In the last post, I talked about using the Silent Video activity to introduce “I Know That My Savior Loves Me.” Before I did that activity, though, I wanted to really engage the children physically and mentally. It helps if the other activity is a contrasting song in how it feels, the tempo, and the mood. Since “Follow the Prophet” is the focus song for March AND I want to teach at least three different verses, it seems like a great candidate for the song to pair with “I Know That My Savior Loves Me,” getting started now to teach each verse in a different way.
With the older children, I started by saying, “Here is the pattern.” I demonstrated this Body Rhythm Pattern: patsch, patsch, clap, clap, stomp, stomp, snap, snap. Here is a video of that pattern.
Once the children followed me doing the pattern once, I began to sing the verse. (I chose the Adam verse.) The children are moving with me, their eyes are sparkling, and I am singing the song as we move. They get to hear the whole verse without even really realizing they are hearing it! (Note: this activity works best with older children. My next post will be a different activity that works well with younger children.)
Back to the older children…Of course I want the children to hear the song again, so I add extra challenges to the movement. I call those challenges extenders.
Here is the first of the two extenders.
Extender #1 – I ask the children to do the pattern with me as I sing and tell me what words I sing when I stomp. We do the pattern and I sing, then I receive the children’s answers. (Sometimes we need to sing the verse more than once to get all the words sung as we stomp.) I then ask the children to sing ONLY the words on the stomp part of our pattern and I will sing the rest.
Extender #2 – Follow the Prophet with a PARTNER Body Rhythm Pattern.
After the children have gotten the first body rhythm pattern by themselves, I ask one of the children to come up and be my partner. We do a Partner Body Pattern: patsch, patsch, clap across 2x (my hands clapping with my partner’s hands), stomp, stomp, forearms across (My forearm matching my partner’s forearms…first matching right, then left forearms across). My partner and I demonstrate this about two times for the children, then I ask everyone to get a partner and do the pattern with us. Teachers will usually volunteer to be partners with the children who can’t find a partner. The whole group does the pattern once through, then I sing the verse again as we do the pattern over and over again with our partners. Sometimes the children join in singing, and sometimes they don’t. That’s okay. The song is slipping into their Back Door, and the children are fully engaged and excited as they hear the song. (Remember the whole to part to whole principle?)
Next posts: #1 – engaging the younger children in an activity for “Follow the Prophet,” #2 – new ideas to teach both of those songs next week.