Great Activities for Older Children



WEEK 1 – Waves of the Sea

The children follow your lead as you sing and move your arms back and forth like the waves of the sea, some of the gentle, and some of them crashing against the rocks.  The children are moving to the feel and the beat of the song while listening and sometimes singing the song with you.  It is a great way to review a song, or to introduce it for the first time.  This activity communicates the intensity and release moments of a song straight to the body level.  It helps children sense the feel of a song in a way that few other activities can do.


WEEK 2-  Draw the Song/Simple melody map (Choose the Right)

What do you see?  What do you notice?  The children look up at the wavy lines on the board with numbers at certain points along the line.  “I see a wavy line.”  “I see mountains.”  “I see numbers.”

What do the numbers have to do with this song?  I sing the song and at certain words, I point to a number or a stick figure/simple picture.  (The numbers are there representing a word, as are the simple pictures.)  Sing the song again, pointing to the representations as the children figure out what each of the numbers and figures mean.


WEEK 3- Eraser Pass (Click here to see the link)

Groups of three words are posted up at the front of the board.  I stand up and tell the children to erase the words that are NOT in the song. Once I give the rules of the game (they are short and sweet), I start singing and hand the eraser to a child.  He or she erases a word and hands the eraser to another child.  I keep singing as the children pass the eraser and erase a word.


WEEK 4-Body Rhythm patterns, and adding the challenge of Partner Body Rhythm Patterns

Here’s the pattern.  I start moving to show the pattern.  The children copy my pattern.  I start to sing the song and continue to do the pattern to the beat.  The children follow and try to do the pattern as I sing.

At the end of the song, I ask, “Will you be my partner?” A child comes up and joins me as I show him the pattern.  I use most of the pattern that we were doing before, with added partner rhythm opportunities.  I sing as we do the pattern.  Half way through the song, I invite everyone to find a friend and we all do the partner rhythm together as I sing.




6 Responses

  1. Kiersten Carlson


    I have become so passionate about singing time. You have totally changed it for me! Thank you! For Easter I wanted to teach the children He Sent His son. I noticed that you had a few ideas up for this song (that is why I chose it 🙂 Is there any other ideas that you have done with this song? If so would you please share?! Thank you again!!

    Kiersten Carlson

    • Sharla Dance

      Dear Kiersten, I used a melody map for that song, some of the major ASL hand signs, silent video, song story, wind wands, and I think I would use shakers (shake, shake, shake, hold 2 3). Would you like me to post the melody map or anything else?

      Thanks for asking!

  2. Kiersten Carlson


    Thanks for responding back so fast! I would love for you to share the melody map! I looked up He Sent His Son on youtube looking for a video to use I did find one that the mo tab sings but they sing it super slow. I think I would have a hard time staying with it when singing it without them. Do you have a favorite place you go to find the videos you use? Do you know a particular good video for He Sent His Son? Thanks again!!


  3. Sharla Dance

    Dear Kiersten, I just got back into town after a rescue mission. I’m sorry I didn’t get back to you! How did your teaching go? Would you still like me to post the melody map for use another year?

    I usually use a video about Christ’s life from another source rather than a choir singing it. (I agree. It is very slow)

    Take care, Sharla

  4. Myrna Councilman

    Dear Sister Dance,
    I love your approach to teaching Primary music. I saw an activity using flashlights. I thought I would like to use it. It took me weeks to find just the right thing at the right price, but I finally have 24 flashlights. Now I cannot find my way back to the original. Can you help me?
    God Bless you for the work you do.
    I am 76 years old. Primary music has been my dream job for 60 years and now I am living my dream!

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