“The Shepherd’s Carol” Pg. 40 Children’s Songbook
This week I taught the children my favorite Christmas song from the Children’s Songbook, “The Shepherd’s Carol”. I use the Children’s Songbook music Cd’s for accompaniment when teaching this song because the introduction is beautiful (it’s bells or chimes). They also use different instruments for each part during the round, which makes it easier to hear the different parts.
Items Needed: Children’s Songbook music Cd’s, a Cd player, fabric items to make headdresses for Mary and Joseph (fabric, towels, scarves, etc.), a baby doll wrapped tightly in a blanket, a crown, a hymn book with the word praises on the cover, a gift package with hearts on the outside of it, a copy of the words for each child in Senior Primary, and a picture of Jesus in Gethsemane with the words “Our Savior” attached to it .
Senior Primary – I gave Senior Primary the words to the song to start them off, because I knew that once they sang the song a couple of times they would love it and be excited to learn it. We sang it through once without doing the rounds. Then I divided the children into four groups. I asked the pianist to lead one group, and I had a couple of other people lead the other parts (they were leaders or teachers who knew how to lead music). I gave them each a copy of the song so they would have the words and music.
We started the CD and sang the song from the beginning (singing through once and then singing the parts). It was beautiful. The kids loved it too. (I have had kids clap after they sing this song because it sounds so beautiful, and they are proud of their singing.) I let the children choose if they wanted to do it again. They wanted to do it again, and again, and again. We actually ran out of time before I could help them memorize it.
Junior and Senior Primary – (I started junior Primary as this point.) (Use the piano for this part.) I chose two children to dress up as Mary and Joseph, and I had Mary sit on a chair and hold the baby. Joseph stood behind her. I gave Joseph the crown to hold. I told Junior Primary the words of the first two lines, and then we sang that much. Then I added another child holding the picture and another holding the hymn book. I had those children stand to the right of Mary and Joseph. I told the children the chorus and we sang that much, and then we sang the whole first verse including chorus. Then I added another child who was holding the gift box. I had that child stand to the left of Mary and Joseph. We then learned the next two lines.
Do the following actions as the children sing the song to help them remember the words.
Mary, Mary hush see the child. (Point to Mary, then put one finger on your lips, then point to your eyes, and then point to the baby.)
Joseph, Joseph look see how mild. (Point to Joseph, then to your eyes, and then to the baby.)
This is Jesus; (Have Mary hold up the baby)
This is our King. (Have Joseph hold the crown over the baby’s head)
This is our Savior; (Have a child hold up the picture of Jesus in Gethsemane with the words “Our Savior” attached to it.)
His praises we sing. (Have the child that is holding the hymn book, hold it up and open it.)
All God’s children come to adore. (Have the child that is holding the hymn book and the child that is holding the picture, come close to Mary and Joseph and look at the baby and smile.)
Bringing gifts of love evermore. (Have the child who is holding the gift hold it out to the baby, or they can hold it up high for everyone to see.)
Repeat the chorus.
Have the children sing the song several times as the children that are holding props do their parts. Touch their heads when it is their turn to do their part. After Junior Primary learns the song, have all the people holding props sit down. Have the children sing the song again to see if they can still remember the words. If they can sing it, and you have time, you can try to do the rounds with them. (Or if you want to make sure and have time to do the rounds, give the words to the readers in Junior primary at the beginning, and have the non-readers acting out (or watching) the parts. When doing the rounds have the non-readers be part one. This makes things less confusing for them. You will need to direct the acting and singing of the non-readers.)
Note: The Children’s Songbook music Cd’s can be found in the meetinghouse library, or you can copy the song from the church website onto a Cd.