I’ll be teaching I Know My Father Lives with a simple activity that uses handbells. But not in the traditional way that I usually use them! This way is MUCH simpler and even involves a little bit of movement. But if you don’t have bells, I’ve got a variation that doesn’t use them.
I really liked the sharing time idea HERE under “song presentation” from lds.org. I just thought I’d add a few pictures for the non-readers and bells to increase repetition. But it’s great as-is too!
So I created this document here:
A lot of the images come from Susan Fitch’s website HERE. Print on card stock and place in a sheet protectors. Note that the page “spirit” will be used twice in the song but you only print it once.
If you want to find out more about handbells, check out my post HERE.
To implement in primary, the instructions state,
“Teach the song “I Know My Father Lives” (p. 5) by first bearing your testimony of Heavenly Father’s love for you. Then have four helpers hold the words Lives, Loves, Spirit, and True, printed on separate papers. Ask them to stand in different corners of the room (out of order) and repeat their word. Instruct the children to stand, and as they listen to you sing the phrases in the first verse, turn to face the word you’re singing about, and echo the phrase. Repeat, having them sing each phrase with you as the helpers hold their signs up high. Let the children tell the helpers where to stand up front, in order, and sing the verse again. Repeat the process with the second verse using the words Sent, Faith, Spirit, and Can.”
To modify this slightly, before primary, hang the pages randomly around the room with 4 pages in the 4 corners and the other 3 pages hung on the middle of 3 walls (preferably not the front wall!).
Before passing out bells, you and the teachers sing through the song, having the children turn and point to the words/pictures as they are sung in the song. As a fun option, you can use wands (especially if you are omitting the bells!):
You can find out more details on where I get my wands HERE.
And just to keep everyone on their toes, instruct them to whisper when you sing “the spirit whispers this to me.” Keeping in mind to tell the children that the Holy Ghost usually doesn’t literally whisper things in our ear when he speaks to us. We can feel him in our hearts, our thoughts and sometimes it’s something we hear with our ears.
After you and the teachers have sung it as the kids have pointed, repeat it again having the children try singing the key words as they are sung. Then sing it again having them try to sing all the words.
Once they understand the routine of pointing, swap out wands for bells. If you don’t have enough bells for each child, have every other child hold either a bell or a wand. Then they can trade after each time the song is sung.
When the children point to a word/image that has their bell listed, they ring the bell. The bell notes listed create a chord and should all be played at the same time on each page. So for instance, when the word “lives” is sung, the “C” “E” and “G” bells will ring. The rest of the primary who have wands will turn and point.
Since the words “true” and “can” are sung twice in the song, the first row of bell notes plays on the first “true” and the second row of bell notes plays on the second “true.” The same goes for the word “can.”
I’ve got a quick video demonstration for using this lesson plan in primary here:
(thanks to my kids for playing the bells!)
Repeat by having the children trade bells and wands so everyone gets a turn with a wand and a bell.
End by testifying of Heavenly Father’s love for them.
If you want to omit the bells, I’ve got pages that I’ve created that don’t have them. Use the lesson plan I’ve listed above, just without the bells.
Another variation is to just place the pages on the board, not hung randomly around the room. This might be better for Jr. primary, especially if you are using the handbells. The movement along with ringing a bell might be a lot for them. But never underestimate their capabilities! But note that if you place the images on the board, you might want to print the “spirit” page (page 3) twice so it is in order when you hang them on the board.
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