Teaching songs during prelude time

I’ve been introducing “The Handcart Song” during prelude time for the past few weeks, and I think it’s time to teach it to the kids.

On the sheet I give the pianist every week I have a section for “prelude suggestions.” I’ll write down the songs we’re singing that day that the kids haven’t sung in a while, or use it to slowly introduce new songs. Sometimes I let the kids chat because I want them to be able to make friends. Probably 75% of the time I’ll bring out the Loo and La pictures so the kids can practice the melody without words. If it’s a song they know pretty well I’ll use the “hum/words” or “everyone/kids only” signs.

Two weeks ago the pianist played the song and we clapped the rhythm “one two-and” with out hands on our thighs. One two with the right hand, the and with the left hand. It’s the rhythm of “some must push” and “some must pull.” Then I asked them what that rhythm reminded them of. I got various answers: horses, walking, etc. I sang them them words and we talked about the feeling the rhythm gave, of moving forward.

This week I’ll teach them the actions and we’ll sing it together a few times. We’re not singing this in sacrament meeting so I’m not worried about getting it polished.

Thanks Nalani for your post about this song! It’s almost the same as what I was doing, and I like yours better! I love the big “V” and “O” at the end :0)

Last week we learned “Kindness begins with me” since the lesson specifically asked for it. I did the same process just sped it up to one week: listen to the piano, loo and la with the piano, listen to me, then I sing and you repeat. I used ASL signs that we had already learned:

I want to be kind to ev’ryone, (kindness)
For that is right, you see. (right)
So I say to myself, “Remember this: (say)
Kindness begins with me.” (kindness)

We repeated the sign in time with the music for the whole line.

The kids picked it up really fast since it’s such a simple song, and I think they had a good time.

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