Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Teaching Method - Song Scramble
Song Scramble is a fun way to teach a song. This is adapted from the fourth idea in the Sharing Time Ideas in the March 2004 issue of the Friend magazine (pg. 16). The idea requires reading, so it really only works well with the older kids. With my combined group I assign the older children ahead of time to work with younger children who cannot read, but the involvement of these little ones is pretty much limited to manipulating the cards. It works for me because our group is small and the little ones are generally cooperative. You might want to be prepared with something else if yours are not. The bigger kids love it!
Write each word of the song on a wordstrip and put a thin magnet on the back. When you are ready to teach, post the wordstrips in an orderly way, but mixed up. Ask the children for their help in "fixing" the song. Begin singing and tag one of the children to come up and exchange any two wordstrips. Keep singing and tag another child. Repeat until the words are in the correct order. Invite the children to sing with you, removing two wordstrips at a time until they can sing the song well.
When I use this method, I explain to the children that we'll go down the rows and take turns so that the children will be ready to move. This keeps things going along more smoothly. You'll end up singing the song several (many) times so be prepared for that. But don't worry because the children will begin singing with you pretty quickly. I usually sing the song once, giving everyone a chance to look at the words and get "oriented." Then I call on the first child to come up. Sometimes it helps the kids to sing slowly or even to repeat the phrase you're working with, just to give them a little clue.
When I taught the song, "I Want to Live the Gospel," I began by teaching the chorus first with the echo method. Because the one phrase repeats it was easy for them to learn. Then they could sing with me on the chorus the first couple of times through the song. Then I taught the first verse with the wordstrips. You could also use this method for reviewing a song that you've taught and haven't sung in a while.