Saturday, November 26, 2011

Christmas Singing Time

It's time to get ready for singing a Christmas Song for Sacrament Meeting. This is always easy and fun. I usually pick Christmas Bells Are Ringing because it it sooooooooo easy to teach and it is pretty.  Everybody learns it really fast.  Then you have to pick another one that can be sung with it and this one will take most of your time.
"Christmas Bells are Ringing...Here What They Say to You....Jesus is Born...In Bethlehem..."

A PDF flip chart for Christmas Bells is HERE at Sugardoodle.  


Picture a Christmas is my favorite.  It is such a pretty song and the words sing of all the cast of characters in the Manger scene. So it is fun to get a children's type of manger to use and have kids hold up that icon as we sing about them.  Another idea I've done in the past is to have the kids pass out the manger scene before the song and as we sing about the shepherds, or the angels, the child holding them come up and put them in the manger scene. By the time the song has been sung, the whole scene is back in place.

Bring in a handmade or child's nativity set to sing Picture a Christmas...

A PDF flip chart for Picture a Christmas is HERE at Sugardoodle.

It is also a great way to help kids remember what comes next in the song.....they are looking at the little pieces of the manger scene to help them remember the words.
This would be a perfect nativity to sing the song " Picture a Christ mas"  with.
Another one that I've done in the past is very easy; Away in a Manger.  I think it is so familiar to them you won't have any problems getting it memorized in a few weeks to perform in Sacrament Meeting.

When Joseph went to Bethlehem
I think he took great care
To place his tools and close his shop
And leave no shavings there.

He urged the donkey forward,
Then, with Mary on its back,
And carried bread and goat cheese
In a little linen sack.

I think there at the busy inn
That he was meek and mild
And awed to be the guardian
Of Mary's sacred Child.

Perhaps all through the chilly hours
He smoothed the swaddling bands,
And Jesus felt the quiet strength of
Joseph's gentle hands.

And close beside the manger bed
He dimmed the lantern's light,
And held the little Jesus close upon
That holy night.
Image Joseph and Mary
Joseph and Mary at the birth...."and awed to be the guardian of Mary's sacred child"


A harder Christmas song is When Joseph Went to Bethlehem.  It's harder because of the vocabulary. But it is a sweet song most kids will always remember because it tells the story from Joseph's viewpoint. It is sweet and tender and one of my personal favorites.  A beautiful PDF document with pictures can be found at Jolly Jenn. The link is HERE at Jolly Jenn.

"Sing Praise to Him....remember HIM as we picture Christmas this year! "
 I would get started with these songs now so you will be ready to sing them possibly the week before Christmas, since the ward choir will probably be doing the music on Christmas Day.  Then the next few weeks you will have some songs to practice for, before starting all over again with presentation songs!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Thanksgiving Singing Time

I found a cute crossword puzzle that talks about why we give thanks once a year to the Lord.
It's HERE at Sunday School Kids.





This would be fun to make up the grid kind of large and then have the kids figure out what all the answers
to the clues are as classes.  Then sing a song in between each new clue.
The kids could come up and can pick a crossword number to do. Have their class help them.  Then sing a song could be sung after they have figured out the clue and you have written it down in the squares for them.

Another activity you could do is teach this new song that says Thank You in many languages.

Children All Over the World 

By Peggy Hill Ryskamp and Beth Groberg Stratton
Peggy Hill Ryskamp and Beth Groberg Stratton, “Children All Over the World,” Friend, Nov. 1975, 34–35
All over the world at the end of day
Heavenly Father’s children kneel down and pray,
Each saying thank you in his own special way,
Saying thank you, thank you in his own special way
Gracias, malo, wir danken dir,All over the world tender voices hear.
Some say tak, others merci,Okansha shimasu, we thank thee.
Our Heavenly Father hears them,
He understands each tongue.
Our Heavenly Father knows them,
He loves them, loves them, everyone.

Non-English words for thank you

Spanish—gracias (graw-see-aws)
Tongan—malo (maw-low)
German—wir danken dir (veer dawn-ken deer)
Danish—tak (talk)
French—merci (mare-see)
Japanese—Okansha shimasu (o-kan-sha she-mas)


Then while you are teaching the song, there are several questions you can ask to create repetition:
"What do these words mean? [thank you]
"Listen and count how many foreign languages are sung" [6]
Help children practice pronouncing the six words. Sing them several times
"Where are tender voices heard?" [all over the world]
"What do Heavenly Father's children all over the world do at the end of day? [kneel and pray]
What does each child say in his own special way? [thank you]
Who hears them? [Heavenly Father]
What else do we learn about Heavenly Father [ that he knows, loves, and understands the language of every person]

HERE is a Flipchart  from Jolly Jenn that is very cute and colorful for this Thanksgiving Song. 





Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Primary Thanksgiving Music

My favorite Thanksgiving Song is "I Know Heavenly Father Loves Me" the older version.
It is the one that goes like this....




Whenever I hear the song of a bird
Or look at the blue, blue sky,
Whenever I feel the rain on my face
Or the wind as it rushes by,
Whenever I touch a velvet rose
Or walk by a lilac tree,
I'm glad that I live in this beautiful world
Heavenly Father created for me.
He gave me my eyes that I might see
The color of butterfly wings.
He gave me my ears that I might hear 
The magical sound of things.
He gave me my life, my mind, my heart: 
I thank him reverently
For all his creations, of which I'm a part.
Yes, I know Heavenly Father loves me.


I remember being a Sunday School Chorister in a University of Utah Institute ward and I had the back row of big burly single adults come up and hold bits of a tree branch, a velvety rose, a silk bird etc. and I pointed to each visual aide as we sang the song through. It was fun. You could simply collect the main icons of the song and do the same thing. Kids will learn it so quickly.
Front entry table is ready for the big day! 

I made a fall arrangement of silks...

I've been collecting Thanksgiving decor for ages....It's an illness...

I'd bring a few decorations with the theme of GIVING THANKS.....


This would also be a great song for the kids or a small ensemble to sing for Thanksgiving Sunday.

This is a great time to count our blessings. Find your favorite primary songs to sing about all that Heavenly Father has given us in this beautiful, bounteous world. In the meantime, find some things in your ward to be grateful for. Maybe somebody in the primary just had a new baby brother or sister. Or maybe you could invite the Bishop in and sing a special song "He's Our Bishop". The kids LOVE that!


Maybe a Cornocopia or some Indian corn....

We've got a lotta turkeys around my house....hehe...A song on a few turkeys would be fun....

Bring a pilgrim or a turkey or two...

We've got some Indians...

We've got some Pilgrims

Or maybe just have kids raise their hands about things they are thankful for. Then have them pick one of the Thanksgiving decorations you have brought with the name and number of the song taped to the back.

We made pine cone turkeys with colorful pipe cleaners....

Cute scarecrow from Shopko....

Fall Picture Wall decorations...cone and rod iron from RODWORKS...

Give Thanks....my cute turkey decorations

My grandkids' table...

I would definitely use scarecrows and cornucopia this week, and maybe save the Pilgrims and Indians for next week, closer to the Thanksgiving holiday.

In the meantime, Happy Fall, Y'all!
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