This year, I have two atrium spaces (3 weekly sessions) with children who are new to the atrium altogether.
Officially, it is not deemed necessary to introduce these children to the Fettuccia, the Blue Unity or the Level 2 History of the Gifts. Yet, my observations have led to the response of providing these presentations.
For the Fettuccia, I combine all the moments and we have an hour long visit with the Fettuccia - we hit all the doctrinal content, then go where the children go with it. They are invited to read through the booklet of their own accord on a follow-up day - to get it out one more time before moving to the Fettuccina. I asked one
We do the same with the Blue Unity and the History of the Gifts.
Level 2/3 in an atrium that has all three levels of materials present:
When asked their thoughts this past week, two 6th graders and a 4th grader in the level 2/3 atrium, all new to the atrium, having just reached the Level 3 History of the Gifts, responded, "I really appreciate seeing the big presentation - I have this image in my mind that I keeping seeing now of the Kingdom. I know there is room for me in it! The little ones have helped me think about my own response." When asked if they would have preferred not to have the level 2 presentations, knowing it was level 2 work intended for younger children, they responded, "NO! I needed that image! I don't think I would have understood the small strips as well. It would not have meant as much to me."
In this atrium, they can get out the Fettuccia any time since it is ever-present in the atrium.
Level 3 atrium with only level 3 materials:
In the other atrium, solely level 3, my Wednesday evening session has had only one boy (6th grade) in attendance the first few weeks. In this atrium, the 4th graders have been in atrium since kindergarten; the 5th/6th graders had sacramental preparation in a modified atrium, but have otherwise been in the regular religious education program. We had borrowed the Fettuccia from Level 2 and worked with it in the church. The children begged to work with it some more. I brought in a crocheted "ribbon" that I had used for my first Blue Unity set (crocheted yarn stitched to blue felt) - thus it was the length of the Blue Unity, done in yarn, with cardstock Bibles and arrows and texts. The children have taken it to the hallway, read the booklet, told the story in their own words and otherwise reviewed it with one another.
Then our second boy (also 6th grade) finally joined (he'd had other commitments the first few weeks of class). The first boy was SO EAGER, so shaky in his eagerness to do the Fettuccia with the new boy. I was so excited to see this joy and this excitement, because he was one I was concerned about connecting to the atrium. The boys worked in the hallway for about half an hour; they laid it all out, discussed the events, what it all means - it was true sharing of the faith - one child to another. I almost cried! It was so wonderful!
|Mini- Fettuccia from one direction|
|Mini Fettuccia from the other direction|