It's a funny time of year for it, but I wanted to share a few photos of the shelves in the Good Shepherd Atrium that we use to meditate on the events surrounding Jesus' birth. These shelves hold prophecies, infancy narratives, and the geography materials.
On top of the first shelf from the left, you can see the prophecies. The prophecies give us insight into who Jesus is, and the children enjoy tracing and illustrating them in the Advent season. You can learn more about the prophecies in another post, called Advent Prophecies in the Atrium.
The infancy narratives are kept on the first and second shelves from the left. These include small 3-D people and furnishings, along with environments (such as a house or stable) to place them into, and a booklet which isolates the specific scripture being considered. Children love to work with these materials year round and wonder about Mary's visit to Elizabeth, or the appearance of the angels to the shepherds in the fields. You can read more about this work in another post called The Infancy Narratives.
The third shelf from the left holds the geography materials, which help us to know that Jesus was a real person, who lived in a particular place and time. These are favorites with the children who love to run their fingers over the topographical map of the Land of Israel and find the three cities which meant so much to Jesus. You can read more about these materials in the post Geography.
In addition to these materials, there are several extensions on top of the second and third shelves from the left, including packets of images for tracing that correspond with the infancy narratives, and maps to trace, label with the city names, and color. Advent is always a joyful time in the atrium!