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                                                                                                                                                  Teaching This Week’s Lesson
              Share Experiences
Objectives l The children will:
l Explore the growth cycle of seeds as a metaphor for Jesus’ Death and Resurrection.
l Recognize how rituals surrounding death help us understand its place.
Gather in a prayer circle. Play and sing “Lord By Your Cross” (CD-1, #16). Lyrics are available to download and print at
Gathering Prayer Ask the children for whom and what they wish to pray for today. After each petition, lead the children in responding, “Loving God, hear our prayer.”
Cover Activity l What Do We Need to Grow? (page 1) Distribute Venture. Give the children a moment to look at the five photos. Read the directions aloud at the top of the page. Have the children work independently to come up with a few examples for each. If anyone is having trouble coming up with ideas, you may wish to pause and brainstorm together as a class. Possible answers may include: water, food, clothing, sun, love, attention, coaching, practice, support/encouragement. Conclude the activity by sharing responses.
Story l Bailey (pages 2-3) The death of a pet can be
a heart-wrenching experience. For a child, it may be his or her first encounter with the finality of death and the need to move through the stages of grief and loss. In a very real way, the death of a pet prepares for the deaths of our loved ones. Ask the children to speculate from the main photo what the story might be about. Read the story aloud to the children or have them read it in pairs of weak and strong readers. When finished, let them retell the story to you, talking about the feelings of the children and their mother at each point.
Turn to the Think questions on page 3. Answers:
1. Open-ended; encourage participation, but gently prompt the class to the next question if responses become long. 2–3.
The grass is a comforting memory of Bailey. If the children don’t know what willows are, download a picture from the Internet. They are
soft and furry, like a puppy. Bailey’s decomposing body will help the willows grow, and they will remind the family of a pet they loved. 4. We know that our loved ones move to eternal life with God in Heaven and that they are a part of the Communion of Saints. 5. Open-ended; invite the children to share a memory, if they wish. After each, you may respond: Loving God, thank you for the life of _____. We know that he/she lives with you in Heaven.
Discover Gospel and Doctrine
Objectives l The children will:
l Explore the metaphor of Jesus as a grain of wheat.
l Brainstorm how they might “plant seeds” in the lives of others.
l Begin to understand the Beatitudes.
l Explore the Biblical foundation and significance of the
Lord’s Prayer at Mass.
Gospel Ritual Gather the children in the area you have reserved for proclaiming the Gospel. Play and sing “Lenten Gospel Acclamation” (CD-1, #2).
Sunday Gospel l Jesus Is Like a Grain of Wheat (page 4) Explain to the children that a metaphor makes a connection between something familiar and something strange; for example, in this Sunday’s Gospel, the metaphor connects
the familiar way seeds grow and the unseen, unknown, and dangerous future Jesus faces. Jesus’ Death will not end his life, but will produce a rich harvest of followers. Have the children take parts and proclaim the Gospel.
Discuss the Think questions on page 4. Answers:
1. A seed appears to die; however, in the earth, it swells, bursts its shell, sprouts, and grows into a new plant. It uses
the food it has stored to nourish a new wheat plant; the new plant grows up and produces many more grains of wheat. 2. Jesus hints
at his Resurrection. Life comes from Jesus’ suffering and Death as surely as many grains of wheat come from the planting of a single one; Jesus lives on in all of his followers and in the Church. 3. You may choose to read the Saints cartoon now, if time permits, or save this question until the children read the cartoon story of Blessed Oscar Romero on page 8. People in El Salvador remember the words Romero spoke and his example of love; they continue to fight poverty and injustice as he did.
Connecting Gospel and Doctrine l
Jesus’ Death Gives Life (page 4) Read aloud the doctrine related to this Sunday’s Gospel and to summarize your discussion of the metaphor of Jesus life’ as a grain of wheat.
Discuss the Think questions on page 4. Answers: These are both open-ended discussion questions. However, guide the discussion to keep the children on task. 1. The
children may have initiated a friendship through an act of kindness. 2. Help the children brainstorm a list of issues or problems they
are passionate about solving—hunger, access to clean water or education, animal cruelty.
  The NEW Gospel Weeklies
        What Do We Need to Grow?
VEN37-25.indd 1
11:02 AM
Seeds need dirt, water, and sun so they can sprout and grow. In Sunday’s Gospel reading, Jesus tells followers that our lives are like seeds—to sprout, they must  rst crack and die. All living beings need certain things to grow and thrive. For each photo write what is needed for growth and change.
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PFLAUM GOSPEL WEEKLIES Faith Formation Program
March 18, 2018
5th Sunday of Lent Volume 37, Number 4
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