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This week, we begin the last unit of our Faith Formation program. The liturgical season of Lent-Easter immerses us in the mystery of redemption—of Jesus’ Death and Resurrection and their meaning and promise for all who believe in him. The theme for Unit 4 is “Jesus Brings Us New Life,” and each of its lessons includes important doctrinal concepts that are explained in our Unit Overview Webinars for Unit 4. You can find them in English and in Spanish here.
Here are some notes to help you prepare for this week’s lesson:
Lesson Theme: Jesus brings Good News to everyone.
Seeds tells this interesting story and then concentrates on the gift of water and on how we follow Jesus when we appreciate the gifts of God. We recommend a church visit with your class. Make the necessary arrangements in advance.
There is one Extending Activity for this lesson: Float or Sink? Find it here.
Lesson Theme: We share the Good News.
For the “Jesus’ Spirit is within us” well-making activity, catechists and teachers will need an aide to assist the children with cutting, folding, and taping. If time is limited, you may wish to make the cuts on pages 3–4 in advance. Save the assembly of the well for the children to complete. They will enjoy being involved in creating a container (well) from a flat piece of paper.
There are two Extending Activities for this lesson: We Share Jesus’ Good News and Let’s Listen. Find them here.
Lesson Theme: We share the Good News.
This lesson includes a Bible passage look-up activity. The children will be locating Sunday’s Gospel in the Bible, helping them to connect the Gospel they hear proclaimed at Mass and help proclaim in your classroom with the Bible. You will need one Bible per small group. We discourage you from skipping this activity since this is an important skill for the children to learn now and build on as they grow in familiarity with the Bible. Saint Jerome said, “Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ.”
For the “Questions Help Us Learn” activity (page 4), it is suggested that you bring in a “well” made from a can or box. It will need to be large enough for the children’s “buckets” to fit into.
Lesson Theme: Jesus gathers a family through Baptism.
This week, consider having the children dramatize the Sunday Gospel story of the Woman at the Well. (It’s a longer Gospel, and adding movement to the regular table reading will help keep the students engaged.) Complete as much of the scavenger hunt in class as possible; encourage the students to work with their families to fill out the rest of the items at home. Ask the students if they have Irish ancestry; regardless, encourage them to learn more about Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland.
Lesson Theme: Who has been a disciple to you?
Give the young people ample time to review the faith inventory on the cover and assign the remainder as homework. Consider switching the regular order of your lesson by reading the Gospel background about Samaritans on page 5 before reading the Sunday Gospel of the Woman at the Well on page 4. The historical background will enhance the students’ understanding of this familiar story.
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