|Duration:||20 - 30 minutes|
Students sing the spiritual, “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands,” and then create lyrics to reflect what they know about various features of the world, such as continents, oceans, the equator and poles.
Sing in a natural voice free from strain. Use the body to feel the beat of the music.
Geographic Skills: Continents, Oceans, poles and the equator
Students will sing a well-known spiritual from American history while reviewing key information they have learned about continents, oceans, and/or poles and the equator.
Project the lyrics of the song, and sing or play a recording (Play 1) of all the verses of the song, He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands. Invite the students to join you in singing along as soon as they are comfortable. In keeping with the style of the music, have the children move to the beat of the music and as they listen to, learn, and sing it. Help the children find patterns in the lyrics and melody as you sing the song with them again and discuss it. You may wish to note that the lyrics are metaphorical and refer to the feeling that many people have that they do not need to go through life all alone.
This sample lesson plan will be written as if the lesson is focused on continents. The lesson can just as easily be structured around oceans, the poles and equator, or all of the above.
Model changing the lyrics of the song to create a new verse. You may choose to either name all seven continents in this verse, or focus on the characteristics of one continent. This example will proceed as if focusing on a one continent per verse.
Create new lyrics for one verse, focusing on the characteristics of a single continent. It is helpful to first brainstorm a list of words that might fit in with the theme of the verse and then select words from that list that fit with the melody. Make the syllabic emphasis of the words match the music as much as possible so the lyrics sound natural. You may decide whether you want each line to end in “in His hands” or if you are willing to let the new lyrics create a new rhyming scheme.
Students might create something like:
After completing a first draft of a verse, sing it with your students. The “Play 2” recording is accompaniment only and has no recorded words to interfere with your new lyrics. Decide whether the lyrics are satisfactory or if they need revision. Revise, if necessary, until you are satisfied, then sing the verse for enjoyment.
Repeat this process for as many additional verses as desired. The recording has five verses.
Sing and enjoy the verses you have created. See if the children can remember what they wrote without having to look at the lyrics. Help students remember to use natural singing voices and relax their bodies to move with the beat of the music as they sing.