February. A new song. No…Two new songs. The Church of Jesus Christ is slated of April, but I will use it in February in order to have a contrast with the mood and tempo of He Sent His Son.
But what about the songs from last month? Follow the Prophet also is a good contrast, so I will go back and forth between them, doing reviews of I Know That My Savior Loves Me. (Brain research shows that to stay in the memory, it is helpful to have a new experience with something previously learned. Heavenly Father teaches us like that- coming back around in a spiral – in so many ways.)
Some of the primary children already know He Sent His Son, but many don’t have as deep a connection with the song as they could with just a few different kinds of activities. (See the post from January 29th on Why you should teach this song even if your children already know it.)
The ideas below can be used any time in any order. Here is an outline of some of the activities I might use:
Week 1 – He Sent His Son: Story Song
The Church of Jesus Christ: Maori Sticks
Week 2 – The Church of Jesus Christ: Concentration Matching Game
He Sent His Son: Paper Plates and Map
Week 3 – Follow the Prophet:Rhythm Stick Pattern
I Know That My Savior Loves Me:Tone Bell Chords
Week 4 – The Church of Jesus Christ: Body Rhythm Patterns and Partner Body Rhythm Patterns
He Sent His Son: Fill in the Word Moving Squares
(I will detail each of those in a post.)
Notice the contrasts between not only the mood and beat of the songs, but the activities used to teach them. The flow of energy between each of the activities is different, which makes a wonderful flow to the entire Singing Time.
Notice the variety of activities used to teach the same song. Remember the brain craves variety, but desperately needs repetition with time in between each repetition.
Notice that each song has a movement activity for the kinesthetic learners. Remember that each child’s brain is built to learn feelings and attitudes, thought processes, and brain connection by moving.
Primary Music with variety, yet repetition, contrasting flow, and kinesthetic learning that reflects the mood and tempo of the song really is a great thing for brains!
Our primary is combined. Do you show things for that?
Dear Cathy, When you have combined Primaries, you have to simplify things for the younger children and complicate them for the older children. Perhaps a teacher could lead the younger in this activity, and you could lead the older children. Often I ask for the buddy system with an older child helping a younger child. This would be too complicated an activity for that, but there are other activities where the older child could bring up the level of what a younger child could do. I’m writing myself a note right now to write some ideas dealing with combined groups. Thanks for asking!
Really looking forward to detailed posts for your February posts! 🙂
I mean for your February outline 🙂
Dear Heidi, I’ve got the Paper plate and Map ready to go except for a picture of the map. Hopefully tomorrow. Thanks for the encouragement. I’ll get the others detailed, too. Take care, Sharla
Thank you so much for all your hard work!!
I have used some of your teaching ideas and they have always been just right for my primary. I love your blog and feel so thankful for the time you use to share. Thank you! I feel like my primary children have been really connecting with the music and the messages as I testify and as they feel the music in different ways. Thanks again for sharing your talents and telling us the “why” behind your ideas!
I love that you are the means to help the children connect with the music and the message. I love that you are testifying to add to the strength of the music. If it is like my experience, you feel the power run through you and a little bit of it rubs off as it goes through to the children. Thank you for your kind words. I am really only just an instrument (an imperfect one), to pass on all the ideas gathered. I’m so grateful for people like you. Take care, Sharla
We have about 50 children that attend our junior primary, and another 50 in senior. With chairs in the room we are packed in there. I’m wondering how to make the activities that require them to be sitting in a circle work for us. Do you put the chairs up and have both singing time and sharing time on the floor? Would having some kind of laminated shapes on the floor work for there home base, or do you think with that many children they wouldn’t be able to handle it? I want to try the mauri sticks so much but I’m sooo nervous! Thanks, Sharla!
Way to go, Sharla! You are giving us such awesome ideas! Do you have a Monthly outline of singing time for March by chance? I’d love to see where you are going with your posts. 🙂
And thank you, DEARLY, for the nursery posts!
I cannot thank you enough for the time and effort you put in to share your wealth of knowledge and strategies for teaching music. I regularly use your ideas and absolutely love your methods for teaching music. I can’t wait to purchase your book and dvd. Thank you!
Thank you Chanda. Your words are kind. Thank you for being willing to do new things for the children’s benefit. That warms my heart. Take care, Sharla
Hi! I am interested to know more about…. He Sent His Son: Fill in the Word Moving Squares! If you can teach me how you do this I would love it! Thank you!!
Dear Kiersten, Some older children have to see words in order to cement them in their heads. Unfortunately, if they see them all in order with no effort, it just goes into the brain and right back out. To help the learning stay there, I mix it up a bit. I put the major words of the songs around the room, but with a twist… sometimes the words are divided into two parts. There is a poster up at the front of the room with those major words missing. I sing the song, and the children find the missing word, raise their hand, then I tap them on the shoulder to go get the word (or half of the word) and put it on the poster.
Thanks for asking!
Sharla, as I was looking through posts, I found this suggestion for Fill in the word moving squares. Is that a post you can guide me to. I could not find it! thanks.
Sharla, Is there a song in the past you have done the fill in the word moving squares or something like this that you can lead me to please.
I’ve always been hesitant to use rhythm sticks or shakers or percussion things to primary pieces that should be more reverent or even a hymn. Do you just use them right at first for them to learn the rhythms and then graduate to other techniques?
Thanks for your time. I’m ordering your book soon!
In Primary music, there are two basic subdivisions of types of songs: strong beat or smooth and gentle. I don’t use the clicking of the rhythm sticks on a smooth gentle song. However, I will roll the sticks from hand to hand and go around the back. I use the egg shakers with their gentle sound on smooth and gentle songs in a pattern. I use pool noodles cut in half as sand blocks for strong beat songs. All of these “tools” are outward helps for the child to practice steady beat. If I do a rhythm, it still has the intent of increasing the children’s ability to keep the steady beat to the song as we sing and do the pattern. Thanks for asking!