Stand in front of the mirror. Turn on a recording of the song you are going to teach. Raise both hands, palms up, to the mirror. Move your hands to the beat and flow of the song as you sing it. Notice how the mirror follows you perfectly!<grin> (This works especially well with gentle beats and smooth, flowing melodies.)
Now, stand in front of the children and ask an older child to come up and be your mirror. Remind him or her that she will be trying to mirror you exactly, just like a mirror would do. Sing the song and slowly move just like you did in front or your mirror. The child follows you as well as possible. (Though this example is for Come Follow Me, this activity would work He Sent His Son, I Know That My Savior Loves Me, The Holy Ghost and other more gentle songs, also.)
Stop half way through the song and ask the child to find a friend to be his or her mirror, and you will find another friend. Remind them to respect the beat and feel of the song, and move smoothly and gently. Sing and do the mirror activity with your new friend.
Again, stop singing and moving halfway through the song. Now ask every child to find a friend and decide which of the partners will be the mover, and which will be the mirror. (You may have to have teachers step in to be a partner to insure that each child has a partner. If you have some children who have a hard time with impulse control, or moving slowly, you may want to move physically closer to those children or pair them up with a teacher.) Sing the song and move slowly with your “mirror” partner.
Now, Switch! The person that was the mover becomes the mirror, and the mirror partner becomes the mover. Sing the song again with the new person leading. Remind the children that they are moving gently and slowly to the beat.
You might notice that there is intense concentration as the partnerships move and follow each other. It takes more concentration power to move slowly, so you may have some children who can’t literally stay focused. Just move an adult closer to that partnership to gently remind them to match the flow and feel of the song with their movements.
This activity gives movement to a song with a gentle beat that allows the brain to grab hold of the feeling of the song and hold it in the child’s memory. It allows the melody and words of the song to come into the back door of the children’s memory, plus give them a whole picture of what the song really is.