Christmas Songs: Stars Were Gleaming

Can you put these stars in order?

Download Here

UPDATE: I have been getting a lot of requests for these files so here is the download link with the files that will print out an 8×11 per star – stars-were-gleaming

Just click the download link, then double click the zip file that downloaded. This will open a file that has all the images as individual files. Click one, select print, and it will print at a full size.

My tech son just tested this, and it work great.


Children have great visual memory.  This activity taps into that great ability.



Put these stars around the room.  Ask the children, “What do you notice about these pictures?  What’s the same?  What’s different?”  Receive the children’s answers.


“What do these pictures have to do with this song?”  Sing the song.  Receive the children’s answers.


“Can you help me put these stars in order according to the song as I sing?”  Tap a child on the shoulder to bring a star up and put it in order on the board as you sing.  Continue doing that until all the stars are up.  “Let’s check if the stars are in the right order.”  Sing the song and point to the stars as they come in the song.  (If they are out of order, let the children discover it with some hints.)

Sing the song together.  (The children will have heard it about 4 times or more.)

Extension:  Ask the children, “If I take away 3 different stars, can you remember what was on them?”  Take away the stars and have the children tell you what was on the stars.  Sing the song.  Take away a few more stars.  Remember what was on the stars and sing the song again.


Here are the stars in order:

(Images were drawn by Andrea Burgon.)











In order to print these images one to a page, select the image, then right click to download onto your computer.

Download Here

UPDATE: I have been getting a lot of requests for these files so here is the download link that will print out an 8×11 per star – stars-were-gleaming

137 Responses

  1. Lindsay Hickok

    When I saved them and then tried to print, they were very small. Is there some way you can share a pdf or different format? I’d love to use these photos/activity in Primary.

    • Sharla Dance

      I will get my tech guy working on it, but for now I used your email address and sent you the files directly.
      Take care, Sharla

  2. Emily

    I was unable to print the individual images on a full sheet of paper… the above image file sizes are too small.

    • Sharla Dance

      I will get my tech guy working on it, but for now I used your email address and sent you the files directly.
      Take care, Sharla

  3. Chelsea

    These are so cute! When I download these they are too small to enlarge for a clear image. Any chance you could reload them bigger?

    • Sharla Dance

      I will get my tech guy working on it, but for now I used your email address and sent you the files directly.
      Take care, Sharla

  4. Elizabeth Duran

    Love the pictures but need them bigger. The link to download is not working.

    • Sharla Dance

      I will get my tech guy working on it, but for now I used your email address and sent you the files directly.
      Take care, Sharla

  5. Anna Lisa

    When I right click to save these to my computer, they are not downloading large enough to use. Can you upload bigger files? Right now these are 232 x 300 pixels.

    • Sharla Dance

      I will get my tech guy working on it, but for now I used your email address and sent you the files directly.
      Take care, Sharla

  6. Sara

    These pictures are beautiful! Thank you for allowing us to use them. Could I get the PDF of these as well? Thank you!

      • Amy Mortensen

        These are wonderful! Did you teach the 2nd verse? If so, did you have a visual or something else?

        • Sharla Dance

          I don’t have visuals for the second verse. My friend Andrea Burgon did these for me for the first verse. Thanks for asking!

  7. Julie Bassett

    Thanks for all of your wonderful ideas! Could I also get a copy of the files?

  8. Julianne

    I would like the pictures emailed too.

    Many thanks to you, your tech guy, your darling daughter in the videos, and anyone else who helps you! I appreciate all your great ideas you share with us!

  9. Marla Jones

    Your pictures are perfect! Can you please email me the files directly?

  10. Rosa Judd

    Hi Sharla,
    I love your ideas so much. Can you please email the files directly to me?
    Thank you so much!

  11. Melanie

    Sharla, will you please send me the files directly, too? Thank you and Merry Christmas!

    • Sharla Dance

      Merry Christmas! Let me know if they don’t arrive. Take care, Sharla

  12. Jodi Parrish

    Thank you for your time and inspiration. I am grateful that you were given this spiritual gift so “…that all may be profited thereby.” Please send me the files too. 🙂

    • Sharla Dance

      Thank you for kind words. I sent the file. Let me know if it doesn’t come. Take care, Sharla

  13. Julianne

    I haven’t received a copy of the files yet. Can you please resend?
    Thank you!

  14. Mary

    I love these pictures and this idea. Can I please get a copy sent to my email?
    Thank you!!

  15. Corie

    Thank you for your ideas and hard work! I would love a copy of the files. Thank you!

  16. Stephanie Bare

    I would love to have you email me the file for these. They are so great! However, when I copy them they are too small so they become blurry when I enlarge them. Thank you so much!

  17. Barbara Gifford

    I am so glad to see a new post on your site. I join the others in saying thanks for this idea and for all your help. I have done Primary music for several years and have a son with Down Syndrome so I really appreciate the tips you give for teaching in different ways to reach different learning styles and abilities. I am excited about these visuals and would ask that you email them to me as well. Thanks also to the artist Andrea Burgon. Merry Christmas!

    • Sharla Dance

      Thank you for thinking of Andrea Burgon. She and I published books together for a few years a long time ago. She is amazing to do all this work and offer it to so many. I sent you the files. Take care, Sharla

  18. Bonnie

    Thank you! Thank you! I love using your wonderful ideas in Primary.
    Could I please get the file emailed also?

  19. Desiree Roberts

    I appreciate all that you do to help us be better music leaders! Will you please send me an email with the stars so I can use them on Sunday? Thank you so much!

  20. Katheryn

    Hi Sharla,

    I am new to Primary and would love the star files to teach on the 18th. I’m busy reading your entire site!

    Thank you!

  21. Haley

    These are beautiful! Can I also have the file emailed to me? I would love to use these on Sunday. Thank you!

  22. Mary Jane Wadley

    Sharla, Thank you for this inspired idea. I have also tried to print them off at my local copy store and they are too small. Could you possibly send me the pdf file as well?

  23. Margaret westerberg

    I would love these star images also. Thank you so much. Love the idea

  24. Laura

    Hi Sharla,

    Love this idea! Thanks so much for the wonderful workshop you gave in Saratoga last month. I’ve been implementing what you taught, and the kids are loving it! I’m the gal with the 3 year old son and baby. 🙂 Could you please email me the files for this song too?


  25. Cherice Montgomery

    Yes, I am having the same problem. I’d love to have the original file e-mailed. Such a cute activity!

  26. Marna

    Sharla- I appreciate all you do to help folks like me bring the joy of music to the hearts of children! I’d greatly appreciate a larger version of Andrea’s great stars.
    Merry Christmas!

  27. Ember Fife

    If you are willing to send the files in yet another email, I would love a copy. Thanks so much.

  28. Bonnie Caldwell

    I’m also unable to download the images. I love your site as I am in the Netherlands and I need pictures because the words don’t help in another language! I would love an email with the pictures!

  29. Kathy

    Please may I have this file emailed also. I thought I recognized Andrea’s artwork. I used it long ago. I too am so glad you have added something to your blog. Thank you for all you do.

  30. Ann

    Would you please send me a copy as well? Thanks so much for all you do. I’m not creative enough to do this calling alone.

  31. Jenna Reid

    Hi is there any way you can send me the files for this. I would love a copy! Thanks so much.

  32. Melissa Eschler

    I would love them emailed to me as well. Thank you for all you do. You have amazing ideas.

  33. Erika P

    I would love to have these files emailed to me as well. Thank you for all your ideas!

  34. Alinda Olsen

    I would love to receive an email as well. Thank you so much! It was fun to meet you in Ohio!!!

  35. Amber

    Thank you so much for your work and support, Sharla! I have been teaching as close to your style as possible for one year now, and it makes such a difference in our primary! I know you have got to be so busy, but it means so much when you post a new idea like this. Tell the wonderful artist ‘thank you’ as well!

  36. Joni Ison

    Hi Sharla, I am so happy that you’re back. I would also love to have this file sent to me. Thank you for all you do!

  37. Corie

    This idea worked so well with my Jr primary kids! They loved the pictures and putting them in the right order. I was wondering if you had something similar for the second verse? Just looking for a great idea for the next time I teach this song. Thank you so much!

  38. Jodi

    I know Christmas is over, but we will be singing this song again next year with a little different arrangement. Could you please also e-mail me the file, so I can use it to reteach my Jr. Primary? Thank you.

    • Sharla Dance

      Dear Jeannie, Because I taught the first verse using these visuals, I would teach the second verse using a rhythm, or some action word actions, or using wind wands… something like that.
      Thanks for asking!

  39. Natalie

    These are perfect! Could you email me these files please?!
    Thanks for making these!

  40. Marie

    Hi Sharla, I am revisiting these Christmas ideas from last year to use with my primary again! I have turned to your site again and again as a resource in my calling. I tell anyone who asks that you have revolutionized the way I do singing time, and direct them to your site and your book. Thank you for sharing your experience and expertise with all of us! It has been such a gift to me!

    • Sharla Dance

      Thank you for your kind words! I’m trying to be an instrument, but like one of my favorite people, Mother Teresa said, I am just the pencil. God pens the ideas. Thank you again, Sharla

  41. Lynn Slocum

    Sharla when I try to download this a pop up reads ” Adobe Acrobat Reader could not open because it is either not a supported file type or because the file has been damaged (for example, it was sent as an email attachment and wasn’t correctly decoded).

  42. Mary Jean Holt

    This is a wonderful idea!! Please send me an email, so that I can print the stars out larger with one star to each page! I don’t know how to download it to do that in its present format. Thanks so much in advance

    • Sharla Dance

      Hi Mary. Josh, Sharla’s tech son here. We would email you exactly what the download link is. What do you see when you click the link?

  43. Mary Jean Holt

    The stars aren’t printable in full size; they only print out in small stars, several stars on each page.

    • Sharla Dance

      Hi Mary, Josh tech son here. Did you download them from the link above? What do it look like when you open them?

  44. Mary Jean Holt

    Actually, I just tried it again, & I was able to print them out in full size. Thank you for your response, & for the great visual aides for Stars were Gleaming!

    • Sharla Dance

      Hi, Josh tech son here. What does it look like when you download them? I would send you the same file you can download from the link. What type of computer are you using?

  45. Kerinda VanWagoner

    Hi! Can you send me these in a file I can download from my email? These are awesome! There is no working link on the site. Also, is there art work for the 2nd verse?

    • Sharla Dance

      Hi Kerinda! I just had my son check, and the download link in the first sentence of the post has the link that works. What do you see when you click on it? Thanks!

  46. Laraine Thompson

    These print much too small to be practical. You mentioned in a former message that your tech was working on making them bigger. Are those available?

    Laraine Thompson
    Oak Hills Ward Primary Chorister
    Cedar Mill Oregon Stake

    • Sharla Dance

      Tech son here. They currently print at 8.5 by 11. How big were you hoping to print them at?

  47. Michael Bird

    These are great, especially with the download link for the full sized versions at the top of the page!

    Do you happen to have pictures for the second verse as well? I want to teach that to the Primary kids but my artistic stills are not up to the task..

    • Sharla Dance

      Dear Michael, These were created by my good friend Andrea, and no, she did not do the second verse. Perhaps using a rhythmic activity to teach the second verse would give variety to the way they learn the verses. Thanks for asking!

  48. Connie

    As others have said, when I print the images, they are either very small or when enlarged, very blurry. Can you email them to me? Thank you

    • Sharla Dance

      Hi Connie, Joshua the tech son here. 🙂

      I can’t fix the printing with emailing the images as I would literally email you the exact same file I have at the download link. 🙁

      I just tested the download link, and printed the star and it works. Are you on a Mac or PC? And are you using Firefox or Chrome?

  49. Breeana Hollinger

    These are PERFECT and so cute! Thank you so much for sharing your (and your tech son’s) talents!!

  50. Kim Thomas

    Sharla, these are so cute! Like Michael above, I wish your creative artistic friend had also made pictures for the 2nd verse. We are trying to learn it to sing with the ward choir for our Christmas Program on December 22nd. I wish I was that creative and tech savvy!

  51. Amy Mortensen

    I had posted a comment that these images were too small when I printed them, but I found the problem. I was trying to print them from my phone. I switched to my laptop and that solved the issue. Thank you!

  52. Sabrina

    Do you think your artist would do artwork for the second verse as well?

    • Sharla Dance

      Dear Sabrina,
      This artwork was done over 25 years ago when the artist and I were in the same ward. Andrea Burgon was a dream to work with back then! She was paid for her artwork because she published a yearly book of art to help Primary music leaders. She no longer does those books.

  53. Amy

    This saved me in a pinch when I needed to fill in for our music leader. Thank you! This and your Samuel Tells of the Baby Jesus were a big hit! The kids loved the matching for this one and the actions for the other.

  54. Rebecca Filhart

    Thank you so much for sharing your amazing talents Sharla and Andrea! These are wonderful pictures, and the idea will bring in the spirit as the children learn about the Savior through song. Thank you SO MUCH!

  55. Janette Matzke

    Thank you so much for making this available. You have blessed the lives of many! Your beautiful talents are very appreciated! These printed up perfectly!

  56. Roger

    Great idea! I was able to create a single PDF file from your .jpg images. Can I email this file to you so you can share it on this post (or replace your current link with this PDF file at the top and bottom of this post) so this can more easily be downloaded and shared? I’m happy to contribute. Thank you!

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