“Give,” Said the Little Stream is such a visual song with a simple, yet profound message! Don’t skip singing this classic primary song in singing time!
Wands are a wonderful way to engage with this primary song! They emulate water beautifully! If you are new to using wands in singing time, check out my post HERE that’s all about wands and where to get some!
To introduce the song, pass out a wand to each child. You and the teachers sing the first verse as the children listen (post words as needed like I do HERE). Have them raise their wands when they hear the word “give.” Repeat and have them count how many times they raise their wands [ten times in the first verse].
Next, show the children that the wands can move to look like a stream. Either up and down (more like a waterfall) or back and forth. Sing the first verse as you move your wands like a stream.
An alternative to wands on the 1st verse is to snap every time the word “give” is sung.
For the second verse, sing the notes staccato (detached and choppy) as you shake/point the wands to resemble rain drops. You can also pitch lead the wands to go up and down as the notes of the song go up and down. Get the piano to also play staccato for an added effect!
An alternative to wands on the 2nd verse is to clap every time the word “give” is sung.
For the third verse, pass wands in a big circle to represent giving as Jesus gave. Try not to drop them! And make sure you give your wand to your neighbor as you think Jesus would give it ;).
TIP: For large primaries, create a big “S” shape throughout the rows of children. Have teachers stand so they can help bring the wands from the back to the front.
An alternative to wands on the 3rd verse is to stomp every time the word “give” is sung.
Ask these directive listening questions as you have time:
- What happens to the fields? [they grow greener]
- What does the little stream know? [he’s small, but the fields grow greener wherever he goes]
- What did the little stream say as it hurried down the hill? [give]
- Where did the rain fall? [upon the flowers]
- What did the rain do for the flowers?[raised their drooping heads again]
- Who is our example of giving? [Jesus]
- What does the song say we can all give? [something]
- What are we told to do? [do as the streams and blossoms do]
Bear testimony that Heavenly Father and Jesus live and love us. They give to each one of us every blessing that we have.
General Conference Talk
If you want a little more personal application for “Give,” Said the Little Stream, this song was mentioned in Bishop L. Todd Budge’s talk entitled Giving Holiness to the Lord in October 2021 General Conference. Find the talk HERE. He quotes:
Steve and Anita Canfield are representative of Latter-day Saints throughout the world who have experienced for themselves the transformative blessings of giving to the Lord. As welfare and self-reliance missionaries, the Canfields were asked to provide aid at refugee camps and immigrant centers across Europe. In her professional life, Sister Canfield had been a world-class interior designer, contracted by wealthy clients to beautify their luxury homes. Suddenly she found herself thrust into a world that was the complete opposite, as she served among people who had lost nearly everything in terms of earthly possessions. In her words, she exchanged “marble walkways for dirt floors,” and in doing so she found an immeasurable degree of fulfillment, as she and her husband began to befriend—and soon to love and embrace—those who needed their care.
The Canfields observed, “We did not feel as though we had ‘given up’ anything to serve the Lord. Our desire was simply to ‘give to’ Him our time and energies to bless His children in whatever way He saw fit to use us. As we worked alongside our brothers and sisters, any outward appearances—any differences in backgrounds or belongings—dissolved for us, and we simply saw one another’s hearts. There is no degree of career success or material gains that could have equaled the way that these experiences, serving among the humblest of God’s children, enriched us.”
The Canfields’ story and so many others like it have helped me appreciate the lyrics of a simple yet profound Primary song:
“Give,” said the little stream,
As it hurried down the hill;
“I’m small, I know, but wherever I go
The fields grow greener still.”
Yes, each of us is small, but together, as we hasten to give to God and our fellow men, wherever we go lives are enriched and blessed.
The third verse of this song is less well known but concludes with this loving invitation:
Give, then, as Jesus gives;
There is something all can give.
Do as the streams and blossoms do:
For God and others live.16
Dear brothers and sisters, as we live for God and others by giving of our means, our time, and yes, even of ourselves, we are leaving the world a little greener, leaving God’s children a little happier, and in the process, becoming a little holier.
Love this thought!
“Give,” Said the Little Stream is one of the songs included in my Primary Music Bag because I love it THAT much! It makes for a simple wiggle song as the wands make it so engaging! Find our more details on my Music Bag HERE.
Grass Grows Greener
Fill in the blank:
I’m small I know, but wherever I go, the ______ grows greener still.
Unless you already know the answer, the correct answer may not be what you think! Did you put “grass” in the blank? If you did, that’s incorrect! It’s actually “fields.” I first learned this from Sister Pat Graham who was in charge of putting together the Children’s Songbook (more details on who she is HERE). Her book entitled Stories of the Children’s Songbook says this:
The song has obviously been taught by rote rather than by looking at the words, as this is not a word change. Every printing, including the 1920 songbook edition, says “fields.” So where did “grass” come from? Perhaps we have been influenced by the saying “the grass is greener on the other side.”
I also did a little googling and found this intriguing article HERE. If you want to know more about the author of “Give,” Said the Little Stream, read this article HERE.
Make sure to check out more singing time ideas for teaching “Give,” Said the Little Stream HERE.
10 thoughts on ““Give” Said the Little Stream”
I made water sticks on my own just by taping ribbon to popsicle sticks, but the kids tend to pull them apart after awhile. Are these wands you purchased pretty sturdy? Just wondering if they would be worth the money. Thanks!
I just gave them a good tug and couldn't pull out the ribbon. The wand stick may break one day but that would be an easy fix. Hope that helps.
I wanted to thank you so much for all your ideas! You make my calling so much more manageable. Thank you for your creativity and for sharing it with us.
Thank you for sharing your talents. It has been so helpful and made this calling really fun! I tried out the river wands and the children loved it – I adapted it by using hair elastics with the ribbons tied onto them so the children couldn't poke each other with the wands. (only for Junior primary – with little wrists:))
I cannot seem to locate these ribbon wands, even on the site you mentioned. Do you happen to have a link you could share? Thanks for all your cute ideas!
I was in touch with haloheaven.com a few months ago (the company where I purchased my wands from) and they told me that they weren't currently selling them but would in the future. No exact timeframe. But I just jumped on their website and it looks like may be going out of business?? There are no products for sell at all. Bummer. I've loved them and am sad they don't sell them any more.
I've done a little online searching and these here seem like they'd work and they are cheaper than what I paid (which was .70/each):
or here's a tutorial on making your own:
Sorry I'm not more help! If you find anything good, let me know :). Good luck!
Hi. I loved the idea of the children holding something to mimic flowing water motions for this song, but I didn’t have any of the right supplies at home and improvised with what I had on hand instead. I cut 4 strips of different sizes of rainbow 1″ wide sheer ribbons and knotted them in the middles onto bangles. They are easy for the kids to hold, and they love watching the shiny iridescent rainbow ribbons shining as we used your suggested motions for the back and forth for the water, short falling motions for the rain, and the circle motions for the Jesus verse. Thanks so much for all your ideas!
I love what you used, great idea!
Thank you for an incredible lesson plan. Our primary loved every part of this. Ribbon wands were a big hit!
That’s great to hear! You really can’t go wrong with ribbon wands!