Leader's Guide Prayer

Thank You! (Modeh Ani)

The more you know 🌈

This song is inspired by a prayer in the morning liturgy, traditionally recited before getting out of bed (before the Talmud, people said Elohai Neshama, but then that moved to the morning liturgy).

.הִנֵּה מַה טוֹב וּמַה נָּעִים שֶׁבֶת אָחִים גַּם יַחַד

Modeh ani lifanecha, Melech (Ru-ach )chai v’kayam, she-hechezarta bee nishma-tee b’chemlah rabbah emunatecha. 

Activity

Teach that this prayer can be the first thing they do in the morning. Pretend that the children are sleeping before starting this song. Allow children to lay down, pretend to snore, or even curl up with a blankie, pretending to sleep through the night and then let them ‘wake up’ to the sound of the song, encouraging them to rise up singing.

This “zipper” song is a versatile tune that works with many ages in classroom, sanctuary, and family settings. Ask every person who knows how to use words to contribute their word, everyone says something for which we are thankful. I usually do a verse of the song where I say each child’s name, as well. 

Teach the chorus of the song “Modeh, Modeh, Modeh Ani, I’m as thank-ful as I can be, wake up each morning, first thing I say- is thank you to God for this day” then help children complete each line of the verse with their own idea.   In groups of children that are not yet verbal, insert each child’s name into the verses, modeling the appreciation of members of our community and acknowledging each child is a great way to foster relationships. 

Alternatively, ask students to illustrate their ideas and record their performance to share with their community

Teaching Tip

I sang this to my eldest every morning at the first diaper change of the day and I think that is one of the reasons she is the happiest baby on the block…and why I’m so happy to be a momma…gently suggest this activity to your families- you can tell them my experience…at just the moment where I feel the most tired, and disappointed that she didn’t sleep longer…I say aloud a list of things I appreciate. It shifts focus. 

Suggest to families that they program their favorite setting of “Modeh Ani” be set as the alarm clock. Any cell phone can be programmed to ring the mp3 of choice at any particular time.

Allowing participants to sit or stand in a circle or line and then go straight through the line so that children can anticipate when their turn will be and reduce the distraction that is raised hands. Make sure to model an attitude of gratitude by sharing for what you are thankful

CHORDS AND LYRICS

Chords:

F, C, G 

Lyrics:
Chorus: How good it is, how sweet it is sitting with my sisters and brothers 
How good it is, how sweet it is in peace with one another
Hinei mah tov umah naim, shevet achim gam yachad  

How good it is how sweet it is clapping hands with my sisters and brothers
How good it is how sweet it is in peace with one another
Chorus
How good it is how sweet it is tapping toes with my sisters and brothers
How good it is how sweet it is in peace with one another
Chorus
How good it is how sweet it is sharing smiles with my sisters and brothers
How good it is how sweet is sharing peace with one another

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