The Liturgical Calendar is composed of 52 prisms, inner and arcs and arrows and two outer arcs. These pieces are built with great care, precisely in order, outside the puzzle frame to recreate the cycles of the liturgical year. At each Level of the Atrium the children are invited to work with this material in a new way, beginning with the emphasis on the pattern of preparation (purple), celebration (white and red), and growing time (green), as well as the two great cycles of Christmas and Easter. The children then learn to make their own calendars, carefully copying the colors and then the words onto paper prepared for them. In Level II (1st-3rd grade or E1) the children are shown that each Sunday has a name and they learn to label the Sundays and make their own corresponding calendar, again, with the added labels/numbers. Somewhere between Level II and III (4th-6th grade or E2) they might also look at the Feasts and Solemnities of the Church that are tied to the dates of the year (ex: December 8th is the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception). Finally, the Level III children are exposed to the process for determining Easter, having read Exodus 12 which gives the prescriptions for Passover, and they also begin to make their own calendars which incorporate not just each Sunday but every single day of the year. Whew!!! Please enjoy some photos of one of the children's favorite works in the Atrium. Perhaps they have picked up on the fact that I really love this particular material?!
This 5 year old was presented the Liturgical Calendar on September 28th. The next week, October 5th, he came into the Atrium and immediately returned to the calendar and began to build it, pictured here.
On October 12th, the following week, this child again built the calendar and asked to be shown how to make his "own" calendar on paper. He colored the prisms, counting and following the material. An adult then added the labels for each inner arc and he traced over her letters.
Having worked with the Liturgical Calendar almost every Atrium session, on November 30th this child spontaneously decided to write the labels himself. He spent the entire Atrium session finishing his first calendar done completely on his own. I wonder what's next!!
Building the Liturgical Calendar.
Sometimes it's too hard to wait! Building the calendar while another child colors and labels his own!
Using the Liturgical Calendar to show where we were when we began the school year compared to where (when!) we are now.
Using the calendar to label each week of the liturgical year.
Making an elementary calendar on paper and labeling each Sunday.
Completing the labels of the weeks in order to add the Solemnities!
Lead Catechist for The Way of the Shepherd and CGS Formation Leader