Songs are amazing teaching tools in the hands of a teacher and engaging to children. Words set to music can help children remember facts and ideas even before their minds fully can grasp them. Songs also provide them the words to express feelings in their hearts that they don’t know how to explain–like gratitude and love.
From the time I was three years old, until I turned twelve I went to Primary class one afternoon a week, every week, at the church. I’m sure I had many dedicated teachers and good instruction since I don’t have any negative memories, and always looked forward to Primary day. But for the most part, I don’t remember who my teachers were, and can’t recall a single lesson. I do, however, remember the songs we learned. I love the music of Primary! I credit the songs of Primary with many moments of peace and assurance, conviction, confidence, and the encouragement to make many good decisions throughout my life.
I have now spent many years teaching Primary children. They have new beautiful and insightful songs now, and I love learning and teaching them along with the old ones. I’ve made a large file of “flip charts” to illustrate many of my favorite songs of Primary as reminders of the words. Actions, whether made up spontaneously or official sign language signs, have also been effective and a fun way to commit songs to memory.
Here are a few links to recordings of Thanksgiving songs that I remember from long ago, including two that have the American Sign Language videos. I hope you’ll enjoy them as much as I do.
Be sure to check back again in December for some of my favorite children’s Christmas songs!