Saturday, December 4, 2010


Just before the season of Advent begins, we introduce geography works to the children in the Good Shepherd and the True Vine Atria. Through the geography works, we establish the foundational understanding that Jesus was a real person who lived in a specific place in the world. Our goal is not the accumulation of facts, but to help the children enjoy discovering the real places where Jesus was born, lived his ministry, died, and rose again.

Beginning with three year olds in the Good Shepherd Atrium, we locate the land of Israel on a globe and, using a raised surface map, focus on the three principle cities that were so important in the life of Jesus - Nazareth (where Mary lived, and where the Angel told her that she would be the mother of Jesus), Bethlehem (where Jesus was born) and Jerusalem (the city that Jesus loved, where he died and rose again). Later older children in the Good Shepherd Atrium work with a puzzle map of the regions and waterways of the land of Israel.

In the True Vine Atrium we begin to explore the land of Israel in depth with pin maps.  The regions, mountains, waterways, and cities that we learn about in the Christian Scriptures are located and marked.

Booklets extend this work, exploring the geographical features of the region and the cities in more detail, and include Bible references so the children can read more about the places they are discovering.

Not surprisingly, the maps become a reference point for many works in the room year round.  This begins in Advent, as children explore the scriptures that tell of the birth of Jesus.  We love our maps!

Tomorrow is the second Sunday in Advent!  If you have an Advent wreath, you can light the second blue candle tomorrow!  Enjoy some quiet time with your family.


  1. The children really like working with the map materials in both level one and two. I have to admit that I like them also. These works help the children make the association that Jesus was a real person that lived in a real place. I am so grateful for the talented volunteers who made these materials for the children.

  2. That is a really good idea! What a fantastic way to incorporate geography. That would be really helpful for me as my son is asking lots of questions as to whether Bethlehem still exists!

  3. I love these works too Deb! They really are satisfying! We really are lucky!
    I'm so glad you stopped by BiS! I had the feeling that you would find these works interesting, given your curious little fellow at home!

  4. Is this part of the Catechesis? Can I find written up what you label and how, or did you make this up on your own. WOW, this is amazing. My map loving boy would love to try this. Where do you get the pins?

  5. Hi Emily, yes these are all catechesis works. These are written up in the catechesis material manuals. Basically we have a map which isolates mountains, one with mountains, waterways,and deserts, a map of cities Jesus knew, and one map which incorporates all. The pins were ordered from a place like the one listed below.
    It has been really fun for me to work with the maps after returning from Israel!


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