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!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Just Dropping In!

After getting such wonderful ideas from a primary chorister I dropped in on earlier on my vacation to Utah, I was excited to pop in on another! My next visit was to another primary in West Jordan, Utah with chorister Jill Taylor.  

Hi Jill! 

Jill and I talked for a little while between her singing times, and I felt strongly that if we lived closer we'd become great friends. She even let me go into nursery with her, which was very wonderful. I don't see a whole lot of posts about nursery, or maybe I don't pay as much attention to them as I should. But Jill had some fun ideas that really inspired me to put more effort into nursery. 

The first thing Jill said when I told her I was a visiting chorister, was that she doesn't sing, and is not musical, and she was not sure why they put her in as the chorister. Well! It was obvious to me why she was called....she has such affection for the children, and they followed her in singing as if her fists were full of candy. She loves the children and they love her in return. It's as simple as that. 

Jill began by teaching both verses of I Love to See the Temple using pictures from a flip chart. They sang the first verse, and then she went back and explained what the different phrases meant, involving the children and asking them questions, too. She listened for the phrases that needed work, and had the children sing those phrases through until they knew the words better. She repeated the same process on the second verse. This is exactly what I will be doing this Sunday as I teach the same song.

Next Jill had a clear glass vase with about 8 small American flags in it. Crinkled inside the vase were torn pieces of red and blue paper, just for some color. Each flag had the name of a review song on it. She chose a reverent child to come to the front and choose a flag, and when they sang the song the child got to lead the song using that flag. It was so cute! The kids loved it! 

I have about 30 medium sized flags I bought at Deseret Industries last winter. I was able to talk the store manager into selling them to me for 10 cents each, which was a small miracle!  I mean, this was a first for me! Now I have just the thing to do with them. I think I may have an entire class come to the front to wave/lead the flags.

Jill used visual aids for nursery, and again, the little ones were completely focused on her. She had a flip chart for "Wheels on the Bus", which is one I use too, although mine is an older version. (Mine is from the book, Music Fun For Tots by Pam Carity and Marsha Nawrocki, published by Church Mouse Publications and distributed by Deseret Book. I bought it about 22 years ago at Deseret Book.) 

Jill also had some really cute-sy stars printed on yellow card stock, laminated, and adhered to tongue depressors. She used these to sing "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" giving one to each child to hold and wave during the song.  For sure, I have got to make some for my nursery kiddos!

Thanks Jill for your clever ideas! Thanks for letting me tag along in nursery, too. I had a blast!

Somewhere in West Jordan, Utah

Because I have been out of town, I was able to attend Primary in two separate wards in the past two weeks. Both were fabulous. Both were somewhere in West Jordan, Utah, and both had some great ideas I want to share with you. 

The ideas presented in this post are from the chorister who's name I didn't write down. She was fantastic! (If  it was YOU please forgive me and comment with your name so I can give you proper credit.) I will share what I learned from the second chorister, Jill Taylor, in my next post.

The first thing I noticed about our Unknown Chorister was how well organized she was, how well she used her time, and how she never missed a beat:

She asked the children if they knew what the Declaration of Independence was, and she explained it a little to them. Then she had a teacher come to the front and tell about the following: 

“That We May Be Redeemed” by Harold I. Hopkinson

Founding Fathers

"We know the signers of the sacred Declaration of Independence and the Founding Fathers, with George Washington at their head, have made appearance in holy places. Apostle Wilford Woodruff was president of the St. George Temple at the time of their appearance and testified that the founders of our republic declared this to him: 'We laid the foundation of the government you now enjoy, and we never apostatized from it, but we remained true to it and were faithful to God.' (Journal of Discourses, 19:229.)
"Later, after he became President of the Church, President Woodruff declared that 'those men who laid the foundation of this American government and signed the Declaration of Independence were the best spirits the God of heaven could find on the face of the earth. They were choice spirits, not wicked men. General Washington and all the men who labored for the purpose were inspired of the Lord.' (Conference Report, April 1898, p. 89.)"

The Declaration of Independence

"The Declaration of Independence . . . is much more than a political document. It constitutes a spiritual manifesto—revelation, if you will—declaring not for this nation only, but for all nations, the source of man's rights. Nephi, a Book of Mormon prophet, foresaw over 2,300 years ago that this event would transpire. The colonies he saw would break with Great Britain and that 'the power of the Lord was with [the colonists],' that they 'were delivered by the power of God out of the hands of all other nations' (1 Nephi 13:16, 19).
"The Declaration of Independence was to set forth the moral justification of a rebellion against a long-recognized political tradition—the divine right of kings. At issue was the fundamental question of whether men's rights were God-given or whether these rights were to be dispensed by governments to their subjects. This document proclaimed that all men have certain inalienable rights. In other words, these rights came from God."
(I am not sure about the exact quotes she used, but it was very close to these articles.)
Then she had everyone sing, I love to See the Temple one time through. 
Next, she put up a flag representing the 13 original US colonies.  She explained that each color on the flag symbolized something, and she asked the children if they knew what they symbolized. She had prepared in advance three jars with a little vinegar water in them, and three spoons with a dab of food color on two of the spoons (one remained white, so no food color) and then covered the spoons with baking soda. To guess each color's meaning, she stirred the spoonful of baking soda into a jar of shallow vinegar water. It foamed all up and then revealed either red, clear (white), or blue. She explained the patriotic symbolism for each color,  and she had them sing each song after each color was revealed:
  • Red: Courage, Nephi's Courage
  • White: Liberty, Book of Mormon Stories (especially the 2nd verse)
  • Blue: Loyalty, I'm Trying to Be Like Jesus
To wrap it up she explained a little bit about how Francis Scott Key came to write the Star Spangled Banner, and then had the children use hymn books to sing it. 

She commented to me after that she had gotten many of her ideas for that day from I, for one, am extremely grateful to have a resource like Sugardoodle, as I know many of you are. We are truly blessed to live in this day and age of technology. So thanks to Melanie at Sugardoodle, and a big Hooray! to all the contributing choristers there, too!

Thank you, Unknown Chorister from West Jordan! It was so much fun to visit. You are awesome! The children in your primary love you and I can tell they look forward to your singing time each week. I can't wait to use your ideas!


I Love to See the Temple

Hey I'm back! {Sort of.} I am technically "camping" in the mountains around Island Park, Idaho. Shhh...don't tell anyone I am home for a day, Okay?

Here's my flip chart for:

I Love to See the Temple.pdf
It is meant to be printed, laminated, and bound on the left side so as to be in booklet form. When you view pages 8 and 9 please envision them side by side. (You can actually set Adobe to be viewed side by side.)

More to come....