I Will Walk with Jesus – gentle and smooth, lots of words, big range

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Pool Noodles

  • Do this pattern with the pool noodles as we sing the verse: Swish, Swish, pat and hold on lap.
    1. When you get to the chorus, change to this pattern: drum roll on your lap, Swish, Swish.
    2. Ask; What are the words when we tap and hold on our lap (verse)? Do the pattern as you sing and help the children recognize the words.  In wisdom, in truth, God and man, his youth. Write these (or use word strips) on the board.  Do and sing the next section of the verse. Guide me, the way, come and walk, day.  Write these words down.
    3. Let’s do this pattern again and you sing only the words on the board.  I will sing all the rest.
    4. Call out “freeze.” On this next part of the song, what are the words as we swish? (chorus)
    5. Sing the song again from the chorus and help the children to identify the words. Jesus, above, His Spirit, His love, forever, see, Jesus, He will walk with. Write them down on the board.
    6. You sing only the words on the board for the chorus (point to the place on the board) and I will sing everything else.
    7. Call out “Switch! You sing everything else while I sing the words on the board for both the words and the chorus!” The children might not know all the words completely, but it will be a good chance for them to try.

Wind Wands

  • Wind Wands
    1. Tell the children: Here is the pattern.  Pretend to hold a wind wand and do this pattern with me. Show the pattern one or two times, then continue to do it as you sing. Verse:  Circle X2, touch ground and wait, Circle X2, touch ground and wait, over the shoulder R, over the shoulder L (2x) Repeat the sequence. (For younger children, don’t include the over the shoulder.  Just do the circle 2x and freeze on the floor the whole time.)
    2. When you switch to the chorus, call out “Freeze!” and teach the new pattern below.
    3. Chorus: Swish up and back L side, Circle X2 in front, Swish up and back R side and Circle X2 in front. On the last word, touch ground and freeze. (For younger children, Swish up and back 4x then switch sides and swish up and back 4 times.)
    4. Invite 3 children to come and help lead the patterns for both the verse and the chorus.  I often stand at the back of the room so that those children can watch me as they guide the other children in the pattern.  I am not expecting the children to sing the song, only to hear it at least two to three times while they are engaged in moving to the beat.  That gives their brain a chance to map out the song: the melody, where the words go, the rhythm, the beat as they move to the steady beat.

Word Actions –

Ask the children “What action can we use to represent each phrase?” (have a few of your own ideas beforehand.) Note: You can use scarves to augment the movements as an extension to this activity.

Scarves –

  • Younger – Scarves (to the wind wand pattern above).  Turn to the back and repeat the song as you do the movements. 

Envelope Game

  • Older – Envelope Game
    • Tell the children: “Find 2 friends and get an envelope*.
    • “As I sing the song, put the words in order as they come in the song. Here’s a warning… not all the words are here, only some of the major words.”
    • “When you finish putting the words in order, help me sing the song until all the groups finish.”

*Type out the following words in italics (most are verbs) and cut into individual word strips, one per paper.  Place in an envelope. You will need one envelope for every three children in your primary.

Walked, grew, showed, wants, shows, come, I walk, to my home, bless, fill, change, help, I will walk, He will walk

Egg Shakers –

Ask the children to pretend to have an egg shaker in their hand and follow this pattern as you sing the verse.

Verse: Shake, Shake. sweep from side to side in front. 

(Repeat 4x, then call out “freeze” and ask children to change the egg shaker into their other hand.)

Shake, Shake. Sweep in front from side to side with the opposite hand.

  • Now pass out the egg shakers and repeat the pattern as you sing again.
    • Call out “Freeze” and give this new pattern for the chorus. Chorus: Shake high, Shake low, patsch, patsch. Repeat pattern 4x.  Sing the chorus and do the pattern.
    • Call out “FreezeP and Change hands. Repeat the pattern as you sing the chorus again.

This song has a lot of words with a smooth, gentle feeling. Because of the word memory it requires, children may need experiences with this song for at least four to five weeks to truly know it deeply.

Winds and waves on the Sea of Galilee where Jesus walked

9 Responses

  1. Jennie

    I cannot find where to contact someone, but I just purchased the all Workshops videos from your Gumroads site. It is missing the 2019 video. Would it be possible to get that one as well. It shows it should be included. It says 6 videos; however there are only 5 after it is purchased.

    Thank you,

  2. Kelly

    Sharla, I am signed up for the emails, but for some reason I am not receiving them. I really want to stay up to date with your ideas. If you can fix that I would greatly appreciate it.

    Thank you,


    • Sharla Dance

      Hi Haley,
      Since I am also teaching 2 or 3 other songs in 5 minute increments, I only spend about 5 to 8 minutes on this song each Sunday. The research I’ve read shows that a child needs to hear the song and interact with it, then sleep on it and return to hear it again. If it is a song with a lot of words, younger children need it at least 4 to 5 different Sundays before it really is mapped out well in their minds. An older child that is musical can do it in 3 or 4 times. So yes, 4 to 5 weeks on the verse and chorus so it goes deep into the child’s memory. If you want to sing the 2nd verse for the program, you might want to have a small group of children that learn it separately sing. Thank you for asking!

  3. Laurie Miller

    Thank you Sharla! You make it all so easy! I have to remember to make it that easy for the children and they will love singing time and they will learn the songs! Beautiful songs, simple movements (different ones each week) and then repeat! Thank you!

  4. Barbie Anderson

    I’m starting to get singing time burnout. Three years now. Thank you for new ideas and pointers to keep me going.

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