Sing for Joy

Scripture: Psalm 100

Learning Objectives:

  • Students will learn the significance of joyful psalms and their relation to music and poetry.
  • Students will recognize Psalms in popular poems and hymns.
  • Students will write their own poetry to praise God.

Guiding Questions:

  • What are the purpose of Psalms?
  • How can we write songs and/or poems of praise to God?

Materials: paper, pencil, lyrics and/or recordings of songs that were taken from the Psalms. Suggestions: This is the Day the Lord Has Made (Psalm 118), Bless the Lord O My Soul (Psalm 103), I Will Enter His Gates with Thanksgiving (Psalm 100), Rise and Shine (Psalm 68), Thou O Lord (Psalm 3)

Procedure: Review Psalm 100. Focus on the emotions and the author’s purpose for writing the Psalm and the words used to show feelings. Discuss the emotions. How does the author feel? How do you know? Discuss how songs are often inspired by strong emotions such as joy. Many of the Psalms were meant to be put to music to praise God. Pass out lyrics of songs inspired by the Psalms. Have the lyrics paired with copies of the scripture source from the Bible or have students look up the verses in the Bible to compare them to. Sing them as a group if they are familiar with the song or let students listen to them.

Encourage students that gifts such as poetry, writing and music are from God and should be used to glorify Him.

Guide students in an activity where they can try writing their own poems/songs. Instruct students in looking at the Psalms and song lyrics as mentor texts for inspiration. Point out key aspects of poetry:
• It does not have to be in full sentences.
• It may be repetitive.
• It shows emotion; not necessarily a story.

Suggestions to help students write songs and poems (especially if they struggle with writing and creativity):
• Allow students to use a familiar tune and put new words to it.
• Allow students to use the exact words from Psalms and make their own tune
• Suggest simple templates that they can use. Example:
o Repetitive Poems: God is________(attribute 1)
God is________(attribute 2)
God is________(attribute 3) etc.
o Simile (Comparison) Poems: God’s strength is like__________
God’s grace is like_________
God’s love is like________

Additional Questions:

  • How can knowing where to find Psalms of Joy in the Bible help us in our day-to-day lives?
  • Why is worship to God important?

Supplemental Activity: Students can plan their own praise performance for friends and family. Help students select a list of Bible verse inspired worship songs that they would like to practice and perform. Allow students the opportunity to include songs that they write themselves individually or in partners/groups.

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