Christmas

To know that Jesus is special and was born in poor circumsances in Bethlehem. We celebrate his Birth at Christmas.

While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.  Luke 2: 6
Rationale: aims and purpose of the unit

This unit builds on work done in Advent and in the previous year at Christmas. It will enable children to explore the Christmas story further and relate this story to their own birth. There is an opportunity to examine the similarities and differences. Through the eyes of the inn-keeper and the Wise Men, the reaction to the Birth of Jesus is examined. All the activities should involve lots of discussion and role-play.

Prior Learning in RE
  • Know about getting ready for Jesus.
  • Know that Mary was the mother of Jesus.
  • Know that the Birth of Jesus was special.
Other Skills and Knowledge Required
  • Thinking skills, including target maps.
  • Story sacks.
  • Drawing.
  • Painting.
  • Singing.
  • Sequencing.
  • Role-play.
Vocabulary
  • Jesus
  • Christmas
  • Mary
  • Joseph
  • Bethlehem
  • Manger
  • Birth
Explanation of the Theology

At Christmas, the glory of heaven is shown in the weakness of a baby; the Epiphany is the manifestation of the Messiah King of Israel to all nations.

The Church calls the mystery of the union of the divine and human natures in the one divine Person of the Word, the “Incarnation”. To bring about our salvation, the Son of God was made “flesh” (John 1:14) and became truly human. Faith in the Incarnation is a distinctive sign of the Christian faith. As the Son of God, who is “begotten not made, consubstantial with the Father”, he was made truly human, our brother, without ceasing to be God, our Lord.

Cf Paragraphs 103, 86 & 87 Compendium: Catechism of the Catholic Church 

(Remember that there is no scriptural reference to a ‘stable’, even though this is a common theme in nativity scenes, plays etc. This has therefore been referred to as the ‘manger scene’ throughout this unit.)

To know that Jesus is special and was born in poor circumstances in Bethlehem. We celebrate his Birth at Christmas.

Rationale: aims and purpose of the unit

This unit builds on work done in Advent and in the previous year at Christmas. It will enable children to explore the Christmas story further and relate this story to their own birth. There is an opportunity to examine the similarities and differences. Through the eyes of the inn-keeper and the Wise Men, the reaction to the Birth of Jesus is examined. All the activities should involve lots of discussion and role-play.

Prior Learning in RE
  • Know about getting ready for Jesus.
  • Know that Mary was the mother of Jesus.
  • Know that the Birth of Jesus was special.
Other Skills and Knowledge Required
  • Making story sacks.
  • Painting.
  • Singing.
  • Sequencing.
  • Role-play.
  • Writing simple letters.
  • Making stick puppets.
Vocabulary
  • Annunciation
  • Wise Men, gifts
  • Christmas
  • Mary
  • Joseph
  • Bethlehem
  • Manger
  • Birth
Explanation of the Theology

At Christmas, the glory of heaven is shown in the weakness of a baby; the Epiphany is the manifestation of the Messiah King of Israel to all nations.

The Church calls the mystery of the union of the divine and human natures in the one divine Person of the Word, the “Incarnation”. To bring about our salvation, the Son of God was made “flesh” (John 1:14) and became truly human. Faith in the Incarnation is a distinctive sign of the Christian faith. As the Son of God, who is “begotten not made, consubstantial with the Father”, he was made truly human, our brother, without ceasing to be God, our Lord.

Cf Paragraphs 103, 86 & 87 Compendium: Catechism of the Catholic Church

(Remember that there is no scriptural reference to a ‘stable’, even though this is a common theme in nativity scenes, plays etc. This has therefore been referred to as the ‘manger scene’ throughout this unit.)

To know that that people recognised how special the Birth of Jesus was and that we give thanks and praise for the Birth of Jesus

Rationale: aims and purpose of the unit

This purpose of this unit is to deepen understanding of the Annunciation and the events of the Christmas story.

Emphasis is placed on the journeys associated with the Birth of Jesus, as well as highlighting what we learn about Jesus from these journeys. This work will help set the context socially, religiously and geographically for the Birth of Jesus. The question is also raised of the implications for the Church’s work today. For example consideration is given to the Church’s work with refugees in the light of the ‘Flight to Egypt’

Prior Learning in RE
  • Knowledge of the Annunciation.
  • Know the key events of the Christmas story.
Other Skills and Knowledge Required
  • Using maps.
  • Writing invitations.
  • Collage skills.
  • Instructional text.
  • Thinking skills, including fishbone diagrams, bridge maps, priorities grids.
  • Vocabulary
Vocabulary
  • Holy Land
  • Holy Family
  • Egypt
  • Journey
  • Angel
  • Refugees
Explanation of the Theology

At Christmas, the glory of heaven is shown in the weakness of the baby; the Epiphany is the manifestation of the Messiah King of Israel to all nations. The Church calls the mystery of the union of the divine and human natures in the one divine Person of the Word, the “Incarnation”. To bring about our salvation, the Son of God was made “flesh” (John 1:14) and became truly human.

Faith in the Incarnation is a distinctive sign of the Christian faith. As the Son of God, who is “begotten not made, consubstantial with the Father”, he was made truly human, our brother, without ceasing to be God, our Lord.

Cf paragraphs 103, 86 & 87 Compendium: Catechism of the Catholic Church.

(Remember that there is no scriptural reference to a ‘stable’, even though this is a common theme in nativity scenes, plays etc. This has therefore been referred to as the ‘manger scene’ throughout this unit. It is also worth noting that there is no direct reference to an inn-keeper in the Gospel, or to a donkey. The Gospel gives no indication of how Mary and Joseph travelled to Bethlehem, although it is not unlikely that a pregnant woman would have been unable to make the journey on foot.)

The journeys of the Christmas story tell us about Jesus and help us understand how we should care for others .

Rationale: aims and purpose of the unit

This unit looks at the Christmas story from the perspective of the shepherds. Their response invites an exploration of the language they used and also consideration of the nature of the ministry of Jesus, which was to care for and live among the poor and marginalised.

The symbolism of the nativity scene is examined through the story of the first crib.

Prior Learning in RE
  • Know the key events of the Christmas story, including the journey of the
  • Wise Men.
  • The role of angels.
  • Knowledge of St Francis of Assisi.
Other Skills and Knowledge Required
  • Writing passports.
  • Play scripts.
  • Creating calligrams.
  • Role-play.
  • Poetry.
  • Thinking skills, include concept maps.
Vocabulary
  • Shepherds
  • Glorify
  • Angels
  • St Francis of Assisi
  • Crib
  • Manger
  • Marginalised
Explanation of the Theology

At Christmas, the glory of heaven is shown in the weakness of the baby; the Epiphany is the manifestation of the Messiah, King of Israel, to all nations. The Church calls the mystery of the union of the divine and human natures in the one divine Person of the Word, the “Incarnation”. To bring about our salvation, the Son of God was made “flesh” (John 1:14) and became truly human. Faith in the Incarnation is a distinctive sign of the Christian faith. As the Son of God, who is “begotten not made, consubstantial with the Father”, he was made truly human, our brother, without ceasing to be God, our Lord.

Cf paragraphs 103, 86 & 87 Compendium: Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Jesus was born in poor circumstances. He came to call the poor, the dispossessed and the marginalised.

Rationale: aims and purpose of the unit

This unit examines the role of the angels in the Christmas story. It provides an invitation to identify ways in which we can be messengers of the Good News today. Opportunities are provided to consider specific role models of people, who have been messengers of the Good News in the life of the Church. The feasts associated with Christmas, such as the Annunciation and the birth of John the Baptist, are also explored.

Ways in which the parish community celebrates Christmas are also identified.

Prior Learning in RE
  • Knowledge of John the Baptist and Zechariah.
  • Knowledge of other Christmas stories with angels in.
  • Some of the symbolism of Christmas.
Other Skills and Knowledge Required
  • IT skills.
  • Presentation skills.
  • Web page design.
  • Writing a diary.
  • Thinking skills, including similar/different diagrams and priorities grids.
Vocabulary
  • Messengers
  • Good News
  • Gabriel
  • Zechariah
  • Symbolism
  • John the Baptist
Explanation of the Theology

At Christmas, the glory of heaven is shown in the weakness of the baby; the Epiphany is the manifestation of the Messiah, King of Israel, to all nations. The Church calls the mystery of the union of the divine and human natures in the one divine Person of the Word, the “Incarnation”. To bring about our salvation, the Son of God was made “flesh” (John 1:14) and became truly human. Faith in the Incarnation is a distinctive sign of the Christian faith. As the Son of God, who is “begotten not made, consubstantial with the Father”, he was made truly human, our brother, without ceasing to be God, our Lord.

Cf paragraphs 103, 86 & 87 Compendium: Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Angels were messengers of the Good News. We are called to be messengers of that Good News today.

Rationale: aims and purpose of the unit

This unit explores the Christmas story in greater detail and looks at some of the difficulties encountered by the Holy Family as a result of the Birth of Jesus. In particular, the effects of being homeless and a refugee are covered. Connections are made between the plight of Jesus and the homeless and refugees today. The role of King Herod highlights the problems faced by the refugees and homeless today.

A focus is also provided on Christmas being a time of prayer and devotion

Prior Learning in RE
  • Different journeys in the Christmas story.
  • Different accounts of the Christmas story.
  • Knowledge of the circumstances of the Birth of Jesus.
Other Skills and Knowledge Required
  • Play scripts.
  • Creating estate agents’ specifications.
  • Producing news reports.
  • Thinking skills, including SWOT analysis, priorities grids
  • Recipes.
Vocabulary
  • Homeless
  • Herod
  • Revelation
  • Poor circumstances
  • Manger
Explanation of the Theology

At Christmas, the glory of heaven is shown in the weakness of the baby; the Epiphany is the manifestation of the Messiah, King of Israel, to all nations. The Church calls the mystery of the union of the divine and human natures in the one divine Person of the Word, the “Incarnation”. To bring about our salvation, the Son of God was made “flesh” (John 1:14) and became truly human. Faith in the Incarnation is a distinctive sign of the Christian faith. As the Son of God, who is “begotten not made, consubstantial with the Father”, he was made truly human, our brother, without ceasing to be God, our Lord.

Cf paragraphs 103, 86 & 87 Compendium: Catechism of the Catholic Church.

As followers of Christ, we are called to give witness to the poor at Christmas.

Rationale: aims and purpose of the unit

This unit provides an opportunity for a more detailed look at the Christmas story through the eyes of the Gospel writers. A particular focus is given to St John’s Prologue, which describes Jesus as ‘the Word’. The meaning of the word ‘Incarnation’ is illustrated and developed. This will open out the different images of Jesus that are portrayed in Scripture. Similarities between the Christmas story, which appears in Matthew and Luke’s Gospels, are also considered.

Prior Learning in RE
  • The Gospel accounts of the Christmas story in Matthew and Luke.
  • Detailed knowledge of the Christmas story
Other Skills and Knowledge Required
  • ICT: Powerpoint.
  • Research skills.
  • Debating skills.
  • Writing for different audiences.
  • Thinking skills, including mind-maps
Vocabulary
  • Prologue
  • Logos
  • Incarnation
  • Word made Flesh
  • King Herod
  • Revelation
  • Manifestation
Explanation of the Theology

At Christmas, the glory of heaven is shown in the weakness of the baby; the Epiphany is the manifestation of the Messiah, King of Israel, to all nations. The Church calls the mystery of the union of the divine and human natures in the one divine Person of the Word, the “Incarnation”. To bring about our salvation, the Son of God was made “flesh” (John 1:14) and became truly human. Faith in the Incarnation is a distinctive sign of the Christian faith. As the Son of God, who is “begotten not made, consubstantial with the Father”, he was made truly human, our brother, without ceasing to be God, our Lord.

Cf paragraphs 103, 86 & 87 Compendium: Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Jesus is the Son of God, God becoming human. Belief in the Incarnation is central to our faith.