Teaching Ideas for Specific Songs

A Child's Prayer
Children's Songbook, 12 ( MP3 , PDF )

  • Ask the children to imagine being away from their family for a long time and finally coming home; they open the door and are surrounded with comfort and love. Explain that praying is like opening a door to Heavenly Father. He is really there to comfort and love us, and He wants to hear and answer every child's prayer.
  • Ask the children to listen for the words "there" and "prayer" as you sing the first two lines. Have the children touch their ears when they hear the words. Invite them to sing those lines with you. Continue with the rest of the song, having the children listen for the rhyming words in each line.
  • Sing the second verse a phrase at a time, and ask the children to repeat each phrase when you point to them. Then divide the children into two groups, and ask one group to sing the first part of each phrase (for example, "Pray") and the other group to finish the phrase ("He is there"). Invite all of the children to stand to sing, "Of such is the kingdom, the kingdom of heaven."

Choose the Right
Hymns, 239 ( MP3 , PDF )

Draw the outline of three CTR shields on the board and write the following questions inside them: "Who will guide me to choose the right?" "When will help be shining over me?" and "What is promised when I choose the right?" Point to the first shield, read the question together, and ask the children to listen as you sing the song and then stand when they hear the answer. Have them sing the answer with you a few times together. This will help them attach the words to the melody. Repeat with the other questions. Discuss phrases or words that may be difficult for the children to understand. Sing the entire song, and remind the children that when they sing it they are testifying that the Holy Spirit will help us if we listen and make right choices.

Choose the Right Way
Children's Songbook, 160 ( MP3 , PDF )

Ask half the children to listen for how we can be happy and the other half to listen for what will help us and show us the way. Discuss what the children learned from the song.

Come, Follow Me
Hymns, 116 ( MP3 , PDF )

Encourage the children to follow you as you touch your nose, shake your hands, and fold your arms. Tell them that we can follow Jesus by doing the things He did. Have them tap the rhythm of the song with two fingers of one hand against the palm of the other hand as the music plays.

Do as I'm Doing
Children's Songbook, 276 ( MP3 PDF  )

  • Ask the children to think of an action that shows how we can be missionaries and live the gospel now. Choose a child to come to the front of the room and share his or her action with the rest of the Primary. Invite the children to do the action as they sing. Repeat with other children as time allows.
  • Sing the song together several times, inviting different children to choose the action to perform. Explain that when we follow the actions of someone else, we are following his or her example. Ask who set the perfect example for us to follow (Jesus Christ).

Families Can Be Together Forever
Children's Songbook, 188 ( MP3 , PDF )

Ask the children to listen for a part of Heavenly Father's plan as you sing the first line of the song and to stand when they know what it is. Invite the children to sing that line with you. Point out that the melodies for "Here on earth" and "good to me" follow the same pattern, and ask the children to sing those words. Ask them to listen to the next part of the song to find out how long they can share their life with their family. Sing the second line, emphasizing the words "through all eternity." Invite the children to sing that line with you, and then sing both lines together. Ask the children to listen for another word that means "through all eternity" in the chorus. Sing, "Families can be together forever," and have them echo it back to you. Sing and have them echo "Through Heavenly Father's plan." Ask what Heavenly Father's plan is, reminding the children that He wants them to marry in the temple and have eternal families of their own. Finish teaching the chorus by singing phrases and inviting the children to echo them.

Follow the Prophet
Children's Songbook, 110 ( MP3 , PDF )

Sing the chorus while the children act out things they will do to follow the prophet.

He Sent His Son
Children's Songbook, 34 ( MP3 , PDF )

  • As you sing, have the children count on their fingers how many times they sing the words "He sent His Son," or have them stand when they sing the questions and sit down when they sing the answers.
  • Choose a picture and a word that represent each phrase. For example, illustrate the phrase "How could the Father tell the world of love and tenderness?" with a picture of a heart and the word tenderness. For the phrase "He sent His son, a newborn babe, with peace and holiness," show a picture of the Nativity and the word Peace. You could involve the children by having them hold the picture while they sing.

Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes
Children's Songbook, 275 ( MP3 , PDF )

Sing with children at the regular speed and then challenge them to keep up with you as you sing it faster and faster.

I Am a Child of God
Children's Songbook, 2 ( MP3 , PDF )

  • Show a picture of a family and explain that when Heavenly Father sent us to earth, He sent us to live in families. Have the children hold up their fingers to show how many people are in their family. Tell the children that they will sing a song that teaches about their heavenly family and their earthly family. Ask a child to leave the room, and have the other children choose a place to hide the picture of a family. Invite the child to return and find the picture of the family while the children sing. When the child is far from the picture, have the children stay seated; as he or she gets close to the picture, have the children gradually stand. Repeat with other children as time allows. Discuss the message of the song and testify of the importance of families.
  • Divide the children into two groups. Have half sing the questions in the song and the other half respond by singing the answers.

I Lived in Heaven
Children's Songbook, 4 ( MP3 , PDF )

Prepare three word strips with one of the following questions written on each one:

  • Who presented a plan to everyone in heaven before we came to earth?
  • Who said, "Father, send me, and the glory be thine."
  • What did Jesus conquer by following the Father's plan?

Have the children sing the first verse of the song and stand when they sing the answer to the first question. Then discuss some of the other things they learned form this verse. Consider singing the verse again after you have discussed it. Then repeat the activity with the other verses and questions.

I Love to See the Temple
Children's Songbook, 95 ( MP3 , PDF )

  • Before singing, ask the children to raise their hands if they have seen a temple. Invite them to think about how they feel when they see a temple as they sing.
  • Display a picture of a temple and write on the board, "The temple is _____________." Invite the children to sing the first verse. Tell them to signal when they sing the phrase that completes the sentence on the board by folding their arms. Ask them what the temple is (a house of God).
  • Sing the second verse. Have half of the children listen for two things we do in the temple (covenant and promise to obey) and the other half listen for a truth they have learned (a family is forever). Help the children understand that being sealed to their family in the temple means that they can be together forever.
  • Teach the second verse by displaying a picture of a temple hidden behind eight pieces of paper. On each piece of paper, write or draw one of the following: a heart, an open door, the word covenant, the word obey, the words holy place, the word sealed, a picture of a child, and a picture of a family. Tell the children that these are clues to a song. Invite them to listen carefully as you sing one line of the song. Ask them which clue goes with that line, and invite a child to remove that piece of paper. Sing the line again with the children, and explain what it means.You may invite them to do an action related to the line. Repeat with each line of the song. When you have uncovered the picture, sing the entire song with the actions. Tell the children that they can prepare now to be worthy to go to the temple when they are older and that doing so will bring them closer to Jesus Christ.

If I Listen with My Heart
Outline for Sharing Time 2011 ( MP3 , PDF )

  • Before singing, give each child a paper heart and ask them to write "Listen" on one side and "Hear" on the other side. Explain that these words are repeated several times in the song. Ask the children to show the correct side of the heart when they sing that word.
  • Write one of the following questions on the board: "Where can I hear the Savior's voice?" "Who teaches us how to live righteously?" "Who speaks quietly to us?" Invite the children to listen for the answer as they sing and to signal (by folding their arms, standing up, or touching their ears) when they sing the answer. Have the children sing the answer with you a few times. Write another question on the board and repeat.

If the Savior Stood Beside Me
Outline for Sharing Time 2013 ( MP3 , PDF )

  • Make a word strip of each phrase of the song, and find a picture that represents each word strip. Place the pictures on one side of the room and the word strips on the other side. Discuss with the children how they might act differently if they could see the Savior standing beside them. Sing the song, and ask the children to match the pictures to the words.
  • Have the children sing the song with you as you point to the pictures. Give each class one phrase to sing while standing, and then change phrases until each class has had a turn singing each phrase.

I'm Trying to Be Like Jesus
Children's Songbook, 78 ( MP3 , PDF )

  • Sing the song to the children. Invite them to count on their fingers how many times you sing the words try or trying.
  • Sing the song again, and ask the children to clap the rhythm as you sing.
  • Display simple pictures with key words from each phrase of the song around the Primary room (such as be like, following, love, do and say, tempted, and listen), leaving the wall at the front of the room blank. Ask the children to listen while you begin singing the song. Invite them to point to a picture they think matches the words you sing. Ask one child to move it to the front wall. Have everyone sing that much of the song. Continue singing and repeat the activity for each picture. Then have the children sing the entire song several times. Briefly testify of the importance of trying to be like Jesus.

Kindness Begins with Me
Children's Songbook, 145 ( MP3 , PDF )

Ask the children to stand up when they sing about who we should be kind to. Sing the song again, and have them point both thumbs to themselves when they sing, "Kindness begins with me."

Love One Another
Children's Songbook, 136 ( MP3 , PDF )

  • Have the children form one or more circles. (If space is not available, have one row of children turn to face another row.) Give each group a string with the ends tied together, threaded through a button. While signing, have the children slide the button along the string. Stop the music randomly and ask the child (or children) holding the button to share one way they could show love to others. Conclude by inviting several children to share a time when others have shown love for them.
  • Prepare footprints with the words of the song written on them. Invite the children to place the footsteps on the board one at a time as you sing and they echo each phrase. Arrange the footsteps so that they lead to a picture of the Savior. In the following weeks, the children could remove footsteps until they have learned the song.

My Heavenly Father Loves Me
Children's Songbook, 228 ( MP3 , PDF )

Ask the children how they have shown their love for family members. Ask how Heavenly Father has shown His love for them. Explain that He created this beautiful world for them because He loves them. Sing the song to the children one phrase at a time, and invite them to sing it with you as they act out each part: birds singing, looking at the sky, rain falling on their faces, and so on.

Nephi's Courage
Children's Songbook, 120 ( MP3 , PDF )

Ask the children to pretend to hold a shield with one arm as they sing "I will go," pretend to hold a sword overhead as they sing "I will do the things the Lord commands," and march in place as they sing "I know the Lord provides a way, He wants me to obey." Invite the children to come up with their own appropriate actions for the song.

Reverence Is Love
Children's Songbook, 31 ( MP3 , PDF )

Prepare several string necklaces with a paper heart attached to each. Write a key word or phrase from the song on each heart (for example, quietly sitting, thinking, feeling, and so on). Invite several children to wear the necklaces. Ask the children with the necklaces to walk reverently to the front of the room when the word on their heart is sung. Invite the children with the necklaces to stand in order, and sing the song again.

Search, Ponder, and Pray
Children's Songbook, 109 ( MP3 , PDF )

Ask the children to listen, as they sing, for three things we can do to invite the Spirit to testify that the scriptures are true. Invite the children to create hand actions for the words search, ponder, and pray. Repeat the song, using the actions in place of these words.

Shine On
Children's Songbook, 144 ( MP3 , PDF )

As they sing, have the children pass a sun made from a piece of paper around the room. Each time the music stops, ask the child holding the sun to tell how he or she can be a good example (for example, by being kind, telling the truth, or inviting friends to Primary).

Stand for the Right
Children's Songbook, 159 ( MP3 , PDF )

  • Prepare simple road signs that read Stop, Slow, and Go. Choose three children to hold the signs, and tell them to lift the signs up when the music leader taps them on the shoulder. Tell the children that the Go sign means to start singing, the Stop sign means to stop singing, and the Slow sign means to sing slowly. Lead the children in singing the song, varying the tempo to match the signs.
  • Display a picture of the current prophet and briefly discuss some of the directions he has given us. Tell the children that the song they will be learning explains the importance of following the prophet.
  • Divide the children into groups. Give each group one or two lines of the song, and invite them to create an action that will help them remember the words. Have each group teach their action to the other children.

The Church of Jesus Christ
Children's Songbook, 77 ( MP3 , PDF )

  • Ask the children to stand if they belong to a family. Repeat for other groups they might belong to, such as a team, a club, and a church. Let the children explain what belonging means (that you are an important part of something). Introduce the song by showing a picture of Jesus Christ and having the children read D&C 115:4 together.
  • Introduce each phrase of the song by having the children listen for the answer to a question while you sing the phrase to them. (For example: "What do I belong to?" "What two things do I know?" "How will I follow Him?") Then have the children sing the phrase with you. Continue until the children have learned the entire song.
  • Divide the Primary into two groups and have one group sing only the first two words of each phrase (I belong, I know, and so on), and have the other group complete the phrase. Change groups and repeat.

The Holy Ghost
Children's Songbook, 105 ( MP3 , PDF )

  • Tell the children that the Holy Ghost helps us in many ways. Ask the children to raise their hands when they sing about a way the Holy Ghost can help them. Stop the song and discuss what they learned about the Holy Ghost. Continue singing and discussing. Share a time when the Holy Ghost has comforted or guided you.
  • Write the word help on the board. Invite the children to count things mentioned in the song that the Holy Ghost does to help us as they sing.
  • Ask the children what gift we are given after we are baptized. Before you sing the second verse, ask the children to listen for the answer to the following question: What does the Holy Ghost help us do? Help the children understand that the "still, small voice" is the Holy Ghost and that He helps us choose the right.

The Lord Gave Me a Temple
Children's Songbook, 153 ( MP3 , PDF )

Tell the children that our bodies are temples where the Holy Spirit can dwell. Sing the first verse and invite the children to share how Heavenly Father wants us to dress and why. Explain that prophets of God have always counseled His children to dress modestly. Invite the children to listen for what parts of their body should be covered as you read from the "Dress and Appearance" section in For the Strength of Youth. Ask the children to think of one way they can dress modestly. Toss a soft object to a child and invite that child to share his or her idea. Ask that child to toss the object to another child, who will share his or her idea. Continue with other children.

The Priesthood Is Restored
Children's Songbook, 89 ( MP3 , PDF )

Show the children several pictures of priesthood ordinances, such as baptism, confirmation, passing the sacrament, blessing the sacrament, and healing the sick. Invite the children to pass the pictures as they sing. Stop the music randomly, and ask the children holding the pictures to stand by the words Aaronic or Melchizedek to show the power required to perform that ordinance. Repeat as time allows.

When We're Helping
Children's Songbook, 198 ( MP3 , PDF )

Substitute the word serving for the word helping. Repeat the song. Substitute other family members for mother (for example, father, brother, and sister). Invite the children to pantomime a service they could perform for that family member while they sing. Remind the children that when we serve others, we serve God.

Teaching the Ten Commandments

Put the following three phrases on the board: "Respect and Worship God," "Honor Parents," and "Respect Others." Tell the children that the Ten Commandments can be separated into these three categories. Divide the children into groups and give them each a song that relates to one of the categories. Ask each group to decide who will sing the song (for example, boys only, girls only, or those wearing red.) After the song is sung, ask a child to post the song under the proper category. Consider using the following songs:

  • Saturday, Children's Songbook, 196 ( MP3 , PDF )
  • Quickly I'll Obey, Children's Songbook, 197 ( MP3 , PDF )
  • My Dad, Children's Songbook, 211 ( MP3 , PDF )
  • The Church of Jesus Christ, Children's Songbook, 77 ( MP3 , PDF )
  • Kindness Begins with Me, Children's Songbook, 145 ( MP3 , PDF )

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