Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Sing to the Power: A Social Justice Program for Children Grades 4-5

Activity 2: Song - Learning "Sing to the Power"

Activity time: 5 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Newsprint, markers, and tape
  • Leader Resource 2, "Now Let Us Sing," Hymn 368 in Singing the Living Tradition

Preparation for Activity

  • Print Leader Resource 2 and learn the song so you will be able to teach it from memory. You can listen to each melodic part (Part 1 and Part 2) and the two parts sung together here. If you wish, invite a guest song leader to help teach the song.
  • On newsprint, copy the words to the song, from Leader Resource 2. Leave space to add new phrases throughout the program, then add the first one: "earth below."

Description of Activity

Participants learn the Sing to the Power theme song.

Begin by asking, "Do you think singing has any special power?" Prompt by reminding participants of the important role of singing in the Civil Rights Movement and other movements for social change. Ask if they can remember a time they sang together with a group, such as in your congregation, at a birthday party, or in a chorus at school, and how that felt. Then say:

In singing, everyone's voice can be heard at the same time; we are all leaders together. Singing with others involves putting yourself out there in the world. It also involves listening. These are two forms of power we will talk about more.

Sing to the Power has a theme song which will be part of our opening ritual each time we meet. It is a two-part song, and once we learn to sing both parts, some of you might volunteer to lead one part.

Point out that this is a "zipper" song, in which a single word is changed each verse. Say that in the future the children may suggest additional words to "zip" into the song. Explain that the first "zipper" will be to swap in the words "earth below" in place of "faith (hope, joy, love) within," because today we are talking about earth power.

Teach the song by singing one phrase at a time and having the participants sing the phrase back to you, then put the phrases together as a whole song. If you are singing the song in two parts, it helps to have a strong leader (child or adult) for each part. If your group has difficulty singing the song in two parts, you may choose to focus on the upper part first, and teach the lower part once the first part is very familiar.

Save the newsprint with song lyrics, for future sessions.