Sunday, July 30, 2017

I'm Trying to Be Like Jesus--Unscramble the "I" phrases

Unscramble the "I" phrases
The song for August (see the Church's Sharing Time Outline here) is "I'm Trying to Be Like Jesus."  To teach it, I decided to adapt an earlier idea I got from Sharla Dance. (Check out her amazing music blog here!) This activity would only be appropriate for senior Primary, as it focuses on written words.

To start, think about how many "I" phrases are in this song. I went through and counted. There are 6 in just the first verse! This song really helps the children think about themselves and what they can do to be like the Savior, and I want to focus on that.


I made word strips of the first couple words of each "I" phrase in the first verse and mounted them on construction paper. You could easily extend this activity to include the second verse, as well.


Start with the phrases scrambled.
At the beginning of the activity, place the word strips on one side of the board in random order. (Or, for more fun, have the word strips around the room in various places.)

Tell the children that while you sing, you'd like them to unscramble the phrases from the song by putting the word strips in the correct order on the other side of the board. If they know which phrase comes next, they can silently raise their hand, and then you will come around and tap them on the shoulder for a turn. As you continue to sing the song over and over, they can retrieve their word strips and put them into place.

After the word strips are all in order, ask the children what they similarity they notice about the phrases on red paper. They all are about trying. Ask the children to sing the song one last time while they think about why the word "try" is important in the song. After you take their answers, it would be a beautiful time to share your feelings about how our Father in Heaven feels about us when we try our best. The children's thoughtful singing is a wonderful preparation for them to hear your testimony.

Happy singing!

Looking for more?  
The first time I used this idea from Sharla is here. Most of these music activities can be used with multiple songs, thankfully! ;) 


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks! The simple ideas are my favorite. Although I sometimes love doing something fancier, it's too exhausting to plan like that on a weekly basis. ;) These kinds of ideas are the ones I keep coming back to!

  2. After reading your blog here and trying out the ideas you use from your mentor Sharla Dance, I am going to purchase the book "To Teach a Child a Song" but not sure if I should get the digital version or the book. What would you suggest?

  3. That's a great book! I've only read the print edition, but my guess is that all the content is the same. So, you can just chose whichever format you prefer. I hope you love it!

  4. I really enjoy all of your posts! Thank you for all that you share. I am really enjoying my calling and am grateful that I've been able to learn from you. Are you teaching music again? Or still doing seminary? If you're doing music again, I hope you'll keep posting your ideas, I really enjoy them! Thank you!

    1. Cali, thank you so much! I've learned so much from my mentor that I just feel like I need to pass it on. I'm still teaching seminary, but I don't want to let this blog drop. So, I'm coming up with these ideas just for you! Sometimes I get to sub and do nursery music, and I love that. :)

  5. I love this idea, and I thought maybe it would be fun for the little kids who can't read yet to stand when they hear an I statement. Thanks for sharing!