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 Flipchart by Jolly Jenn 
  
(Idea by Katie Beattie) I just taught this song and one thing I did that was extremely helpful is I tried to paint a picture about the song. I had everyone close their eyes (I even turned off the lights). I started off asking them to pretend they were there when Jesus was born.

The night was dark and a chill was in the air - Can they feel it?  There are millions of stars gleaming and twinkling over the sky.  There is one great golden star shining down marking the most sacred spot? - Can they see it?  On a hill there are shepherds dreaming. They are wakened by Angels singing with glory telling the story of Christ's birth.  Their singing is beautiful - Can they hear it ringing?  Listen, we can hear it still.  I had them listen as I sang the song for them.

I only taught them the 1st verse as I am using it in a medley. You could go on to include the wise-men and how they saw the star. They could imagine themselves riding a camel or horse (can they feel it?) and also seeing the great golden star from a far that leads them through the dark desert toward the star.

When I started teaching the song, I asked them questions about the song like what were the stars doing and what gleaming means, what were the shepherds doing, what the night was like. What the angels were doing and why. We found rhyming words. All that helps. When we got to the "ing" words I had them listen for the ing words and tell me what they were. We talked about what they all meant which gave us many times to repeat repeat repeat. I also made up actions for each of the ing words - that helps too.
 
(Idea by Cindy Ray) I think that you can find pictures to go with the different "ing" words:

singing --picture of singing
ringing-- picture of bell
earthward winging-- I think I did a picture of wings on a picture of the
earth, I know silly, but it worked
Christmas bringing--any picture that you can associate with Christmas.

Then on the second verse:
showing --picture of eyes
shining--picture of light bulb
growing--picture of plant
going--picture of walking, or arrow
gleaming--picture of star
glowing--picture of Christmas tree light bulb

Obviously the pictures can be anything you decide on. And if you put the words on then the readers in your Jr. Primary (which includes the older classes & the teachers) can read them. 
I find, though, that the best help for my kids singing the right words is *me* singing the right words!

I saw this song performed with sign language once and it was beautiful. So for teaching this song to my primary kids (and we've only done the first verse so far), I made a paper with "singing, ringing, winging, bringing" on it where the letters s, r, w, and br were alone vertically and the "...inging" slides up and down. Then taught them the sign language for just those 4 words. I'll do the same thing for the second verse - showing, growing, going, glowing.  (Credit Unknown)

(Ideas collected by Cindee Alexander)

Idea #1

Stars were gleaming (open and close fingers like you are doing a blinking light)
Shepherds dreaming (tilt head to the side on hands like you are sleeping)
And the night was dark and chill (wrap your arms around you like you are cold)
Angels' story rang with glory (reach your hands upward like you are praising God)
Shepherds heard it on the hill (cup your hand to your ear)
Ah, that singing! (put your hands like you are holding a song book)
Hear it ringing! (pretend to ring a bell)
Earthward winging (flap arms)
Christmas bringing (bring hands toward you like you are saying come)
Hearken! We can hear it still! (cup your hand to your ear)

Idea #2

(Credit Unknown) For each line of the song, I had one or two children dress up or hold props and act out the line, and we took a picture while we sang the line a couple of times. Then we'd go on to the next line.  Then at home over the week, I printed out the pictures, and we used them to review the next week. The kids love it! We will save the pictures to use again next year! Here are the props I brought:

Stars were gleaming: 2 foil stars on sticks
Shepherds dreaming: dress shepherds with small towels and some twine, pretend to sleep
And the night was dark & chill: cut-out paper snow flakes on strings
Angels' story: drape angels in small white table cloths or sheets and a little silver tinsel, have them hold a big story book
Rang with glory: a hand bell
Shepherds heard it on the hill: shepherds again with hands to ears
Ah that singing: angels again, pretending to sing opera style
Hear it ringing: hand bell again, and someone with hand to ear
Earthward winging: one child holds a globe, tape a pair of paper wings to another child's back
Christmas bringing: hold out a wrapped package
Hearken we can hear it still: All children stand together with hands to ears

My co-chorister taught this last Christmas and it was a HUGE hit. The kids loved it and it was a great song for performing in Sacrament Meeting!

She started preparing a week early by bringing props and taking pictures that would then become her flipcharts. For example, she draped a towel over one girl's head and had her put her fingers to her lips like she's saying "shhh." This became the page for "Mary, Mary, hush..." For "see the child" she took a picture of my baby sleeping in her carseat in the back of the Primary room. For "Joseph, Joseph, look, see how mild" she put a robe on a boy and had him hold a jar of MILD salsa. (You can bet she had their curiosity piqued for the whole week until she finally told them the next Sunday what this was all for!)

I don't remember the other pages -- she may have added her own graphics for some of them. But printing up pics of the kids for at least some of the visuals was very effective!

Then she posted them on the chalkboard as if they were going around in a circle -- "Mary, Mary, hush" at the top, moving clockwise: "see the child," then "Joseph, Joseph, look, see how mild," and THEN (at the bottom of the circle now) an arrow pointing to the middle of the circle where she had posted the chorus pictures ("This is Jesus; this is our King...") Then back to the circle to do the second verse, followed by an arrow (near the top again) pointing back to the middle for the chorus. Yikes, does this make sense??

I liked how the circle helped teach the idea of singing "in a round" -- after they'd learned all the words, she'd have the groups sing through the whole song several times in a row, so they just kept going around and around the circle! It was great. She later began taking down the pages, one by one, as the kids learned the words so eventually they could sing it without seeing the visuals. (Idea by Amy / Primary Music Yahoo Group)



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