On Thursday, in our religion letter we learnt about the sad and happy times of Easter. Before Easter, we remember the times when the people were not nice to Jesus and so we go to mass and pray a bit more. Visit exhibitions and go to processions and eat food that is has less sugar such as hot cross buns. During the masses and processions, music that sounds sad is played. On Easter day, we go to mass and to processions which are more upbeat and happy, the bands play lively music and we open up our figolli and Easter eggs because we are happy that Jesus rose again from the dead. I showed the children clips of Good Friday and Easter Sunday processions so that they could see the difference.
We thought about how our mums feel when we are sad or hurt. We then thought about Mary, the mother of Jesus and how she must have felt during the sad time of Easter. The children glued together their hearts with good deeds written on them and on Friday, in a special prayer sesssion for Our Lady of Sorrows, they offered them to Mary to help her feel better.
The Easter Story is always one that is difficult to tell the children because it not always easy to know how much or how little information to pass on to the children. I am always aware that some children can be very sensitive to people being hurt, so explaining that Jesus dies on the cross can easily upset their feelings.
This year, I thought of going about it by allowing the children to tell me what they knew and then building a little upon it. I first asked them what they liked about Easter (chocolate eggs, egg hunts and the Easter Bunny). We then moved on to the person of Jesus. I asked them who Jesus was and received some really good answers such as Jesus is someone we pray to and Jesus loves us all. We looked at pictures to see what Jesus looked like. I asked them what Jesus did and they told me that he taught people how to be good and healed sick people. Then we started looking at the tricky bit. Did everybody love Jesus? I helped the children understand that some people really loved Jesus and listened to all he said but there was a group of people who did not like the fact that so many people wanted to listen to him. Instead of trying to be like him so that people would like them too, these people decided to get rid of Jesus. So they put him on the cross where he died … but being very special, he rose again on Easter Sunday when everyone was happy to have him back again.
On Friday, we will be having a prayer session for the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows together with the J1s and 2s. On Thursday, the children will put together all their good deeds so that they will be able to offer them up on Our Lady on Friday. Therefore the last day that I will be collecting hearts with good deeds on them is Thursday. However, don’t worry, I know that the good deeds initiative was very popular with the parents. I will explain to the children that having practised so much, they will be able to continue to do the good deeds without the need of writing them down on the hearts.
It suddenly dawned on me that I forgot to replace hearts brought in to school with good deeds on Friday. If your child does a good deed, you can either write it in on the notebook and I will then write it on a heart or you can cut out a similarly sized heart and write the good deed on it. I will put a heart in everyone’s folder on Monday. Sorry for the inconvenience.
Today, I launched the good deeds for Lent initiative in class. I told the children that during Lent we will be showing others that we love them. Their first answers to “how do we show people that we love them?” were hugging and kissing them and giving them something. I slowly managed to move them on to more concrete examples of how to help others. Each time I looked for a picture showing what they had suggested and put in on the starboard so that at the end, we had a list that they could understand. I am uploading them below.
We are hoping that our good deeds will encourage other do be kind to each other too. When your child does a good deed, please remember to write down the good deed in the heart provided. Please return the heart with the good deed written on it in the notebook folder and I will replace it with another one.
This week, we launch our Lent initiative in preparation for Easter. As in previous years, at St Catherine’s we try to help the children live this important season of our faith. Tomorrow’s religion lesson will be our first step in this regards. We will be discussing ways to love each other and I will be encouraging the children to remember to do small acts of love to others or good deads during their day. They will be bringing home a heart cut out of kartoncin in their folder together with their notebook. If they do something kind at home, I would like you to write it down on a heart and send it back to school. I will read out the kind deeds during circle time and replace the heart so that you will always have one at hand. We continue collecting good deeds throughout until the end of the term. I would encourage you to help your children out with this by being attentive to spot any acts of kindness they may do and praising them and by helping create opportunities where they might bring happiness to others with a small gesture. I have prepared some ideas of what such act could entail and am listing them below. I will also be sharing with you the results of our tomorrow’s brainstorming session with the children since their ideas will be probably better than mine