Sunday, December 2, 2012

Stars Were Gleaming

For instructions to make easy shepherd costumes click here
I realized today when I lugged two big baskets into church that I use a lot costumes and props for Christmas songs. Today I taught "Stars Were Gleaming" for the first time and used enough costumes and props that every child in the Senior Primary was helping in someway. Our Senior Primary is much smaller than our Junior. Here's what I did with a few improvements:

1. Gather Costumes/Props. Here's my list:

  • 3 Stars
  • 4 Shepherd Costumes (tea towels and strip of fabric to tie, stuffed sheep optional)
  • Large blanket
  • 3 Angel Costumes (white fabric)
  • 6 Bells
  • 2 Globes or pictures of earth
  • Baby 
2. Set up. This is what took the most time. So to make it more efficient I worked through the kids row by row. First three kids on the first row held up stars, next two were shepherds etc. I asked the teachers to help with the shepherd and angel costumes. And I only set up the first half of the song and taught that, then set up the second half and taught that. Here's what we did line by line. Links to signs are included.

Stars Were Gleaming 
Words by Nancy Byrd Turner copyright 1930 the Westminster Press

Stars were gleaming,                      3 kids holding up stars
Shepherds dreaming;                     2 shepherds
and the night was dark and chill.     2-3 kids huddled under a blanket
Angels' story                                 3 angels pretending to hold a book
Rang with glory;                            3 bell ringers
Shepherds heard it on the hill.        2 more shepherds
Ah, that singing!                            3 kids signing "sing"
Hear it ringing,                              3 bell ringers
Earthward winging,                       2 kids holding globes
Christmas bringing!                       3 kids bringing the baby down and toward the group
Hearken! We can hear it still!         Everyone does sign for "hear
3. Presentation. I tried something new today with Senior Primary. The first half of the kids were up front and the rest were in the back so we formed a circle. OK, not really a circle, but the kids were facing each other. When I taught the first half of the song I had the kids turn around and face the wall. When we came to their part they were to turn around and sing their line. Once I had them solo their parts so only the kids holding starts sang "Stars were gleaming" etc. and that was pretty challenging. Once we had that down, the rest of the song went pretty quickly. 

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