Happy Martin Luther King Day friends! Share the message of peace with your students/children with this fun clap pattern chanting activity:
1. Sit criss-cross (or lotus/half-lotus) on the floor and get a rhythm going by alternately patting your legs and clapping your hands: pat-clap-pat-clap…
2. Then begin the chant, you can use the yoga word for peace “shanti” like this- “Om shanti, om shanti, om shanti, om.” Start with a call and response where the children repeat you.
3. Now keep the rhythm the same but change the pitch: sing a round higher, then a round lower.
4. Now try changing the speed: pat-clap and sing faster and slower.
5. Then change the clap pattern: clap high-low-high-low, or any other clap pattern you can think of.
6. Change the language of the word peace: Spanish- “paz,” French- “paix,” (pronounced “pay,”) German- “frieden,” etc.
6. Allow the children to take turns being the leader of the clap pattern.
This activity is great for promoting speech skills through the fun of singing. The rhythm of clapping and singing helps children who may be hesitant to speak or who have poor coordination. It also encourages imitation skills and teaches children to follow a variety of directions. When a child gets to be the leader, they also have a chance to express there creativity and boost their confidence.
For our older and more verbal kiddos, follow up with a discussion about peace. What does peace mean to you? How can we be peaceful with ourselves, others and our environment?