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Catechesis of the Good Shepherd - Level 1 Catechist Training at Saint Patrick - Saint Anthony Church
Liturgical Calendar
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by Lisa Orchen, 2007

Subject:                 Nomenclature & Movement

 

Title:                      Liturgical Calendar Puzzle

 

Age:                       4+

 

Liturgical Time:  Early in the year prior to Advent, second year for returning students {first year for children entering Atrium at 4+}

 

Source:                 GSC pg. 69;  CCC: 1164, 1168-71;

                                General Norms for the Liturgical Year and

                                        Calendar;

                                LTP Companion to the Calendar;

                               Sing With Joy Music,

                               SPSA Course Notes,

                               MLB

 

Doctrinal Points:

Through the whole year, the Church commemorates the whole mystery of Jesus:  his Incarnation, death and resurrection and the giving of the Holy Spirit.

 

Direct Aim

      To name and identify the liturgical calendar and the principle feasts (Christmas, Easter, Pentecost) and colors of the Church Year

      To show the preparation, celebration and reflection time for each feast and their relative order

      Age 5+, to also name the primary seasons of the Church Year

 

Indirect Aims:

      To assist the child with control of movement

      To foster the child’s prayer

      To encourage greater participation in liturgy

      To feed the child’s growing interest in numbers

      To introduce an ordered sense of God’s time

 

Materials:

      Puzzle with removable pieces in a box with a lid {lid is ideal but not essential} Removable puzzle pieces with colors that match the chausables

      Laminated control the same size as the puzzle

      8 x 11 copies of liturgical calendar for coloring exercises

      Control Charts to match every coloring exercise created

      Age 5+, season arcs with names of seasons, and a small box/basket to hold them

 

Presentation:

 

Preparation

Open mat on the floor.  Gather children in a semi-circle around the mat.

 

Introduction

“We’ve been talking about Jesus and the Church Year.  You remember the chasuble and the colors?  We are going to talk about a calendar today.  At home do you have a calendar?  You use the calendar to know what day of the week it is and to know when special family events are coming.  The Church has a calendar too.  It is called the Liturgical Calendar.  Can you say it with me?”   Liturgical Calendar.

 

“We have a puzzle [lay puzzle on the mat] to help us think about it.”

“What colors to you see?”

 

“Do you remember what the white is for?”……….”Celebrations and feasts.”

“Do you remember the color purple?”………..”Getting ready for the feasts.”

“Do you remember the color green?”….……..”After the feasts.”

“Do you remember the color red?”…………..”A very special feast, Pentecost, the feast of the Holy Spirit.”

 

“If you would like, we can sing the song about the colors”  [sing]

 

Disassembling Puzzle

“Can you guess how many pieces there might be?   We are going to take the pieces out.  The pieces have a bigger end and a smaller end.” [show differences]

“Watch how I do it.”  [start placing pieces on mat, putting the pieces in rows by color next to the puzzle with all the blocks facing the same direction.  Invite the children to assist you and proceed slowly and deliberately, disassembling the entire puzzle.]

 

Reassembling Puzzle

[Put control piece back in the puzzle]  “This one helps us to know where to start.  When we put the puzzle back together we have a chart to see how it goes together.”  [Lay chart on mat next to puzzle.]

 

“The first feast in the church year is Christmas.  can you guess which block symbolizes Christmas?” [Place in puzzle.]

 

“Before we spend time celebrating a feast in the Church Year, we spend time preparing for it.  Look at the chart.  The color purple is for preparing.  Each one of these blocks represents one week of preparation.  Before Christmas we have four weeks of preparation time.  Could you help me put four purple blocks in the puzzle before the Christmas block?”  [ Place four blocks with children.]

 

“Christmas is such a big feast, we don’t just celebrate for one day but for several weeks.  Let’s look at the chart and count, one two, three weeks.  Could you help me put those blocks in the puzzle?  [Place three blocks with children.]

 

“The next big feast of the Church Year is Easter, when we celebrate Jesus’ death and rising again.  Where do you think we might put the block that symbolizes Easter in the puzzle?”  [Place the block]

 

“Easter is such a big feast that we spend a really long time preparing for it.  Let’s count how long, one two three, four, five, six weeks.  Can you help me place the six blocks in the puzzle?” [Help the children place the blocks in the puzzle.]

 

Easter is an even bigger celebration than Christmas.  So we have even longer to celebrate after.  Let’s see how long, one, two, three, four, five, six weeks.  Let’s put those blocks in the puzzle.”  [Help the children place the blocks in the puzzle.”

 

“At the end of Easter there is another feast, like icing on the cake.  It is called the Feast of the Holy Spirit, Pentecost.”  [Show red block]  “Where do you think we place this block?”  [Show and place the block.]

 

“Now look at all this open area.  What a huge space this is - Spring, Summer and into Fall - all that time.  Let’s put it together.”  [Work quietly with children to place the rest of the green blocks into the puzzle.] [[just a note to remember the ordinary time between Christmas and Lent]]

 

“Look at our puzzle - does it look like our chart?  All we need to do is place our pointers.  Can you put this one in so it points to Christmas? [assist]  Can you put this one in so it points to Easter? [assist]  Can you put this one in so it points to Pentecost?” [assist]

 

[Another way to disassemble and reassemble is to move the puzzle pieces from the puzzle to the control chart because they match perfectly.] [[this would be a work of the child after the initial presentation]]

------------  for older children --------------

 

[After the children can name the symbols for the feasts, they are ready to use the arcs to name the seasons.  The catechist adds the following instruction in the process.]

 

“At the beginning of the year we have the Season of Advent to help us get ready for the celebration of Christmas.”  [Place Advent arc.]

 

“After Christmas we have the Christmas Season.  Remember, Christmas is not just one day but several weeks of celebrating.”  [Place Christmas arc.]

 

“After Christmas we have a time called Ordinary Time.  Ordinary does not mean plain or boring time.  It is counting time - ordered time, week one, week two, week three….”  [Place Ordinary Time arc.]

 

“Then we have the season of Lent to help us prepare for Jesus’ dying and rising at Easter.”  [Place Lent arc.]

 

“And then we have six long weeks to celebrate Easter.  Easter is too big a season to celebrate in just one day.  We spend six weeks celebrating Easter.”  [Place Easter arc.]

 

“And then we have a big long time called Ordinary time in between the feasts.”  [Place Ordinary Time arc.]

 

“When you are done using these, they go back in this basket.”

 

 

Announcement

“All through the year we celebrate God’s gift of Jesus”

 

Prayerful Response

“Would you like to sing the color song together again?” [Sing color song from Sing With Joy again.]

 

 

 

Restoration of the Material

Model for children putting the puzzle back into the box, back on the shelf.  Slowly roll the mat and place away as well.

 

“This is your work, you can explore it anytime.”

 

 

Children’s Work

 

      Work with puzzle

      Color their own chart

      Use tracing packet

      Pasting work

 

 

Children’s Responses:

 

CGS Level 1 Catechist Training