Check out these singing time ideas for teaching the primary song, I. Am a Child of God in singing time! From using the plan of salvation, to bells to ASL! There’s bound to be something to accommodate your primary’s learning style and needs!
The Plan of Salvation
I love incorporating The Plan of Salvation to teach I Am a Child of God! It brings a difficult concept (the plan of salvation) onto their learning level – that they are a child of God.
If you have time, I HIGHLY suggest my lesson plan HERE.
A Children's Songbook Companion
A Children’s Songbook Companion contains a singing time lesson plan for every single song in the Children’s Songbook including I Am a Child of God. More details on this book can be found HERE.
Access this in my Resource Library. Instructions for accessing my Resource Library are found at the bottom of this post.
Merry Bells has handbell charts for I Am a Child of God. There are several options to choose from:
- Play Along DVD Primary Songs HERE
- Digital Download Multi-Note Harmony HERE
- Digital Download Single-Note Melody HERE
- Printable Handbell Charts HERE
Make sure to use coupon code CPI for 10% off your entire order!
ASL is always a great option as well! Holly has great simplified ASL videos for teaching I Am a Child of God.
Check out her explanation video HERE. Then sing along with her HERE for practice before teaching.
Make sure to check out my post HERE for more helpful tips for teaching sign language in singing time!
LDS Primary Printables
I Am a Child of God History
This information comes from Stories from The Children’s Songbook by Sister Pat Graham (more information on that book HERE).
In 1957, Naomi Randall was to mike arrangements for a new song to be written for a Primary conference. She called Mildred Pettit, a former Primary general board member who had written songs and operettas for children, and asked if she would help with the music.Sister Randall said she would write the words for the song and then send them to Sister Pettit. Before retiring that night, Sister Randall prayed for help in finding the right words for the song. Some hours later she awakened, got out of bed, and wrote the words for three verses. Then she thanked Heavenly Father for helping her. The next day, she mailed the lyrics to Sister Pettit in California.Sister Pettit also wanted to have the music the way the Lord wanted it. She felt that she knew how the melody was supposed to go, but she worked on the closing phrase over and over and had her children sing it many times until she was finally satisfied that it was right. The two women worked on the chorus together, and within another week the song was completed.
After hearing the song sung at a stake conference, Elder Spencer W. Kimball suggested that “Teach me all that I must know” be changed to “I must do.” He said, “To know isn’t enough . . . we have to do something.” President Kimball often said, with a twinkle in his eye, that he helped Sister Randall write this wonderful song.
Sister Randall believes that “we can learn the gospel through songs,” and that “the truths that are sung into our hearts will help us at critical times in our lives.”
The author added a fourth verse in 1978.6 In 1981, I sat for the first time with the Primary general board on the stand in the Tabernacle for the Women’s Conference. I heard Sister Camilla Kimball refer to this song in her talk as “the gospel in a nutshell.”
Even without a survey to tell us, we know that this is the most often sung Primary song. For years, it only had three verses—even in the 1985 hymnbook arrangement. We were pleased to include the fourth verse, which added the word “celestial” to the vocabulary of the songbook.
Because this song is also in the hymnbook, the key was changed from D to C, and a descant for voice or instrument was written by Darwin Wolford. Brother Wolford was integral to the quality of the music in the book as he edited and refined every piece in the collection.
A nice way to enhance this song is to sing three verses from the songbook and conclude with the hymnbook. In other words, three verses sung in the key of C (sing the descant with verse three), and the fourth verse in the key of D (have a violin or flute transpose the descant up one step).
When we were determining the style for the illustrations in the book, Beth Whittaker submitted the drawing on this page. We loved the timeless look of the little girl and assigned it to this song.
I have heard many inspirational stories about “I Am a Child of God.” Here are two—one of conversion and one of comfort:
When Akiko Hirano first visited a Mormon Church meeting in Japan, she heard some missionaries sing “I Am a Child of God.” The spirit whispered to her that she, too, was a child of God. She agreed to have the discussions and soon was baptized. When I met her, she was preparing to serve a mission. She said, “I am very happy to be Mormon and to live in gospel. I want to play piano and sing songs with family all around.” I felt fortunate to have Akiko come to my home and tell me how this song helped her recognize the gospel.
Sister Daryl Van Dam Hoole shared her tender experience with this song in the following letter:
The very premature birth of our twin baby girls, Janet and Jean, on January 18, 1958, caught Hank and me totally by surprise. Then the subsequent death of little Janet six days later found us even more unprepared. We were advised against a graveside service, saying it would be much better to hold a short funeral so our family and friends could be protected from the wintry elements and so music and the spoken word could be heard without the sound of the wind and passing traffic.
Mother suggested some special music. She told of a beautiful, new children’s song that had been introduced at a recent Primary general conference and offered to contact the young nine-year-old girl who had sung the song in the Tabernacle in hopes she would do so again for Janet.
Little did we know then that the inspired song would become one of the most beloved and frequently sung of any hymn throughout the entire Church. I never hear it sung here at home or as we visit other countries, without thinking of Janet.
Leave your Singing Time Ideas
How will you teach I Am a Child of God in singing time? Leave a comment with your suggestions!
Check out this quick tutorial video for accessing the Resource Library:
These printables are filed on my Resource Library page under Song Title > I Am a Child of God.