To teach the song Family History-I am Doing it, I thought why not have a “real” family tree?
I borrowed this little tree from my neighbor. If you don’t have such a neighbor with such a tree, you can easily do this activity using a drawn tree on the chalkboard! You can also pull out a Christmas tree! You’ll just omit the clothespins and use tape instead. Or, Amazon sells them here (this is an affiliate link below where I make a small commission at no cost to you if you purchase. But know that I only suggest what I love!):
I used these simple clip art pictures (from a flip chart on jollyjenn.com found HERE
) to hang on the tree that you can print using the access button at the bottom of this post:
I printed them on card stock and laminated.
Before Primary, tape the pictures (or use magnets) under random chairs.
Tell the children that we all have a very important tree that’s not an apple tree, or a shade tree, or a Christmas tree. Have them listen to the song by either having the piano play it and you and the teachers sing along (post words like I do HERE
) or play it using your phone, CD, etc.
Afterward, have the children look under their chairs to find clip art pictures with keywords. Play the song again to find which clip art picture comes first. Have the child with the first picture come pin it to the tree.
Once added, sing the corresponding phrase, and maybe discuss it quickly (i.e. “Family history” is the written stories and records of the family who lived before you), then gradually add on until the entire song has been listened to, the clip art pictures are all hung on the tree and the song has been sung several times.
If time permits (you may get through this quickly – especially in Sr.), pass out 1/4 sheets of paper with coloring utensils and let the kids draw a picture of an ancestor or family member. Play the song as they color. When finished, they can come add it to the “Family Tree” using a clothespin.
This way everyone can get a turn to come pin something on to the tree ;). Also signifying that we are all brothers and sisters that belong to the same giant family tree!
For Junior Primary post the words to the song as we learn it (it will help the teachers sing with me). You can see how I like to do that HERE
. I will probably also do as A Children’s Songbook Companion
book suggests, “invite the children to slap their laps, clap and snap-over and over to the rhythm of the song.”