How do you represent words to a child that doesn’t read? One way is Action Word Actions. A young child learns best through his body (think of learning to crawl, learning to walk, touching everything), so using his or her body to learn words is VERY effective.
Here are some suggestions for this song:
“Can your hands follow my hands?” Sing the song and do these actions:
If I had been (point to self)
a little child (pretend to touch the heads of three little children in front of you)
when Jesus lived (hand sign for Jesus)
on earth (big round arms like a huge world globe)
I would have liked (point to self)
to walk with Him (pretend to walk)
and listen to (put hands behind ears as if to hear better)
His words (point to mouth)
But as I search (point to the palm of your hand and move finger back and forth as if searching)
the scriptures (put hands together like an open book)
I can hear (point to ears)
His words of peace (point to mouth and do hand sign for peace)
And if I listen (put hands behind ears as if to hear better)
with my heart (point to heart)
I hear (point to ears)
the Savior’s voice (hand sign for Jesus)
Once the children have followed your motions for the song, tell them you are going to “sing” the song inside your head and only do the motions. Have the pianist play the music while you mouth the words and do the actions. Have the children follow your hand motions. (Again you are mouthing the words, not singing.)
Now ask the children to sing the song with their voices outside of their head (singing) while you all do the motions one more time. Sing and move with action word actions with the children.
The children are using their body to represent the words. Their brain takes those movements deep into the brain.