12 April 2011

Advent in Lent

This week a child chose to work with story materials during our response time. This is a rare event, and one that makes me inordinately pleased.

I managed to keep out of the way, except for trying to help two other children ask if they could watch and/or join in, and suggesting that it would be best to lift out (with two hands) the top basket of candles and set them aside, for easier access to the plaques stored underneath.

(Misleading photo - the Christ candle is not kept with the Advent materials)

The two gawkers were unwilling to ask for permission to watch, so I shooed them back to the art materials they had originally chosen to work with. Which also helped to get me out of there. I felt it was extra-important for me to stay out of the way since (with seethroughfaith still traveling) the second adult in the classroom was someone who does not know these materials and was curious about them. She started asking questions and I was very proud of what I overheard: 

The child managed to answer the questions, sometimes with correct answers, sometimes with I forget or I don't know. A few questions which didn't get answered at first, What's that black squiggle on the second plaque? What does the pink candle represent? did get answered eventually, perhaps as working with the materials triggered memories. But frankly, I was almost as proud of the I don't knows and I forgets. Those can be hard things to say. And it can be hard to work with materials when someone is watching every move you make, so I was pleased that he carried on. I was glad to hear that many of the adult's questions were "True Questions" (ones she didn't already know the answer to). This meant that the child was the expert, and hopefully had a sense of enjoyment in demonstrating the materials to the newcomer.

If I'd stayed nearby, I would have been tempted to remind him that the Advent materials are presented from left to right, not vertically as the Lent materials are. But in fact, I made the same "mistake" myself the first time I ever saw the Advent materials, which was (just like for him) immediately after seeing a presentation of the Faces of Easter. I laid out those Advent cards to have a record of what they looked like - and the result was the photo on the right.

1 comment:

  1. there's no reason they can't be vertical though ... our journey is a journey and one we don't know in advance ... that's the adventure of Christian living (and for Mary travelling to Bethlehem)


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