How do you teach a simple, slow song that has big words for the children?
Silent Night is one of those beautiful songs that can touch hearts.
Unfortunately, because it is slow, and the children’s heart beats are faster than ours, it is hard for children to sustain the long smooth notes. So what works to help them? I have them concentrate on somewhere else in their body, like their hands. Sign Language is a good option.
- Learn the signs for the song. (See the websites below.)
- Teach the a few of the signs. Here’s how I do it: a. Say the word “night.” Show the sign. Ask the children to follow your hands. b. Say the word “virgin.” Show the sign. Ask the children to follow your hands (you may not need to say anything…. they may just follow because they have already followed the other motion). Continue in that way for two or three more of the major words of the song.
- Ask the children, “Can your hands follow my hands?” Sing the song, and do the hand signs as you sing, with the children following your hands. As a follow up to that, you can just hum as you all do the signs silently. It brings a wonderful feeling into the room.
This one is intended to teach children:
This one is beautifully done:
And one from lds.org (You will need to download the ASL version onto your computer.)