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Rhythms of Life

To think about the 'rhythm' of our lives.

by Tessa Mann

Suitable for Key Stage 2

Aims

To think about the 'rhythm' of our lives.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need a tape/CD of a lively song, such as 'Any dream will do', from Joseph.
  • Useful visual/aural aids would be: one or more drums; tap shoes; a tracing of an ECG (this last can be photocopied from a book, or printed off the internet: one source is http://www.synaptosoft.com/MiniAnalysis/ - follow the 'Gallery' link).
  • Choose a small section of 1 Corinthians 13 to read out in the Time for reflection.

Assembly

  1. Put the music on and encourage the children to clap along, perhaps splitting them into groups, clapping or tapping feet in different ways.
  2. Ask if anyone goes tap dancing. Perhaps they could demonstrate a few steps. If not, explain how tap dancing picks out the rhythms of the music (you could use the tap shoes here if you have them).

  3. Ask which instrument gives the clearest beat in a piece of music - the drums. Ask some children to demonstrate. Talk about how drums were traditionally used to pass messages from one group of people to another, and can be heard a long way off. Drums can help make music come alive.

  4. Ask the children if they can think of something inside of them that beats out a rhythm - their heart. Show them a picture of an ECG if you have one. Talk about how the pattern shows how healthy your heart is; point out that the beat is regular - a repeating pattern like the rhythm of music.

  5. Suggest that as our hearts beat out a pattern, so our lives can beat out a rhythm to people around us. It can be a rhythm that people want to clap along to, making them want to hear more, or an unpleasant sound that makes them want to put their fingers in their ears! Just as what we eat has an effect on our hearts, so our attitudes - how we think, and whether we are friendly and helpful or bad-tempered - have an effect on the rhythm of our lives.

  6. A good tune is really catchy, and we can't help singing or clapping along - how catchy are our lives? How much fun are we to be with?

Time for reflection

Ask the children to think about these words:

What kind of beat does your life beat out?
What kind of beat does this school send out to the people in our community?
Everyone has a part to play, in making a happy sound!

You could read part of 1 Corinthians 13, written by St Paul, who helped keep the drum beat of Jesus' love alive. He says that love is the message our lives should beat out.

Let's say sorry for the times our lives make an ugly noise.
Let's thank God for the rhythm of Jesus' life.
Let's try, as a school, to live a catchy, lively, friendly rhythm -
one that everyone can join in with.
Amen.

Song/music

'Sing people sing' (Come and Praise, 110)

Publication date: April 2002   (Vol.4 No.4)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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