Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Childrens' Liturgy of the Word

Myself and my sister Aine (sorry sis they won't let me do the fada!) help facilitate the Children's Liturgy of the Word in our home parish, Lordship and Ballymascanlon with our cousin Clodagh. Aine is a primary school teacher and Clodagh has three lovely kids so I tend to leave the crowd control to the experts and engage in my role as "theological advisor" and storyteller (I have bequeathed my large stack of Bible stories for children to Aine, we're just waiting for the Religion Inspector to comment how well stocked her library is!)

Some of the websites we use for resources such as pictures and colouring in pages (you can't go wrong with a colouring in page!):

The cypberfaith website is an excellent general resource for those who work with children. It graphically and in simple terms explains topics such as the liturgical year and gives a link to activities for each Sunday and major feast days. The resources are mainly an exploration of the topic in questions with reflections and discussions for both the adult and child. As this in an American website, the activities are categorised according to the American grade-school system in terms of age and ability, but nonetheless the site is very easy to navigate with colourful pictures and diagrams.

The subsection of the ever reliable Catholic Ireland website has a well-developed interactive prayer “corner” especially for children. The presentation is based on the gospel reading of the day, and encourages children to participate in prayer through bright and colourful cartoons that the child can personalise with their own name and the names of those they wish to pray for. While the application will not suit group work, it is relatively easy for children to use with supervision from their parents on their home computers.

Don't let the moniker put you off Sermonz4kidz is an essential resource for anyone working with children, whether in the classroom, home or parish. The site is very user friendly and has a good search engine. Each Sunday gospel reading is accompanied by a story that expresses the main themes of the gospel at a level that is adaptable to most levels, especially with the primary school child. In addition, there are pictures to colour in, word searches, and puzzles, all of which are easily downloadable (both in word and pdf format) and provide a helpful medium for children to engage with the Gospel. The page of links is also very useful as is the artwork by Henry Martin, which makes a pleasant alternative to clipart.

A subsection of the popular BBC website that provides an admirable resource for dealing with queries from children about Christianity and world religions that may confound the best of us. Every major world religion is referenced here, and the main feast days of each are simply but thoroughly explained with links to useful websites and classroom activities.

I've also started to get "fancy" with my blog thanks to my fool's guide that I've found.

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