Search, Ponder, and Pray – 2nd Verse: Action Word Melody Map

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Create a melody map (or download this one from this site here).

Display it in front of the children.

Ask them: What do you see? What do you notice? What’s the same? What’s different? Receive their answers.

The children may answer “I see different colors. I see thumbs. I see dots all connected.”

Keep asking: What else do you see? What else do you notice?

After you have received some answers from the children, ask: What do these symbols have to do with this song?

Sing the song, pointing to each of the dots (that represent words) as you sing. You might want to over emphasize the green or the yellow dots, or the thumbs. Again ask the children: What do these symbols have to do with this song? and receive their answers.

Now ask the children to point with their thumb to themselves every time it comes. Sing the song again and do the action.

Ask the children to hold their hands like a book when they see the light blue dot or the scripture symbol and the dot that comes after it, adding that to the thumb action as you sing the song. If you think they can remember, also ask them to hold out their thumbs and forefingers in an L shape in each hand and lift that L shape up their body every time they see the green dots. (The hand sign for life.) Sing the song again, doing the action for the thumbs, the scripture symbols and blue dot, and the green dots.

Ask the children what the yellow dots mean or the dark blue dots. (Yellow=references to God) (Dark Blue=prayerfully) I point up to heaven for the yellow dots. I put my hands in the hand sign for prayer for the dark blue dots.) Help them notice that one of the yellow dots is different and has a black outline. Ask the children what that symbol means. (yellow for sun, black for night… it stands for the word day.) I have one hand be the sun going over the other hand like the earth. Ask the children to add those actions to all the other actions as you sing the song through this time. Sing and do all the actions.

Ask the children what the orange, red, and purple dots mean. (Orange=come to understand, Red=Heed the Lord’s command, Purple=do) Figure out actions for those phrases. Ask the children to do all the actions for the song as you sing it again.

This very visual way of seeing a melody and where the words fit into that melody and rhythm is a strong way to learn. In addition, the children get to hear the song again and again, focusing on parts as they learn. Doing the actions reinforces the meaning of the words in a deep way. This activity reaches children that need movement to learn, children that need color and shapes to learn best, children that need to visualize in order to learn, and children that learn best through music.

6 Responses

  1. Tayna Harper

    Thank you so much!

    I really really want to come to your workshop in Logan, but my Son is running in state Cross Country in Pocatello. I am thrilled that you are posting songs for the next year. I just love your ideas and the kids do too!

  2. Abbie

    While I am only teaching the 1st verse of this song, this is exactly what I was looking for today…a way to add movement to the melody map. Thank you!

  3. Sheri Gurney

    The printing instructions that came with this talk about opening the pdf files in Reader, but the files that came with my download were png files, not pdf ones – Reader won’t open them. What are my options to get these printed? I could play around in my photo editor, but that gets time consuming 🙂 !

    • Sharla Dance

      Hi Sheri, tech son replying here. You are right I totally messed up! I sent you an email with the correct files and refunded you. So sorry. Thanks for letting me know so I could fix the file types.

  4. Mary Ackerman

    Hi Sharla!

    I have enjoyed your website so much, and it has really helped me in my Primary chorister calling! Thanks so much for all the great information!
    I have a totally unrelated question for you. 🙂 I am wondering if you could tell me in detail where you got your training about teaching children and helping them remember songs in such a variety of ways, which you have incorporated so well into teaching Primary music, and how you have used this training in other settings? I have a son who had a brain injury as a baby (from meningitis). He is now 26 but still struggles to learn in a classroom setting. He got through high school with a lot of help and work. Unfortunately, he had to withdraw from college. We are hoping he can go to a technical college and have success, but I would like to see him improve his ability to learn and remember. I have heard of Brain Gym and have one of the books but would love more information and details on how to incorporate this and any other resources.

    Thanks in advance!
    Mary Ackerman

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