Kids love it too. The ostinato is easily distinguishable, although some can't exactly pinpoint where they've heard it.
Previously, I used this carol in the 5th grade Winter Program. I had a class of above-level 5th graders who really enjoyed learning to play it on our Orff instruments.
Well, this year I made the mistake of diddling out the melody on the glockenspiel a class of my 5th graders were coming down the hallway to my room. They were instantly asking about it and complementing my playing (bahhaha - we need more listening examples, clearly). I told them that if they'd like to meet me after PE during their recess time, I would be happy to let them try it then. Well, the interest was overwhelming (recess this time of year is a cold affair - I know I'd rather hang out in the music room) so now I have to weave it into next week's lessons.
Spooky Music Unit this year, so they're pretty savvy with musical terms, learning about the composer, and appreciating the history of a piece. Here's the slide I'll use:
We'll also listen to these two performances on Youtube. The first is from the lovely boys' choir, Liberia. I love the style of the video.
Using each slide, we'll read the music, sing the music, "air mallet" the music, using correct hands, and then play. I like to keep the tempo using claves so the students don't rush.
this version, created by Laurie Zentz. It is fantastic!