Revised the 1st time, 2nd time, 3rd time piece under item #2 on 1/3/13 since I am now thinking about how I am going to teach this next Sunday, now that Stake Conference is over ...
1. Start with the "Guess what song I am?" game to introduce the new song
As I have mentioned before, there are a ton of fun ways to play this game, my favorites being to pop a balloon, unwrap something, or dig it out of something. I have done a poor job of tagging my posts but if you click the "What song am I?" label on the right side of my blog (among all the many labels there), you can see specific details about how I have played this game in the past.
This time, I'm going to hide the hints under the chairs, and have the children read their hints one at a time. Since I will be teaching this the Sunday before Valentines (I have Stake Conference on the first Sunday of the month), I will be sharing my hints in the form of Valentines Cards. (Or maybe I'll just put the Valentines in a mailbox that we happen to have in the primary room, and let them check for a Valentine. Oh yeah, definitely just changed my mind.)
As usual, I will ask children to raise their hands if they think they can guess the song after a child reads each hint.
My hints this time:
Hint #1 - Play two notes of the song. (If they have already played two notes, then they play four this time.)
Hint #2 - Read D&C 20:18 (17–18) (I like to remind them that it's good to bring their scriptures!)
17 By these things we know that there is a God in heaven, who is infinite and eternal, from everlasting to everlasting the same unchangeable God, the framer of heaven and earth, and all things which are in them; 18 And that he created man, male and female, after his own image and in his own likeness, created he them;
Hint #3 - Often time, the words of a song and the music to the song are written by different people, but Clara W. McMaster wrote both the words AND the music for this song in 1961.
Hint #4 - The person that wrote this song also wrote the music for "Teach Me to Walk in the Light," "Reverently, Quietly," "Choose the Right Way," and "Kindness Begins with Me." (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clara_Watkins_McMaster)
Hint #5 - Play two notes of the song. (If they have already played two notes, then they play four this time.)
Hint #6 - The person who wrote this song was a member of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir for 22 years.
Hint #7 - This song is on page 228 of the Children's Song Book
Hint #8 - This song focuses on Genesis 1.
(Can anyone tell me what Genesis 1 in the Bible is about? It is about the creation of the world and everything on it.)
2. Flip chart
If you waited until Sunday morning to look for ideas, just use a regular flip chart (there are tons online) but for me I wanted to make this exciting flip chart that was inspired by Wendy B., who is also a primary chorister, and whose mother made this when she was a chorister. For more details, go to my previous post). The earth rotates on a brad, so that the picture in the wedge constantly changes to depict the lines of the song - "Whenever I hear the song of a BIRD, or look at the BLUE, BLUE SKY, whenever I feel the RAIN on my face ..."
I have read repeatedly that children need to hear the song three times to really learn it so we're going to do it three times.
1st time - I'll sing the song for them and move the wedge around so they can see all the pictures that go with it. I will ask the children and teachers that know the song to sing with me.
2nd time - I'll say that the song emphasizes three of our five senses (hearing, sight, touch) (but not taste and smell) and ask them to listen carefully (and sing if they would like) to the senses that this song emphasizes. I will list or draw the senses on the board as the children listen them out, after we sing the song again. Asking these questions helps them stay engaged with listening carefully to the words of the song.
3rd time - The third time, I'll sing it with them and challenge them to listen for words that rhyme.
(If you don't have your own rotating earth, then just put your flip chart on the chalk board and have them flip a page over and sing it, then do it again with another page flipped over, until no pages are showing. Works great as a fun and effective memorization technique!)
3. If there's time
If I have any time remaining, I will share a personal story about how I feel blessed by the Lord's creations, and give them an opportunity to participate as well. Then, end with my testimony! Simple. I might do some searching for a good story from LDS.org to bring with me but have not had a chance to check yet ...