Wednesday, March 16, 2016

"Stand for the Right" with Ribbon Wands

Let them stand for the right!

3/4 time.  Upbeat tempo. Lilting, swaying, rocking. These descriptions come to my mind for the song, "Stand for the Right."  I love to get my kids up and moving with doctrinal songs, too, not just with the fun wiggle songs. This song gave me the perfect opportunity to bring in my ribbon wands.

Demonstrate First

Even my youngest Sunbeam kiddos can catch the feel of this song when they use ribbon wands.   The little ones feel more comfortable participating in an activity when they've had a chance to see it first, so without preamble, I take out one ribbon and start singing, waving my ribbon side to side in time with the beat.  Each time I sing, "Be true," I bring the ribbon straight up in the air (on "Be") and then down sharply to rest on the ground (on "true").  When the next note starts, I pick back up with the side to side motion.

Below is a video showing this movement.

Immediate Participation

After singing the song through once, I remind the children of the rules ("Please treat my special ribbons gently, and please don't touch your neighbors with them!") and ask a couple older children to pass them out.  As soon as they start to pass out the ribbons, I start singing and moving my ribbon, so the children can follow me right away.

Repetition That's Fun

I don't know about your kiddos, but my Sunbeams could do this for ten minutes straight, no problem.  My 6- and 7-year olds, however, get bored if something doesn't change.  So after each sing-through, I change up something slightly.  One time, I'll challenge them to move their ribbons exactly with the beat.  Another time, I'll ask how high they can get their ribbons on each side. Or, I might say, "Freeze!" at a couple points in the song, and then comment on the words (like, "Isn't it amazing that we have a living prophet? We'll get to listen to him at General Conference!"), and then I'll pick back up with the song where I left off.  *Note:  it's especially important to work well with your pianist for starting and stopping activities like this. I have been blessed with the most helpful and patient pianists ever!

For the Older Crowd

My older kids love ribbon wands, too.  I just have to take the difficulty up a notch.  Or two. ;)  I come up with a more complicated pattern (I normally just sing the song by myself at home and play with a ribbon until I come up with something I like), and then I invent simple symbols to write on the board (squiggles, circles, waves...) to denote each action.  See the video below for one example.  

Whereas in Junior Primary I only have two actions, for Senior I choose at least four, and sometimes more.  The symbols on the board can be a code for them to decipher when you first demonstrate the activity, and they're also useful in helping them remember which action in the long sequence comes next.  The "Freeze!" add-on also works well with this age.

Happy singing!

Looking for more?   To see how I've incorporated ribbons into a full Singing Time, read my post here on what activities pair well with this.  Interested in how better to work with your pianist?  Check out the guest post my pianist wrote for me. :)

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