November 27, 2015

Here's to Advent, a HUGE Collection of Activities

Advent begins this coming Sunday, Nov. 29, 2015. It is a time of the year that I eagerly await. The hushed expectation of commemorating the coming of our Savior and the special preparations involved speak volumes to me of the traditions and the people involved. Although we celebrate many of the Church holydays and holidays throughout the year in my classroom, Advent is special to me. It is the New Year season and Salvation History rolled into one. It is giving birth to love and joy. I have blogged about Advent each of the past three years and shared many of the projects and activities that I do with  my students. This post is a compilation of ALL the Advent activities that have been posted here at my desk along with a new freebie at the end.

Happy New Year! Happy Advent!


This post originally appeared on The Teacher's Desk 6 on Nov. 28, 2013.

Advent, from the Latin "ad-venire" meaning "to come to", is the first season of the Church year. For Christians, New Year's Day then is this Sunday, Dec. 1st. Advent is the time leading up to Christmas, a time that is oft neglected in our consumer oriented world. In the rush to BUY, BUY, BUY for Christmas, we neglect to prepare for the sacredness of the holiday... the real reason for the season. This is what the season of Advent is for.

Because I teach in a Catholic school, I have the luxury of celebrating the Advent season, a time of expectant waiting. Santa is kept to a minimum and only in the guise of St. Nicholas, the actual man- a bishop in Turkey long, long ago- who eventually becomes our modern Santa. Christmas songs are overlooked in favor of Advent songs. Instead of reds and greens festooning everything, our halls are decked with purple and pink, the colors of Advent.

We have a Christmas tree in our gathering space at school on which hangs holy ornaments, and the wreath in our hallway is an Advent wreath. It won't be until the last few days prior to Christmas break, starting with our school Christmas program that our attention will focus more on Christmas. Until then, we must remain patient, waiting in joyful hope, preparing our hearts for the coming of Jesus on Christmas.

Even my lessons and activities next week will focus on Advent rather than on Christmas.



Next week's Spelling words...

... an editing practice lesson...

... and two graphic organizers...


... all have an Advent theme.

If you would like any of these Advent items to use in your classroom or homeschool, you can purchase the Scoot pack and Zap game HERE or by clicking on the pictures above. The spelling list, revising paper, and graphic organizers are a FREEBIE, and can be downloaded HERE or by clicking on the picture below.



I've continued adding Advent items to my store for Advent 2014. Just click on the pictures to read more about each product.


FREEBIE



FREE BRAG TAGS

The following post originally appeared on The Teacher's Desk 6 on Dec. 13, 2013.

We are still celebrating Advent, or trying to! It's hard to contain the Christmas spirit, what with all the commercials, TV specials, carols on the radio, and shopping expeditions,  but to wait in patient hope is wonderful! The anticipation of Christmas is tremendous, so to maintain a bit of calm while focusing on the reason for the season is indeed awesome. It is humbling to engage my sixers in conversations about the Advent season. They see its simple beauty and purpose and can talk about their struggles with keeping Christ in Christmas. To help them along, I really try to keep Santa, the elves, and all those kinds of Christmasy things to a bare minimum and focus on Adventish items. Here are a few things I've used this past week. They are yours for the taking just by clicking on each graphic.

Advent Notebook Foldables: The fifth graders and I used these with the popular Christmas novel "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" by Barbara Robinson. It's a great book to accompany our pageant practice time. First we created an anchor chart that helped us focus on how the author used particular words in her writing (verbs and their tense, adjectives, and adverbs). We used post-it notes to record our ideas as a group, then the foldables to record our individual ideas.






Integrated Language Arts/Religion/Music Activity... I used this with my sixers and my eighth graders. The quintessential Advent song is "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel." I used the lyrics to create a language arts worksheet to help my kiddos practice some grammar skills and become a bit more familiar with the hymn.



Each year I add a few new items to my cadre of Advent activities. Advent 2014 is no different. I recently whipped up two new SCOOT games to accompany the skills we have been learning and practicing in our Language Arts classes and added them to my TpT Store.

First up is an Advent SCOOT game to help students practice Central Idea.


With this set of Scoot cards students will identify which Advent related word/phrase does not belong in the group of four words/phrases (determining a central idea). These 16 cards may also be used as task cards in a literacy center or for a Scatter/Scavenger Hunt activity.

QR codes are provided for self-checking. Two response sheets are provided for differentiation. The first sheet asks only for the word that does not belong, while the second asks for the word and the reason why the word does not belong.

The second Advent SCOOT activity uses the titles of Advent hymns to provide capitalization practice for students.


These 24 cards may also be used as task cards in a literacy center or for a Scatter/Scavenger Hunt activity. QR codes are provided for self-checking with these cards as well. 


Lastly, here is another song to use as a Language Arts practice activity..."Mary, Did You Know?" This is a great song to practice the comma of address. You can download the FREE lyric sheet HERE or by clicking on the pic below.



Advent 2015 finds me adding two new activities to my warehouse of this season's activities. The first is a brand new ZAP! game for practicing identification of clauses while focusing on the tradition of the Advent Wreath.


A second brand new activity is a sheet of free WOULD YOU RATHER's. Each morning of the school year I ask my kiddos a "Would You Rather" question while taking attendance. Instead of saying "HERE" when I call each student's name, the response is the answer to the "Would You Rather" question of the day. This is a fun way to get to know your students a little better. I first came upon these kinds of questions on Rachel Lynette's blog Minds in Bloom. She has MANY sets of "Would You Rather" questions for various seasons of the year. Additionally, a quick search out on the internet will lead you to more sets of these types of questions.

However, I could find no Advent "Would You Rather" questions anywhere. There were plenty of Christmas ones, but no true Advent questions, so I tried my hand at creating a set. There are only 16 questions in the set. I only needed 14 (the number of days in school during the Advent season this year), but I included a few more for longer seasons in the years to come. Download your freebie HERE.




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