If I Listen with My Heart: Verse 2 – Melody Map for Older Children

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The words are put up around the room.  The children notice them as they walk in.  When it is time for music, I put up the melody map out of order and ask some questions. (click on that word questions to read about what to ask.

As I sing the second verse, the children one by one (with a tap on the shoulder from me) chose a word and place it on the melody map where it goes in the song.


This is the 3rd of 4 poster boards (“The prophet teaches how to live….”)

When all the words are on the melody map, I ask the children to sing the words on the map, and I will sing all the others. Then we switch and they sing all the other words while I sing the words on the map.


Bringing order to the song in this way is a huge learning help for the children.  They hear the song over and over again in their head, and literally “map out” the song with this activity.  And it is fun!

4 Responses

  1. Lori Call

    Hi Sharla! I read the your book as soon as I received it and it has been very helpful in understanding the various activities and how they work and go together to teach the songs. I especially loved how you discuss the spiritual additions we can make by pointing out feelings, using various activities and sharing our testimonies. It has helped me be more aware of the many opportunities I have to do that as a music teacher. It has helped me see the balance between learning in a fun, active, and engaged way and reverence and spirituality. Both can be achieved at the same time! I feel much more confident and I am excited for Singing Time instead of dreading it. It isn’t always perfect, but that is ok. It is definitely improved. I had the entire time for Singing Time on the fifth Sunday and boy, was it great! The kids had fun, learned the songs and even the teachers wanted to participate! The melody map really helped both me and the kids visualize the song I used it for. I am planning out the next few months activities and I have a question about one I want to include. It is the Paper Cup Tap. Is that the same as the Paper Cup Pop? I found no reference for it in Appendix A or the book. Thanks for your great teaching resources!

    • Sharla Dance

      Paper Cup Pop evolved into Paper Cup Tap (which is more descriptive name for what it really is). Way to deduce the real thing! You remind me that I need to get Appendix A up to date! Thank you, thank you!

  2. Jayne Sargent

    Hi Sharla! Thank you so much for all your ideas. Everyone I try is an absolute hit with the Primary Children and I feel like they are learning so much more than words to a melody!! I have a question about your melody mapping. Does every dot on your map represent a word? And is there any magic as to how you create the map other than when the melody goes higher so does the line etc.? Thank you again!!

    • Sharla Dance

      Dear Jayne, I look at the song and find the lowest note. I find the highest note. I count how many notes are between the two. I divide the poster into that many divisions and put the notes where they lie in that range.

      Yes, every dot represents a note. There are also bar graphs. See Toteachachildasong.com for more ideas of melody maps. Thanks for asking!

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