Talk about how we get ready for Christmas? (put tree up, buy presents, write Christmas cards etc). Explain that on Christmas day we remember a very special baby being born – who do they think that baby is? Christmas is Jesus’ birthday, so we should be remembering Him.
This time of preparing is called Advent and it is a time to get ready for Jesus. Show (or a picture of) an Advent Wreath.
Explain the evergreen, the circle and the candles (God does not change like the evergreen, His love never ends like the circle and Jesus is the light of the world, the centre candle). Look at the wreath and discuss the colours of the candles and what they represent.
The first candle, which is purple, symbolizes hope. It represents the expectation felt in anticipation of the coming Messiah.
The second candle, also purple, represents faith. It is called the “Bethlehem Candle” as a reminder of Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem.
The third candle is pink and symbolizes joy. It is called the “Shepard’s Candle,” and is pink because rose is a liturgical color for joy.
On the fourth week of Advent, we light the final purple candle to mark the final week of prayer and penance as we wait for the birth of our Savior. This final candle, the “Angel’s Candle,” symbolizes peace. It reminds us of the message of the angels: “Peace on Earth, Good Will Toward Men.”
Point out that Jesus is our light – what does this mean? What can we do to be like Jesus and live out our vocation?
Colour the Advent Wreath and display at home.
Tell the story of The Three Billy Goats Gruff. Encourage your child to join in with repeated refrains in the story, including 'trip, trap, trip, trap' and 'Who's that trip-trapping over my bridge?' Talk to the children about the behaviour of the goats and the troll. Encourage them to talk about how the troll treated the goats and how he could have behaved differently. Ask the children to think about times when something went wrong because of their actions or the actions of others. Explain that when you do good things, it makes you feel good inside, but when you make bad choices, it makes you feel sad. Imagine talking to the troll and goats and explain how they could have behaved differently in the story. Make up a new ending to the story together.
How does the troll feel when the goats are trip-trapping over his bridge?
Why do you think the troll gets angry with the goats?
What should the troll have said to the goats?
What should the goats have done so that the troll didn't get upset?
Have you ever made someone feel sad or upset?
How did it make you feel?
Was anyone else upset?
How can we help the goats and the troll to be friends with each other?
Make a wanted poster to describe the troll. Use the template below or design your own.
Display the Bridge picture cards and use a range of resources, including newspaper rolled tightly into tubes, corrugated cardboard, cardboard tubes, string, masking tape and scissors to make a bridge to span two tables or two chairs. Explain that when they have made the bridge, you will test it together to see how many toys it can hold. Ask them to decide which materials they will use and how they will attach their bridge to the tables or chairs.
- How will you make the bridge?
- What materials do you think will be strongest?
- How will you fasten the bridge to the table?
- How many toys do you think the bridge will hold?
PE - dance
Using the Heads, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes Nursery Rhyme Display Poster, teach children the words to the nursery rhyme. Practise this so the children become confident when singing it. Ask the children to perform the traditional actions to the song e.g. pointing to the different body parts as they go through the rhyme. Children should practise this so they are confident performing the actions.
Remind the children that we can perform dances in different ways. Talk about how the children danced last week – in a ‘happy’, ‘sad’, ‘shy’ or ‘excited’ way. Tell the children that this week, they will continue practising dancing like this but they are also going to look at the emotions: confident and angry. Talk about how these actions might alter the speed and styles of the dance – how would someone know if you were angry?
Ask them to walk round the room in a ‘confident’ way, then an ‘angry’ way (you may want to recap on some of the other emotions). Talk about how they walked differently – did they change the speed of their walking when changing the emotion e.g. was angry fast and confident slow? Did they change their posture?
Next, ask the children to perform the rhyme ‘Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes’ in a ‘confident’ and then ‘angry’ way – did the speed of the dance change? Talk about the different dance styles and discuss how they think the dancers would perform.
The children should now practise performing the same rhyme, but in a hula style. Ask the children if they can think about how to do this – prompt the children to make their movements circular with lots of hip movements, twists and turns. The children may have their own ideas about the hula style – it is fine to use these ideas.
This week, the children will be looking at the hula dance style. Use the hula photo and discuss this with the children. Ask the children to think about when they might have seen hula dances e.g. on television. Explain to the children that this style is very different to ballet and rock ‘n’ roll; it is much smoother and flows more. Hula dancers often swing and twist their hips and arms and it is more flat-footed. Ask children to think about how they could get this into their nursery rhyme e.g. they could move their hands to the different body parts by twisting them round.