18 February 2011

Our new room, part 2

One feature of Godly Play (in an ideal set-up) is that the participants are surrounded by the stories and language of the church. All materials have a place, so that children can find them easily and so that they know how to put them away. The placement also signals some of the relationships between stories - all parables are stored together, for example.

We have four low benches at our disposal in the room we use. All four are dragged into a large square, to define our circle space. One I have designated as the "getting ready" bench, in the absence of an official door person. If children need a space in which to take extra time to get ready, there it will be. (So far, it hasn't been tested. We haven't needed it or even talked about it.)

The other three benches are used as shelving for lesson materials.

The focal shelf: Although really a circle has no sides, there is still a sense that this is the front of the circle. Here we have the holy family and the risen Christ (you can see a close-up on the "About Godly Play" tab), center stage. To the left is the Christ candle, and underneath it are the materials for the baptism lesson. There is a glaring empty space on the right, which will be filled soon.

On one side of the circle is the parable shelf: So far we have only one parable box, but I have most of the materials almost ready for another one, which will come eventually. At the end closest to the front are the Palm Sunday materials, which we worked with a lot during Lent last year. (This is the "Jesus the King" story, from Young Children and Worship.)

And on the other side of the circle is the sacred story shelf: Here again, there's only one story so far ("The Great Flood", with an ark and two baskets of figures). And mirroring the Lenten materials on the other side of the room, the Advent materials are at the end of the bench closest to the focal shelf.

Then there is a Bible stand (with a basket of Bible storybooks below it), our art materials, cleanup supplies, and a 'prayer and peace' basket.

Frälsarkransen (Lutheran prayer bracelet), a holding cross, and a peace flower
I think that last basket is the only thing in the room that none of the children have been introduced to. It is just there waiting until it is needed, or wanted, or until somebody "discovers" it and asks about it. 

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