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No room at the inn

To provide a simple class presentation reminding the children about the true meaning of Christmas.

by Jan Edmunds

Suitable for Key Stage 1

Aims

To provide a simple class presentation reminding the children about the true meaning of Christmas.

Preparation and materials

  • Teachers will no doubt have their own ideas on how to use the material, choosing children with good clear speaking voices for the main characters. It is hoped that the poem will make it easier for them to remember.
  • Optional carols could be played or sung at intervals throughout the play.
  • Children love to dress up and even the narrators could wear simple costumes. Other costumes and props can be as simple or elaborate as time allows.
  • Placing for the nativity scene will need careful practice.

Assembly

Carol: ‘O little town of Bethlehem’

Scene 1: An inn in Bethlehem

Narrator 1 (steps forward to front of stage)

Mary and Joseph had travelled a long way from Nazareth to Bethlehem. People had to go to the place where they were born to be registered. (Exits off stage.)

Narrator 2 (steps forward to front of stage)

Joseph had been born in Bethlehem. Their journey took them many days. Mary was expecting a baby and she was very tired. (Exits off stage.)

Narrator 3 (steps forward to front of stage)

They had tried all over the town to find somewhere to stay but everywhere was full. (Exits off stage.)

Carol: ‘Standing in the rain’, chorus and verse 1 (Come and Praise, 125)

(Mary and Joseph enter. Joseph knocks on the door of the inn. Enter Innkeeper.)

Innkeeper

Someone’s knocking at my door,

A man and a lady, tired and poor.

Joseph

Innkeeper, innkeeper, please let us stay.

My wife is so weary, our home’s far away.

Innkeeper

No room have I here, I’m sorry to say,

The town is so busy there’s nowhere to stay.

Joseph

Please, sir, take pity, if you are able,

Whatever you have, even a stable.

Innkeeper

Well, if you’re happy and my stable will do,

Please follow me, there’s a shelter for you.

(Mary and Joseph follow him round the stage.)

Mary

Thank you so much, you are very kind,

Your stable is fine and we do not mind.

Innkeeper

Here is my stable, it’s warm and it’s dry,

You will have shelter until morning is nigh.

(Mary, Joseph and the innkeeper exit off stage. Curtain.)

Carol: ‘Silent night’

Scene 2: Inside the stable

(Curtain opens. Mary is seated with the baby Jesus in her arms, Joseph standing by her side.

A group of angels enter, led by a child dressed as a star.

A dance sequence could be performed here.

Angels then form a group behind Mary and Joseph, and the star takes its place in an elevated position at the back of the stage.)

Narrator 4

A special baby was born that night,

Above the stable a star shone bright.

Narrator 5

Angels told shepherds that Jesus was born.

They followed the star, arriving at dawn.

(The shepherds enter. They could progress through the audience from the back of the room.

A few verses from ‘While shepherds watched’ could be played as the shepherds bow before the baby then go to their places.)

Narrator 6

Kings came with gifts this child to behold,

Carrying with them myrrh, frankincense, gold.

(The kings enter in procession, carrying their gifts. They bow and present their gifts to the baby.

Play some music, or sing a carol such as ‘We three kings’.

The kings then take their places in the nativity scene.

All the narrators come back on stage and take their places. The nativity scene is now assembled.)

Narrator 7 (steps forward)

We shouldn’t forget when we get presents and things,

The true meaning of Christmas and the message it brings.

We’ve tried to show you what happened that day,

By telling the story in our little play.

HAPPY CHRISTMAS, EVERYONE!

Carol: ‘Mary had a baby’ (Come and Praise, 123)

Time for reflection

Leave the children in their positions for a while, with the other children looking at the scene.

Prayer

Thank you, Lord, for Christmas,

for Mary and Joseph and the baby Jesus,

for the shepherds and the wise men.

May we too worship the baby Jesus this Christmas,

and live with hearts full of Christmas joy.

Amen.

Publication date: December 2008   (Vol.10 No.12)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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