I’m looking for a movement that matches the smooth and reverent mood of this song.
I’m looking for something to hold for my younger children that can have a gentle sound and a pattern for their bodies.
Hold an egg shaker in your hand. Ask the children to pretend they have an egg shaker in their hand, and to follow your movement. (video example below)
(Sing the first part of the song as you do this movement.) Hold the egg shaker high and shake it four times. Move the shaker down low and shake it continuously for four beats as you move it back and forth slowly across your body. “I am a child of God…”
Call out: Freeze! Ask the children if their hand went up in the air and down just like your hand. Continue singing and do that same pattern again, asking the children to follow you. “And He has sent me here.”
Again call out: Freeze! Ask the children to turn their bodies facing the side wall AND keep following your movements. Continue singing and do the same pattern again facing the side wall. Do the pattern twice. “Has given me an earthly home with parents kind and dear.
Tell the children you think it is time for them to hold their own egg shaker and do the pattern. Ask other adults in the room to pass out an egg shaker to each child. (Note: I sometimes will put a small bag of egg shakers under the teacher’s chair, one for each child in the class. The teacher then passes out the egg shakers when asked.)
Ask the children to hold the egg shaker high in the air, now move it down low. Now ask them to follow your motions. (This small step pulls the children’s attention to you after the newness of getting a shaker.)
Continue singing the song using the pattern of shake 4 times high, then moving down low for a continuous shake across the body and back. (Each of the lines of the song is one full pattern.)
“Lead me, guide me, walk beside me
Help me find the way.
Teach me all that I must do
To live with Him someday.”
(Note: Children are sensing the steady beat of the song and where the words fit into that beat just by doing these movements with the song. They don’t even have to be singing, just participating. The words will slip into the back door of their memory. The physical movement attaches an energy to the whole song which links into the children’s feelings about the song and memory of the song.)
Extender – Ask the older children to find a younger child as a partner. Tell them you will be the helper so that the younger child can do the pattern all the way through.
Sing the song again, doing the pattern. At the phrase, ask the children to change directions: face the side wall, switch to the other side, face the back, face the front.
Hold an egg shaker in your hand. Ask the children to use their words to describe the pattern you are going to do after you show them. (video example below)
Beat one: Shake it high to the right. Beat two: Switch to the other hand. Beat three: Shake it high to the left. Beat four: Switch to the original right hand. Beat five and six: Move shaker behind your back and grab with the left hand. Beat seven and eight: Bring shaker from behind your back in your left hand and tap/hold the shaker on your left thigh (patsch).
Receive their answers. Now ask them to pretend they have a shaker in their hand and to do the pattern with you. Describe the pattern as you do it.
Shake. Switch. Shake. Switch. Around the back. Hold.
(You may want to do this step twice if you notice there are children that are not getting the pattern.)
Continue doing the pattern and sing verse of the song as you move and shake the egg shaker.
Call out: Freeze! Tell the children they are too good so you are adding an extra challenge. (You are actually changing the pattern slightly at the chorus which signals the brain unconsciously that you have reached a different part of the song.) Show the new pattern.
Shake. Switch, Shake. Switch. Around the back. Quick taps on the legs – left, right, left.
Ask the children to do the new challenge pattern as you continue to sing the song. “Lead me, guide me, …”
Extender – Ask the children to stand up. Tell them you are going to sing and do the pattern again, starting with the first pattern. You will call out front, side, or back as they are doing the pattern and the children will turn that direction to continue doing the pattern and singing.
Sing the song, do the pattern, and at the phrase ending, call out which direction you would like the children to face.
(Note: Older children need the challenge of a pattern that is a little complicated. There will be children that don’t get the pattern at first. Encourage them to keep trying. The challenge of trying is much better for their brain than boredom because it is too easy.)