Gethsemane

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I know I’m WAY late to the game for teaching Gethsemane in singing time.  Just a personal preference but I like teaching songs that have been published by the church.  And Gethsemane was finally published in The Friend in March 2018!  Yay!  This is the perfect song to sing on Easter Sunday in sacrament meeting.

Camille's Primary Ideas: Gethsemane singing time ideas

The music was published HERE in The Friend.  A better version of the music to print is HERE.  You can also purchase a different, more difficult arrangement for this  Gethsemane HERE as well (it’s beautiful and totally worth it, in my opinion!).

Gethsemane (a Video to Teach Primary)

Show this 10-minute YouTube video to introduce Gethsemane. The beginning contains the church video “The Atonement” told by children. The second part is a music video of the song, and the third part is the music video with a melody map and lyrics at the bottom.

As you watch the last part, children can optionally pitch lead with their hands, following along with the melody map.

There’s also a sing-along video on the church’s website HERE.  I can’t find it on the Gospel apps, however so it may not be as easy to share.

Check out my tip HERE for projecting videos in singing time!

Camille's Primary Ideas: Projecting Sing Along Videos in Singing Time

Hopefully the kids have sung along a little bit at this point.  Make sure to have the words posted for the rest of the lesson like I do HERE.

Camille's Primary Ideas: Help children and teacher sing by posting the words in singing time during your lesson plan

Visualize Gethsemane

I LOVE the idea suggested HERE that helps to bring meaning to what happened in Gethsemane through visualization.  I’ve outlined a few suggestions:

Heavy and Slow

Have the children close their eyes and ask “If you were Jesus walking to the Garden of Gethsemane, how would you feel? Show me with your feet what your steps would look like.” Open eyes and have children share.
 
The song says His steps were “heavy and slow.” Why do think that was?” Take answers and discuss. “We are going to pretend we were walking with Jesus that day and do ‘heavy and slow’ steps just like He took.”
 
Practice heavy and slow steps on the beat with just the piano playing. So steps on “climbed, hill, gar, still, steps, heav, slow (x2), love, prayer, took, there, place, He, go (x2), Geth, se, ne (x2), Je, sus, me, step on rest, went, will, ly (x2), to, see, ne (x2).
 

Willingly

Children may not know what the world “willingly” means.  Demonstrate using 2 scenarios:
  1. First Scenario:  Ask for a volunteer.  Hold their wrists and have them pull against you as you try to gently walk them toward the piano. 
  2. Second Scenario: Ask for another volunteer.  Politely ask them to walk toward the piano.

Ask which volunteer went willingly, or who chose to go to the piano [the second scenario]. Relate that to Jesus’s choice to come atone for our sins.

Sing “Gethsemane, Jesus loves me, so he went willingly, to Gethsemane.”

Friends Were Asleep

Imagine we are the disciples walking to the Garden of Gethsemane with Jesus. Make a single file line up in front of the primary room behind me.

Walk (still heavy and slow) from the front of the room to the “Garden of Gethsemane” in the back of the room as you sing. Have everyone fall asleep.  Ask, “Why do you think they were tired?” and take answers [it was night, they walked a long way, etc].  Then sing it again as you walk “back down the hill” to take seats.

Sing this portion of the song that talks about the disciples sleeping while Christ was suffering.

Compare and Contrast

Discuss a little music theory!  Compare and contrast about major vs. minor keys. This song is sung in a minor key.  Try changing part of the song from minor to major on the piano (the music you purchase that’s linked above changes at the very end to a major chord).  Ask how the song makes you feel when you sing the minor part of the song vs. the major.

Actions

You can also use action-word actions on their own or in conjunction with visualizing:

  • hardest thing: Grip imaginary backpack straps, bend knees like under great weight
  • done: Hands in front in fists in center, raise up in front of face and have hands burst open and move outward in mirrored arcs
  • greatest pain: Grab elbow like in pain (hitting funny bone) Explain that Jesus felt ALL pains not just that little one
  • known: Index finger touching side of forehead
  • biggest battle: Fists clenched in front in fighting stance (discuss not a boxing match but cue to remember)
  • won: Victory clasp
  • done: Hands in front in fists in center, raise up in front of face and have hands burst open and move outward in mirrored arcs
  • Jesus: Sign language sign
  • Fight: Fists clenched in front in fighting stance (discuss not a boxing match but cue to remember)
  • won: Victory clasp
  • Jesus: Sign language sign
  • gave His gift to me: Take hands and move outward like Jesus offering a present
  • in: One hand like a pot with the other inserted downward into it
  • gives His gift: Start with both arms extend fold inward to chest ending with both hands over heart through the end of the song

Flip Chart

Gail shared a flip chart she created HERE.  Use it alone or in conjunction with the actions or visualization activities above.

Camille's Primary Ideas: Gethsemane singing time ideas

I’ve also added Gail’s images to my Resource Library in case you aren’t a member on FB.  Instructions for accessing my Resource Library are found at the bottom of this post.

Bear testimony that you are grateful for the Savior’s atonement, making it possible for each one of us to return to Heavenly Father.  All we have to do is repent every time we do something wrong to utilize this wonderful gift!

Make sure to scroll through all my Easter singing time lesson plans HERE.

Camille's Primary Ideas: The First Easter singing time from the Friend

All my printables are free and filed on my Resource Library. Filing instructions for accessing each printable on my Resource Library are below the button.

These printables are filed on my Resource Library page under Song Title > Gethsemane.

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