I have spent the last few years thinking of ideas to share Christmas in the classroom or anywhere else. The best thing I can come up with is The Twelve Days of Christmas.
Why this terribly annoying song? (Please here me out before you roll your eyes and leave this site!) First, it is memorable because it has been overdone. Second, the verses have a lot of meaning that can be explained. Third, it repeats easily for lower level students. Repetition is the name of the game and this fits the bill! And you can always ask what their favorite Christmas carol is before or after.
Here is the low-down on the verses:
”My true love” represents God who gives all the gifts in the song.
”A partridge in a pair tree” is Jesus, who gave his life on a tree (the cross).
”Two turtle doves” symbolize the Old and New Testaments.
”Three French hens” are faith, hope, and love.
”Four calling birds” speak of the Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, the four gospels.
”Five golden rings” correspond to the first five books of the Bible, also known as the Penteteuch.
”Six geese a-laying” stand for the six days of creation.
”Seven swans a-swimming” are the seven gifts of the Spirit (Romans 12: 6-8).
”Eight maids a-milking” point to the eight beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-10).
”Nine ladies dancing” signify the nine fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).
”Ten lords a-leaping” represent the Ten Commandments.
”Eleven pipers piping” are the eleven faithful disciples. And finally…
”Twelve drummers drumming” refers to the twelve points of the Apostles Creed.
This song has all kinds of hidden meaning like so many other things around Christmas time. Give it a whirl with the next group you are with and let me know how it goes!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!