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Activity 5: Rhythmic Chant

Activity time: 10 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Rhythm sticks, a pair for each participant
  • Optional: Color markers or fast-drying paint
  • Optional: Handouts for all participants, made from Leader Resource 1, Rhythmic Chant

Preparation for Activity

  • Download and print out Leader Resource 1, Rhythmic Chant
  • Optional: Photocopy Leader Resource 1, Rhythmic Chant, for all participants
  • Obtain rhythm sticks for all participants to use. If you do not have pre-made rhythm sticks, you can use one-inch dowels, cut to lengths of 12 inches. You may like to have each child color or paint two dowel pieces to make their own rhythm sticks. If you use markers or fast-drying paint, children can decorate the dowels while they listen to the story, "The Lost Son," (Activity 2) and use the dowels as their rhythm sticks in this activity.

Description of Activity

Children will use rhythm sticks and a simple chant (Leader Resource 1, Rhythmic Chant) to focus on situations in which young children leave their homes and come back.

If the children decorate their own rhythm sticks in this activity and take them home, the faith home religious education experience is extended. If you choose to send the sticks home, be sure to send a copy of the chant, also.

Invite the children to sit cross-legged on the floor. Distribute the rhythm sticks and show the children how to hold them in their hands with their thumbs and palms facing inward. Children will do a four-beat rhythm by hitting both sticks together on the floor twice and then hitting sticks together once over their laps and holding a count, in this pattern:

1 - Floor

2 - Floor

3 - Together

4 - Hold

1 - Floor

2 - Floor

3 - Together

4 - Hold

The children will beat this rhythm throughout the chant.

Now, ask the children to put down their rhythm sticks to learn their spoken part of the chant. Tell them that after each line you say, they will respond with the line "We all come home."

Using Leader Resource 1, Rhythmic Chant, say your first line, then lead the children in saying "We all come home." If two co-leaders are present, have one read the leader's lines and the other assist the children in saying their part.

Now put together the rhythm and the words.

If you have time and the group seems ready for this, you may like to ask the children to contribute other phrases about occasions when they go away from home and then come back. Substitute individual children's suggestions for the provided words to make a new chant. Examples might be swimming lessons, a sleepover at a cousin's house, going to the supermarket, or walking a pet dog.

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