Visualization is such a great way for the kids to really relate to the story of Jesus’ baptism!
This Baptism Picture the River activity and lesson plan will encourage the children to try to put themselves there by the river side picturing what that place was like and what feelings Christ may have felt.
Bring in a few simple objects and help the visual and hands-on learners really engage with the Baptism song.
Baptism – Picture the River
Objects to Bring:
– Cup of water or a water bottle and a wash cloth
– Small plant, leaves, or grass
– Sound clip of a river or birds
– Fresh laundry scent, like a dryer sheet
Picture the River Activity:
Start with singing the Baptism song.
Ask the children what they think it might have been like for Jesus when he got baptized.
Lead the children to sing through the song again and ask them this time to picture and try to visualize the Jordan river and what happened there.
Ask the children what they pictured – what images did they visualize?
As you talk about different elements of a river, you can bring and show objects from the scene. Post the picture included here or your own from the Gospel art kit. What do they specifically notice about the setting?
– Who is baptizing Jesus?
– Who else might have been there?
– What do you think the water felt like?
– What different sounds might there have been?
Show different objects to help the children really picture the scene and help the Baptism story come to life. Bring in some cold water and wash cloth to help the children feel cold water on their hands and imagine what a cold baptism may have felt like. Bring in a sound clip of birds to help set the scene. Another object I plan to bring is a dryer sheet to demonstrate how clean we feel after we are baptized!
– Have the children draw the river scene on the whiteboard. You can add one element at a time, or have them draw a little bit of the scene each time you sing through the song.
– Ask for the children to share their Baptism experiences / stories.
– Take a “field trip” to see the Baptismal font in your ward building. You’ll need to make prior arrangements to make sure the room is available and can be opened for you. Talk about the contrast to the river and our modern baptismal fonts.
Picture the River
Lesson Plan Printable
This 2-page Baptism Picture the River printable includes an overview of the lesson plan included here so you can easily file away this idea to use it when you’re ready and in future years!
It also includes a picture of Christ being baptized from the LDS.org Media Library bible videos. This is just one of a series of Baptism song activity ideas, make sure you head over to see them all!
Click here —> to Print the Baptism – Picture the River lesson plan
What other objects might you bring to help the children picture the Savior’s baptism?