Earlier this week I shared about a hymn study on Silent Night. Normally we focus on one hymn each month, however, since we alter our schedule in December to focus on holiday studies I wanted to do a second hymn study. Away in a Manger is a fun song that is easy for even young children to learn.
Some folks attribute this carol to Martin Luther but most modern scholars agree that it was not Martin Luther that wrote the hymn. No one is sure exactly who did write the hymn, but it is believed to have been written for children and is thought to have probably originated in the United States.
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Away in a manger, no crib for a bed,
the little Lord Jesus laid down His sweet head;
the stars in the heavens looked down where He lay,
the little Lord Jesus asleep on the hay.
I work with the preschool age children at our church and we enjoy learning this song each year with simple hand motions. They will point to the sky for stars, lay their head on their hands when we talk about the baby sleeping, and hold their arms across their chests and rock like they are rocking a baby when it says no crib for a bed. You could come up with your own motions to help young children learn the words.
If you have a hands on learner, they might enjoy this simple nativity craft. We simply took graham crackers and “glued” them together with a bit of icing. Then he decorated them with colored sugar to make our stable. There are also a variety of more complex versions on Pinterest that include various figures if you wanted something more detailed.
If you want to add a little art to this study, you can check out the Away in a Manger lesson with Nana from You Are An Artist Chalk Pastels.This is a fun way to engage your little artists in hymn study or your musicians in art. You have access to this lesson if you are an You Are An Artist Clubhouse Member or you can get that lesson through the Christmas Course. (This course and all of her courses excluding the membership are on sale this week.) You can also have them draw what they see in their minds as they listen to the song. What do they envision that long ago night to look like?
I hope that you have enjoyed this study and that you take some time to enjoy a variety of hymns during this wonderful season!
Hymn Study Resources:
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