Monday, January 18, 2010


I needed a way to call on helpers without hurting anyone's feelings so I wrote down everyone's name on craft sticks. So when I need a helper, I can just draw out a name and it's totally fair. Also, the sticks that are picked are then put away in a separate container, not to be used again until all the sticks have been used.

Week 2-A new calling, a new song

I was so thrilled when I was called to be the primary chorister for this ward.
Here's what I did for my first singing time as the official chorister teaching the first song of the year, "I Know that My Savior Loves Me."

For both the Junior and Senior primaries I began with telling them a story, or rather having them imagine that they were the child in the story. I got this idea and most of the wording from I started by saying, "Imagine that you lived a long time ago, when there were Nephites and Lamanites on the earth..." and then it goes on to have them imagine that there's a storm and darkness and all of that, and then ends where they get to sit on Jesus' knee and He blesses them and angels surround them. Then I told them that that was what our song was about.

Next, I sang the 1st verse and chorus through for them with the accompaniment so they could hear what it sounds like. I also showed a flip chart as I sang, from JollyJenn, to add some visual interest. JollyJenn is so wonderful. If you google her name you can go to her site and print off flip charts for any song in the children's songbook plus any from the Friend magazine. Flip charts are a set of pages that you flip through as the children sing, each page having a line of the song and a picture to go with it.

I only had the kids practice the chorus for this week. I told them how the chorus had four main parts and was like a sandwich (two things we will do on the inside, and two things we know on the outside.) For Junior Primary I put up some contruction paper visual aids and GAK pictures on the chalkboard that went along with the words (a picture of Jesus, two sets of footprints, a heart, and a different picture of Jesus) so the chorus would be super easy for them to learn and our new little sunbeams could feel successful right away.

Junior and Senior Primaries loved the chorus and did great learning it.

It all went really well and I love the song!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Week 1-Subbing

I've only ever been a primary chorister once before, which was in New Orleans with a primary consisting of 10 or so children pre-Katrina, and about 4 post-Katrina.

When the primary president called me a couple weeks ago saying that she desperately needed a sub for primary chorister, I was very happy to help out. It was a Saturday night when she called so I needed some quick ideas. My sister Emily gave me some great ones.

On Sunday, I used craft sticks with page numbers on them (I went through the children's songbook and wrote down the numbers for all the familiar songs.) Then I had the children take turns picking a stick, and we sang whichever song they pulled out.

For Junior Primary, whoever picked the song also had to choose how we would sing it: loud, soft, quick or slow. I brought four stuffed animals to represent each way of singing: a turtle for slow, monkey for fast (a monkey was all I could find), a deer for soft, and a dinosaur for loud. Most of the kids picked the deer oddly enough.

For Senior primary, whoever picked the song also had to wear a card, taped to their forehead and stand up in front of everyone. The cards said things like, "Look at your teacher while you sing" or "sing with your legs crossed" or "wink while you sing". So the kids would sing the song according to the card, and the person wearing the card had to guess what the card said. They really liked this game and wanted to keep going when time was up. Thanks for the ideas, Emily!