We began with the traditional version both in song and book form. One of my favorites is by Jan Brett:
The significance of the 12 days was revealed in our holidays around the world lessons as we learned that Epiphany, or Three Kings Day, is celebrated in many cultures.
The history of the song is interesting for kids and the lyrics contain gifts that may be unknown to young children. Wikipedia has a page with links to a picture of each gift:
We always had pen pals in Australia, so we learned the Australian 12 Days of Christmas. The unusual animals and southern hemisphere celebration add opportunities for a wonderful discussion of Christmas in a new setting.
Once the lyrics have been determined, it is easy to find karaoke music on Youtube. Here are three of many versions:
Listen to the versions to find one that has the appropriate tempo for your students.
A bit of history, local knowledge, and music become a song written by your students! Print the lyrics and you have a reading lesson to practice for fluency! Here are two versions performed by my class in rural northwestern Colorado: