Last year when I introduced this song I brought a big, oval, wrought iron mirror as an attention getter (It was not too big or heavy, so I was able to hold it—it was about poster size.) I faced the mirror to the children so that they could see themselves in it and mentioned all the beautiful children that can be seen in the mirror. Then I asked them if they remembered the fairy tale Snow White and how the queen possessed a magical mirror that she would ask, "Mirror, mirror upon the wall, who is the fairest fair of all?" I then explained that the word "fair" or fairer" is another way to say "beautiful".
I asked them to listen for three things that are fair as I sang a beautiful song to them. [sunshine, moonlight & stars] After they answered, I taped the round visuals for those things (files are listed below) on the mirror frame starting on the lower, left side. Oh, by the way, I had placed the mirror on an easel. I wasn't about to hold that mirror the whole time. I had really wanted to have a mirror that was a little smaller and lighter that I could have hung on the board with magnets or one of those 3M Command hooks so I could place the pictures for the song around the mirror on the board, but I didn't have a smaller, pretty one, so I went with the bigger one I had. If you don't have a mirror you could make one out of cardboard and aluminum foil. Anyway, I continued to place the round song pictures around the mirror in order as they answered the directed listening questions.
The second directed listening question I asked them to listen for as I sang was
who shines brighter and purer than the sun, moon and stars? [Jesus] I then placed the picture of Jesus in the center of the mirror along with the round pictures for that part of the song.
The third directed listening question I ask them to listen for was what does Jesus bring to all the world? [His love] Again I added the visual for that part of the song. The first verse visuals were around about 1/3 of the frame.
Of course, I had the children sing with me after I sung each phrase of the song a time or two during the Q&A singing.
I also did what I call a Singing Sign Language Charades Game with them by doing a phrase of the song in sign language and having the children figure out what part of the song they thought it looked like I was signing. I then explained to them what those signs meant and had them follow along with me as we sang that part of the song. A Sign Language Cheat Sheet file is attached below.
I taught a verse of the song each week adding the pictures around the mirror/picture of Jesus. I continued using directed listening questions related to each verse as well as I continued with teaching the sign language along with other singing activities.
Here are some other ideas that I have used in teaching or reviewing this song that the children have enjoyed doing:
- Randomly post the pictures on the board for one of the verses. As everyone sings, you walk around and tap a child on the shoulder and that child goes up and selects the first picture to put in order around the mirror/picture of Jesus then quietly sits down as the next child you have tapped on the shoulder goes up and selects the next picture to place in order. Make sure you tap the next child as soon as the previous child looks like they are almost done so you can keep it moving quickly. Continue singing and tapping until all the pictures are in the correct order. Sing one more time to verify if they have it in the correct order.
- For the third verse for JR I had the children count for how many different names there were for Jesus in the song. I then had them listen again and then tell me what those names were.
- For the third verse for SR I posted (you could write on the board) several names we used for Jesus. File attached below. I asked them what is the common thing about these words I posted. [They are all names of Christ given in the scriptures.] I then had them listen to the song and tell me which of these names are in the song. I had them come up and remove the ones not in the song. Sing again until only the ones in the song are left. Sing together the names in order then add the rest of the verse.
- For JR I did a sway and freeze thing. I asked them if they felt the music sounded like a big wind storm that is loud like thunder or like a gentle breeze blowing back and forth? [Gentle breeze] I demonstrated visually with my arms and tone of voice for affect. I then had them sway their arms side-to-side and rock their bodies like a gentle breeze and then freeze now and again to see which way their arms were pointing to see if they were pointing in the same direction as mine. I usually had them freeze after each phrase in the beginning. This helps them to feel the melody as they are learning the song. As they became more familiar with the song, I would more randomly freeze to see if I could catch any of them not freezing at the same time.
- Continue playing Signing Charades. After the children learn the sign language, you could have them take turns coming up and picking from a hat, flowers or somethings that are beautiful that you have a phrase written on a piece of paper attached to it. The child has to do the sign language for that phrase and the primary guesses what phrase they are signing, then sing that part of the song together. For the SR, you could split up into teams.
I have to admit that there were times the children sang this so beautifully, especially the last verse that they could just feel the spirit as much as I did. I'm a person that does not like to cry in front of others, but at times, they did bring tears to my eyes with their strong, little spirits. We did this for an extra song in the program last year and it was mesmerizing watching the children sign this as they sang. Many were so graceful as they sang with their hands as well as their voice.
Here are some pictures of the small posters. The round, key word visuals are similar. Sorry, not the best lighting taking these pictures in the middle of the night, but you get the idea.
FILES FOR BEAUTIFUL SAVIOR
- Beautiful Savior: Round Pictures with Key Words
- Cut out each visual. You could laminate and adhere magnetic tape on the back. I placed them around the picture of Jesus on the board for reviewing. Originally, I placed them around a large mirror with a picture of Jesus in the center as I taught the song.
- Scriptural Names of Christ for verse 3
- This file will need to print on 8 1/2" x 14"—legal sized paper
- You could just write these all on the chalkboard
- Beautiful Savior: Small poster visual
- This file will need to print on 11"x17" sized paper. Most home printers do not have that capability. You could have it printed at a copy center. For durability you may want to print this on card stock at the copy center or if you print on paper, you could adhere the paper to a poster board. The 2nd page in this file would need to be cut in half and each half taped to the bottom of the first or second verse poster it belongs to. The 3rd verse has two pages you could tape together or just post one under the other or side-by-side with the word "Evermore" taped to the bottom of the last verse poster. You could print out the last page of the round picture and key words file for the word "Evermore" to use since that prints out on 8 1/2" x 11" paper, so then you wouldn't have to pay for the larger sized paper.)