Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Guest Post: "The Lord Gave Me a Temple" in a Melody Map

I'm excited to feature a guest post today!  Rachel, the Primary music leader in the next ward over, presented this activity at a stake music training, and I asked if she'd share. Enjoy! -Michelle


Melody maps are a wonderful tool for both junior and senior primary. They help the children visualize the song. Adults read music to learn a song. A melody map is essentially the same idea. Young children incorporate the same skills reading melody maps as if they were reading sheet music. It’s a wonderful preparation for eventual sight singing. The amazing thing about using melody maps is that they can be used in a variety of ways, thus allowing flexibility and versatility when teaching different age groups.

Initially I was nervous to teach the junior primary with melody maps. I decided to give it a try. I taught the first part of the song without the melody map, and then taught the second part of the song with the melody map. I noticed that in weeks following as we reviewed the song, the children were more confident in singing the portion of the song that was learned by using the melody map. They had memorized it quickly.

Senior primary will catch on to melody maps relatively quickly. To keep them engaged, you may want to mix up the pages and have them place them in the correct order as you sing the song. You can also cut out symbols and images which the children can place on the map when they sing certain words.



-Large poster board or sheets of easel paper

-Thick sharpies or markers – black and other colors

-Picture cut-outs or symbols that you desire to use that correspond with words often sung in the song.

     Some good pictures to make would be…

     Body = faces of children

     Temple = small picture of a temple

     Spirit = cut out shape of a white body

-Magnets to hang the maps on a white board or chalk board

Construct a melody map as shown in the pictures below. I happened to have several small squares of construction paper already cut out, so I used those. You can simply draw the symbols using different colored markers. You can also use different symbols such as triangles, circles, etc. Make sure to have the sheet music in front of you as you are constructing the map so that you can accurately represent where the notes are placed. Spacing is very important. There are four phrases in the song, so I constructed a map to represent each of the four phrases.

"The Lord gave me a temple to live within on earth."

"Once in Heaven I was spirit, but I left my home at birth."
"I'll make my temple brighter. I'll keep my spirit free."

"My body is the temple my Father gave to me."

I used the following symbols for different note values:

Quarter note = yellow square
Eighth note = black square
Half note = blue rectangle
Dotted half note = large red square

Presentation-first week

Place the maps on the white board in random order.

Ask the children to look for the map that best represents what you are singing and raise their hand when they know the answer.

Sing the first phrase of the song a few times until most of the hands go up.

Ask a child to come to the front of the room to choose the correct melody map. Have them hold it in front of the classroom.

Ask the children to sing that phrase with you a few times while pointing to the symbols as you sing.

Repeat this process until all phrases of the song have been sung.

Presentation-second week

Bring out the melody maps again and place them in the correct order on the board.

Hand out various small pictures that you cut out previously to some of the children.

As you sing the song, ask the children to come up one by one and place their picture on the map that corresponds with the word sung. 



Looking for more?  For an example Singing Time that incorporates a melody map, see my post here.

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