PRIOR TO CLASS: Make six copies of the “Our 12 Days of Christmas” worksheet (template found here). Cut each page in half so that you have 12 copies of the worksheet. Beginning with the second sheet, number each worksheet with one ordinal number in succession (2nd through 12th) written in the appropriate spot on each sheet. Keep the first sheet for yourself, label it “1st” and fill in “partridge in a pear tree” as the gift. (If your class is meeting online, email the worksheet for families to print for their students in time for class.)
Even though Christmas day was yesterday, the 12 days of Christmas are just beginning. Traditionally, the 12 days of Christmas was the period starting Christmas day and ending on January 5, the day before Epiphany, the celebration of the wise men’s arrival. One popular Christmas song that has been around for over 150 years tells the story of a number of gifts that were given over a period of 12 days. We’re going to use “The 12 Days of Christmas” to create our own version of this well-known Christmas song.
Divide your students into 11 groups (even if each “group” contains only one individual). If you have a small class, you can assign multiple days of Christmas to each group. (If your class is meeting online, you can use the breakout room feature of your video chat software.)
Randomly distribute “Our 12 Days of Christmas” sheets (1 per group) and pens/pencils. (If you have a small class, give some groups more than one sheet.) Instruct groups to come up with a gift that corresponds with the specific day on their paper. For example, the group with day four (4) of Christmas might write “Four cups of coffee”; the group with the 12th day of Christmas might write “Twelve frosted cookies.” Give the groups a minute to choose their gift and write it on their paper.
When the groups are ready, have them get in a line in order from the second day of Christmas up to the twelfth day. Explain that the first day of Christmas will still be the partridge in a pear tree—everyone will sing that together—but the assigned group for each number will be responsible for singing out loud on the day shared by their group. Using the link below (a karaoke version of the song with no lyrics)—or with no music if preferred—sing through the song, allowing each group to sing their gift at the appropriate time. If you play the karaoke music as backup, it is suggested that your students not be allowed to look at the words on the screen as it might confuse them if the group singing “12 frosted cookies” sees 12 lords a leaping on the screen. This has the potential to get pretty silly, so have fun with it. You may have to do it twice to get the hang of it.
If desired, play this karaoke background music as your students sing their version of the Twelve Days of Christmas [4:26].
Twelve Days of Christmas Instrumental Karaoke Song / Children Love to Sing
Gifts are a big part of the Christmas season; our 12 Days of Christmas song showed that! Most everyone gets very excited thinking about the gifts they want to open and enjoy!
For some people, the excitement of gifts during Christmas isn’t what they are going to get; instead, they love the opportunity to give something to someone they care about. Your parents enjoy picking out what to give you and then watching you open it on Christmas day.
- You probably remember a favorite gift that you’ve received. But can anyone remember a favorite gift that you gave? What made it special and memorable? How did you feel as you watched the other person opening your gift? How did they respond? (Allow students to share their experiences. Be prepared to share your own.)
Our lesson today focuses on a very special gift that is offered to everyone, even though we don’t deserve to receive it. Let’s take a look at what this special gift is, and how two people responded when this gift was brought into their lives.