P7 - Lent
These exemplar narratives follow the core learning chosen by the John Ogilvie cluster group/working group, and the Our Lady's/Cardinal Newman cluster group/working group and contained in the diocesan planning exemplars:
P7 Lent short version (click to open)
P7 Lent long version (click to open)
Exemplar narrative 1: St Blane's, Blantyre
During Lent, the children were able to identify the meaning of different signs and symbols and the importance of these at this time. At the beginning of Lent the children completed the 'Turning over a New Leaf' activity which helped them to understand the importance of forgiveness and starting again. We read the parable of the prodigal son and undertook a 'sin bin' activity.
Our class promise box, where the children put a new promise each week, gave the children a focus throughout Lent.
We read the account of Jesus' temptation in the desert, asking how we deal with temptation, reminding the children about the purpose of Lent. We created a prayer desert in class where the children could reflect.
The children discussed fasting and alsgiving, and feelings associated with these. The class watched videos about SCIAF and Mary's Meals, showing them the importance of the activities they were taking part in. The children felt very proud of what they had achieved during their fundraising when they realised what a difference they could make.
Other suggested activities:
- Create a gift box - children put in things they could do each day e.g. help someone, and pick out a different one each day as a focus
- Affirmation letters - writitng positive comments about each other
- Making burning bush with flames 'I need God because...'
- Have a 'Do without Day' each week e.g. do without computer and take time to pray for those less fortunate
(Editor note: these creative and original ideas are very welcome, and might be better spread about several years. The TIOF core learning would also have to be covered: e.g. original sin, Sacrament of Reconciliation, Stations of the Cross, Lukan characters)
Exemplar narrative 1:
St.Blanes Primary School, Blantyre:
(Editor note: This narrative outlines a six-week project which involves most but not all of the core learning in the P7 Lent and Holy Week themes)
We began our Lent lessons by observing the liturgical calendar and discussing the use of the colour purple, (to signify sorrow, repentance, royalty) dressing the class altar in the colour purple. We also discussed the use of the colour red for Palm Sunday and Good Friday, (God’s love and the Passion).
We began each lesson with a prayer, reflecting on any times that we were sorry for our actions and asking God for forgiveness and each day we read the relevant reading from “Walk with me” and discussed what it meant for us. We discussed the meaning of sacrifice (how Jesus sacrificed his life for us) and we brainstormed ways we could make everyday sacrifices to help our families, friends and people in the wider community. We started a Lent promise box, (the children made and decorated a box for the class) and each child could write down and post (into box) something that they were going to sacrifice each week in Lent. We discussed fasting and the importance of observing fasting periods throughout Lent, doing so in a secretive fashion whilst displaying willpower. We also talked about the important role of faith, to pray when we feel tested, (as “Jesus Temptation in the Desert” teaches us to). During periods of fasting we reflected on how we felt (hungry, weak, tired) and empathised with how starving children in the world must feel every day of their lives. We looked at the SCIAF and Mary’ Meals websites where we read real people’s stories and struggles, and we talked about the importance of giving to others and service to others as central themes of our Christian faith. We also discussed the meaning of the word “almsgiving.”Then, as part of our school Lenten activities (each class was doing a different activity) we carried out a bring and buy sale, with all proceeds raised going to the Mary’s Meals charity. We carried out some research to see which countries/ children would benefit from our fundraising efforts.
As part of this research activity, we also looked at the religions the children followed as well as some of the traditions/ teachings of their faiths. In order to incorporate Scripture stories into our wider curriculum, we listened to stories from the Bible, which focused on the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus, as well as carrying out Bible searches of other relevant passages, e.g. forgiveness (The Prodigal Son, The Lost Sheep) recounting them in our own words. We answered questions relating to the Scripture stories as well as thinking about what these stories meant for us. We learned the Stations of the Cross (through making posters) and were able to take part in praying the Stations and praying the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary during different lunchtimes in Lent - this was a school-led initiative – during which we could personally reflect on Jesus’ suffering and death. We took part in a class assembly, which incorporated a drama focusing on the events of the Passion and Death of Jesus (with another class focusing on the Resurrection). We ended each lesson with a thanksgiving prayer to God for all that he has blessed us with.
· www.sciaf.com – for Children’s liturgy during Lent, Stations of the Cross (with focus on people in Haiti following earthquake, Get involved (campaigns and fundraising), real life stories, prayer (faith and thanksgiving), 40 days and 40 ways Lenten ideas
· www.marysmeals.org – religious and moral lesson plans, real life stories
· “Walk with Me” – Children’s Lent calendar and reflections booklet
· www.catholicmom.com/stations booklet.pdf
· The CTS New Catholic Bible – Scripture stories
· www.LiveLent.net – case studies to stimulate discussion on different worship themes.
www.sces.uk.com – resources for children re Lent, Stations of the Cross materials