I originally shared this post on my main blog, A Mom’s Take.
You can view the original published article here.
I have republished here on Primary Singing as it’s a better fit for the content!
Affiliate links are used in this post.
When I was first called as a Primary Singing Time leader and started searching the web for how to get started I heard about “flip charts.” It seemed so foreign to me from how I learned the songs when I was in primary (think singing it over and over and pictures on the wall that were pulled down as we learned parts of the song.)
But flip charts make sense. It can be an easy way to introduce a new song for the opening and closing song in Primary and perfect for refreshing a song you’ve learned in the past.
I don’t fall into the camp that once I’ve taught the song that the kids should have the words committed to memory for life – heck, I still need a reminder of the words sometimes! Plus, these easy to use flip charts fit right inside my singing time binder!!
How I Use Flip Charts in Primary
I use flip charts every week during singing time. I’ll use them for the opening and/or closing song, sometimes for the welcome and birthday songs if they aren’t as familiar to the kids, and even for some of the wiggle songs.
For example, I have a simple flip chart for the Books of the Book of Mormon and I use the words to the articles of faith when we sing those songs.
I’ll also use my Singing Time flip charts for the year’s program songs. Sometimes I’ll introduce the song the first time with the flip charts, other times I won’t use them until we’re simply reviewing the song.
I love using flip charts while we’re doing a silent movie of the song or listening to a special arrangement of the song.
By presenting the words I’ve found that the kids sing more confidently and the teachers help by singing along as well.
I don’t use flip charts for every song and every lesson, though. Usually, when we’re learning the words for the first time or doing an activity such as instruments or a body rhythm pattern we won’t use the flip charts as all. But having them ready and available has been priceless!
How to Create Your Own Flip Charts
Getting started making your own flip charts is easy! Here’s how I do it:
1. Open Word, or any other word processing program.
2. Change the margins to minimal – I use .5″ on all 4 edges (top, bottom, left, and right). You can also change orientation of the paper, if needed. I usually use Portrait for my flip charts.
3. Type out or copy/paste all the lyrics from the song as written in the songbook. I prefer to type just because it doesn’t add any additional formatting or spacing issues. If you copy and paste the text, you’ll want to remove any spacing or row breaks between each of the lines of the song before moving to the next step.
4. Select all the text (you can hold down ctrl + a to easily select all) and adjust the font to a big, bold font. I use Bernard MT Condensed because it’s bold and chunky, but not super wide per letter letting me fit a lot of words per page.
5. Now, increase the font size of all the text to 55-72, depending on how many words you can fit on the page for the particular song. I aim for one verse per page with the chorus on a separate page. Some songs may need 2 or more pages just for the verse, depending on their length.
6. Add images, if desired. I use images from LDS Media Library whenever possible. They’re free to use for church purposes, you can search and download them from the Media Library. Once you’ve saved an image you’d like to use to your desktop, you can then just drag it from the desktop to the word document.
Right Click on the image and adjust the image settings. Select under the “Wrap Text” setting the option for “Tight” which will allow you to move the image around the page and the words will move around the image.
Resize the image to fit your space available and that will let the text remain on the page.
How to Make Easy-to-Flip Flip Charts
Start by creating and printing flip charts for the songs you’ll be learning throughout the month or year. There are lots of great resources for free flip charts that are already made (and I linked to my favorite source above — a site that let’s me edit the charts to make them more words per page).
When you have your flip charts printed and ready, slip all the song pages into sheet protectors. Line them up in order following the song.
Then, you’ll slightly pry open the split ring, being careful not to permanently bend open the ring. You just want it open up enough that you can slip the sheet protector hole punch spots through the ring.
Once you have a few pages slipped into the opening of the ring, you can easily twist the split ring around and around until all the sheet protectors pop through on the other end of the ring’s opening and they’ll now be securely held together – connected by the split ring!
This is just like putting keys onto a key ring – only these are much smaller rings so that they fit into your binder nicely without taking up extra room. They’re also more likely to be bent open, which can cause the sheet protectors to get snagged when you’re flipping. Be careful to only pull open the ring just a little, don’t bend/pry it open.
That’s all there is to it! Repeat to add one split ring to each of the 3 hole punches along the edge of your sheet protectors and you’ll be able to simply, and easily, flip through your singing time flip charts all while dancing and moving about the room!
See our Tips & Tricks for Using Flip Charts!
Tips & Tricks for Using Flip Charts – Learn about how I store them, a secret for remembering the words, and how I use a lyrics book!