Teaching the Christmas Story - Teacher-Training Workshop

Teachers Workshop: Teaching The Christmas Story

This Teachers Workshop: Teaching The Christmas Story presents the whys and hows of the teaching methods used in the Christmas Story sing-along lesson. Includes teacher-trainer’s script, demonstration lesson, analysis & commentary.

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Part III • Teacher-Trainer’s Workshop Script

The purpose of the teachers workshop is to acquaint teachers with a variety of teaching methods and teach them when, why and how to use them.

Teachers Workshop: Teaching The Christmas StoryThe download link on this page contains the complete workshop script and the Christmas story demonstration lesson. It provides the leader with analysis of the sing-along teaching method, and useful commentary on other teaching methods as they occur in the classroom lesson plan.

Understanding the nature and application of the methods used in Teaching the Christmas story prepares teachers to create a you-are-there experience in the classroom. Students will be inspired to participate more fully in the lesson. Ideally, the outcome is for students to embrace the message of the Christmas story in their hearts (educate the emotions), and gain firmer knowledge of their Christian faith (educate the mind).

Workshop Time & Materials

Time required for Teachers Workshop: Teaching The Christmas Story is two to three hours, depending on the amount of time spent in discussion. Include a 10-minute break each hour. The workshop leader should have the same set of materials in hand, plus a copy of the teacher-trainer’s workshop kit:

Christmas Story Workshop Kit (PDF) Download

The workshop kit contains items 1 through 5, listed below. I shall leave acquiring the sheet music to your support staff.

  1. Part I: Classroom lesson plan for Sing-Along: Teaching The Christmas Story
  2. Part II: Dramatizing The Christmas Story In The Classroom
  3. The Joseph and Mary Dialog (used in the classroom lesson plan)
  4. List Of Classroom Teaching Methods
  5. Leader’s commentary and reflection questions
  6. Sheet music for the five Christmas carols

Workshop Structure

Teachers-in-training will experience the sing-along Christmas story lesson as their classroom students will. This will help them understand the reactions and needs of their students when they teach the Christmas Story.

The workshop includes a 40-minute buzz group session. Teachers will form into small groups, examine the classroom lesson plan, and identify the various teaching methods used. Following the small group session, the class will discuss each section of the lesson plan. The leader will provide commentary, then the entire group will sing the carol.

Teachers Workshop: Teaching The Christmas Story Objectives

The aim of this workshop is to learn how to present knowledge of our faith through a teaching method that is so attractive, our students will understand the lesson and choose to become more involved in the Christian story. To this end, we seek a good marriage of teaching methods and lesson content. Below is a brief summary of the lecture material contained in the workshop.

Explain the teaching methods used in the lesson.

The classroom lesson plan for Teaching the Christmas Story is created as a sing-along framed with storytelling techniques and historical context. The lesson plan includes many other teaching methods that will be noted. While the lesson plan was created for actual classroom use, it will be used here for the demonstration lesson.

Why are singing and storytelling the methods of choice for teaching the Christmas story? When a classroom lesson is so complicated that students will tire and lose concentration, it must employ teaching methods that continuously energize and refocus the mind.

The Christmas story qualifies as “complicated.” As religion teachers, we have many objectives. We must ask students to accept and remember a long series of events and become acquainted with a large number of people. We want them to understand the meaning of these events. And, we wish for our students to care deeply about the message of the Christmas story.

Using Sing-Along As A Teaching Method

A sing-along fulfills many of our objectives. Group singing motivates students to stay engaged, and stimulates them as we move through the subject matter. Music Therapy research indicates that group singing causes subjects to feel euphoric. The act of making music floods our bodies with dopamine and other positive hormones. The Sing-along teaching method puts the class into an ideal mood for learning. These hormones cause their minds to become more suggestible so that students are more receptive to the message of the Christmas Story.

Using Storytelling As A Teaching Method

Storytelling is the most powerful teaching method of all, because the brain processes imagined experiences in the same way that it processes external events. The storyteller invites students to “enter the scene,” and experience the Christmas story in their imaginations. If they do this, students will identify with the emotions and reactions of the people who experienced the event in biblical times.

Summary Of Goals

  1. Identify and study the various teaching methods used in the Christmas story lesson plan. When teachers learn how and why each method is used, their own teaching skills escalate.
  2. Learn how to create a you-are-there experience for students. When students sing the carols associated with the Christmas story, they experience the actual emotions felt by the people who were present in biblical times.
  3. Learn how to strengthen the connection between the students and the biblical people and events. Storytelling gives students facts, context and visual imagery that make the biblical people and events feel more real.
View Part I  Teaching The Christmas Story Sing-Along
View Part II  Dramatizing The Christmas Story Sing-Along

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