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positive feedback about attractive new out ts, haircuts, glasses, and so on. Never call attention to any physical trait that might cause a child anxiety, such as shortness in a boy or chubbiness in a girl. Be vigilant about correcting any student who teases or mocks another student’s person or appearance.Psychologically, pre-teens need to feel a sense of belongingto any group they are part of. If you notice that one student is something of an outsider, there are little things you can do to advance the student’s status within the group. Discover the student’s talents and give him or her a chance to shine by using those talents in a group activity. Make it a point to invite the student’s opinions during class discussions and, without making the student a teacher’s pet, a rm anything special you notice about the student. Take time outside of class to talk with the person and to get to know him or her a little better. Religious educator Henrietta Mears has observed that “many a child has learned  rst to love his teacher, and then his teacher’s God.”Believe1. People Want to Be Close to God, page 6(1) Have students brainstorm a list of things in nature that show the beauty that God has created. (2)  en let them make a class mural that incorporates all the images.  ey can do this either with crayon on newsprint or on the board.(1) Ask students to keep completely quiet for three minutes after you read aloud Psalm 23. During that time, they are to listen to God speak to them in their hearts. Here, for example, is how God might speak today to express the thought of the psalm’s  rst line: “Dear one, know that I will always take care of you, the same way a good farmer cares for his animals—or the way a loving fam-ily cares for their pets.” (2) After the three minutes are up, ask students to write on a picture postcard or a blank greeting card what God said to them through Psalm 23. (3) Collect the cards and re-distribute them, so that each student gets someone else’s re ection to keep as a Bible bookmark.2. God Wants to Be Close to People, page 6(1) Have each student make a chain of  ve paper dolls, then decorate each “person” to look like one of these biblical  gures involved in a covenant with God: Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus. Before students begin decorating, brainstorm ways to distinguish each character: Adam holding an apple, Noah witha white beard and holding a dove, and so on. (2) When students are  nished, ask a volunteer to stand up with his or her  nished artwork and explain what God promised to each person. (3)  en ask the class what each person promised God in return. (4) Remind students that a covenant is always an exchange of prom- ises between two parties—a little like the wedding vows that a bride and groom exchange.(1) Obtain a copy of the baptismal promises. (2) Conduct a prayer service in which the students renew their baptismal promises. Begin with a suitable hymn, and end by sprinkling the class with holy water as they make the Sign of the Cross.3. Jesus Spoke to All Generations, page 7(1) Draw on poster board a large treasure chest with its lid open. Tell students it represents the Church’s Deposit of Faith. In itare found pearls of Scripture and diamonds of Tradition. At this point, you may wish to remind students of the de nitions of Scripture and Tradition in their books. Sacred Scripture is the books of the Old Testament and New Testament. Tradition is God’s Word given through the Church’s doctrine, life, and wor- ship. (2) Brainstorm with the class for examples of Scripture and Tradition. Each time an example is named, paste a paper pearl (a round white circle) or a paper diamond (a yellow diamond shape) inside the chest.You can do this same activity using a real chest or jewelry box, and using dull-colored pebbles to represent pearls and shiny rocks to represent diamonds.4. What Is Faith? page 8(1) Distribute paper and pencils. Have students privately brainstorm lists of “little acts of faith” and “big acts of faith” that they themselves can do. In the  rst category they are to name things like “Pray the Lord’s Prayer” and “Share a candy bar.” In the second category they are to name things like “Pray a Rosary” and “Give $20 to the poor.” (2) When students are  nished, have them pair up and make one single list of “little acts” and one single list of “big acts” by putting their two lists together. (3) Find out which pair has the longest list of “little acts” and have them share their list with the class. (4) Do the same for the pair with the longest list of “big acts.”5. How Can God Be Both One and Three? page 8(1) Ask students for their ideas on why God the Father often is pictured as a hand reaching down from heaven or as an all-see- ing eye. ( ese symbols show God as all-powerful and all-know- ing.) (2) Ask for reasons why God the Son often is pictured as a lamb or as a shepherd. (John the Baptist called Jesus “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). In John 10:11, Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd.  e good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”) (3) Ask why the Holy Spirit often is pictured as a dove or a  ame. (At Jesus’ baptism, the Holy Spirit came in form of a dove. Fire is a symbol of the energy of the Holy Spirit.)6. How Did the World Begin? page 9(1) Tell students the story of Joseph by summarizing Genesis 37-47 from a Bible or by reading them his story from a children’s Bible. (2) Discuss Joseph’s story as an example of God bringing some- thing good out of something bad. (3) Share any personal stories you may have of something good coming out of something bad.(1) Go online at fable/blessing-or-bane for the old Chinese story called “Bless- ing or Bane.” (2) Read the story to students and discuss it as an example of God bringing something good out of something bad for this Chinese family.6

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