There are those learners that need to physically see the words and find them represented in meaningful ways to help them understand the song best. This learning style depends on concrete representation of words activities to help them connect with the songs.
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Concrete Representation of Words
Activities for Singing Time
1. Action words
Come up with simple actions to represent keywords throughout the song. Meaningful and strong actions that form a sort of “dance” as you sing through the song can create a really powerful link to the words that will make them easier to remember! This is one of my very favorite singing time activities that I do almost without thinking about it anymore as I “lead” the song with actions.
2. Eraser Pass
Offer a series of options for the keywords in the song. Then, the children can come up to either erase or cross out words that aren’t correct as the rest of the Primary sings through the song. I’m obsessed with using King Sized Sharpies for this activity! I like having everything all typed up and ready, but you can also use the whiteboard and colorful expo markers!
3. Concentration Match Game
Put letters, numbers, colors, or words up on the board. Children will pick a number and that card will be removed, showing one piece of the picture. The group will try to guess what the picture is below. See our Baptism Concentration Game activity to see some easy ways to add challenges to this game and even more interaction with the puzzle!
4. Choose the Missing Word
Use symbols to represent missing words and make it a logic puzzle and word problem in one! This fun and simple swap on filling in the blanks you’ll see below adds an interesting twist and a fun excuse to add some hand actions or rhythm patterns while you’re at it! See how we pulled it all together in this Missing Words lesson plan for Choose the Right Way.
This oh-so-simple idea is actually a ton of fun! It’s a great challenge for the older kids to have them pay close attention to the words as they’ll need to fill-in the missing blank words! Plus, it’s easy to adapt for younger children by adding pictures for the blanks, like we did in this fun Pick a Picture activity for Tell me the Stories of Jesus!
6. Foreign Language
Get creative with words by adding in a whole new language! Learning a different language can actually help make meaningful connections with the original words. They’ll form connections that link the words meanings and their small differences in definitions that add new insights to the words! American Sign Language is always a favorite, but other languages can be fun, too! Here’s a few to try:
- American Sign Language
7. Puzzle Letter/Words
Create a puzzle out of the individual letters or words! This works perfectly as a small group activity or you could make one up for each child if you have a small group. I created a simple word puzzle game for I Know My Father Lives that we’ll be doing this year!
8. Scrambled Words
Scrambling up words up on the board is a great way to review a variety of songs! Simply scramble up the song title or even the a key phrase from the song for a harder challenge. Number the songs or write them in a different color and then have the children pick a number/color and try to tell you the correct title or phrase! Then, sing through the song together. Here’s some examples:
- Sejus em lveso sethgemaen (song phrase from Gethsemane)
- I nokw ym Fthare iLevs (I Know My Father Lives – Song title)
- was the Christ when earth on (first line from The Holy Ghost)
9. Unscramble word strips
Cut up those basic black and white flip charts to create an engaging puzzle game! In small groups, the children can try to put the lyrics in order. This is harder than it sounds and will create some strong singers out of the group as you repeat the song over and over while they unscramble. Extend the activity with a fun popcorn singing affect like we did with the If the Savior Stood Beside Me Unscramble activity.
10. “Hangman” Blanks
Pick out one keyword at a time. Write a small line for each letter of the word up on the board creating your blanks. Have the kids guess letters until they can guess the word. Add the next keyword until they have enough words to be able to guess the song! This is the perfect no-prep backup idea every Primary Music Leader needs in their back pocket!!
11. Word Search
Make a custom word searching using the keywords from the songs you’re learning! They kids will love searching for the keywords while you learn and sing through the song. Plus, it will lend to easily adding in some movement and skip singing through the song, see what I mean in the Search, Ponder and Pray Word Search activity!
12. Crossword Puzzle
Bring it all back to another classic word game with a crossword puzzle! This will be a fun way to talk about the keywords in the song while having an interactive game, and maybe even a little competition! Then, have the kids sing only the keywords from the crossword in the song, skipping all the other filler words. This type of activity is also perfect for in the home or church classroom setting!
More Learning Style Activities
This is the second to last post in our 8-post series on teaching by learning styles! The next post will be our final one and will share ideas on using Spiritual Connections in your Singing Time activities! You can also head back to the previous post on Visual Intrigue Activities!
You can see all our posts that use Representation of Words Activities under this category landing page.
Grab the free printable Song Planner Worksheet to make planning engaging activities a cinch — here!
What other concrete word activities do you use in Singing Time?