“I have seven (or ten if you are doing the second verse) empty picture frames that I need pictures for,” you state as you show the picture frames in the front of the room. (Mine is black paper cut out like a picture frame for the verse, and blue paper cut out for the chorus. #5,#6,#7 are the blue paper frames.) “Listen to this song and decide which picture you are going to draw.” As I sing the song, I point to a picture frame one at a time with these words:
- Picture a stable in Judea.
- Picture a sacred,silent night
- And can you hear The angels near
- And see the star so bright?
- Picture the little baby Jesus
- Think of his life and words so dear.
- Sing praise to him; Remember him, As you picture Christmas this year.
(You can also add the second verse.)
8. Picture a kind and gentle Joseph
9. Picture the mother, Mary, fair
10. And can you see So reverently The shepherds kneeling there?
“Your teachers have pencils, crayons, and papers under their chair. As I sing the song three more times, draw your picture. If you finish the first picture quickly, I’d like you to try and draw two.”
I begin to sing the song as the children are gathering their paper and pencils. Many do not decide what to draw until you have sung the song at least two times. I walk among the children as they are drawing (many use their chairs as tables) and I sing the song over and over again. When I have finished singing the song three times, I ask the children to come and tape their picture in or around the frame where the picture goes. I sing the song again as they come up to put their drawings in or around the frames.
We look at the pictures to make sure they are in the right place, then we all sing the song together. The children have just heard the song 4 to 5 times in a row. They focused on one particular part of the song, yet heard the whole song. It is amazing what the brain can remember when it hears the whole, focuses on a part, then puts it back into the whole.
I make 15 to 25 envelopes with cut apart major words of the song, one for every group of 3 or 4 children. Here are the words I would put in the envelope for this song.
I tell the children “I have some of the words to this song in this envelope, but not all of them. As I sing the song 5 times, put the words in order like they are in the song. Find a group of 2, 3, or 4 friends!” I have some adults help pass out the envelopes to every group, and some adults helping particular groups as needed. I begin to sing the song, walking among the groups putting the words in order.
Every time a group finishes before the others, I ask them to be my singers for the other groups still working.
When everyone has finished putting the words in order, we sing the song together. As an extra challenge, I ask them to sing only the words from the envelope while I sing the other words. After they have done that (if there is time), I ask them to sing every word BUT the words that are from the envelope.
Sharla, have you shared both activities with your older children one week after the other or only did one, and have you ever shared the nativity scene activity for younger with your older children? I am sure you have a reason that older might not be challenged enough.