Page 5 - Early Start-Good News
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Early Start Lesson 2 We Gather TogetherThe EucharistOverviewThis lesson assumes you are meeting the children in your Good News class early in the school year. Their purpose for gathering each week is to learn more about Jesus and his Good News, to celebrate together as a community, and to grow in the understanding and practice of their Catholic faith. These early lessons can set the tone for all future Good News classes. Have fun getting to know the children and helping them become comfortable with one another and with you.Materialsl Copies of the “We Gather at Eucharist” activity pagel The Good News music CD and a CD player l Crayons, markers, or colored pencilsShare ExperiencesCreate a Ritual Space: Create a space in your classroom or meeting area for prayer and ritual.If you can’t have a permanent space, fill a small box with a piece of colorful cloth, a candle, beautiful items from nature (leaves, nuts, or polished stones), and a Bible. The children can take turns each week emptying the box, turning it over, covering it with cloth, decorating it with the objects, and enthroning the Bible. The prayer space may also be set up on a small table or even a windowsill. Gather in this area each week for prayer and for the proclamation of the Gospel. Structure gives primary-age children a framework in which to function.Opening Prayer: Gather in the area you haveset apart for prayer. Most primary-age children will know how to make the Sign of the Cross. However, this introductory class is a good time to check that all the children are comfortable with the gestures and the words of this prayer.Ask the children when they and their families make the Sign of the Cross. They will mention prayers at mealtime and bedtime, at Mass, beginning the Rosary, at Baptisms and, when they go into church and take holy water. Ask themto make the Sign of the Cross with you. Notice if anyone is having trouble deciding which shoulder to touch first. If so, stand with the children, facingthe same direction, and ask them to follow you as you make the Sign of the Cross. Plan to use this prayer to begin and conclude your time together.Good News takes seriously its responsibilityto help the children develop a life of prayer appropriate to their age and developmental stage. Prayers of petition are particularly suitable for primary-age children because they are becoming aware of things that are wrong in the world and are eager to ask God to fix problems. Children of this age are also aware of their place in their families and network of friends. Plan to take some time during each lesson for children to share their concerns and to ask the other children in the group to pray with them.Ask the children if they have anything they would like to tell God about. This is prayer time, a time when we can share worries we have, or thank God for something good that has happened in our lives, or just praise God for being in our lives and making a beautiful world for us. You can lead by offering a petition. Have the children use the response that they use at Sunday Eucharist or teach a simple response, such as “Loving God, hear our prayer.”Getting Acquainted Move to the work area. The children in your Good News class will be better able to learn and to share if they feel accepted. Make it a practice to call each child by name. Invite the children to do the same. Create simpleEarly Start 2: We Gather Together©2017PflaumPublishingGroup,adivisionofBayard,Inc. Permissionisgrantedtoreproducethispageforusebyparishes,schools,andfamiliesusing PflaumGospelWeeklies.

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