Advent is a special time in the Catholic church and it is my favorite time of year to decorate my classroom! As we prepare for the birth of Christ, we can often get caught up in the commercial side of Christmas, so I like to deck my classroom out for Advent to help my students remember the reason for the season.
While we do still have a tiny Christmas tree, most of the decorations are there to help us prepare for the birth of Jesus. Below are five different items I have in my classroom that I have found helpful for Advent.
While this display is not always in my classroom (sometimes I put it up in the hallways), it is truly my favorite! We put up four paper candles (three purple and one pink) and each day we add a leaf to create a wreath. And to make it more meaningful, each leaf has an act of kindness that we all complete. By the end of Advent the wreath is complete and we’ve all grown in faith by completing the acts of kindness.
While one nativity scene is certainly enough, I’m pretty sure I have 3-4 in my classroom each Advent. I inherited a few when I started teaching and have been gifted some from students since then. I love putting them out and talking with students about each person in the scene. Here are few kid friendly options- Little People Nativity Scene, Lego Nativity Scene, Felt Interactive Nativity Scene, and a more traditional version.
During Covid I was looking for a way to decorate my students’ desks for Advent (since we couldn’t put out all our usual decorations), so I had each of them create an Advent calendar chain. Each week starts with a simple prayer/bible verse. Then the week continues with acts of kindness that students can perform. The week ends with a short reflection. Each day students will tear off one link of the chain to show we are getting closer to Christmas. This is a great way to decorate the room, while having students grow in faith this Advent season.
Bring some excitement to the Advent season with the Advent ABCs! Each letter is connected to an Advent or Christmas themed word and teaches students more about the church season. Each morning I have my students guess what word they think will go with the letter- such a fun game to play! We hang up each letter until we have all 26 posted in the classroom.
Every year I set up my Advent wreath and every year I am surprised by how few students have one in their own home. We put ours on our prayer table and gather around it for a quick prayer each week. While I used to use real candles, I have found that the battery powered ones are best for the classroom. If you teach younger students, using a felt Advent wreath might be the right choice for your classroom. I even found a really neat Lego one that I will be adding to my classroom this upcoming year!
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