Sunday, April 19, 2009

Mother's Day

We started learning our Mother's day songs today, and it went so amazingly well. I received a degree in music education at BYU, and have been trying to use the things they taught me in my early childhood music classes. One of the biggest things they tried to emphasize is that
1)Don't try to teach part to whole, but whole to part. In other words, try to sing the entire song 90% of the time, instead of by phrases.
2) Let each repetition have purpose and meaning

I find these things to be difficult to do while holding the children's attention. Today, I think I finally would have made my professors proud! :)

We are singing "Dearest Names" and then going right into the first verse of "Love at home". Today I taught Dearest names.

I picked this one because it is not a familiar one, but I thought the kids would grasp on to it quickly. They totally did!

The words:
I know a name, a glorious name,
dearer than any other!
Listen, I'll whisper the name to you...
It is the name of Mother!
Mother, so tender and kind and true,
I love you! I love you!
Mother, so tender and kind and true,
I love you!

I started out by bringing a duck puppet, but any puppet or no puppet would work. For Sr.'s I didn't use the pupped. I told them my friend (the duck) wanted to sing them a special song about someone, but she was really shy, and would only whisper the name to someone listening very carefully.

I sang the first half of the song. When I got to "Listen, I'll whisper the name to you..." I started walking around the primary with my puppet and bent down to a child to whisper "mother" when the song came to it. Then, I had that child come to the front and we started the song over and we each picked a child to whisper "mother" too. Then the 2 new children, plus the original child and I, went back to the front, where we started the song again. It only took a few times through the song, before each child had been whispered the word.

Next, I had them sing with me from the beginning, and really sing out the special word, to make sure we all heard it right. At this point, I took off the puppet.

For the next half of the song, I showed them the sign language for "I Love you" (you know, the one we all know) and asked them to raise their hand if they knew what it meant. I was actually surprised at how few hands went up. I told them to listen to the next part where I would tell them would the sign language meant. I did the sign language everytime I sang "I love you" then invited them to sing the second half with me, and do the sign language with me. We did this a few times.

Lastly, I asked them if they could stomp their feet, Left foot then right foot, to the word "Moth-er". We tried that a few times. Then, we stomped our feet as we sang the second half and did the sign language to "I Love you." Then I had them listen for three things "mother" is and put their fingers up 1-2-3 as we sang them, WHILE doing everything else.

The next time, we clapped on the words "tender","kind" and "true"., while stomping on mother and doing the sign language.

For Sr.'s we kept going. I had them stomp on mother, but clap on all the "and" words. That was tricky.
Then, I had them pat one leg than the other (right left) for "tender", snap on "kind" and tap their head on "true".
the last time, we did everything above, but added the claps in between the words on "and".

Then of course, we had to sing it from top to bottom a few times. They LOVED it. and you can see how many times we were able to repeat the song.

Sigh, I LOVE successful sundays. :)


  1. Thanks for sharing your ideas and successes! This is perfect-- just what I needed!

  2. Ditto to the last comment. It's really great and just what I was looking for!!

  3. What a fabulous idea! Congrats on your successful Sunday!

  4. "sigh" I wish I had read this post last week.

  5. I would love for you to link my blog to yours!

    Great ideas!!!

  6. oooops! I mistyped that...


  7. You are awesome. Thanks for the ideas. I always teach part to whole. I will try to do whole to part from now on.