Away in a Manger Song & Words (with Printable Activity)

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This clever lesson plan to teach Away in a Manger incorporates simple shapes drawn on the board that eventually create a manger scene!  It’s so simple that you don’t even need to be an artist to pull it off!  The kids may want to even give it a try on their own!

Camille's Primary Ideas: Away in a Manger Singing Time Lesson Plan Idea

I love a clever singing time idea and this one is just that!  Take individual images that relate to specific phrases, then come together to create an amazing nativity scene!

Then don’t miss other ways to engage with Away in a Manger in singing time with these activities (click the link to jump to that section below)

Away in a Manger Sheet Music and Lyrics

Find the Children’s Songbook sheet music to Away in a Manger on the Church’s Website.  Everyone pretty much knows these lyrics, however the Children’s Songbook version is slightly different with a chorus:

1. Away in a manger, no crib for his 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.

[Chorus] Asleep, (Asleep,) asleep, (asleep,) asleep, the Savior in a stall! Asleep, (Asleep,) asleep, (asleep,) asleep, the Lord of all.

2. The cattle are lowing, the poor baby wakes; But little Lord Jesus, no crying he makes. I love thee, Lord Jesus; look down from the sky And stay by my cradle till morning is nigh.

3. Be near me, Lord Jesus; I ask thee to stay Close by me forever, and love me, I pray. Bless all the dear children in thy tender care, And fit us for heaven, to live with thee there.

Away in a Manger Flip Chart

For this activity, I suggest posting the words using this flip chart format

Camille's Primary Ideas: posting words for singing time, singing time flip charts

Once you print it, highlight or circle the different “asleep” words in using 2 colors like this:

Camille's Primary Ideas: Away in a Manger Primary singing time ideas

Download the Free Away in a Manger Singing Time Printables

These printables are filed on the Resource Library page under Song Title > Away in a Manger.

 

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Teach Away in a Manger LDS Primary song with Review Cards!

To teach Away in a Manger, I recommend starting with the chorus.

The chorus to the Children’s Songbook merits 2 groups.  One group to sing the higher “asleep” notes (highlighted yellow in the flip chart) and the other group to sing the lower “asleep” notes (highlighted pink in the flip chart).

To create various groups so one group isn’t always singing the higher or lower notes, use Singing Time Review Cards!

What Are Singing Time Review Cards?

Use Singing Time Review Cards to divide the Primary into 2 groups – they are SO fun!

  • Whatever category children fall into determines the groups. 
  • Then children move to each side of the room depending on their category.
  • Repeat with new cards thus creating new groups!
Camille's Primary Ideas: Singing Time Review cards

ADDITIONAL MOVEMENT: When each group sings their assigned “asleep” lyric, have them raise their hands with a gentle shake as they hold their note and stand up.  Then stop and sit down when the other group begins their “asleep” lyric.

When you sing the words “asleep the Savior in a stall” and “asleep the Lord of all” cradle your arms and mimic rocking a tiny baby.

Each time you repeat, choose a new necklace to change up your 2 groups!

Teach the Verses by Creating a Manger Scene

To teach the verses to Away in a Manger, use individual drawings to create a manger scene.

Camille's Primary Ideas: Away in a Manger Singing Time Lesson Plan Idea

This is what the individual images look like paired with each phrase:

Camille's Primary Ideas: Away in a Manger Singing Time Lesson Plan Idea
Camille's Primary Ideas: Away in a Manger Singing Time Lesson Plan Idea
Camille's Primary Ideas: Away in a Manger Singing Time Lesson Plan Idea
Camille's Primary Ideas: Away in a Manger Singing Time Lesson Plan Idea

The printables are also available in the Resource Library filed under Song Title Away in a Manger.

Here’s what was shared for using these visuals:

Teach “Away in a Manger,” phrase by phrase, along with the corresponding shape or portion of the picture. (I plan on uncovering each phrase on the paper as I teach it, so the kids don’t sing ahead).
 
Have the children trace the shape in the air as you sing and repeat the phrases. Use the shapes, one by one, to draw the manger and shepherd scene on the chalkboard. Once the children sing a couple of times through, you can have an older child come up and draw the scene on the chalkboard while you sing it with the kids. Then, pass out paper and pencils and have all the children draw the scene while you sing it.
 
I like this idea, because the first half of the song talks about the little baby Jesus in the manger, and that’s what you draw while you sing. Then, the second half of the song talks about asking the Savior to be with us, and during that time, you draw the shepherd. It provides an opportunity to talk about how the Savior is the Good Shepherd, and how we can invite His presence in our lives.

Teach Away in a Manger words with Scarves!

Away in a Manger Scarf Actions

It’s also fun to teach actions on the verses using scarves.  These are the scarves I use and recommend in singing time.

Camille's Primary Ideas: Scarves in Singing Time

Demonstration Video

For more details, make sure to check out this demonstration video:

I’d love it if you’d like and subscribe to my YouTube channel!

The actions move to the beat of the song, and mimic as if you were literally swaying back and forth to rock a baby to sleep!

For the verses, on count 3, draw your arm across your body holding your scarf (notice the song begins on count 3!).  On counts 1 and 2, you tap the scarf twice off to the side.  Repeat on the other side. 

Then whenever you hold a word for 3 counts, you make a big circle using the scarf.  If making a circle is too confusing, just keep the other movements instead.

If you need, sing along using the Sing Along App or the music on the Church’s website or make sure to post the words.

Continue to review the chorus as indicated above.  You can, however, use the scarves on the actions in the chorus and when they raise their hands as they sing their assigned “asleep” lyric.

Scarf Substitutes

If scarves aren’t in the Primary budget right now, no problem!  Find substitutes around your house such as:

  • Dish towel
  • Fabric
  • Handkerchief
  • Bandana
  • Wash cloth
  • Tissues

Teach Away in a Manger Song with Handbells

These handbell charts for Away in a Manger use mostly chords (the exception is on the chorus – the bells play the both echoes of the “asleep”). 

This handbell chart is for Away in a Manger from the Children’s Songbook.

Camille's Primary Ideas: Away in a Manger The Children's Songbook bell chart

And also available is a bell chart for Away in a Manger found in the hymnbook.

Camille's Primary Ideas: Away in a Manger Bell Chart

These printables are filed on the Resource Library page under Song Title > Away in a Manger.

Also make sure to check out using handbells in Primary for more information about where to purchase and how to use them in singing time.

Camille's Primary Ideas: Using handbells in singing time

More Christmas Singing Time Ideas

Camille's Primary Ideas: Christmas Primary Singing Time Ideas

Check out this quick tutorial video for accessing the Resource Library:

These printables are filed on my Resource Library page under Song Title > Away in a Manger.

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Singing time just got even easier!  With my Singing Time To-Go, all you have to do is print!  Be prepared for the entire month – every month!

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6 thoughts on “Away in a Manger Song & Words (with Printable Activity)”

    1. Hi Shara!

      I just double checked and the printables are in my Resource Library. You can find them under Song Title > Away in a Manger. The document is entitled “Away in a Manger Drawing a Manger Scene.” I’ll also email you the direct link. I hope that helps!

      ~Camille

  1. I would love to access many things listed in your resource library index but every time I try to print from a pdf file it goes through all the motions and once I press print and wait some time, it finally says that I have an error in printing. I receive things with pdf files all the time and never have a problem before I tryed accessing your files. I’ve tryed and tryed to print the charts for handbells for Away in a Manger from the Children’s Songbook but am not having any luck. We’ve just been asked to do it in Sacrament meeting Christmas Day, using the bells. I have my own bells so am used to using them but because I am new to Primary Chorister I haven’t used this version and don’t have a chart. Also, am I supposed to re-register every time I want to access the resource library??? You have a lot of great ideas and helps – sure wish I could access them!

    1. Hi Julia!

      Sorry you are having trouble accessing my printables. If you don’t want to subscribe every time to access my Resource Library, simply bookmark my Resource Library on your web browser or it is linked in my weekly email that is sent every Friday (just save one of those emails for future reference). I’ll also email you the files for the bell charts for Away in a Manger.

      ~Camille

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