“Do As I’m Doing, follow, follow me…”
I have used this wiggle song a lot with Primary music, but this month it takes on a whole new meaning as I combine it with the hymn, Come Follow Me, and some role play.
Tell the children:
I am going to do some things the Savior might do if he were here. See if you can figure out what I am doing.
Have a teacher or counselor help you to role play the following scenes:
1. Giving a sick person a drink
2. Giving a cold person a coat
3. Giving service by washing a window for someone
4. Giving someone who is crying a hug.
Receive the children’s answers about what they think you are doing (kind of like charades).
Ask the children:
Can you copy me in what I am doing?
Sing Do As I’m Doing in a gentle way as you do the four actions above. The children are copying what you are doing.
Tell and Ask:
I think these are things the Savior might do. Do as I’m doing is really a different way to say Come follow me, just like the song we are learning. Who thinks they can help me demonstrate these actions for everybody while we sing the song Come Follow Me? Get 8 or 16 (two pairs per action) or 24 (3 pairs per action) volunteers to come up and do one of these actions per phrase of the song (there are 4 phrases, thus 4 actions).
Sing and Role Play:
As you sing this song, indicate to the children when they should start role playing.
1. Come follow me…
2. Then let us in…
3. For thus alone….
4. With God’s own…
I would ask the children to all freeze immediately after singing, and then bear a short and authentic testimony about following the Savior. You have opened the pathways so they can really hear you with this activity.
Role play is a strong way to teach because it goes into body memory as well as mental memory. It helps give a deepening of understanding of what this song really means. Children are actively involved so it opens the door for the Holy Ghost to enter and testify, especially as you testify. And… the children really like it!
Brilliant. Thank you so much, Sharla! I think this will really help the children understand what this song is all about.
Lynne Marie Palmer
Sharla, I think my primary presidency is concerned with the program coming up that having ‘so many activities’ the youth don’t know the songs. My PP want me to take all the time this Sunday to review so they know how well the kids know the sings. We will be reviewing the songs in different ways but I am wondering how you make the switch to standing tall, singing proud – I can do an activity and then just have them sing that song without moving? This will be my first program, I did tell my PP at the beginning I wouldn’t tell the children that’s why we are learning a song, “for the program”. Hopefully we’ve learned the essence and testimony of and love for each song. Maybe I’m doubting myself – but last Sunday with my numbers and logic young man – it was a sign we need to teach in a variety of ways. Now if I can just be a chorister.
Good thing I don’t have your phone number. Thank you for loving the Lord and His children enough to take time to share and support so many music leaders.
Dear Lynne Marie, There is a new video out from the church showing a doctor on a reservation treating an old medicine man. When the doctor asks the man what is wrong, the medicine man asks the doctor, “Do you know how to dance?” The video explores what it is to learn the dance (the outward expression of the gospel), but that it is meaningless without being to able to hear the music of the dance (the inward feeling of the Holy Ghost and building of testimony).
I’m sure the Primary president is concerned about the outward expression so that the program goes over well. I promise that when you have taught the songs in a way to engage the children and then expressed your testimony of that song, the children also begin to have the inward feeling that is most necessary for them to sing the song from the heart. They can sing with the Holy Ghost because they have felt the Holy Ghost for that song.
But… that being said, the children need the experience of singing with all their heart, yet standing still as they sing. So….
Perhaps what you need to do now is direct in a way that is much like how a person doing mime would direct… get bigger when the song builds, act out some of the words so that the children are secure in singing them, give the breaths so the children will breath together – and remind them quickly to take a big breath so that they can give more breath on certain parts of the song. Support the children by they way you conduct.
This week will be all review… but what child likes to just stand there for 45 minutes… or for even 5 minutes? Variety is the key. Some of the time you will be doing different activities for a song, then for that song, do a Tabernacle Choir performance (or whatever you want to call it). That means hands to your side, give lots and lots of air as you sing, bright eyes, getting louder when the director shows you to get louder, and getting softer when the director shows you to get softer. Setting up the expectations so they know those particular things lets them aim towards doing those as they sing.
Immediately after singing doing a hands to the side, bright eyes, lots of breath, sing through, give a change of pace with a short, something active experience. Then sing another song like the Tabernacle Choir, and do another change of pace activity.
Does that help?
Take care, Sharla
Sharla, I didn’t understand exactly the activity “Sing and Role Play”. Are you asking the children to do the same 4 actions that you had listed in “Role Play” you did earlier or come up with their own for the “Come Follow Me”?
Yes, use those four different actions that they have practiced WITH the song as you sing each phrase.
Sharla, what a beautiful way to engage the children with thoughts of HOW they can follow Jesus Christ. I’m so excited to really teach gospel lessons with our music instead of just preparing for the sacrament meeting program