I made a poster with the words of the song.
I underlined the rhyming words: ring, king, sing, bring.
We talked about how voices usually sing, but in this song, they RING. What usually rings? A bell. Think of the bell at school. Is it loud? Does everyone in the whole school hear that bell? So we want our voices to be as loud and clear as a bell so that everyone can hear us say Hosanna and praise Jesus. That's what the word Hosanna means: praise and love to the person you are saying it to.
I outlined the word "life" and asked the kids why they thought I did it. We talked about how Jesus is "triumphant" because He triumphs over death and brings LIFE to us all.
Then we sang through the verse several times.
For the chorus, I passed out fake fern leaves to each child, and told them the story of the triumphal entry and waving the palm leaves. Each time we sang Hosanna, we waved our leaves over our heads (as if you are fanning someone) When we sang "All hail triumphant king" we waved our leaf downward and got on one knee, because that is what you do when the king is walking past you. So we practiced singing the last line as we bowed to our King.
Then we talked about echoes. How echoes are much softer than the originals. How if you try to yell something long, the echo will start before you are done yelling. Then we learned the descant (just the echo part on the chorus), with one side singing the first part loudly and the other side singing the echo softly.
(This was a very fun activity the kids begged to do again.)