One of the stories which we read in class was that of the Mustard Seed, one of the many parables Jesus created.
We explained the story in a child friendly way saying that we are people and every day we learn new things. This helps us grow not in size but in the number of things we know called knowledge.
God helps us learn by showing us the good things we have to do such as being kind to others, sharing, loving our family etc. We have to believe (have faith) in God that He can help us, just like we believe that from a tiny mustard seed we can grow a tree if we take care of it well.
The Mustard Seed Story –
The Mustard seed grows into a huge tree if it is nurtured and loved. Just like our love for Jesus grows, the more we listen to his teaching and His good examples. Even we can set a good example, show our love to our loved ones and let our love grow by doing good deeds.
The video clip below is an example of how people can help each other. Even we as young people can help by cleaning up our toys, books, help lay the table for dinner, help carry our school bag, give pegs to mummy whilst hanging the clothes etc.
Pay it Forward –
The children created their own mustard tree. They painted the top part then assembled it along with the tree trunk and little yellow kite paper balls representing the seeds onto a piece of cartoncene.
These will be hanging in class 🙂
They only followed the part where I mentioned that helping our loved ones is important to show we care.
PS – All the children participated in the mustard tree craft as this in itself is a positive way of behaving as social beings whether we belong to one kind of religion or another. The non –Catholics did not follow the story itself and its teaching.
A gentle reminder that every day we are sending a small heart home for you to write one good deed your child would have done with their loved ones.
I encourage you to fill up the heart and send it over as the children look forward to this activity in class.
Moreover this promotes good behaviour.
Each time you send a heart over we will send another empty one back for you to find another good deed that your child would have done. Please reinforce this heart with a cardboard backing.
All these hearts will be stuck on our good deeds heart tree in front of our classroom. The tree will look something like this.
Last week during our religion lesson we spoke about a very important figure for our religion St. Paul.
The children learnt that we have a feast associated with this Saint celebrated on the 10th of February.
The children got to know that a very long time ago this man ended up in Malta because of a storm and very rough seas. His boat got smashed against the rocks and so the people living here at the time helped him and gave him shelter.
This man believed in Jesus and the good things that He did. St Paul told great stories about Him. Slowly slowly the people started believing in Jesus. That is how we became Christians.
Story of St. Paul’s Shipwreck in Malta.
I compared the warmth and the love the people should St. Paul with the love that our family shows us although out the year.
Just like we celebrate the love the people have for St. Paul we also celebrate the love for our loved ones with Valentine’s Day. The children then created a card to demonstrate this love to you at home.
They also put together a small craft which they decorated with little hearts for keepsake. They got these items home on Wednesday so I could not post this blog before. Hope they arrived in one piece 🙂
The children who do not follow the religion lesson joined when the card and craft were being created.
This week all those who follow the religion lesson got to know about another story that can be found in the Bible and the values it teaches us. The story is Joseph and the Technicoloured Dream Coat.
Joseph and his Technicoloured dream coat –
The children then answered some questions related to the story such as
- Who got a special present?
- What was the special present?
- Why did Joseph’s brothers not like Joseph?
- What is jealousy? (I explained it as being very angry or very upset because we want things that others have and we don’t have them. At times we even try and hurt the other person with words or even physically because of this).
The children got to know that God knows what would be happening in all situations. He cares about what is happening to us. Even when bad things happen, God can make something good out of the situation.
Over parents, friends and other adults in our lives show us this and provide the guidance necessary. However it is important that we listen.
Maria Friedman – Joseph’s Coat Song –
At this point all the class joined the lesson where I explained again in simple terms what jealousy means. We even acted out different everyday life situations that the children might find themselves in and get jealous.
One such situation was the following. A friend has a special toy. We do not have one like it so we snatch it and break it for them. We acted out the positive side where we should ask politely if we could play with that toy for a little bit as we do not have one like it.
The children understood that at times we may be angry or upset because we do not fully understand a situation but when we show love to others everyone is put right.
The children then created a random pattern using colourful kite paper which they glued onto a big cardboard. For those who follow the religion lesson parts of the cardboard will be turned into Joseph’s Coat.
For those who do not follow the lesson it was another pattern work exercise. Here are some photos of the children at work 🙂
One of the lessons this week was dedicated to religion. All those who follow this topic heard the story of how the three kings visited Jesus and offered him beautiful presents such as gold. We noted the expensive style of clothes that these rich three kings were wearing.
The Story of the Epiphany –
We discussed that although gold and other very expensive presents are nice to have, Jesus prefers simple presents but which are very important for each and every one of us such as love, hugs, sharing a toy or a book, helping others, being kind to each other etc.
At this point all the children in the class joined in where they coloured in a patterned present picture. I went around each child asking what they would personally give to Jesus as a present and in the case of those who do not follow the religion lesson what is the present they would give to their mummy and daddy.
This lesson brought the Christmas activities to a meaningful end. It also linked us to patterns topic we are currently developing.
We Three Kings –
This week we started our special topic about Christmas.
In fact today we had our religion lesson and we focused on the true meaning of Christmas – The Birth of Jesus Christ. We started looking at the nativity story. We will be dividing the story into two parts.
The first part is the journey of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem which I read from The Christmas Story Book and at the same time took out our class crib showing the characters to the children.
Mary, Joseph, Baby Jesus who was still to be born, the animals and so on. We also took a closer look at the words used in the book. We created a parallel between what existed in those days and today.
For instance the inn was the equivalent to todays’ modern hotel. The inn keeper was the man who runs the hotel. In Jesus’ time they had animals which they kept in a place called the stable. The manger used to put Jesus in was truly the place where the animals ate their food from.
We saw why Mary and Joseph had to travel on the donkey to go to Bethlehem. Why they had to travel using a donkey and not a car like we have today. We finished the lesson by listening to some Christmas Carols.
The Nativity Story online –
Little Donkey –
Just like Mary and Joseph were preparing themselves for the arrival of Jesus even we are preparing ourselves for this big day. In class we discussed what a good deed means and I encouraged the children to do one good deed a day.
I will be uploading these good deeds on the blog so that you can remind them and help them carry these good deeds out when they are at home.
I also explained what an Advent Calendar means. We will also be setting up a reverse Advent calendar in class in which we will be asking the children to donate a food item which will be given to those in need.
Each day I will be asking a different group of 4 children to get in an item to build up our stock of food starting Monday 4th December.
I will be putting up this list on the blog tomorrow providing you with further details too.
Our religion lesson during the 8th week was also related to family topic work which we finished during the beginning of the week. We emphasized the importance of showing our love to our family.
We discussed that there are people who although don’t form part of our family still have a very big heart and are ready to help other people in need. A classic example is St. Mother Theresa and St. Martin.
Three boys acted out the story of when St. Martin saved a poor man from dying by tearing his cloak in half to protect him from the cold weather.
We ended the lesson by creating a craft of St. Martin with a two coloured cloak representing the splitting of the cloak in half to save the poor man’s life. These are hanging outside our classroom door.
There aren’t any online cartoon St. Martin of Tours stories for children. This is the closest version available.
Our first religion lesson for this term is the story of creation. First I showed them a children’s Bible Book and told them that in this book we find many special stories about Jesus and what happened long time ago.
The children became aware that there was a time where nothing existed. But God who loves us very much created the world we live in.
They then listened in to the following video clip :
We then discussed what we saw in the video clip and each child had a turn to think and mention 1 thing they thought God created. These are some of the thing they mentioned.
We also saw that on the last day of creation God made man. He made us. We are very special and unique for God.
The children then played with various animals that God created. At this point the children who do not follow the religion lesson joined in to play as well.
We ended the lesson by starting a collage representing creation where the children enjoyed gluing kite paper to represent the sky etc.
The collage will be finished next week. Here is a glimpse of the start of our collage. More photos will be posted next week.