Gethsemane Rhythm Sticks Pattern

Use this fun living music learning style in Primary with this Gethsemane Rhythm Sticks singing time idea. Our pattern below can be taught in steps to make it a perfect first singing time game for teaching Gethsemane.

Plus, I have a bunch of extension and adaptation ideas below to make this lesson flex to fit a small or large Primary and to work as a smaller activity if you prefer to work on 3 songs a week like we do (see my Example Singing Time!) or stretch it to fill your full singing time.

Head here to see 25 Gethsemane Singing Time Ideas for more wonderful ways to teach this song!

Gethsemane Rhythm Sticks singing time idea with an easy pattern to use with song helps for LDS Primary Music Leaders. Perfect song to use for Easter or New Testament Come Follow Me songs.

Gethsemane Rhythm Sticks

How to Play:

If you’ve working on Gethsemane other weeks, start by singing through Gethsemane once before starting the activity.

If this is your first time teaching the lyrics, start by singing through the first part of the song (2 lines) and then pause. Sing through the lines again with you demonstrating the actions.

Gethsemane Rhythm Sticks singing time idea with an easy pattern to use with song helps for LDS Primary Music Leaders. Perfect song to use for Easter or New Testament Come Follow Me songs.

Pass out the rhythm sticks. Have the children sing through the lines again together with you using the actions. Freeze!

Continue working through the song singing the song in sections and adding movement actions as you work through the song.

Sing through the song the entire way with these rhythm stick actions.

Gethsemane Rhythm Stick Pattern:

Gethsemane Rhythm Sticks singing time idea with an easy pattern to use with song helps for LDS Primary Music Leaders. Perfect song to use for Easter or New Testament Come Follow Me songs.
  • Steady Tap for the first 2 lines “Jesus climbed the hill to the garden still. His steps were heavy and slow.”
  • Roll on Lap for the next 2 lines “Love and a prayer took him there to the place only He could go.”
  • Tap partner’s rhythm stick twice on “Gethsemane”
  • Steady Rub for the rest of the chorus “Jesus loves me. So he went willingly to”
  • Tap partner’s rhythm stick twice on “Gethsemane”

Additionally, you can adapt the actions after you’ve finished making it all the way through and singing through the song from beginning to end without stopping. To add to the challenge, especially for Senior Primary, try any of our extension adaptations.

Gethsemane Rhythm Sticks singing time idea with an easy pattern to use with song helps for LDS Primary Music Leaders. Perfect song to use for Easter or New Testament Come Follow Me songs.

Gethsemane Rhythm Stick Extension Activities:

Adaptation for the final verse:

Fast Tap for the first 3 lines of the 3rd verse “The hardest thing that ever was done, the greatest pain that ever was known, the biggest battle that ever was won” then return to rolling the rhythm stick on your lap for the final 2 lines.

Adaption for the special finale chorus:

Pass rhythm stick behind your back for both parts that sing: “So he gave His gift to me in/from Gethsemane”. Keep the original actions for Gethsemane and Jesus loves me parts.

Gethsemane Rhythm Sticks singing time idea with an easy pattern to use with song helps for LDS Primary Music Leaders. Perfect song to use for Easter or New Testament Come Follow Me songs.

Adaptation for Partner Actions:

Adapt the actions to work together with a partner. Give each child just one rhythm stick.

  • Switch steady tap to tap the rhythm stick on your palm.
  • Instead of rolling on your lap, roll the rhythm stick back and forth to a partner.
  • Switch the steady rub to rubbing the rhythm stick of your partner.

Partner Rolling Rhythm Sticks:

For a simpler swap, you can roll a rhythm stick back and forth between partners. Then, switch from groups of 2 to groups of 3 and roll the rhythm stick around the triangle.

Now, up the challenge and make groups of 4 and roll 2 rhythm sticks – don’t let one catch up to the other!

Gethsemane Rhythm Sticks singing time idea with an easy pattern to use with song helps for LDS Primary Music Leaders. Perfect song to use for Easter or New Testament Come Follow Me songs.

Mix and Match Rhythm Stick Actions:

Have the kids help you make a fun sequence using our Rhythm Sticks pattern cards or come up with unique actions for the chorus.

Big Arch Taps Rhythm Sticks Action Card for Tell Me the Stories of Jesus singing time for Primary music leaders

For more engaging ways to use rhythm sticks, we have other posts with ideas! Like head over to see these Tell Me the Stories of Jesus Rhythm Sticks singing time ideas!

Gethsemane Rhythm Stick Patterns Printable

You can simply demonstrate the actions to teach them, or head over to grab our printable Rhythm Sticks music cards from our digital shop (or in my Etsy shop).

PrimarySinging.com Printable Rhythm Sticks Pattern Cards for singing time for music leaders or music teachers teaching music theory instruction.

They’re a great resource for using over and over again and coming up with on the spot patterns to teach any song! It comes with 30 different rhythm stick action cards and 2 printable sizes.

Gethsemane flip chart for LDS Primary Music leaders singing time!

Head over here next to grab the Gethsemane Flip Chart to help with teaching this song! It’s a long song with some words that switch on the finale chorus, but this flip chart helps the kids keep the words straight!

What other fun adaptions could you add to using Rhythm Sticks with Gethsemane?

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