Christmas is my favourite time of year. However, before all of the hustle and bustle that encapsulates us all during this busy season, I think it is so important for us and our students to reflect on the year and prepare for the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. A lot of people seem to forget the true meaning of Christmas at this time of year – it isn’t all about the material things in life but about who surrounds us during this special time.
Advent is such a beautiful time in the classroom and there is so many resources out there to support any Religious Education teacher. I particularly love this quote from Pope Francis highlighting the journey we are all on for the next four Sundays. ( Don’t forget you can follow Pope Francis on Twitter for daily updates at @Pontifex )
Being a religious educator, I have gathered some great resources over the last few years and in particular the updated 2015 Advent Resource pack from the Archdiocese Dublin Resource page.
These resources include an interactive Advent calendar (pictured above) and features daily reflections, Gospel readings, an image which is useful for discussions and is a really useful resource for a countdown with students and to reflect on each day of this special season. There is also bingo, reflections and worksheets.
To introduce the topic of Advent to students, I have included an Advent Powerpoint presentation here which is FREE to download and present to your class Advent PowerPoint 2015
For daily reflections, Pamela McLoughlin (Veritas) has shared a lovely resource for teachers which consists of Advent reflections for each day downloadable here for FREE ; Advent Daily Reflections. For meditation in the classroom in this time of waiting and anticipating, I found this reflection to be one of deep thought and very reflective for students and indeed myself. You can access here for FREE ; An Advent Meditation to Use
Another idea, suggested by the Archdiocese Dublin in their resource pack 2012, was to create your own Jesse tree with students. I really think this is an effective way to highlight each day of Advent and it is a great resource and links in with signs and symbols on the RE syllabus. I downloaded this pack from the Archdiocese Dublin a few years back and I really find their information and resource invaluable when teaching RE.This pack includes worksheets, information and how to make your own Jesse tree with a class group. You can also download coloured and template by clicking this link Jesse Tree symbols – these are so beneficial if you do decide to make your own Jesse tree in class and also FREE.
Another great resource I came across was the Hearing, Happening, Hoping resource which is based on the Scripture readings for each Sunday during Advent. It aims to help us to listen deeply to the Sunday Gospel and reflect on where we see this Gospel happening in our lives and in the world around us. It is a very simple and easy-to-use method which can be led by anyone and would be great in any classroom setting. It invites people to share from their own experience. Journey with God’s Word: this beautiful series of reflections; centering on the Scripture readings for each Sunday during Advent, will offer great accompaniment as we journey towards Christmas this year. These resources have kindly been shared by Sr. Marie McNamara, Diocesan Adviser in the Killaloe Diocese.
For more worksheets and handouts for students go to Advent Printables.
I really love this season in teaching and learning and I hope you find these resources just as useful as I have. As always, please let me know if you did 🙂
Jesse Tree Symbols
RE Advent Resources Archdiocese Dublin