A Child’s Prayer: Word/Rhythm poster for Older Children

Tell the Children

“I love the composer of this song.  She used so many things to make her music great.  One of the things I notice is that she repeats some musical ideas in her song over and over again.” (Show the posters and sing some of the snips of melody on the orange poster.)













“I need your help to figure out where they go in the song.  I will tap someone on the shoulder and they come up to move one of these into the right place on our song poster.”  (The song posters below are up at the front of the room.)  I begin to sing the song and tap children on the shoulder.  They come up and figure out where each of the white word/rhythm pieces go in the song.



Sing the Song as the Children put on the word strips

I sing the song over and over again, tapping different children on the shoulder until the children have put the whole song in order.


Then I say “You sing all the white pieces of paper.  I sing all the rest.”  We sing together.  “Now switch and I will sing the white papers and you sing all the rest.”  We sing together.  (It is quite the challenge to sing like this!)


Bringing order to a song like this (in a discovery way) allows the brain to fully engage in learning the song.  The children don’t even notice they are hearing the song over and over again (allowing the brain to link all of the separate parts into a larger whole).  Singing only parts of the song while someone else sings the rest stimulates the brain to hear the song in their head, a really strong way to learn.

11 Responses

  1. Gail Browning

    I love this! I just love all your ideas. They really do solidify the words with a fun interactive experience. I did the eraser pass on “My Heavenly Father Loves Me” a while back. It was the first time with that activity and the children were so involved and tuned in. They loved it! It was really a fun new way also of getting the words down quickly with focused repetition. Thanks Sharla! You’re amazing and i love you!!!

  2. Jana

    I used this today – it was awesome and did the extender too. Thanks for your examples on how to do things – I love to use all your ideas!

  3. Lacey

    I love this. Is there a spot where you teach how to read these Rythmn markings? I’m not as good at music theory…

    • Sharla Dance

      I just point to the rhythm markings and sing them like they are in the song. I don’t really explain them. The children are there to put the song in order and unknowingly they get exposure to the rhythm markings.

  4. Mallory P Funkhouser

    Hi Sharla, when you sing the snips, are you singing the correct melody or singing them with the same “note” and just emphasizing the rthym?

    • Sharla Dance

      I try to sing them with the correct melody , but sometimes just the rhythm is correct! Thanks for asking.

  5. Holly

    What is your suggestion to teach a Child’s Prayer to the younger primary children?

  6. Christine

    Do you happen to have the melody parts in a file that can be printed out?

  7. Christine

    I was able to bear testimony to our Primary children today about how Heavenly Father answered my prayers. I found this wonderful lesson plan late last night and really wanted to use it today. I went downstairs to see if I had enough posterboard and discovered I had exactly enough and the bonus was they were in the very same colors you used even!
    I was able to get everything made this morning and singing time went well. Thank you Sharla for sharing your talents. You bless Primary children all over the world.

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