The primary kids work 8-9 months out of the year to learn AND memorize the songs required for the annual Primary Program. I am of the opinion (and I'm VERY opinionated) that every song they learn doesn't need to be memorized. I have made flip charts for reverent songs to use as opening or closing songs throughout the year & the teachers REALLY appreciate them, too.
So for the "holiday" songs, I have been busy making A LOT of flip charts! This way we can have fun singing the songs in different ways without the stress of memorizing them as well. The kids really don't mind the extra help as long as they are engaged & enjoying the time spent singing the songs. If we end up singing any of these in Sacrament meeting, the flip charts are small enough for me to handle easily and I try to keep the fonts large enough to be seen at a distance.
A Song of Thanks pg. 20a of the Children's Songbook is a sweet song. Short & sweet! This is one that I have been using this month as an opening or closing song. I also simplified it for my early beginner piano students & they all enjoyed learning to play it at home. One of my students came to lessons last week & when she pulled out this song to play for me she said, "We sang this song in Primary!" They love to play songs for their Family Home Evenings, too.
I Thank Thee, Dear Father pg. 7 of the Children's Songbook is one that I chose to make a flip chart for use as an opening or closing song. There are so many songs about gratitude in the songbook that the kids just don't know! November is the perfect time to introduce them.
I'm Thankful To Be Me pg. 11 of the Children's Songbook was "new find" for me. I have never heard it before & thought it's message was perfect for my Jr. Primary. It is such a simple song with a lovely melody. It's written a bit high for my taste, so I went to the LDS website & lowered it for our pianist. Instead of finding pictures on the internet/websites, I thought it would be fun for the kids to draw their own pictures. I took our family white board and some colorful dry erase markers to primary. The first week we took the time to have a few kids draw a phrase of the song. We sang the song while I pointed to their pictures. When Singing Time was over, I took the white board into the other room & took close up pictures of their drawings. I uploaded the pictures to my iPhoto and then simply dragged & dropped them onto my document pages. I added the words in large font & printed them all off on card stock paper. For the last page, I have a 4x6 mirror with magnets on the back that I put on it to represent "ME". Because who do YOU see when you look in a mirror? When I showed them their flip chart the next week, they were excited to see their drawings! I even took the time to hand write the "artists" names on the back of their picture:) I had a funky turkey hat that the teachers wore if their class sang the song the loudest or had the most participation, etc....We sang it 4 times so that all 4 teachers had the "privilege". It was a great way to teach & learn this song in only 2 weeks!
My Blessings by Janice Kapp Perry, published in The Friend, November 1983.
This is a great 2 part song, similar to "A Child's Prayer". My Sr. Primary loves 2 part songs so why not teach them a new one? Again, this one is a bit high for my Sr. Boys, so I re-entered it into my personal computer music program & then clicked a button to transpose it. I love my computer program:) It also made the notes easier to read than the original copy. I introduced this song to the Sr. Primary on the same day I introduced "I'm Thankful To Be Me" to my Jr. Primary. So the flip chart is made from their personal drawings. I realize that you most likely won't want to use these "white board" flip charts. However, I wanted to show you that all flip charts don't have to be the same. Just pray for a bit of creative inspiration that will work with your primary. By the end of our 2nd week of singing this song, allowing the kids to mix up with others for the different parts as well as having a Sr. Boy come to the front to lead the 2nd part, they were singing with such love & volume that the bishopric could hear them clear down the hall!
I Am Glad For Many Things pg. 151 of the Children's Songbook is an oldie but a goodie! My niece sang it in Sacrament Meeting last year, but she needed it to be a bit longer:) So my oldest daughter & I came up with Additional Lyrics. So there are more verses in the flip chart than what's in the songbook. I also have used this song along with "Thanks To Our Father" to teach the kids what a Medley is. You can read more about it here.
Thanks To Our Father pg. 20b of the Children's Songbook is a fun melody to sing. It's not a fast song! It's simple & you can use actions as you sing it instead of using the flip chart. This month I started singing this song (using actions only) in Nursery Singing Time. We sing it before the closing song & it helps bring back the reverence:)
So there you have it! Lots of Thanksgiving songs available & the kids get excited to learn them. Even though teaching my kids these Thanksgiving songs cut into learning the Christmas songs in a timely manner, I don't regret it. The kids had fun with them!