Friday, January 27, 2012

Choose the Right Chorus Signs and Picture Sticks

I've decided to teach the CHORUS of "Choose the Right" first. It's easy. It's catchy. Here's my plan.

1. Teach Phrases & Signs. I sing a phrase and show the signs, they repeat after me. I do this with every song I teach. This chorus makes it really easy to do the signs right with the rhythm of the words. I don't teach full ASL, only a few signs that help them remember the words. For full ASL go to this page of and scroll to the bottom for the video. 

Choose the Right! Choose the Right!
Choose: Hold two fingers up with LH, grab each finger with RH
Right: Pointer finger out on both hands pointing forward, RH comes down on top of LH

Let wisdom mark the way before
Wisdom: Use bent index finger to point at temple and move toward temple twice
Mark: (show) LH verticle, fingers up, palm outward, RH points to middle of LH palm, move both hands forward
Way: Hands verticle, fingers forward, palms face each other, move both hands forward like making a curvy path

In it's light, Choose the Right!
Light: Both hands start low in front of torso, fingers start together then spread out as hands are raised, palms toward body
(see above for "Choose the Right")

And God will bless you evermore.
God: RH verticle, fingers up, palm to left, start above head and bring down in front of body
Bless: RH finger in front of lips, then both hands palms down, RH on top of LH
Evermore: RH pointer finger point up and move in circle

2. Picture Sticks
Choose the Right!

Once I have the chorus down, I'll pull out these Picture Sticks. I think the Junior Primary will love this. (And it always amazes me what the Senior Primary loves to do!) Each of the pictures to the right goes with a different phrase in the chorus. When we sing that phrase the kids holding that picture lift it high in the air. I realize we won't be able to continue with the sign language, but I like to give them a variety of activities to do with the song, too.

I will start with handing out just the CTR Picture Sticks to the Sunbeams and younger kids, having them lift their stick high every time we sing "Choose the Right!" I'll have them guess how many times we sing that phrase and then sing it again and count. Then I'll take guesses and sing it again to check to see if they got it right. (Pat Graham idea!)

Next I'll pull out the 'Light Bulb' Picture Sticks and ask them what phrase we could use them for. With the Seniors I'll ask more thought provoking questions like "What kind of light are we talking about?" I'll keep adding until we have picture sticks for all four phrases.
Let wisdom mark the way before

The phrase "let wisdom mark the way before" was a tricky one to find a picture for. I'm hoping the pictures will spark a quick discussion on where we can find wisdom, that's why I choose pictures of the scriptures, the prophet and the temple for that phrase. You might want to simplify and just do one picture instead of three. 

In it's light
TO MAKE Picture Sticks:
  1. Click on the picture to the right to download a page full of the image 
  2. Print
  3. Cut out
  4. Laminate (optional)
  5. Glue to wide craft sticks

Keep in mind that 3"x4" picture cards of the prophet, temples and Christ with children can be bought in packs of 10 or more at places like Deseret Book. 
And God will bless you evermore.

I'm sure these Picture Sticks have many uses. I'd love to hear your ideas!


  1. Thank you. As a women involved in the Deaf Community I appreciate that you are sharing true sign language and explaining the signs clearly. There are a lot of 'junk' signing out there, so it's refreshing to see this.

    1. Thank you! I try to use authentic signs but I'm not trained so I hope I'm not making mistakes. Thanks for visiting my blog.

    2. I agree with Lauren. I am the Primary Music Leader in a Deaf Branch and, while browsing for ideas, I often come across incorrect signs and concepts. I appreciate that you've used the Church's website and also your link to it,, where the correct ASL interpretation is offered. When ASL is the primary language being used, it is sometimes difficult to find teaching aids in addition when ASL is an aid often employed. It is also difficult to find things that leave my hands free to sign ;) I appreciate your ideas!

  2. Hey, I just wanted to let you know I am following your blog and LOVE all your ideas. Your sister Lauralee sent me. :) We are friends and in the same ward. I was just called as the primary chorister a couple months ago. Thank you for all the ideas!

    1. Hi! Lauralee told me she was sending you this link. Glad you found it and like the ideas. I hope you love this calling!

  3. Thank you! This is just what I need to teach the chorus this week. I love your ideas.

  4. Thanks for this idea - I'm new to this calling and need good ideas like this ;-)

  5. What wonderful ideas you have! As a teacher, both at church and at work, I know how important it is to share information. I'll be telling my sister about your blog!

  6. Thanks, everybody for your encouragement! Glad you like the ideas!

  7. Thanks a Bunch. This is my second week as primary music princess and I have never done signing...The kids loved it!! I never got to the second part with the Picture sticks, but that was okay, because I used the signs to talk about out how they illustrate parts of the chorus..i.e. Why would does the sign for wisdom points to the temple(head)? We have to use our minds. Where else do we seek wisdom? The scriptures, the Prophet, the temple..etc. It was great!!

  8. I'm excited to try your ideas. Thanks so much!

  9. I used your cute picture ideas two weeks ago and they worked like a charm. The kids loved having their own pictures and really seemed to pay attention to the words to make sure they didn't miss their chance to hold up their stick. Very creative. Thanks!

  10. I love the idea of teaching signs for every song. I notice my primary kids sing louder and remember the words so much better when they sign. What I am wondering is if you plan to have them sign all the songs in the program or is it purely for teaching? I am having my kids do "Stand for the Right" in ASL but I wonder if it would be too much to have them sign all the songs. What are you going to do?

    1. Such a good question. Tiffany brought up this topic, too. By the time the program comes around they usually know all of the songs pretty well, so I usually have them all sign just a few songs. The ones they really enjoy signing.
      For the other songs I exaggerate a big entrance so they come in strong and then use the signs as needed. The Sunbeams do whatever I'm doing, so if I'm leading the music, that's what they do, too! Some can't keep up with all those words and signing gives them a chance to participate.
      Some of the older kids prefer not to sign and I'm fine with that, too, as long as they are singing with their heart. I've had parents say the signing is distracting, then I've also had parents say the signing was their favorite part!
      Hope this helps!