Teaching the true meaning behind Easter

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by teachder, Mar 13, 2008.

  1. teachder

    teachder Companion

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    Mar 13, 2008

    So I teach four and five year olds. This week we've been talking about Jesus and the last supper. We have a program that I bought that has 12 eggs each with something symbolic about Jesus and this time in his life....The book that comes along with it is talks about each one. It quotes the bible and doesn't sing song anything. I had a parent email me today saying the crown of thorns was to much for her daughter to handle. We are at a Catholic school and we don't discuss this for more than 10 mins. maybe three times a week. I don't think it's to much for the kids. Most kids watch worse stuff on tv or movies. Not this girl i'm sure, but still it's her Lord that we are talking about if it's truly what we believe shouldn't we talk about it. Jesus was born and he died. Well, how did he die....some men didn't like him because they wanted him to perform miricles and save himself....save himself from what....from those who were hurting him...why were they hurting him....'cause he said he was God and they didn't believe him....how did they hurt him...? that is were I'm at....I'm not going to say they hurt his feelings....This is Jesus we are talking about...he did amazing things like multiply the fish, walk on water...forgive sin...was beaten and ridicouled and died on the cross- that they see everyday at school and in church....and still, because he is God, he has risen and that is Easter. Don't get me wrong we are celebrating easter too, bunnies and butterflies and the like....so what does anyone else think? I read, no i had parents read, from the same book last year and had no objections....so i didn't think anything about it this year....i'm going to go see if there is an age restriction on the box.
     
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  3. monica

    monica Comrade

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    Mar 13, 2008

    I teach at a Methodist preschool. I have a book that I read that tells the "Easter story" in a very simple version, not too many details. We also read it from our children's bible. It's just the basics, Jesus came to Earth to love us, save us and help people. He loves us, he did miracles while he was here. Some people didn't like things Jesus was teaching and they had him killed. He died on a cross, they buried him in a tomb. In 3 days he arose and he lives in Heaven and our hearts today. He had to die so that we could be saved and live forever with him, in Heaven when we die.

    Personally I wouldn't get into the details, such as thorn crown, with my preschool kids. It is true, we do believe it, it's horrible how it happened and someday they need to know the details. As four and five year olds though, they're still pretty much babies when it comes to things like that. I guess I see it like the Christmas story. We also talk about it, Jesus was born to Mary & Joseph. He was born in a stable, he was the gift to the world. Etc... We don't add that he was born to a virgin, though that is a very big part of the story for us. It's a detail we just don't share with them yet.

    I would talk to your supervisor and see how they feel about the situation. Get advice from those you work with and see if you are all "in the same boat" so to speak on how you share the story.

    Good Luck!:)
     
  4. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Mar 13, 2008

    We have used the egg program without any objection. But there is always a parent who is concened about anything you do. I would involve her more by letting her see the programs and asking her for input. Sometimes parents just don't understand what is really going on. When they hear bits and pieces from their child, they panic.

    And, this too, shall pass. Next year someone will object to using red paint as it is too intense.
     
  5. mrs27

    mrs27 Rookie

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    Mar 14, 2008

    I agree with monica. I think the eggs, which my preschool used before I came, are for 5 and up. I do things simpler with DA books and don't get into the details of how Jesus suffered. I focus on the miracle of Easter. I try to relate the death and resurrection to a caterpillar and a butterfly. The kids make a caterpillar and we tuck it in the cocoon. I secretly add wings, then at the Easter party they unwrap the cocoon and find a butterfly. I tell them something along the lines of that when Jesus died He was put in a tomb that was like a cocoon for him and that when He came out he had new life, like the caterpillar has a new life as a butterfly. I tell them that because of Jesus , when we go to heaven, we get to have a new life too. I really have found that to much information, especially visuals, can be very scary for some children.
     
  6. SwOcean Gal

    SwOcean Gal Devotee

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    Mar 14, 2008

    While I do not see you as being wrong and I can very much understand and relate to what you are saying and how you feel- I also see the other side. I have taught CCd for about 6 years now and I actually teach preschool in a public school, so I am familiar with the age group. I see where you are coming from and I was very much the same as you- this is what happened there is no changing that. Yes the kids see terrible things on tv too, but right now all of us must be super careful with that parents feel might be too much information. You need to give her access to exactly what has done- so in case she had the information misrepresented to her, she will better be able to understand.
    I would have done the same thing as you- I have done that lesson myself. You want them to understand the pain and agony- you want your children to understand what Jesus went through for love of them. That was me- I was very narrow minded I knew what I wanted the kids to know and I wanted them to know the truth and make real. But, remember there is plenty of time for them to learn the reality of Jesus' agony and death. It is a much better tone to adapt when you teach the children the miracle of what Jesus did, the blessing and the promise that it is. Jesus' message is/was one of love and its important to remember that and reinforce it.
    I was exactly like that- I wanted to do a lesson on human life in 6th grade, the same grade where in school they had health and sex ed that fostered safe sex and doing what feels good, I was not allowed to do it. Could I see why then? no, can I see why now, no. This kind of reminds me of that experience- I just wanted to let them know at what age or what day a baby had fingernails etc I felt in a way I had failed the kids- there were issues I could not talk about, I could not answer related questions. That is not the way to teach kids. I thought the time was right because it coincided with the lesson they were learning in school and gave the Catholic viewpoint which they were attending CCD for, but it was apparently not time for that in that parish. Its important to realize that sometimes the lesson we feel may need to be taught most is a lesson that these students will learn, but perhaps now is not the time. They have at least 12 more years of school to be learning the fact of Jesus' agony- perhaps by then they will be better able to grasp exactly what Jesus' pain has done for all of us. I wish you the best of luck. Your heart is in the right place and I can understand how you are feeling and thinking about this. Its hard, good luck. You must be an awesome teacher.
     
  7. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Mar 15, 2008

    I wouldn't discuss the details of the torture. I think the kids you have are too young to handle it. On the other hand, the true message of Easter is not the horror at man's behavior, but the gift of everlasting life. You could focus more on the risen Christ and how it relates to His promises to us.
     
  8. tm91784

    tm91784 Comrade

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    Mar 15, 2008

    I also teach in a Catholic school. My students are not there in the afternoon, so they do not go to stations of the cross, but K-8 does and they discuss the torture in detail there. We discuss Jesus' death and resurrection in our 15 minute religion class, but I don't go into as much detail as the older children do. I just talk about how Jesus died for us so that we can go to heaven and be happy forever.
     
  9. HMM

    HMM Cohort

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    Mar 15, 2008

    Not if it disturbs the child. I have a catholic friend that teaches his daughter about the crucifixion and other things from the bible and now she has nightmares. Not every child is desensitize to this level of violence.
     

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