Friday, May 29, 2015

First Letter Code--a Logic Activity for Senior Primary

Mysteries.  Codes.  Thinking puzzles.  Nothing engages my older boys more.  This First Letter Code activity taps into the logical learning style, which my Senior Primary craves.


To prepare this activity, select just one verse of a song.  I chose verse 1 of "Tell Me the Stories of Jesus" (Children's Songbook p.57).  Write out the first letters of each word in song order. 

Separate the letters into groups

So, "Tell Me The Stories Of Jesus I Love To Hear" becomes "TMTSOJILTH."

Chunk the letters into groups, similar to this:


Continue for the entire song.  Write one group per paper strip (card stock works well), until the whole song is represented.  

Start out of order


Present to the children with the papers out of order. Tell them the papers are a code, and the key to solving it is in the song. Sing the song through, and then hear the children's ideas for how to crack the code. If they are baffled, help them out by pointing to the first paper as you sing the first line.  Once they understand, they will be excited to place the papers in order.  

The completed activity
Instruct the children to raise their hands when they know which paper comes next.  Begin singing the song again, and silently wave children forward to correctly place a paper strip, one at a time, as you go through the song.  Periodically restart the song, pointing to each letter as you sing the matching word, to check the order.

Reusing the Activity

Credit for this First Letter Code idea goes to Sharla over at  Thanks, Sharla!  This activity isn't on her blog yet; I saw her present it at a workshop.  I've added an idea of my own, so as to use this activity more than one week without it boring the children.  I brought in a stopwatch on the second week and timed how long it took them to put all the papers in order.  A couple weeks later, I brought the activity back in, and the children tried to beat their previous time. Fun all over again. :)

Happy singing!

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