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.
Major Word Sign Language
When you sing this time, do the ASL hand signs to the major words of the song (earth, send, Holy Ghost, comfort, friend, etc.)
(https://www.lds.org/music/library/asl-childrens-songs?lang=eng is the website that has the song video. https://www.lds.org/children/videos-music/asl?lang=eng#the-holy-ghost shows a child signing the song.
There is also a dictionary for ASL. https://www.lds.org/languages/dictionary-of-church-terms-in-american-sign-language?lang=eng&clang=ase)
Notice and comment on which color the children held up. Ask the children to have their hands follow your hands. Sing the song, using the hand signs. If there are certain hand signs that you notice the children aren’t getting, stop and review those quickly, then ask the children to do the hand signs with you silently while the pianist plays the song. Don’t sing, just sign those words. Often you can hear a pin drop in the room.
Point out to the children what you just felt. Bear testimony of the Holy Ghost in your life. This is a powerful activity full of variety and a sweet feeling in the room
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