Thursday, February 5, 2015

3 Ways to Teach LDS Primary Songs

Three ways to learn, teach and have fun!

When teaching primary songs it's easy to find a favorite way to teach a primary song and then teach all the songs that same way.
Everyone learns differently and it's important to remember that while one child is a visual learner, another might be an auditory learner.  As I look back through my visual aids, it's pretty clear I'm a visual learner.
When teaching primary songs mix up the way you teach them so that during the course of the year you teach at least one song in each of the three ways to make sure you are teaching to all your primary children.

The best way for the children to learn a song is to use a combination of the styles.  By singing the song, regardless of the way you teach the song, the children are already using two parts of their brain instead of one  which will
help them remember it better.

You can find ways to teach primary songs for each of the three learners below.

Visual Learners

Visual learners learn by seeing pictures, reading or watching a demonstration.

1. FLIP Charts
Flip Charts can utilize keywords and pictures.  They can also have all the words to a line and/or a picture.  These are great  visual aids, easy to store and fun for the kids to see.
2. Posters
Posters were really popular when I was a kid.  I think I learned every primary song taught to me with a poster.  You can make the words nice and big and add pictures as desired.

3. Wordstrips

Wordstrips can be written in chalk on the chalkboard, or  words on a poster.  Erase words as the children repeat the song.

4. Make seasonal songbooks (for senior primary)

If you are singing a bunch of seasonal songs and you know that the children don't have them all memorized songbooks are a great tool. They make the words easy to read, because they are right in front of every child, and they make the children feel more grown up.  We use songbooks when we sing!

Kinesthetic Learners

Tactile learners learn by touching, or hands on activities.  

1. Sign Language or Actions
There is a reason kids love the action songs.  They get to move around and sing at the same time.  Sign language and actions will both allow young kinesthetic learners to really learn a song!

2. Have the kids make the visual aids
This has always been one of my favorite activities.  I generally ask one or two classes at a time to help with the visual aids.  Each child in the class is given a keyword or short phrase and they draw a picture of it.  They love to see the visual aids they made!

3. Physical items

Kids love to touch the visual aids.  In nursery I let the children pull items out of the box.  An item corresponds to a song.  In primary I can do that as well, and another favorite trick of mine is to pull items out of a bag as the kids sing.  Look at the picture below.  It shouldn't take you long to figure out what the song is just by looking at the props.

 Auditory Learners

Auditory Learners learn by listening.

1. Sing and Repeat
I sing out a line, the children repeat.  See my brother there.  He  is listening for the children to repeat the line.  They know he wants a response because his body language shows them that he is listening for their response.

2. Sing Acapella
If you take the piano out and sing acapella it's a great way for the kids to hear the melody, and repeat that back to you.

3.   Use the Piano

Before you start to teach a song have the pianist play the song as prelude the week before and the day that you teach the song. Have the piano play a line before you sing it so the children can internalize the music before they sing it.  


Combine these styles together and use these techniques to teach primary songs effectively to everyone in your primary.  Have fun while you teach!  Enjoy it!  The more you enjoy it the more the primary children will enjoy it!

There are lots of ways to teach primary songs.  If you have one to add, I would love to read about it.  Please email me or add it to the comments!