Chalkboard Review

Camille's Primary Ideas: Using just the chalkboard for your primary singing time lesson plan

I wanted to briefly discuss using the chalkboard in singing time.  I’ve noticed several comments on FB Saturday night from various music leaders around the world asking for help as they have no idea what to do last minute for singing time the next day.

I usually comment with an activity that involves the chalkboard.  This valuable tool is way under-utilized in my opinion {guilty as charged right here!}.  It’s seriously your best resource that is always ready and completely FREE!

The church has even taken care of making sure you have ample chalk and erasers too (to clarify, I’m using the term “chalkboard” in conjunction with “whiteboard” if that’s what your meeting house has instead).

There is valuable information HERE from the Curriculum Department entitled Chalk it Up to Learning that I would recommend every primary music leader should read.  There were some great quotes:
“If you’re looking for something new to help others learn the gospel, you might start by taking a fresh look at something old—The chalkboard!”

“I think that no teaching aid surpasses, and few equal, the chalkboard: first, because it is simple to use, and next, because it is universally available—everywhere in the world you can get a chalkboard. You can use it to focus the eyes of your students while the main lesson is presented audibly. As you talk, you can put just enough on the board to focus their attention and give them the idea, but never so much that the visual aid itself distracts them.”

I also like the introduction where it mentions how a teacher used the chalkboard to teach, even before class started.
An idea to implement the mentioned scenario into singing time could be to write a list of songs your pianist would potentially play and have the kids see if they can figure out which songs were actually played.  This would enforce reverence and listening skills, therefore increasing understanding in the gospel…all while saying nothing!
If you are low on resources and time (or not!), the chalkboard is your BEST FRIEND!  A lot of the activities that I post can be tweaked to incorporate the chalkboard in some way, further simplifying the lesson plan.  I searched “chalkboard” on my website page and found all of these lesson plans HERE where I somehow incorporated the chalkboard (some more than others).
I wanted to create a simple list of review activities or lesson plans that only involve the chalkboard.  Can you help me add to it?  How do you incorporate the chalkboard into your lesson plans to help simplify prep time and cut down on visual aid costs? 
  • Pictionary HERE
  • Erase a word HERE
  • Draw pictures of keywords HERE
  • Don’t sing the particular word written on the board and a child who doesn’t see the board gets to figure out what word is written there.  Similar to Word Nerd HERE or Word Quing HERE.

But don’t get me wrong, low-key doesn’t mean low-fun or low-level of learning!  Utilizing the good ol’ chalkboard is a simple yet effective way to keep kids engaged during singing time!

Leave a comment with any ideas you have of implementing the use of the chalkboard into singing time.




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5 thoughts on “Chalkboard Review”

  1. Camille, I went to the link you had for chalkboard google ideas up above in this post and it took me to your most recent lessons. Is that correct? I'm loving the idea of using chalk and excited to see ideas about this from any and all.

  2. Can I ask if you write the song up on the chalkboard before primary and if not how do you have time to write it once kids are there? I'm thinking I would write a line and we sing and then write a line and we sing so that time is best used. Just wondered how you manage that. Thx

  3. Hi Lynn,

    I've corrected the link – thank you for bringing that to my attention.

    As for writing the words on the chalkboard, if I can, I prefer to get them written before primary. Sometimes it's just not an option (either I'm not prepared enough or there was something else written there by the presidency). If that's the case, I like to have the kids help me as part of singing time – I post the words on paper and they read the next words I should write on the chalkboard. But it depends on the activity. I hope that answers your question.


  4. The first time I was called to be chorister, the ward I lived in only had a junior primary. I wanted to have them erase words on the chalkboard as we repeated a song to learn it, but only 3 of the 20 kids knew how to read. So I had them help me come up with simple pictures to help them remember the words to the song — we were learning "Samuel Tells of the Baby Jesus." The pictures were simple: a stick man on a wall, the number 5, a moon and sun, etc. Once we had all the pictures drawn, we sang the song and erased one picture between each repetition. The kids loved it, and everyone got to participate. I don't know if it would work as well in a senior primary. And you can easily draw the pictures yourself before music time so you can have more time singing.

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