Tell the children you are going to show them some pictures as you sing the song. Draw pictures similar to these on the whiteboard or chalkboard.
I came to earth
With power to choose
Good choices bless me
And my family too
As a Child of God
I receive special light
The Holy Ghost helps me
to know what is right.
(Notice that the images are drawn quickly, like in a drawing board game. I had to practice drawing and singing because it uses two different parts of my brain!)
After you have sung and drawn the song for the children, ask them to draw the song with you on an imaginary board in the sky. Sing the line, then ask the children to draw a particular thing, giving them time to quickly draw in the air at the same time you are drawing that same thing.
I came to earth – draw a big earth
with power to choose – draw a big arrow or two
Good choices bless me – draw yourself
and my family too – draw your family
As a child of God – draw yourself with a link to Heavenly Father
I receive special light – draw lots of light
The Holy Ghost helps me – draw yourself with the light of the Holy Ghost all around you
to know what is right – draw yourself with lots of light to help you know what is right.
The drawing in the air activates a part of the brain different from just singing the words, and gives the children anchors for their memory to remember this song.
After you have done the activities above, ask the children to follow your hands. Sway your hands and arms in time to the music as you sing.
I came to earth (sway right)
with power to choose (sway left)
Good choices bless me (sway right)
and my family too (sway left)
The movement to the song as you sing gives the children yet another chance to hear you sing the whole song, as well as giving the children a feel for the beat and rhythm of the song they will sing.
These are all awesome ideas….I became chorister just a few weeks before we performed the 2016 songs and then jumped right into learning our Christmas songs. I love that the variety of these lesson plans for this song. I’m especially liking the melody map, actions, and draw the song…which of these 3 do you recommend to use first, second, and third. Do you do all of these for the same verse in the same week? After the first verse is learned, how do you suggest reviewing vs 1 and teaching subsequent verses? I’m also seriously considering adding the handbells for this song…when would you introduce this?
I also saw that you are doing a workshop in Payson on January 28…do you have an outline available for the workshop? Where/how would I register?
All I know is that it is the Payson West Stake center across from Mt. Nebo Junior High. Bonnie Peterson is the stake Primary president and would have details. I’d love to see you there.
Melody map is a good starter, but any of the three would work as an introduction. (Have you watched the video for that?) I do one of these activities a week. Brain research shows that you have to be introduced to something, then sleep on it, in order for the brain to catalog it into memory. The next week you do another activity and cement the song in the memory. It has variety because the activity is different.
Personally I often will choose my favorite one or two verses and teach those to the children, then have a small group or a solo for the other verse or verses.
I would probably teach As a Child of God and a new birthday song/movement song the first week, then the next week As a Child of God and any of the other songs for the program.The key is to choose two songs to teach that have a different feel. The contrast will help the children learn them better. You want each of the songs to go into long term memory so it doesn’t really matter what order you do them in. To support the Sharing Time theme, I often will do another activity with the song of the month even if the children already know it. (Does that make sense?) There is a whole section in the book To Teach a Child a Song that gives lots of suggestions on this. toteachachildasong.com
The handbells are a great review of the song so I use them after the song is learned. Usually you don’t use handbells in the program because of the guidelines for music in that setting. I just use them in Primary, though other people have done other things.
Thanks for asking!
I’m sop glad you mentioned the workshop on January 28. I have been hoping to attend a workshop. Were you able to find any more details? I have been searching, without any luck. I would love to register to attend. Thanks again!
Thank you for all your wonderful websites and posts. I recently had my husband purchase your book for my Christmas present.I love it! Primary singing time has become sooo much fun because of you. I hope I can serve as chorister forever. I am also taking on a jr. high choir substitute position for a few weeks and look forward to implementing your ideas there too.
Where is your next workshop in Utah? I am trying to register for the Payson workshop, but I would love to attend any that you may be doing. 🙂
Unfortunately I will be out of town for the workshop in Utah. Will you please videotape it and post it on your website? I hate to miss and want to learn all I can from you about teaching the children the songs.
Could you ask the Primary President in Payson if you can post the details of the workshop on the Facebook page for Primary Choristers, and if people from other stakes could attend? I’m sure there would be many people who would be interested in going if it were allowable.
I know she’s sending out invitations to the five stakes in her area. It is January 28th from 9 to 12 at the Payson West Stake Center across from Mt. Nebo Junior High. It will be in the gym, so yes, other people can attend.
Hi Sharla, I’m so excited to have found your site. I’ve been recently called to do Primary Music again and you are still my inspiration. I tell EVERYONE I can about you. I am planning on coming to the event in Payson. So excited to see you again. (loved your Christmas card this year!)
I can’t wait to see you!
Anyone who would like to attend the Payson Utah Workshop, it would help if you register at:
January 28th from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Payson West Stake center. The Payson West Stake Center is across from Mt. Nebo Jr. High school. (780 W 500 S, Payson, UT) There are 150-200 people who have already registered, so get there early for a good seat!