Saturday, November 14, 2009

Advent lesson plans

I realized the other day that Advent was just around the corner. I can't believe how quickly this year is flying by. I bet if you talk to me in February I may feel differently!

I created our Advent lesson plans from two books. The first is The Real St. Nicholas. I bought this book last year but it arrived after the feast of St. Nicholas and so we really didn't use it. I'm excited to use it as our spine "reader" for Advent.

Yesterday I bought the book And What About Christmas by Amanda Bennett when I was scouring the used homeschool book box at a nearby homeschool store. I took the rest of our lessons from ideas I found in this book. As with everything I do, I pick and choose, make the lessons my own considering what I want the boys to learn and what they are capable of accomplishing.

Week 1: The story of Elizabeth and Zachariah.
  • Read Luke 1: 1-25
  • Write a short story (using dialogue) about Zachariah's visit from the angel.
  • Map work: using an outline map of the "old world" outline the boundaries of the Roman Empire at the time of Christ's birth.
  • Questions to answer: Who was Caesar Augustus and how did he impact Jesus' childhood? How does John fulfill Isaiah's prophecy? (see Isaiah 40)
St. Nicholas study: Read one story per day: Anticipation--A Memory of st. Nicholas Day, The Legend of the Three Daughters, The Nicholas Ship, St. Nicholas Buys a young man his Freedom.

Week 2: Mary, Joseph and the Annunciation (Dec. 8, Feast of Immaculate Conception)
  • Read Luke 1:26-56 and Matthew 1:18-25
  • (Nathan) write a narrative using dialogue describing the Annunciation.
  • (Nolan) write a narrative using dialogue describing what you think may have happened when Mary told Joseph about her experience (and pregnancy).
  • Map work: Draw a map of Palestine at the time of Jesus' birth including Bethlehem, Jerusalem, Nazareth, the Sea of Galilee, Galilee, Samaria and Judea.
  • Question to answer: What is the difference between the seasons of Advent and Christmas?
St. Nicholas Study: read one story per day: The Legend of the Three Stratilates, The Legend of Stilling the Tempest, St. Nicholas Finds the Path, St. Nicholas Retrieves the Ball. **Dec. 6th Feast of St. Nicholas. Put out shoes and fill with socks. My boys are always excited to get new socks on this day!

Week 3: Journey to Bethlehem and the birth of Christ
  • Read Luke 2:1-20 and Matthew 1:18-25
  • Questions to answer: What is the Shepherd's Field? What is it like and where is it? What would an inn have been like in Jesus' day? What is the weather like in Bethlehem this time of year? Find 6 other names for Jesus as mentioned in the Bible.
St. Nicholas Study. Read the play on page 117, The Baker's Dozen. Figure out a way to video tape your own version of this play and post it on Youtube (and Mom's blog).

Week 4: Christmas Week
  • Finish up anything from the prior three weeks. This week will be dedicated to some fun activities.
  • Watch a movie depicting the birth of Jesus.
St. Nicholas Study. Read one story per day: The Legend of the Healing Myrrh, The Sick King and the Simpleton, St. Nicholas and the Ant.

Week 5: Epiphany (the week back to school in January)
  • Read Matthew 2:1-12
  • (Nolan) write a play about the Magi and Herod
  • (Nathan) research and write about Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh. Why did the Magi give these things to Jesus and what are they used for?
  • Map work: using an outline map of Eurasia, outline the possible route of the Magi.
  • Questions to answer: Who was Herod and how did he affect the childhood of Jesus? Who was Rachel and how was she related to the story of Jesus? See Matthew 2:18, Jeremiah 31: 15 and Genesis 30:22-24.
We will, of course, read The Jesse Tree and add our Jesse Tree ornaments one by one as always. I bought the boys each an advent candle to burn while we read. This will be an evening activity vs. a school activity. Other web sites to visit include O Night Divine, Catholic Culture, Catholic Cuisine and In the Heart of my Home.

Of course, Advent and Christmas wouldn't be complete without music. May I suggest you check out the lovely CD available by a good friend for your listening pleasure?

What are you planning this season?

3 comments: said...

How about this as an additional question to explore:

"Does Deuteronomy 12:29-32 teach us anything about Christmas?"

volpecircus said...

local homeschool store? do tell. :)

i just must have one of those candles and that cd. i had no idea don had recorded an album of christmas stuff. i could listen to him play guitar all day.

Pamela said...

These look like great Advent lessons!

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