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Nativity Plays

Nativity plays are one of the traditions of Christmas. Here are some books to help you if you find it's your turn to organise this year's event.

The Shining, Signing Star
by Garry Slack
(Sausage Dog Publishing)
This innovative nativity play uses sign language as well as speech to convey its story. The signed words in the script are highlighted in red, and there are clear instructions on how to make each sign. The book contains everything you need to put on the play including a casting guide, rehearsal tips and ideas for props, scenery and costumes. The music is by Paul K Joyce, who wrote the Bob the Builder theme tune, and it's provided both as a written score and on a CD so you can put on the play even if you haven't got any musicians available.
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Getting Ready for Christmas
by Meg Harper
Unusually the nativity play in this book is aimed at KS2 and above. The script looks at the different character's reactions to Mary's pregnancy and there are follow up ideas for exploring the same theme in PSHE. This approach could capture the attention of older children and teenagers, but is less suitable for younger pupils who may not all understand the issues involved.
   The book also contains a series of Christmas-related lesson ideas for the same age group, together with the necessary photocopiable worksheets. The lessons cover most of the national curriculum subjects, including making an advent calendar in art and design, an investigation of star shapes in maths and work with candles for technology.
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Jesus' Christmas Party
by Nicholas Allan
Everyone who already knows the Bethlehem story will enjoy this version which tells the nativity story from the innkeeper's point of view - a night of constant interruptions and lost sleep. It's well written with plenty of repetition, lots of humour and a satisfying ending that makes you want to read it again and again. A delight to read aloud to young children and equally enjoyable for the not-so-young, including adults.
(A musical based on the book is available from Starshine Music.)
Ages 3 - adult

Nursey Rhyme Nativities
by Brian Ogden
Aimed at pre-school, nursery and reception classes, these use adults or older children as narrators while the young children act the story and join in the christmas songs set to nursery rhyme tunes. There are three plays to choose from, each with plenty of angels, lambs and other characters to make sure everybody has a part. Complete with music, photocopiable song sheets and templates for masks and crib characters.
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Topsy Turvy Christmas
by Lucy Moore
This musical play is designed to appeal to 7-11 year olds and tells the story of two angels who are skiving off choir practise to watch TV. From their perspective, the events leading up to the nativity look all wrong but, when they come down to earth and join in, they find those events are just right. There's a welcome touch of humour and the songs include rock and roll, rap and calypso. The music is included in the book for those who play the piano and the backing tracks are also available on an optional CD. Includes photocopy permission.
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Easy Ways to Christmas Plays
by Vicki Howi
Aimed at casts of 3-7 year olds, this book provides everything the first time producer needs. For each of the choice of three plays, there's a week by week guide to involving the children in the production, rehearsals and the production itself (including the invaluable advice to make sure everyone goes to the toilet first). The book includes photocopiable activity sheets and a poster for each play. There's no music as the plays use well known carols.
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Practical Ways to Christmas Plays
by Stephanie Jeffs.
This selection of five plays is aimed at 7-11 year olds and includes a play about children putting on a nativity play and a Native American version of the nativity story. They all use well-known carols so there is no special music to learn. Includes photocopy permission
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For more Christmas titles, see
Stories with Father Christmas     
Stories without Father Christmas    
Christmas Film Tie-ins and Videos    
Christmas poetry    
Christmas Activity Books
Nativity Stories



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