January – I Am a Child of God: Deepening the Experience with the song

Many of the children in Primary already know the song I Am a Child of God.  Here are some ideas to strengthen and deepen their experiences with the song.


Younger Children

  1. Magic Crayon
  2. Who Is a Child of God? Picture Concentration Game
  3. Egg Shaker Pattern
  4. Scarves
  5. Story Song


Older Children

  1. Who Is a Child of God? Picture Concentration Game
  2. Egg Shaker Pattern
  3. Rhythm Stick Roll (This activity was used for I’m Trying to Be Like Jesus, but applies to this song also.)
  4. Color Code
  5. Story Song

12 Responses

  1. Kristina Chamberlain

    Thank you so much, Sister Dance! You are so generous to plan these wonderful ideas. I hope all is well with your family!

    • Sharla Dance

      Dear Erin, I will try . I’ve already started on ideas for February’s and March’s songs. Thanks for requesting!

  2. Rebecca

    Thank you for these ideas! This is my first visit to your website. Your movement ideas really resonate with me, so I’m sure they will with the kids, too. I have had this calling for a while and I was feeling a little flat on creativity, but now I am excited to get the kids moving and singing tomorrow.

    • Sharla Dance

      Dear Rebecca, Welcome! I hope you can search some of the back blogposts also, to get a feel for teaching 2 or 3 songs a Sunday, only 5 to 7 minutes per song, which matches the children’s need to have a change of pace every 5 to 10 minutes. I usually choose a contrasting song that is coming up to teach along with the song of the month.

  3. LeAnne

    Hi Sharla! Thank you for sharing your talents and knowledge; the things I’ve learned from you make a huge difference in my ability to serve. For “I Am A Child of God,” I’d like to teach the descant part to the Sr. Primary. What are your suggestions for teaching a descant part?

    • Sharla Dance

      Thanks for asking, LeAnne. The first step (often the children don’t even know they are doing it) is to hear the melody inside your head without even singing it aloud. You can do this by having them only sing certain words (they have to hear the rest in their head), or by Take it in, Take it out reviewing.
      The next step is for them to be able to hold the melody against you or someone else singing the descant as they sing.
      The following step is to teach the descant for two or three weeks using one of the brain friendly activities I always talk about. After those two weeks, ask them to sing the descant while you sing the melody. Challenge them not to get pulled off to the melody.

      The last step is to review the descant about every four weeks, and have them sing it against 1. first you singing the melody, then 2. split the room or choose a small group to sing the descant against the rest of the Primary.

      If you keep reviewing every 4 to 6 weeks, you’ll be amazed that they can remember it.
      Thanks for asking.

  4. Talauna Stokes

    Hello my wonderful friend and mentor! Thank you for sharing, teaching and reminding me monthly that these precious little children are OUR gift from Heavenly Father. I observe my new 12 little Sunbeams with JOY and happiness as they are eager to learn! I enjoy hearing parents say he/she was singing “I am a child of God” all week because we go to class and reinforce lessons with music and movement!! Thank you for all you do!

  5. Heather Clayson

    Do you have any suggestions for teaching I Am A Child of God in Spanish? We have a primary that is combined with the Spanish branch, and the primary president and I selected I Am A Child of God to learn in Spanish for the program. This means that for my English speakers, learning this will be a new challenge. Any ideas?

    • Sharla Dance

      Hi Heather!
      I remember trying to learn Soy Un Hijo de Dios in my mission training center as I prepared for my mission to Peru. It was tough… but I didn’t know then what I know now!!! 1. I would come up with an action for the words Dios, aqui, hogar y padres, mi (the words at the end of the phrases of the verse). Ask the children to do the actions as you sing the verse. Now show the action and ask what the word is. Sing it again and ask them to do the action and sing that one word. 2. Do a rhythm pattern with paper plates to the song. Swish swish to one side, swish swish to the other, then drum roll on your lap on those particular words. Sing and do the pattern. Ask two or three children to come up and help you lead the pattern as you sing. (What you are doing is laying a “map” down of words and pitches in the children’s brains while they are actively involved with the beat.) 3. Add additional actions to the major words… one or two per phrase. Add those to those you used before. Sing and do the actions to specific words. (If you don’t speak Spanish, ask someone what specific words mean. The translation is not direct.) 4. At some point you will need to use printed words (some children have to see words to remember them). This is an older child activity. Print out some of the major words and ask the children to help you put them in order as you sing.

      Am I asking you to take at least 4 weeks to teach the Spanish? Yes. The brain needs to be exposed to something, then sleep on it and be exposed again. In order to go into deep memory, you have to have different activities for all 4 of those exposures. It gives the brain different “hooks” to remember. I would add another rhythm activity with a shaker pattern for a 5th Sunday.

      Hope this helps!

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