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If I Were There: teaching helps

Watch the music video HERE

Sheet music is available HERE Teaching a new song can feel DAUNTING! Hopefully, this post can inspire you with some great ideas for teaching this adorable Christmas song. We know the children in your life are going to LOVE it!


There are 2 pictures for each verse and 2 pictures for the chorus (8 images total.) I like to have my primary put them in order while we sing. You could also print out doubles and use them for a matching game. Or bring the coloring pages and a bucket of crayons and let the children bring the pictures to life while they listen to the song over and over and over again. You can snag the colored visuals HERE or download the coloring book absolutely free HERE. These visuals were created by my 14-year-old neighbor, Emily Parker, and I'm officially obsessed! She is immensely talented--and YES! she takes commissions. Email me, and I can get you in touch with her.


Why do I love this activity?

It is FUN and EASY!

It is great for repetition (which the brain NEEDS to learn).

It teaches the meaning of the song without a lot of talking.

*Note* Only use this activity with older children who can read well


Why do I love this activity?

Song stories are great for both younger and older children and combined groups, they make a great change-of-pace activity after a challenging code or movement activity, and they don’t require a lot of prep.

I originally learned about song stories from my dear friend, Sharla Dance. One of my friends from our Facebook Group created visuals to go along with the first verse of the song story. If you want to use them, left-click to save to your computer.


Make sure you are using the correct version (there is one specifically for the "studio" version and one for the "primary" version. They aren't super different, but I did have to change one note to make them work with the piano.

Tip: I like to say "Bells to Bellies!" to reduce any extraneous bell noises. As soon as the children have bells in their hands, their first instinct is to ring them. It will sound terrible if they all ring them at the same time. Let them ring them in an organized way. "Red bells! Great! Bells to bellies. Orange bells! Wonderful! Bells to bellies..." As soon as you are done, get right into singing.


Why do I love melody maps?

Melody maps are a great way to help kids visualize the music. Melody maps show both the melody and rhythm in a concrete form. They are great for logic learners, visual learners, and music learners, and lend well to movement activities. Melody maps are great for repetition (which the brain needs in order to memorize.) They are also super fun! (logic/music learner here!)


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