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name of your parish on the chalkboard or on newsprint. Give the children time to copy it on their pictures and in their books. Encourage the children to take home their  nished drawings and tell their families about them.Move on to the text about the priest. Help children under- stand that the pastor takes care of the people of the parish. Print the name of your pastor on the board or newsprint. Give the children time to copy his name in their books. After you have discussed all that your pastor does for you, invite children to make a thank-you card for him. Give each a piece of construction paper. Help them to fold their construction paper to make cards. On the front of the card, ask them to draw a picture of your pastor doing one of the things that he does for the people of the parish. On the inside of the card, have them write “ ank you for ....”  ey can  ll in the actions they have drawn on the front of the card and sign their names. If possible, have the group hand-deliver their cards to your pastor.Finally read about the Pope. Show the children a picture of our Pope and tell them his name. Print his name on the board or newsprint so they can copy it into their books. Encourage them to listen for the Pope’s name the next time they go to Mass. Explain that we always pray for him and for the whole Church at Mass.12. Holy Seasons—page 18Let children talk about happy times they have at home and with their extended families. Go on to ask how they celebrate Christmas and Easter. Point out that these are holidays, but  rst of allthey are holy days.  ey are Church days.  eir celebra- tions should  rst and foremost be about going to church.Show the children a family calendar that is full of reminders for birthdays, appointments, games, free days, and so on. en show them a liturgical calendar. It is full of holy days and holy seasons. Help them  nd the Sundays of Advent and Lent, the days of Christmas and Easter.Take time to talk about the pictures for the matching activity. Be sure children understand these points.• One candle of the Advent wreath is lighted for eachSunday of Advent until, on the fourth Sunday, all the candles are lighted. As the light from the Advent wreath grows, we are getting closer to Christmas.  e wreath is round and green, representing eternal life.• A crèche, or nativity scene, shows the birth of Jesus as described in the Bible. (Luke 2:1-20)• A cruci x depicts Jesus’ su ering and Death on a cross• Jesus rose from the dead, and gives us new life.Help the children explore some of the traditions that enrich our celebration of Christmas and Easter. Divide the children into four groups. Give each group one of the following ques- tions about Christmas. Give them time to think and talk about their answers.  en invite them to share with the rest of the class. Give everyone the opportunity to add their own ideas. Follow the same plan for the Easter questions. Be ready with your own answers to supplement their ideas.• Why do we have Christmas trees?• Why do we give Christmas presents? • Why do we have Christmas lights?• Why do we go to Mass on Christmas?• Why do we color and decorate eggs?• Why do we decorate with Easter lilies? • Why do we sing Alleluia?• Why do we have Easter baskets?12. Holy Days and Feast Days—page 19To highlight the aspect of remembering that is integral to our liturgical days and seasons, make matching cards for a memory matching game. Let children play the game in groups of two to four children.10WordsAdvent Christmas Lent Easter Mary SaintsPicturesAdvent wreathnativity scenecruci xrisen JesusMary and the Baby Jesus image of the adult Jesus collage of several saintsHelp the children learn more about saints.• Read a picture book about one or more of the saints featured on this page.• Focus on the patron saint of your parish or another popular local or national saint.• Choose two saints whose feast days occur in the months in which you meet with the children. On a class day near the feast days of these saints, tell children about the saints and have a coloring page or other activity to honor them.

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