Beacon Lesson Plan Library

12 Days of Christmas

Anissa Sanz


This is a fun and creative way to explore the 12 Days of Christmas. This lesson reinforces numerical order, repetition within a song, and group effort. It's also very cute to see the creative ways the students “become” the 12 Days of Christmas. Composition with instruments is also involved.


The student improvises simple rhythmic and melodic patterns and accompaniments.

The student creates imagined characters, relationships, and environments, using basic acting skills (e.g., sensory recall, concentration, pantomime, and vocal improvisation).


-- [Share the Music] CD (Grade Four Disc Number 7 Track Number 42)
1998. New York, NY. McGraw-Hill School Division
-- 4-6 cards of each Number 1 through 12.
--an appropriate player, i.e. CD or cassette
--11 different types of classroom instruments (9 drummers drumming will always be drums) written on small cards.
--2 different containers; one to hold the numbered cards and one to hold the instrument cards.


1. Have 4-6 cards made up before hand of each of the numbers (1-12) and place in one container.

2. Have 11 cards made up of different classroom instruments (i.e. slapstick, jingle bells, cow bell, tambourine, etc.).


1. Start by reviewing the song [12 Days of Christmas] from [Share the Music] Grade 4 by asking the students what each day brings.

2. After each day is answered, sing the song from the last day answered.

3. Once the students know each of the days, have them pull a card from a container (be it a hat, box, etc). Once they pull a number remind them what the day is.

4. Have them get into their number groups (from the card they pulled) spread out around the room.

5. Tell them that they have to think up a motion to go with their particular day. Because there are many types of birds in the song, do NOT let them do the same bird movement. Explain that there are other ways to show birds. The motion HAS to do with their day. This should take about 10-12 minutes.

6. Once they have their motion, put them in order in a semi-circle around the room and go through the song.

7. After they have successfully completed that section, have one person from the groups pull out a card from the container that has instruments (drummers drumming gets drums automatically).

8. Tell the students that they are not allowed to change the motion they did when they first did the 12 Days. Now they have to incorporate the instrument they picked with their motion.

9. Let the students practice for 5 minutes and then put them in order to perform the 12 Days of Christmas.


In this formative assessment, students will be assessed by observation on their ability to select a motion to perform within their group, perform the motion that depicts the part assigned, and play their instrument with their motion within the group, and if they know in what number order they perform.

If the students does not succeed, another opportunity during the formative assessment will be given.

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