Gethsemane Sway and Tap

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Use this Gethsemane Sway and Tap purposeful movement activity that connects with the lyrics. The sway connects with the flow of the song and the movement in the song talking about Jesus going to the garden, with heavy and slow steps, and what took him there.

Head here to see 12 Gethsemane Singing Time Ideas for more wonderful ways to teach this song!

Easy ways to teach Gethsemane Sway and Tap movement actions singing time ideas for LDS Primary music leaders for teaching this song. Swap, tap, or add in our additional 6 movement actions like rubbing your hands together or hugging yourself!

Gethsemane Sway & Tap

How to Play:

Sing through Gethsemane once before introducing this activity.

Point out how the lyrics talk about how “heavy and slow” Jesus walked. What might that look like. Start swaying back and forth. Ask the children to join you in swaying, if they don’t join in. Sing through the song again swaying slowly back and forth through the song.

Gethsemane Primary Singing Time ideas sway and tap lesson plan with printable movement cards for Music Leaders

When the song finishes, ask them to notice what you change. Start swaying slowly side to side again. You can sing through the whole song once just with a gentle sway to add more repetition in naturally.

Then, next, add a toe tap (or heel tap if you prefer) on each of the more accented words. Continue swaying while adding a tap on the keywords. These are the ones that stand out to me from the 1st verse: Hill, Still, Heavy, Prayer, There, He.

Continue singing through the song switching from tapping toe to heel, if you’d like. Since this song is so long you can get through it 3-4 times with the above and then switch to a different song, or add on these additional fun actions for more variety!

Gethsemane Primary Singing Time ideas sway and tap lesson plan with printable movement cards for Music Leaders

I have provided a few different fun variations to add to specific sections, but you can easily adapt it and use a mix of the actions with a different set for each verse or change it each time you sing through the song, or pick additional words/lines/phrases to highlight with the actions! There are so many ways to use these additional fun movement cards.

Gethsemane Sway and Tap Extension Activities

1. Add an additional action for every time you sing the phrase “Gethsemane”. Some ideas are:

  • You can rub your two hands together in a steady motion
  • Clap 4 times with the beat = Geth-sem-a-ne
  • Use the motions from head, shoulders, knees, and toes. Touch each of those 4 in sequence.
Gethsemane Singing Time ideas sway and tap lesson plan with printable movement cards for Music Leaders

2. Add in additional actions for every time you sing the phrase “Jesus Loves Me”. Some ideas are:

  • Pat your lap, then clap, in sequence through the phrase.
  • Stomp alternating feet through the phrase with 4 stomps right-left-right-left.
  • Hug yourself, wrapping your two hands around you grasping your upper arm.
Teaching Gethsemane Singing Time ideas sway and tap lesson plan with printable movement cards for Music Leaders

3. Sing the song in 2x speed! Can they keep up? The kids always love singing the song fast!

Choose the Right Turn & Stomp singing time ideas for LDS Primary music leaders printable song helps and lesson plan

For another fun movement based activity, you’ll love this Choose the Right Turn & Stomp activity!

Gethsemane Sway and Tap Printable Singing Time Lesson Plan

This Gethsemane Sway and Tap lesson plan includes a 1-page overview with how to use this singing time idea and extension ideas. This is perfect to keep with you during Primary to refer to as needed when teaching this activity.

It also includes 9 printable signs you can use for introducing the actions. These are optional, but can add visuals to helps those kids that will learn and remember best with a visual learning style.

How to teach Gethsemane Singing Time ideas sway and tap lesson plan with printable movement cards for Primary Music Leaders

There’s a printable sign for the 2 main actions and the alternate (Sway, Tap toe, Tap Heel) movement. Then, for all the extension movements for the additional phrases (Rub hands, Clap hands, Head Shoulders Knees and Toes, Pat & Clap, Stomp, and Hug self).

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You won’t want to miss this themed activity all about Christ’s last week that’s perfect for Gethsemane!

Singing time of Gethsemane Easter Christ's Last week is all about symbols! Experience the Savior's final days with a Primary Easter song and hands-on objects. Easy ways to teach Gethsemane LDS song for Primary Music Leaders.

What other fun words would you point out in this song to add fun movement and actions? What other additional ways could you use these fun movement cards?

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