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VBS Music: Songs for 5th Graders

Hopefully you’ve checked out our recently released PDF child development guide  which we created to make it easy for parents and teachers to understand kids’ levels of learning, from 3 years-old to 11-years old.

Below you’ll find songs we compiled specifically for fifth graders according to the characteristics on the PDF guide above. They are a bit more figurative in nature and tend to have more complicated melody lines to keep kids engaged and singing along.

If you sample these and want to buy the ThemePak, you can check it out here!

 

Power Up

Power up! (clap, clap) Jesus helps you.
Power up! (clap, clap) Get in shape God’s way.
Power up! (clap, clap) Jesus helps you.
Power up today!

 

Speak and Do Good

If actions speak much louder than the words you say,
What will others hear when they look your way?
It seems a whole lot easier to speak it than to do.
When you do what’s right, it will come back to you…

 

Kind Like You

Lord Jesus, make me kind like You. You cared for others; that’s the thing I’ll do.
I will lead the way. I’ll care today. Let my love point to You.
I will look for ways to serve, to build bridges strong with love.

 

Love in Any Language

I will go into the world and I will share the news of hope
That God is ev’rywhere—His love extends to all.

Though we come from many places and are diff’rent we’re the same.
For love in any language is Jesus’ name. 

 

His Way

God helps people just like you and me. He gives us what we need to live.
God sees people in their time of need. He shows us how to trust in Him…

 

According to Code

Build your life according to code. Learn God’s Word and hammer it home.
Build a life of character the way that Jesus showed us to do.
Oh, follow the code…

 

I Have Confidence

O Lord, You know my name. I hear you calling me to follow You.
You have promised to guide my way. I’ll follow You today…

 

Construction Zone

Welcome to a work in progress. You’ve enterd a construction zone.
We’re building on a firm foundation, but not with brick and stone.
Jesus is the model of perfection. His plans for us are divine.
So, welcome to a work in progress; building character in our lives…in our lives…

 

He Is Alive

Jesus died, but He’s alive again. I can tell others that Jesus lives.
Jesus died, but He’s alive again. I can tell others that Jesus lives…

 

Miracle Power

We need Your power, O great God. Hear us, we cry out, mighty God.
You feel our pain; You know our needs. We believe in Your miracle power…

 

Buy the ThemePak

 

How do you create lessons to specifically teach fifth graders?

Music as an Effective Discipleship Tool for Children

Music can serve as a lifelong discipleship tool. Research demonstrates that musical training can increase children’s working memory capacity. And the repetition, rhyme and rhythm of songs combined with the brain’s plasticity during childhood can cause songs to stay with children long into adulthood. The ways people use and access music have shifted with the increasing availability of music online, including how people incorporate music into the church.

Below is an interview with composer John Morton, who has written, produced and published hundreds of children’s songs for curricula for companies such as Standard Publishing and Group Publishing. He is also the co-founder of the nonprofit, EduCAN Development Corporation, and has been invited to various countries throughout East Africa to train teachers in child development.

We sat down to discuss the music trends he’s observed over the years and how children’s ministry leaders can use music to effectively teach children biblical principles.

A: What are some shifts or trends you have observed in how children’s church leaders use music?

One thing I’ve observed is that there is no longer a common set of songs that children know and sing across many different churches and regions. You can’t assume children know particular songs now because there are so many for leaders to choose from, as well as so many more ways to find songs than in the past.

Another would be an increase in leaders using adult worship songs in kids’ ministry services. Leaders do have more songs to choose from this way, but adult songs can be less effective in terms of discipleship, since so many of them contain a lot of metaphors and abstract concepts that children do not yet have the cognitive ability to understand.

A: Oh, I hadn’t considered that. So, how would kids’ comprehension of songs be different between preschool and elementary school?

In preschool, children are not able to understand abstract ideas, so it is important to sing songs that include very concrete and literal language. The songs should include repetition, easy melodies and simple lyrics that connect children with sensory details of biblical stories. What did characters see or touch? The kids may be able to sing more complex tunes, but the key is to sing songs that they actually understand. Checking in by asking questions about what they think a song is about is a good way to measure whether it’s a good fit for them.

A: And elementary school?

Kids begin to understand more abstract concepts at around the ages of seven or eight , but there is still a large gap between early elementary and late elementary in terms of cognitive development. In early elementary, simpler songs are still the best way to engage the children, but as they get older, children develop a wider vocal range and more complex vocabulary, and can therefore sing songs with more complexity in terms of structure, melody and content.

Just like speaking and reading, singing can provide children with opportunities to develop their language abilities, as they interact with teachers and peers and use words to communicate meaning.

It’s not as common as it used to be in churches, but using simple rhythm instruments during worship or class time can further engage the children as well. They can keep time with woodblocks, rhythm sticks, or instruments of their own making, keeping their minds, mouths and hands fully engaged throughout the songs.

A: Early middle school is sometimes considered to be part of children’s ministry; would music change much between late elementary and middle school?

In early middle school, kids begin to exert more independence, entering the more “grown up phase.” They may not be as enthusiastic about the sillier songs as they were before and it is important for leaders to consider the fact that young boys’ voices are changing when they choose a song’s key. By middle school, the students can begin worshipping Jesus from their own hearts, so leaders could even ask them for input as to what songs they would like to sing.

A: How do you think children’s ministry leaders can help teach kids what it means to worship Jesus from their own hearts?

When teaching children how to worship, it is most important to convey what worship i s , and not necessarily what it is “supposed” to look like . Worship is ascribing worth to God, and it can take many forms. Children may have ways that they like to worship God that might look different than adults. Allowing them freedom to express what is in their hearts for God in their kid-like ways teaches them about having a heart for God and not necessarily just doing church-like things.

Modeling life with Jesus is very important, as is living in community. It is important to keep in mind, though, that discipleship is not about enculturating kids or showing them how to simply fit-in with the rest of the church-goers. It is about teaching them who God is, what he has done for them and what it means to have a relationship with him, which includes expressing their hearts in worship.

A: Any last parting thoughts?

Just one thing. Worship styles come and go, but the fact that music enables kids to memorize principles and verses will stay the same. The heart of worship stays the same. The purpose of kids’ church is to train children to know and love Jesus, and that is the most important thing.