Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Lesson Plan- Advent (1st grade on up)


Objectives: The students will be able to
- identify who God promised to send to be our Savior
- explain that Advent as a time for preparing to celebrate Christ’s birth
- explain why we use an Advent Wreath
- discuss the significance of each part of the Advent Wreath
- explain how we pray using the Advent Wreath
- identify what color each candle is on the Advent Wreath, when it is lighted, and what order

Prayer, Take Home Sheet, and vocabulary from last week’s lesson and also Objects Used as Mass cards (show picture cards that we have done thus far)

Vocabulary Words: (Write the vocab words on the board and discuss with class)

Advent- the four week period leading up to Christmas, beginning on the fourth Sunday before Christmas Day, the season of the church year during which we prepare for Christ’s coming
Wreath- a hollow circular arrangement of flowers or greenery used as a decoration
Christmas- an annual Christian festival celebrating the birth of Jesus on December 25
Jesse Tree- It is a tree branch decorated with symbols representing the stories of people in Jesus' family tree.


Introduce Advent to your class.

Advent Adventure- Take the children on an Advent adventure. (Big Book of Ideas for Children’s Faith Formation, by McNamara, McKeever, and Robinson, page 6).

Then show your students an Advent Wreath and discuss Advent with your class. Some questions that you might want to ask:

What does the circle of the Advent wreath represent? A circle has no beginning or an end. The circle of the Advent wreath represents that God is so great that God never had a beginning and will never have an end. The wreath is a circle, causing us to remember the eternity of God's love for us and for all humanity.

What do the evergreens tell us? Evergreens stay green all year. The evergreens tell us that God never changes. It is decked with green boughs, causing us to remember the newness of life we have in Christ Jesus.

How many candles are on the outside of the Advent wreath? 4

What does each candle represent? One week

Three candles are what color? Violet

Which candle is lighted first? Violet

What does the first candle represent? Represents the hope of the people of Israel that someone would come save them and the period of waiting for the birth of Christ. The first candle reminds us of the prophets' hope for God's salvation to come, as Isaiah prophesied.

What candle is lighted second? Violet

What does the second candle represent? Represents the peace that God has given through His son Jesus Christ and the preparation for the Christ Child.

What candle is lighted third? Rose.

What does the third candle represent? Represents the joy of sharing Christ. The third candle reminds us of the joy of the shepherds as they heard the good news of Jesus' arrival.

What candle is lighted fourth? Violet

What does the fourth candle represent? Represents love sent from God through His son, Jesus Christ.

What candle is lighted Christmas Eve or day? The white candle.

What does the white candle represent? The Christ candle reminds us that Jesus is the light of the world, come into our darkness to enlighten us and give us the life of God which we share with others.

What does the first Sunday of Advent begin? The first Sunday of Advent is the start of a new liturgical year in the Catholic Church. (Show students a Liturgical Year Calendar and discuss.)

sadlierreligion.com- Church Year Wheel
Distribute the activity sheets and construction paper. Have a volunteer read the directions. Help the children complete the wheel. Encourage the children to use their wheels at home to mark the passing of each Church year season. Grade 3, Chapter 6 (Pick the grade, type of visitor, and click on Go To. Look under Printable Activities and click on Chapters.)

What color is the primary Sanctuary color of Advent? Violet


Introduce activities: What is the time before Christmas called?

sermons4kids.com- Advent~ Christmas object lessons

christiancrafters.com- Christmas Lessons & Advent Season Talks


Introduce craft: What is the season of the church year during which we prepare for Christ’s coming?

Advent Calendar- A take home Advent calendar that you make. (Big Book of Ideas for Children’s Faith Formation, by McNamara, McKeever, and Robinson, page 7 & 8).

coloringbookfun.com- Advent Calendar
Students can count down the days until Christmas by coloring the calendar.

first-school.ws- Advent Wreath craft with templates

The Catholic Toolbox- Printable Advent Chain
An Advent chain that you can print out with activities written on it. Print out, color, and make into a chain. Remove the link on that day and do the activity.

hubbardscupboard.org- Advent Chain with verses and activities
Make a 25 loop Patterned Chain with verses and activities listed for each day, detaching one chain each day leading up to Christmas day. Read and meditate on the verse throughout the day. Read the Scripture passages or story book mentioned and do the activity!

catholicicing.com- Printable Nativity Advent Chain
Easy project to do with little ones. Just print it out and make the chain. Every day, it comes with a reading from the Nativity Story, and then you glue a character to the chain.

confessionsofahomeschooler.com- FREE Printable Advent Ornaments
Print the ornaments as directed on cardstock then cut out each triangle and laminate for durability. Use mini-clothes pins to attach ornaments to a small Christmas tree, a string of garland, or a rope hung across the mantle! Starting on December 1st, each day take one down and do whatever activity is on the back. For this you can print my activities on the backs (they are included in the download) or you can print just the ornaments and write in your own activities.

catholicmom.com- Advent Wreath Craft
"No Burn, Construction Paper Wreath - Made with your Child's Handprints"

familycrafts.about.com- Advent Hand Print Wreath Craft

christiancrafters.com- No Flame Advent Wreath

catholicicing.com- Advent Wreath Craft for Catholic Kids

catholicinspired.com- Easy Advent Wreath

crayola.com- Advent Wreath Placemat Craft


Introduce game: What do you know about Advent? Let’s find out.

christiancrafters.com- Bible Win, Loose, or Draw
Use Advent words to play this game. (Example: Angel, shepherds, baby, Jesus, Mary, Joseph, Lord, afraid, magi, gifts, star, manger, warned, candle, wreath, etc.).

christiancrafters.com- Bible Tic Tac Toe
(Scroll down to bottom.) Use Advent trivia questions to play this game.

Hangman- (Players try to solve the Advent mystery word). The teacher picks an Advent word that is written on a piece of paper out of a bowl. The teacher then starts the hangman game by writing a blank line for each letter in the word. Teacher then picks someone to guess a letter. (Write on the chalkboard the letters that were guessed that were not in the mystery word). If a letter is guess correctly, it is written in the appropriate blank(s) and that person who guessed correctly gets another turn. They can guess another letter or guess the mystery word. If the person is incorrect, another player gets a turn. Whoever guessed the mystery word gets to pick an Advent word out of the bowl and start the hangman game.

Advent Guessing Game- Familiarized the children with some of the signs and symbols of Advent while having fun. (Big Book of Ideas for Children’s Faith Formation, by McNamara, McKeever, and Robinson,, page 9).

Advent Prayer Cube- Introduce a new prayer each week during the four weeks of Advent with a prayer cube. (Big Book of Ideas for Children’s Faith Formation, by McNamara, McKeever, and Robinson, page 10).

Preparation Station- This game will help your kids understand what it means to prepare their hearts, minds, and lives for Jesus’ coming during Advent season. (The Encyclopedia of Bible Games for Children’s Ministry, page 156).

loyolapress.com- Advent Bingo
Directions and questions

loyolapress.com- Advent Bingo Cards

Advent Bingo- (scroll down to Games)

Advent True or False Game- (scroll down to Games)

Advent Wreath- The object of the game is to color all of the Advent wreath correctly.

To Play: Place 2 small baskets or boxes on the table to put question cards in. Put the question cards in one basket (the other basket will be for discards). Give each player a copy of the “Advent Coloring Sheet”. Place your markers on START. Roll the die and move that many spaces. Follow the directions on the space you land on. If the player lands on a “?”, the person to their right draws a question card and reads it out loud. If the player answers correctly, they can color what is stated on the card on their Advent wreath coloring sheet. If they have already colored that part of their wreath, they do nothing. If a player lands on a space with the leaves, they may color some of the greenery on their wreath. When a player has completely colored their Advent coloring sheet correctly, he/she is the winner. Play continues until all players have colored their sheets.



Introduce snack: Stir Up Sunday

Rich Fruit Cake

Dried Fruit Bread

Dutch Treat- This Advent cookie from the Netherlands is full of the rich flavor of Dutch chocolate.

annes-recipes.com- Advent Cookies

Edible Advent Wreath by catholicicing.blogspot.com- Super easy and fast craft/snack that any child can make.

Puzzles, Mazes, Worksheets:

coloringbookfun.com- Advent Calendar
Students can count down the days until Christmas by coloring the calendar.

domestic-church.com- Advent Word Search Puzzle
Here is a simple puzzle for children using the words of Advent.

churchyear.net- Advent Crossword

armoredpenguin.com- Advent Crossword

thrivingfamily.com- Advent Puzzles

pflaum.com- Saints of Advent and Christmas

pflaum.com- Advent Crossword
Figure out the missing words in the sentences. Then fit them into the puzzle. The words in the Puzzle Clues below will help you solve the crossword. When you finish, share what you’ve learned about Advent with family and friends.

These puzzles/activity sheets are free, however they can only to be used for classroom and personal use. They may not be published on any websites or other electronic media, or distributed in newsletters, bulletins, or any other form or sold for profit. Reproduction or retransmission of this, in whole or in part, in any manner, is not permitted. *All graphics/images/clipart etc. used on this activity are not my own and are from various internet sources.

Advent- Mini book for the children to color.

Advent word search

Advent word scramble

Advent (crossword with answers)


thereligionteacher.com- The Religion Teacher’s Advent Activity Pack provides a large variety of resources to help religion teachers and catechists prepare their students for Christ’s coming into the world. The easy-to-use resources focus on important topics of Advent: the meaning of the season, Advent wreaths, the Second Coming, the names and titles of Jesus, and John the Baptist.

pflaum.com- Four times during the school year, Pflaum Gospel Weeklies provides three ready-to-print activities for each level; Seeds (Preschool), Promise (Grades K-1), Good News (Grades 2-3), Venture (Grades 4-6) and Visions (Grades 7-8). Plus each season special features for the entire family.

pflaum.com- What is Advent? Complete the puzzle to answer this question. 2013

pflaum.com- Five Saints of Advent Write the number of the saint in the box before his or her description. 2013

pflaum.com- Saints of Advent and Christmas
Can you name these saints of Advent and Christmas? Put your answers in the puzzle below. When you finish, look for the name of an Advent prayer in the vertical yellow column. 2014

sadlierreligion.com- Label each antiphon symbol with its Old Testament title. On the lines below the symbol, explain what each O Antiphon means to us. (Grade 5 Chapter 13)

sadlierreligion.com- Decorate the Jesse Tree by drawing a symbolic ornament in each circle. Then complete the chart to give a brief explanation of the symbolic ornaments that you choose. (Grade 6 Chapter 13)

Homework: Prayer and Take Home Sheet (It is in MS Word and can be changed any way you like according to your student’s abilities.)


Cynthia Coleman said...

I use this as my 'go to' Advent lesson. I teach parish religious education-2nd grade. Because we do both First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion this year, we only use the 2 textbooks for the sacraments and don't have a 2nd grade textbook. Previously, I have relied on the publishers' seasonal lessons as my framework for the 4 weeks of Advent but without them, I am having trouble making a structure of themes for 4 weeks. Any ideas?

Amazing_Grace said...

Cynthia Coleman-

Try this:

Week 1- Use the discussion on Advent in the lesson. Have students made an Advent wreath. Then have the students play an Advent game.

Use a Catholic Bible when teaching these lessons below.

Week 2- Gabriel Visits Mary

Week 3- Joseph’s Dream

Week 4- Journey to Bethlehem

I hope this gives you some ideas. :)