Latter-day Prophets: Hand Slap Pattern for Older

We have a new Prophet!  Let’s sing about him!

Up Front

Put these words up at the front of the room, either on a poster or on a chalkboard/whiteboard




followed by/(rest after Smith)



Tell the children

“Here is the pattern.”  Show the children with your hands on your leg down/up/down, switch to the other leg, down/up/down.  Ask the children to do the pattern with you.

Call out “freeze!”  Ask the children to look at the words on the board.  Every time they hear one of the words on the board, they will hold the palm of their hand up to the front, stopping the pattern.

Begin the pattern and sing the song.

Latter-day prophets are: number one (hand up)

Joseph Smith; then Brigham Young (hand up)

John Taylor came this, we know; (hand up)

Then Wilford Woodruff; Lorenzo Snow (hand up)

Joseph F. Smith (remember the F); (hand up)

Heber J. Grant; and George Albert Smith; (hand up)

David O. McKay was followed by (hand up)

Joseph Fielding Smith, (music) (hand up)

Then Harold B. Lee, Spencer W. Kimball (hand up)

Ezra Taft Benson, Howard W. Hunter (hand up)

Gordon B. Hinckley, Thomas S. Monson (hand up)

Now we have Russell M. Nel-son (hand up)

Here is an example video of the hand slap pattern being used with My Heavenly Loves Me

(You will use only the down up down and hold up the hand, not the pop for Latter-day Prophets.)


Ask the children to only sing the word up front as you come to it in the song and you are holding up your hand.  Tell them you will sing everything else.  Sing together.

Now switch and the children sing all the rest of the song, and you sing the words on the board as they come in the song. Sing together.

This song has a fun beat that is fun to move to.  The names in the song come more easily as you sing it again and again to practice the hand slap pattern.  And it is fun!


17 Responses

  1. Brooke

    Do you have any videos for this? I’m having a hard time understanding what I’m suppose to do with my hand on my leg. I love your ideas and would love to use this one, I just can’t seem to figure this one out for some reason

  2. Jocelyn Meacham

    Brooke, watch the youtube video on silent (singing Latter day Prophets in your head) to learn the rhythm. I actually did this method for “My Heavenly Father Loves Me” so I am already familiar with it. She leaves out the “pop” part for Latter-day Prophets. It’s a fun method.

  3. Cathy

    Hi Brooke, I think this is the video she’s talking about (I had to go searching because I had the same question I think you had — what does the hand do on “up”?):

    So on “up” (beat 2 of the measure), your hand rises to meet the other hand. (Beats 1 and 3 are your hand patting your leg.)

  4. Becca

    I love the movements! Thanks for all your ideas, you are a gem of a resource! Do you have any ideas for teaching the Hymn, Joseph Smith’s First Prayer?

    We are working on that song his month… I will be showing a short video clip from (Ask of God: Joseph Smith’s First Vision) to introduce the song. The video and the hymn match up well together – the 4 verses can be taught by using descriptions : First, “describe the day” = Verse #1… Then “describe the prayer” = verse #2… Next, “describe the event’ = verse #3… Last, “describe the answer” = verse #4.

    I also plan to use some audio of birds and bees sounds softly playing as I introduce the idea of descriptions, the setting is easiest to describe anyway.

    But now I need movement ideas to help these concepts solidify… any ideas?? I don’t want to get stuck in a flip chart rutt and go back to pictures and images… help!??

    • Annie

      Becca: why not spend a week using egg shakers and doing something rhythmic? Maybe a shake, shake, shake, around the back, patsch pattern? And a week with some Action Word Actions or key words in ASL? That could be very pretty and help set the scene beautifully. Also, another powerful visual activity is using the 3-piece puzzle activity that Sharla explains on this site, and it involves the children coming up to the board, so there is movement and engagement even though it is also visual. Please note that Sharla recommends splitting up the verses and doing a different activity for the same verse for several weeks before moving on to the next verse. That song is beautiful!

  5. Julianna

    Do we continue to have the same hand up? Also, is this the way the song will be from now on? I guess I have thought up a different version, Russell M Nelson’s the prophet today, but if this is the actual way I will use it!

    • Sharla Dance

      Yes, it’s the same hand up. The hand slap goes with the rhythm so the words can be different.

  6. Christine

    I am trying this, but I end up with the same hand going up every time… I noticed that in Heavenly Father Loves Me, it’s the opposite hand (because of the pop?).

    • Sharla Dance

      Yes, the same hand goes up every time. You are doing it correctly!

  7. Annie

    Sharla: This year I have been using this song once a month to spotlight different latter-day prophets, then we sing the song, and I have introduced this activity. This is by FAR the favorite hand slap rhythm of my kiddos in Senior Primary! Once they get it down, we practice slowing it way down and speeding it way up, which is also fun! Or I’ll have kids who think they know it well close their eyes as they do it so they can’t follow me visually. This is such a fun and doable challenge for the kids (and the4 teachers, too, who need a little stimulation in Primary!); I’m going to use the extender idea this month and I’m sure they will love the new variation!

  8. Lynn Slocum

    Hi Sharla!! Any quick ideas for teaching Fathers CS 209? I am doing action word actions for younger and have used the visuals for them to find and put up but I wondered if you have done any father’s day songs and what you would suggest for the older.

    • Sharla Dance

      Envelope game or eraser pass or fill in the blank poster for the older to cement the words. Wind wands with circle side 2x (switch) circle side 2x over the shoulder 2x (switch) over the shoulder 2x. Paper plates Patsch 3x cymbal 1x (ask what words come on the cymbal crash… none all rests. ask what words come on the first patsch… father, leads, wisdom, father’s, etc. then ask them to sing only the words on the first patsch)

      Just a few ideas for you to pick from

      • Lynn Slocum

        Thanks so much. Can you steer me to a song in this blog that uses the fill in the blank poster idea or share the ways you do this?

        • Sharla Dance

          I have several in my storage box, but I’ve never put them online. I’ll try to get some pictures.

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