Teaching ideas

(by Jennifer)
  1. Repeat! Repeat! Repeat!
  2. Sing a song over and over inviting the children to listen
  3. Ask questions that are answered in the song
  4. Use an attention getter
  5. Wear a costume
  6. Enter room as a character singing a new song
  7. Invite a guest to dress up and play a part
  8. Have children do role play
  9. Use an interesting prop/object
  10. Use a puppet with a different voice to introduce a new song to the children
  11. Tell a story about the composer and how they wrote this osng.
  12. Play a guessing game
  13. Play only the melody on the piano and hum along
  14. Make pitch charts to show how each melody of the song moves up and down
  15. Discuss the meaning of the song in an interesting way
  16. Arrange the chairs differently
  17. Have the children line up quietly and lead them to another room, outised, or out one door and into another to introduce a new song
  18. Use pictures to express key words/phrases
  19. Use objects in place of pictures
  20. Use actions
  21. Flannel Board figures
  22. Cut Outs
  23. Make Large cardboard cut outs that correspond to the song with a face hole cut out for children to hold up during a song
  24. Flip Charts
  25. Word strips
  26. Word charts
  27. Chalkboard/dry erase board—write the words on the board to the whole song, and write some WRONG. See if the kids can figure it out—and you sing what is written--tell them you need their help to get it right
  28. Write key words on chalkboard, and erase them as you learn them (eraser pass)
  29. Write words on board and intersperse with scrambled words written on paper --let kids figure out what the words are
  30. Write words on board and leave blanks—hide wordstrips under chairs—kids help fill in blanks when you get to that line.
  31. Erasure Pass
    Preparation: On the board are a list of words in groups of three. Each distinct group includes one word from the song being taught and two words that mean the same or opposite. Example: The song being taught is Seek the Lord Early. I would choose SEEK as my first word and with it place the words LOOK and SEARCH. My next group might be for the word YOUTH. With it CHILDHOOD and ADOLESCENCE. Another group might be FATHER, MOTHER and HOLY GHOST. Stand in front of the children and state the rules:
    1: No talking,
    2: No Throwing the eraser,
    3: Give the eraser to someone who hasn't had it,
    4: Erase only the words NOT in the song (we want the words that remain on the board to be the words in the song in the order they appear in the song).
    Hand the eraser to a child and start singing the song. DO NOT STOP SINGING. You may go through the song 10+ times before all the wrong words are erased. The children them come up one at a time and erase one word not in the song.
    Teachers may help non-readers, or you may need to prompt when few words are left. Make sure you keep the rules in effect. If a child erases a wrong word, be prepared to write it back on without stopping your singing. After all the wrong words are erased, have the children sing only the words on the board. Then switch and have them sing all the words except the ones on the board.
  32. Overhead projector and transparencies
  33. Pictures from the library or another collection of pictures
  34. Ask them questions that encourage them to listen carefully while they hear it those three times.
  35. Clap the rhythm with them. (Friend had great idea tell them they’re your mirrors and they have to do whatever you do). Use two fingers and the palm of your hand if it is to loud.
  36. One hand tapping the rhythm while other hand taps the beat
  37. I like to print the actual song onto an overhead and then teach the kids a little music theory too.
  38. With the older kids a simple and I think a way they like the best is to just write the song out on a chalkboard or on strips of cut up poster board and then let them pick to remove a word or group of words after each time you sing. If their singing gets weak then stop removing and go over it a little more. Sometimes I’ll let them erase the word they’ve picked to erase throughout the entire song for instance if they choose to erase “the” then they get to erase every “the”.
  39. Introduce a new song in a different way: CD Player—play song to introduce it, Guest musician (someone’s mom/dad), Class sings OR Teach the song to a class first or maybe the cub scouts or achievement day girls and then have them sing it to the primary first to introduce it.
  40. Define words and terms to them. Make sure the kids know why they’re singing what they’re singing. If they understand the message they’ll sing it with greater love and enthusiasm.
  41. Bear your testimony about the message of the song. The spirit works wonders!
  42. Word for the day: okay I grew up when Peewee’s Playhouse was on TV and he had a word for the day and if anybody said it they’d yell. So I took this idea and twisted it. We pick a word like love or prophet, etc. and when we sing that word the kids have to stand up. It keeps us all on our toes.
  43. Heads or Tails—I had phrases from the song we had been working on written down on slips of paper. The kids would pick a phrase out of a bowl and then we flipped a coin if it was heads the kids had to sing the next line in the song and if it was tails they had to sing the previous line. This really helped them drill the song into their heads.
  44. Record different kids singing a line from different songs. Have musical notes that have either the kid’s names or a picture of them on it. Play the tape of the first song. Stop the tape and have a child decide who sang that song. Then have the whole primary sing the song. This is fun for mother or father’s day too. Have the mom or dad sing the line and then have the kids decide whose mom or dad that is.
  45. The Mr. Slinky is just a little slinky that you use and the kids have to watch you.  As you make the slinky longer, they sing louder, as your make it shorter, they sing softer. 
  46. I sometimes play the “If you can hear put your hand on…..”game to get them ready for closing Exercises, but I used these actions, saying no words, playing no music, just singing in my mind and doing the actions, They caught on a eventually had them all doing the actions as the seniors didn’t know them then, then they caught on and started to sing the words.
  47. Dress Up
  48. Rhythm Wands/Windwands/ Scarfs
    I bought a bolt of material at a sale really Cheap! I cut it into squares. Each child gets a square or scarf. You paint with the scarf by moving them through the air. Such as: move it gently, it’s so gentle just like this song & just like Jesus.
  49. Chimes
  50. Rhythm Instruments (sandpaper blocks, triangles, spoons, shakers, etc)
  51. Pipe Chimes
  52. Leading the music (you can use an elephant—Eddie Elephant--and have their arms be the trunk and lead with the trunk of the elephant)
  53. Hold up a sign and everyone has to switch seats to a new seat
  54. Sing a Vision (a box with a screen cut out, and dials, with pictures that go with the song)
  55. Stand Up each time a word is said
  56. Rhythms—shakers, sand paper blocks, clap 2 fingers, etc.
  57. ASL (sign language)
  58. Kids Draw the visual aids for the song
  59. Cooking Up a song-- Take kitchen containers, a mixing bowl and spoon, and an apron. Tell the kids that we were cooking up a song. I had a volunteer put on the apron and choose a container (empty cool whip, etc.) and add the "ingredient" to our mixing bowl. Each container has a slip of paper that says either line 1,2,3,or 4. While they are stirring, we have to sing that line 5 times to help it cook. Believe it or not, this really worked. They all wanted a turn, and I told them lots of stuff about how their singing helps it to cook. You decide which order to put the ingreds. Into the mix!
  60. Puzzle
  61. Magicians Hat—pull out things to do with the song/questions for the song
  62. Tennis Ball face—cut a 2 in. slit in a tennis ball for a mouth, use black marker to make eyes above the slit. When you squeeze the sides it opens the mouth and makes him sing with you. Also can remind kids to open their mouth WIDE on vowel sounds.
  63. Funny-Face pictures of musical sounds (“ooo” “ahh” “ohh” “hum” “la-la” “words” “ee”) When learning the tune to a new song, flip every few measures through the booklet and have the kids sing these sounds for fun. Let them exaggerate the facial expression and sound.
  64. Clap/snap/stomp
    Use it individually or with partners “Can your hands follow my hands?” Or use body rhythm pattern such as clap, clap snap, snap, stomp stomp. Partner Rhythm pattern such as patsch (pat thighs), clap, cross touch to elbows.
  65. Dancing singers
    Have a group of about 8 children come up to front. Make a circle. Go around in a circle, stepping up tall on one beat and down low on the next and so on. Really fun for “Truth of Elijah”.