Smell and memories.
Smell and emotion. Comfort, happiness, security.
Our sense of smell is amazing, and even more amazing is the way smell affects our memory and our emotions. (The smell center in the brain is a next door neighbor to both the memory center and the emotion center.) Bringing the sense of smell into Primary is an amazing way to help the children remember the song.
Make a kit for each class. I use plastic Easter eggs of different colors. (If you don’t have any, they are for sale on line at all times of the year.) I organize them into half of an egg carton. In each egg I place a cotton ball with a different smell. Cinnamon, Orange, Vanilla, Onion, Cumin, Thyme, Oregano, Anise, Lemon are some of the smells you might consider using, … one smell per egg. (So you will have 6 smells in all.)
In the kit are also 4 or 5 corresponding color strips for each of the eggs (or more if you have huge classes in your Primary).
Tell the children you have some mystery smell in the eggs. When you start to sing the song, open the eggs and smell each smell. See if you can guess what is the smell inside each of the eggs by the time I sing the song twice through. You must whisper as a class so you can still hear my singing.
Start to sing. When you finish the song, warn the children that you will sing it one more time. Sing the song again.
Receive the children’s answers about what they think they were smelling. Now tell the children that in this song, it talks about the comfort the Holy Ghost brings. Maybe one of these smells made you feel safe, happy, secure, or comforted? If so, smell the smells again and find the color of the paper in your kit of the egg that was comforting or happy or calming to you and hold it up while I sing the song one more time.
Action Word Actions
When you sing the song this time, though, sign the word Holy Ghost/Holy Spirit as you sing.
“Did you see what my hands did? Can your hands follow mine?” Repeat the sign slowly a couple of times saying, “Holy Ghost” each time you sign.
Ask, “What action shall we do for the word ‘earth?'” Receive the children’s suggestions and do one of them all together for earth.
“What action shall we do do for the word ‘send?'” Receive the children’s suggestions and do one of them all together for send.
“What action shall we do do for the word ‘comfort?'” Receive the children’s suggestions and do one of them all together for comfort.
“What action shall we do do for the word ‘friend?'” Receive the children’s suggestions and do one of them all together for friend.
Now sing that part of the song using the hand sign for Holy Ghost and the children’s action word actions for the other major words.
Continue with the second half of the song finding an action the children come up with for whispers, voice, testifies (I use the ASL hand sign for that one), and rejoice.
Sing the whole song through using the actions to accompany the words.
It is amazing what this activity does for a younger child to help them to know the concepts of the words and the sequence of the words. Their movement memory is so strong that the things the body does cement deep into their brain!