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LearningCycles series Be Alert, Shepherds! Creative Activities for Teaching Advent

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Creative Activities for Teaching Advent
LearningCycles series
Be Alert, Shepherds!

The LearningCycles series offers a creative approach to faith formation based on different learning styles, appropriate for K-5th graders.  Each LearningCycles unit generally includes seven workshops: Art, Story & Games, Drama & Activity, Music, Kitchen, Movie, and Publishing.  This series works well for whole family/intergenerational catechesis and is a great basis for grandparent camps or other vacation bible schools.

This resource helps children experience the Christmas story from the shepherds' unique point of view exploring questions like: What do Shepherds watch for? What do we watch for in Advent? What are a shepherd's responsibilities?  What tools does a shepherd use? How can we apply this to our Advent waiting?

Using seven different lesson plans and learning styles, we explore the meaning of Advent and how we prepare for Christmas. Beyond learning about Bible-time shepherds, children also explore a story offering one interpretation of the Legend of the Candy Cane and it's connection to shepherds - and to Jesus!

  • Art Workshop – Create an Advent countdown calendar to use at home, reflecting on how Advent is a time to watch for God's presence.
  • Publishing Workshop – Research about ancient shepherds, creating poster boards to highlight the role of shepherds and other groups from their time.
  • Drama Workshop – Act out scenarios of waiting and watching to learn what it means to "Stay Alert!"
  • Movie Workshop – Watch a movie about shepherds and reflect on how we are like shepherds. What do we watch for? (Supporting DVDs can be found for sale here.)
  • Story Workshop – Read stories and play shepherding games to learn about the responsibilities of a shepherd.
  • Kitchen Workshop – Make shepherd staff cookies and talk about the Legend of the Candycane to learn about the tools of a shepherd.
  • Music Workshop – Sing Advent and Christmas hymns about waiting and watching, learning about the ways we celebrate Advent.

Click to find additional resources for use with this unit.

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This reproducible eResource is sold with a lifetime license for use within a parish, school, or diocesan office. You are allowed to make unlimited copies for use within your own community. You may also email these to members of your team or participants in your program. If you serve more than one parish or school, each should purchase its own license. You may not post our eResources to any web site without explicit permission to do so. Please contact us if you have any questions. Thank you for cooperating with our honor system regarding our product licenses.

Format: eResource
Product code: LR107
Dimensions: 8½" x 11"
Length: 35 pages
The Pastoral Center / LeaderResources
Written by Tracey E. Herzer