“For thus alone…”
“in His footsteps tread.”
“with God’s own loved, begotten Son.”
Those are tough phrases
How do you know what these phrases mean if you are 8, 9, or 10 years old? Here are some principles:
1. If you teach a child a song, not necessarily emphasizing and explaining the words, the words of the song will eventually come back to teach the child when he or she is ready to learn the truths of the song.
2. When life’s experiences have taught you and prepared you, you will begin to understand deep truths found in the hymns.
Those Principles are all about “there and then” which is a great reason to teach a child a song that he or she may not yet understand.
Here and Now: awakening understanding
So how can we help this song relate to the children “here and now?” One way to help is to play match the phrase.
Match the Phrase
I put these phrases on word strips and post them in 8 groups all around the room, but I make sure the actual phrase from the song is not always at the top… so all mixed up within the group. To make this stronger for children who cue into color, I would make each of the groups a different color of word strips.
Come Follow Me
Do As I’m Doing
Try It This Way
The Savior Said
The Redeemer Told Me
Then Let Us
Because Of That, Let’s
For That Reason Let’s Do This
In His Footsteps Tread
Walk In His Way
Make What I Do Match His Way
For Thus Alone
That Is The Only Path
This Way Is The Right Way
Can We Be One
We Are Able To Be United
We Can Be Like
With God’s Own
Together With Heavenly Father’s
Loved, Begotten Son
Tell the children:
I am going to sing the song three times. I will tap someone on the shoulder, and they will bring up the first phrase of the song. I tap someone else on the shoulder and they bring up the second phrase of the song. I’ll keep tapping people on the shoulder until we get the whole song in order BUT you only have three times through the song to get the words in order!
Sing the song and tap 8 different children on the shoulder.
Extend the Challenge:
Now comes even a bigger challenge. Some of these phrases on the wall mean the same thing as the words to the song. I will tap some other people on the shoulder and they will bring one phrase up that is like a phrase in the song and put it with the other.
Sing the song and tap 16 different children on the shoulder who have not yet come up. (Whisper they can get some help from a teacher or friend if they need it.)
After you have sung the song several times and all the phrases are on the board, like with like, ask the children if they think everything is right. Accept their answers.
By this time the children have heard the song at least 6 to 7 times through, all the while focusing on the challenge of ordering and comparing like with like. Now ask them to sing the song with you as you point to the LIKE phrases (not necessarily the one that is in the song). Their challenge will be to sing words that are different than what you are pointing to (the words in the song), even though they may mean the same thing.