Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Marching with Scripture Power

Directional Marching

Sometimes, less is more. In the 2016 Outline for Sharing Time, Primary music leaders are encouraged, "Keep visuals simple. This allows the children to focus on the message of the song, and it allows the Spirit to testify that what they are singing is true."  I'm reviewing the song, "Scripture Power," with my Primary kids this month, and I'm using scriptures as a simple visual.  (You can find the song on, here.) My Primary presidency has an incentive program for the children to bring their scriptures to church every week, so when I presented this activity, over half the children had their own scriptures to hold.

Directional Marching

I took an activity idea from Sharla, over at, and paired it with "Scripture Power."   Sharla calls this activity "directional marching."  It's simple, involves full body movement, and incorporates a strong, steady beat.  Really, it's a perfect activity for younger kids!  (But don't try this with your older kids unless you want to see some eye rolls...)

The idea is straightforward:  you march in place with the beat of the song, sometimes changing the direction you're facing, and you hold your scriptures in various places relative to your body.  The children follow along. Below is the video that Sharla made, demonstrating how it works. 

One note:  unlike in the video, when you're leading this activity, you sing while you march.  In my experience, most of the children won't sing with you, but they're still hearing the song over and over, so it's all good. :)

Variations for Specific Ages

I have a lot of new Sunbeams, so I don't change directions (either of my body or of the scriptures) nearly as often as the video shows. I start by staying in one position for 8 counts ("Because I want to be like the Savior and I can/"), so that the youngest kiddos have enough time to look at me, absorb what I'm doing, and then copy me.  I've found that 8 counts is barely enough time for them to do that. When I sing the song the second time through, I add a couple different placements with my scriptures (like using a circle motion for the first time), to keep the children interested.

By this point, it's time for a change-up, so that the 6 and 7 year-olds can stay engaged.  I let them know that I'm going to switch directions faster, to see if they can follow me. The older children in this group love the challenge!  The little ones are lost pretty quickly, but I only do this for the last repetition, so they won't have long to be confused. :)

Here's to a wonderful year, teaching our little ones about the power the scriptures bring!

Happy singing,

Looking for more action-oriented activities? Try one with egg shakers--Beat vs. Rhythm--or sand blocks--Turning "Simple" Into a Fun Challenge.

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