Did you know that there are nine “I …” statements in the song “The Church of Jesus Christ?”
If these were out of order and posted in the front of the room, how many times of singing this song would it take for us to put them in order?
That’s the question I pose to the older primary children! Each of these statements is posted at the front of the room on a word strip. The children’s task is to put them in order while I sing the song. I start singing and tap a child on the shoulder to grab the first word strip and move it to the front. I tap another child almost immediately to get the second word strip and put it next in order. I keep tapping children’s shoulders and say “#4,” or “#6,” which ever number of child it is. The children work as a group to try and get the “I” statements in order as they come in the song.
The strength of this activity is that the children have to listen carefully to the words and repeat them in their mind (one of the strongest ways to order something in your head). Often they will repeat not just the words, but the melody and rhythm in order to get the order right. This is a super strong way for the brain to learn a melody with all the right timing because it is all done inside the brain with the brain producing the sounds!
But that’s not the end of the activity!
Once the words are all in order (and you have checked it with the children by singing through the song and pointing to each word strip), now ask the children to ONLY sing the words on the word strips! It is yet another challenge to sing inside (called audiation).
Switch! Now sing ONLY the words that are NOT on the word strips.
By now you have sung the song at least 4 to 5 times with extreme concentration and participation by the children. (Remember that participation is what Elder Bednar says is necessary for the Spirit to work with us.) Bear your testimony.
It’s time for a change of pace after that much mental concentration, probably another song with some movement!