Your Space: In the Desert with Jesus

Share this article:

by Sheila Kearney

The learning area needs to inspire and engage your students. Here is an idea for how to decorate and arrange your learning space and prayer table for Lent.


Your Space


Present a desert visual that can remind students of their spiritual journey throughout the season of Lent. Determine what part of your bulletin board or wall will represent the “desert,” and cover this section with pieces of sandpaper. Align the sandpaper so that the entire area is covered. You can use the same grit size (roughness) of sandpaper or you can mix the grits. You might want to cut the sandpaper in strips or cut curves along the edges of the sandpaper and then overlap the pieces when you put them in place, creating a more realistic sand-like landscape. If possible, use adhesive putty to hold the sandpaper in place instead of push pins or thumb tacks. Cut out various sizes of cactus shapes (trunks and arms; barrels; pads) from various colors of green construction paper. Cut out small circles from yellow and red construction paper and affix these to the cactus shapes to represent fruit and blooms. To create the effect of cactus needles, tape toothpicks behind the cactus trunks and arms, pads, and barrels. Randomly affix the cacti to the sandpaper. Above the desert, position the words “IN THE DESERT WITH JESUS DURING LENT.”

Your Prayer Table

Cover your prayer table with a purple/violet piece of cloth, or drape a purple/violet banner across the corner of your prayer table. On the table place a cross, a Bible, and a large bowl of sand with some rocks in it, representing a Lenten desert. You might also stick in the sand a cactus like the one you made for the bulletin board. Cut strips of sandpaper about the width and length of bookmarks, one for each of your students. Focus your prayer during Lent on the Lenten themes of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. During the first prayer at the beginning of Lent, give a sandpaper bookmark to each child as a reminder of their Lenten journey.

Copyright 2014, Bayard, Inc. All rights reserved. This article is protected by United States copyright and other intellectual property laws and may not be reproduced, rewritten, distributed, redisseminated, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast, directly or indirectly, in any medium without the prior written permission of Bayard, Inc.

This article was written by the Catechist Staff and appeared in Catechist magazine, July 2014.

Image Credit: Shutter Stock 455013772

Share this article: