Waiting for Christmas is hard, especially if you are four or five years old! Our Pre-Kindergarten children at Mater Christi are waiting in style. We have many items in our classroom that remind us that Christmas is a celebration of Jesus’ birth. Each child helps get our prayer space ready every morning so that we can chant, sing, and pray together about the great event of Jesus’ birth. We put an advent wreath complete with four safe candles on a purple and green prayer cloth. We add beautiful nativity set figures and the gold, frankincense, and myrhh that the wisemen brought to Jesus. Then we drum! We drum the song The Little Drummer Boy. Each child has a box drum that he/she has decorated. And we drum, drum, drum!
I am thrilled to be a teacher in a Catholic school who can use a lovely story of Christmas to help Pre-K children:
- learn more about patterning through following a rhythm while drumming
- recognize numbers by finding a drum with a specific number on it
- increase visual art skills while looking closely at pictures in order to talk about color/line
- enhance performance art by singing and drumming with a group in a specific way
- increase creativity through decorating a drum and drumming at will during the day
- retell a story
- sequence events
- learn new vocabulary
- follow multi-step directions
- include friends
- achieve a sense of accomplishment
- encourage faith, hope, and love
- make spirituality a part of everyday life
- think deeply about what it means to give a gift
We discovered a very important thing through The Little Drummer Boy by Ezra Jack Keats. The pictures in this book were a fabulous window into the world of the little boy with the drum who followed the wisemen to Jesus. We discovered that the wisemen were rich and the boy very poor. We discovered giving a thing is good, but that doing something for someone is really, really good. We continue to discuss Mary, Joseph, the baby Jesus, the wisemen, and the little boy every day. “The wisemen, those kings, brought gold and those other things. Right Patty?” “Franksent and myrhh.” “It’s not franksent, it’s frankincense. And it smells good.” “Christmas is Jesus’ birthday.” “The little boy didn’t have money, but he had a drum!” “Jesus smiled at him.” These are some of the openers each morning as we prepare our prayer space. We talk, we pray, and then we drum!
On Friday, December 5th everyone in Pre-Kindergarten led the whole school in an Advent Prayer Service. We chanted our Advent chant. We lit a big Advent wreath. We held up our words WAIT, HOPE, and FAITH. We sang and we drummed. We drummed, drummed, drummed.
It was our gift to the all the other children in the school.
Mrs. Patty LaMothe