I point to myself and sing the phrase the way it is supposed to be sung, without the piano, afterwhich I point to the children, and they sing it exactly as I have.  Then I point to myself and sing the phrase again in an unexpected style of voice (old woman, western, very softly, powerfully, etc.), and then point to them and they would have to sing the phrase the very same way, again, perfectly and precisely copying my style. They know I'll stop them and make them start over if it's not done "my" way, hehe.  After I feel each phrase is mastered, I point to myself and sing it in my very best voice, then point to them, and they do the same.  I repeat the process with each page and/or phrase, and after they have mastered that page/phrase, I'll start at the beginning of the flip chart/song, and with the piano, sing up to the point we have just learned.

After doing this with the first verse last Sunday, I brought out these "Sing Like A..."  disks from Divine Secrets of a Primary Chorister. I flipped the disks upside down so no one could see the selection, then had a child come up and randomly choose one. I'd say something like,
"Oh....I sure hope this one is a good one, and won't embarrass me!"
"I sure hope this one is not CraZy!"

 It was really funny, especially doing the "Sing like a goat", where the kids used their fingers to vibrate their vocal chords to sound like a goat while singing.

Inappropriate for this song? I suppose only you can answer that for your primary. As for ours, it was a great way to capture the attention of the children and we had a great time. We enjoyed reverence and fun together.

Have fun!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Lord Gave Me a Temple

 Hi All!
 Here's my flip chart for August's song:  
Open the pdf and print it on both sides of 9 sheets white card stock. Laminate, trim, and bind on the left side. 
When finished it will look something like this:  
Front page:
Two page spreads:
Have fun!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Cleverness by Divine Secrets

Gone again this Sunday! Going to my home town in beautiful Emery County, Utah for a family reunion. Maybe I'll sneak in on the primary in my home ward, too. 

If you are struggling for something to do this week, I would like to suggest one of my favorite things. 

Divine Secrets of a Primary Chorister is one of the blogs that has inspired me. After following her blog I decided to do my own, and if you haven't noticed, I loved her blog name so much I patterned mine after hers.

She has created these fantastic cards for:

 They are so clever and so much fun! The kids love them. I love them. So click on the links and follow her instructions for downloading them. Then cut them out and laminate them. I've used my sets now for a couple of years. 

{ecaysis you are brilliant! Thank you!}

Have Fun!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Pioneer Cattle Drive

I have wanted to do something really fun for Pioneer Day, especially since Pioneer Day falls on Sunday this year. I wanted to do something different than reviewing all our program songs, "pioneer style".  Something new and refreshing! Something where the children can move around a little, and just have fun singing. Hey, the pioneers had fun, too!

This activity, however, just might get me released early. I can hear it now...You won't believe what that CrAzY Sister Patterson did in primary today...  LOL! Oh, well. I was told last Sunday that my days are numbered. Four weeks ago we had a changing of the primary presidency. I have been the chorister for four years (this will be my 5th program!), and the new counselor over me wanted me to know last Sunday that I'll be released after this year's program, and hoped I didn't mind staying in that long. I wanted to cry. Now I have to mourn over leaving the children for three more long months! It's going to be hard for me.

Any-hooooo...*wiping away the tears*

Pioneer Cattle Drive

Quickly review these songs (or songs of your choice).  I plan on having my pianist play through the song while I speak the words, then have the children join in and sing with me the second time through.
  • The Handcart Song
  • Pioneer Children Sang as they Walked
  • The Oxcart
  • Little Pioneer Children
  • To Be a Pioneer
Prepare a strip of paper for each class to read to themselves. On these strips of paper are specific instructions for each class. Randomly hand each class a slip of paper and give them about 30 seconds to group together in their classes and figure out what they are supposed to do. If they are not sure, have the teacher send a runner up to you for clarification, and the runner can go back to their class to explain it.

On the strips of paper:
  • Whenever the word "Pioneer" or "Pioneers" is sung in a song, exclaim in an inside church voice,  "YeeeeeeHaaaaaw!" and swing your pretend lasso.
  • Whenever the word Handcart, Oxcart, or Cart is sung, cry out mournfully and dramatically,  "OOOOOHHHHH!"
  • Whenever Sister Patterson (me) says "OK", stand up and curtsey (girls) or bow (boys).*
  • Whenever anyone in the room curtseys or bows, clap to the rhythm of the song 16 times.
  • Whenever another class exclaims "YeeeeeeHaaaaaw!", turn to them, put your finger to your lips and loudly "SHHHHHHHHH!" them. 
  • When anyone cries out mournfully, "OOOOOHHHHH!", stand up, wag your finger and say "Noooo whining!" 
  • Whenever there's "marching" or "walking" (actions or words) in a song, stand up and freeze like a marching statue until that part of the song has past, then sit down. 
  • For the Primary Presidency: Whenever a song is sung slowly, "Moo-ooo" like a herd of cattle.**

After the classes have had a chance to talk about their instructions together, call them to order and explain that you will now be singing all the pioneer songs you have already rehearsed again, but this time, each class must follow the specific instructions they were given on their slips of paper, during the songs. "Ready then? OK!"

When you are finished singing all the songs, ask the children if they can guess what everyone else's actions were, and why they did them.

I plan on passing out hymn books and closing this activity with the song, Come Come Ye Saints

*As the chorister, be sure to say "OK" plenty of times!
**Don't forget to slow down some of the quick songs in the middle, so you can get some extra mooing from the Primary Presidency in!

Have fun!

Friday, July 15, 2011

I'm Going There Someday...

This week I wanted to stress to the primary children the importance preparing to go to the temple right now, so I created this game based on this graphic found on pages 74-75 of the October 2010 Ensign, shown below. (I also used this graphic in my I Love to See the Temple flip chart.)
Yes, too tiny to see what the words say, but that's okay. I've added them to my game and you will be able to read them there. This is what my game board looks like:
 (The bluish/gray background represents a chalk board.)

I created a PDF of the game board if you would like to print it for yourself. 

You will need 15 sheets of plain white paper or card stock. Print the PDF and cut out each page. The game board tiles are meant to be cut out in groups, so cut out the sets of 4 and 2 (shapes) on each page as groups, not individual shapes. (Cut out the grouped shapes on the outer edges, not in between.) 

Cut around the black lines of the pictures/phrases. (These are the phrases that are in the first picture above from the October 2010 Ensign, pages 74-75.) Fold the "phrase" backwards along the solid line that separates the phrase from the picture, so it is hidden when placed on the game board. 

Arrange your game board on a white/chalk board, using tape or magnets to secure. (The black dots on the game board shown above represent magnets holding the picture in place, and also indicate which game board piece the image rests on.)

I have made very simple and uncomplicated rules for this game. Feel free to mix it up a little if you want something different. 

  • Don't forget the game piece and dice. I will be using  a fancy magnet for my game piece and only one die. 

How to Play:

With your fancy magnet game piece on the beginning tile, have a child roll the die. The first image (of Jesus Christ) is on the 6th tile, so if they roll a three, have them roll again until the game piece lands on, or just passes the first image. Show the first image, and unfold the hidden phrase. Explain why we must have faith in Jesus Christ to prepare to go to the temple. 

Sing The Fourth Article of Faith.

Call a new child to come to the front and roll the die, and repeat the process for the next picture. 

Here is a list of the pictures, and the songs that I'll be doing with this game. If other songs fit your primary better, change them to whatever works best for you!

  • Faith in Jesus Christ. (Picture of Jesus Christ), Sing The Fourth Article of Faith
  • Pray to gain a testimony of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. (Picture of girl praying), sing Praise to the Man. (Because Joseph Smith prayed to know which church was true.)
  • Obey the Commandments. (Picture of tithing money), Sing I will Follow God's Plan for Me.
  • Learn to be reverent, because the temple is a very reverent place. (Picture of reverent girl), sing Reverence is Love.
  • Be baptized and keep your baptismal covenants. (Picture of girl getting baptized), sing When Jesus Christ was Baptized.
  • After you are baptized and confirmed, always strive to have the Holy Ghost with you, and repent when you make a wrong decision. (Picture of children taking the sacrament), sing If I listen with My Heart (because the third verse talks about listening to the Holy Ghost).
Keep rolling the die until you reach the temple image, then sing I love to see the Temple

Have fun!