Your Space: Open with WELCOME

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by Sheila Kearney

The learning area needs to express warmth and welcome to your students. Here is an idea for how to decorate and arrange your learning space and prayer table for September.

Your Space

Make a footprint pattern by tracing around your own shoe on a thin piece of cardboard and cutting it out. Using this as a pattern, trace around it on pieces of poster board to create eight footprints. Cut them out. On seven of the eight footprints, draw a letter in the word WELCOME. Use wide packing tape to tape each footprint to the floor of your learning space, to spell out the word WELCOME, beginning with the W right inside the door—with the E next, a “footstep” away. Be sure to cover each footprint completely in tape to avoid any edge curling up, creating a tripping hazard. Place letters in a stepping pattern close enough so the children can actually walk on each letter as they enter the room. Meet each child at the door with your own warm and welcoming greeting.

If you have bulletin or wall space, trim the edges with smaller footprints cut from autumn colored construction paper. In the center of that space, hang a large piece of poster board on which you’ve written: WELCOME! LET US WALK TOGETHER AND LEARN TOGETHER ABOUT JESUS.

Your Prayer Table

September is Ordinary Time; the liturgical color for Ordinary Time is green. Drape a piece of green cloth across your prayer table and place on it a Bible, a crucifix, the text that your students will use this year, a small “Welcome” plaque, and the eighth footprint. Form your prayer around the atmosphere of welcome and walking together to learn about Jesus. Have students write their names on the footprint as a symbol of their enthusiasm for the year ahead. Leave the footprint on the prayer table all year.

Throughout the weeks of this month, invite students to bring in items for the prayer table that coincide with your weekly lesson.

Copyright 2013, 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, January 2013.

Image Credit: Shutter Stock 447170968


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