[LearningCycles series] Stations of the Créche (eResource): Creative Activities for an Advent Journey of Hope

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subtitle:
Creative Activities for an Advent Journey of Hope

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.


Advent is a season of hope and a time to reflect upon the joy and miracle of the Incarnation, one of our central doctrines. In this liturgical season, we ponder how God, in an act of ultimate mercy, love, and trust, comes down to be with us in all of our broken humanity. 

“Stations of the Creche” (crèche is a French word meaning crib used to describe the complete nativity scene) seeks to explore how the Incarnation affected all of the people who played different roles in this well-known story. From the ancient prophets who believed that a Messiah would come, to Mary & Joseph who accepted the “glorious impossible” and took unbelievable risks with their reputations and their lives, to shepherds and magi who traveled countless dark miles in a journey of hope, to us today, who faithfully tell and retell this story to our children, this LearningCycle will explore all of these to serve as a powerful reminder of a Creator’s love for creation that knows no bounds and is present here on earth in incarnate, embodied ways.

  • Art Workshop - With a focus on the Magi bringing their gifts you will learn about Chrismons (Christmas decorations bearing Christian symbols) and make a Christmas tree ornament that represents our best God-given gift.
  • Publishing Workshop – Discuss Isaiah and other prophets to explain how the prophets foretold that a Messiah would come and make Jesse Trees or Jesus’ Family Trees as a way of exploring this theme. 
  • Drama Workshop – Role play conversations of people in the story who were visited by angels (Mary, Joseph, Elizabeth & Zacharias) and learn about the magnificat. 
  • Movie Workshop – Watch “A Charlie Brown Christmas” and the story of Jesus’ birth means for us today, and how it might change or transform our lives. (Supporting DVDs can be found for sale here.)
  • Story Workshop – Use a guided meditation to imagine or “experience” the trip to Bethlem. 
  • Kitchen Workshop – Make individual shepherds pies and reflect on the story of the Shepherds hearing the good news. 
  • Music Workshop – Sing lessons and carols and talk about the important roles that the angels played in the story of the birth of Jesus. 

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: LR202
Dimensions: 8½" x 11"
Length: 37 pages
Publisher:
The Pastoral Center / LeaderResources
Written by Tracey E. Herzer and Sr. Barbara Jean Brown