Friday, July 21, 2017

Sweeter Than Honey Psalm Coloring Pages- August


The big idea of our Sweeter than Honey CCD theme this year is to encourage the kids to know and memorize Scripture, specifically the Psalms, so that they know that God's promises are so sweet.

Each month, I'll share a set of coloring pages, one for each Sunday, featuring the Psalm from Sunday Mass.  Using special fonts and simple decorations, they are meant to be a quick addition to your weekly class as an aide to memorizing the Responsorial Psalm.  Add it to your opening and closing prayer, give the students a few minutes to color it during class, and send it home to be hung up on the fridge or bathroom mirror.

Here are the coloring pages for the four Sundays of August:


     




Click here for the full size Psalm coloring pages for August:

Click here for the half page size Psalm coloring pages for August:
(These fit perfectly inside the Scripture Book cover from this post)


I'll post coloring pages of the Psalms once a month, so stay tuned!  You might also like our Sweeter than Honey theme resources (folder covers, logo, signs, etc.) and St. Abigail and St. Ambrose patron Saint coloring pages.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Teaching to the Multiple Intelligences in Religious Education


Think about the call of the Apostles- Jesus didn't call Peter or Matthew or Philip in the same ways.  He certainly didn't use the same methods when he invited Paul, Mary Magdalene, or Martha to follow Him.  He encountered people while at work, in their homes, on the streets, on hilltops, and from the cross.  Jesus treated each person He met as an individual and continues to do so- why shouldn't we do the same as educators?  I think that looking at education through the lens of the Multiple Intelligences helps us to see how saints like St. Mother Teresa and St. Therese of Lisieux, who had such different strengths, could both love and serve the Lord so well.

Created by Howard Gardiner, the Multiple Intelligence Theory equips teachers to see various abilities, strengths, and talents combining to create smart kiddos, not dependent on a particular test scores or grades, changing our thoughts to not "if" a child is smart, but "how" he or she is smart.  This educational theory has helped me to differentiate in my classroom, reaching all students and seeing them as unique, unrepeatable, and irreplaceable individuals.   For more info, check out this pinterest board for links to research, smarts quizzes, and graphics about the Multiple Intelligences.

I think that all teachers, parents, and catechists can benefit from taking a look at the Multiple Intelligences in their homes and classrooms.  Over the next couple of months, I am going to offer a series on applying this educational theory specifically in Catholic classrooms, looking how we can present faith filled content in ways that reach all kids.  Today I'm using the Rosary as an example, but will also post ideas for teaching about the Mass, connecting kids with Saints, and helping them pray.  Each post will include a printable handout with the ideas organized by "smarts" that could be shared with coworkers, given to catechists or parents, or even used as an activity choice board for older students.

Students thrive with variations in activities and a chance for them to shine where their talents lie. Acknowledging each child’s intelligence is an echo of the individual dignity given to him or her by God. Let us strive to help all students grow in their knowledge of Christ and His Church.

Picture Smart Kids (Visual-Spatial Intelligence)
Picture Smart Kids are very visual. They learn best through seeing, not just talking and listening about a topic. Try using visual props like posters and graphic organizers while teaching, hands on manipulatives, as well as interactive notebooks with lots of pictures. To aid in learning the Rosary, use models labeled with the prayers as well as pictures of the mysteries. Use those pictures to find visual clues to help them memorize the main ideas of the stories. They also could create their own illustrations for the mysteries or lines from prayers used in the Rosary.

Word Smart Kids (Linguistic Intelligence)
Word Smart Kids can use language in powerful ways. They are great communicators, through either oral or written expression, or sometime both. Try word games to introduce new material to these kids. For example, have the kids sit in a circle and try to recite a prayer they are learning, like The Apostles Creed, one word at a time. Sarah says, “I,” Jake says, “believe,” Amanda says, “in,” …and start over again if a mistake is made until you have completed the prayer. They also benefit from writing, word cards, rhyming and repeating as they are learning.

Body Smart Kids (Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence)
Body Smart Kids learn best through movement and action. Come up with activities that get them out of their seats. Act out the Mysteries of the Rosary like plays, use sign language to teach prayers, or play games that involve movement. Teach the history of the Rosary using rocks, plastic Easter eggs, and yarn. Get the students up, pass out rocks (representing our prayers), put the rocks in the eggs (our hope in Christ), and create a spider web by clicking the eggs closed on the yarn (our connections as Christians). Hands on and tactile activities will help them acquire new info.

People Smart Kids (Interpersonal Intelligence)
People Smart Kids are always in tune with the needs and feelings of others, and have awesome leadership skills. Help your students organize a Holy Hour where they can lead the Rosary for the needs of a specific intention that they choose– a sick parishioner, a community disaster, children in impoverished countries, etc. Let the kids brainstorm how they can pray for those needs and maybe even organize some kind of fundraiser/food drive/outreach for the intention they have on their hearts. Give them the chance to shine by leading and organizing as much as possible.

Self Smart Kids (Intrapersonal Intelligence)
Self Smart Kids are very in touch with self knowledge and emotions. They will be able to remember and apply new information when they have a chance to create connections to themselves. When teaching the Rosary, encourage these kids to picture themselves being present during the different mysteries. What did they see? What were they thinking? What did they feel? Have them journal, draw, or discuss their visualizations about those meditations. They will appreciate quiet time in a church, Adoration chapel, or prayer space at home.

Music Smart Kids (Musical Intelligence)
Music Smart Kids love anything with a tune or a beat, so use this to your advantage when teaching new material. Find CDs or YouTube videos with the prayers of the Rosary or meditations set to music. Come up with rhymes or statements said to a beat to help them memorize new prayers. This works especially well with tunes that they are already familiar with– use those secular songs and make them holy! Invite them to sing or play an instrument at a Rosary prayer service or just in the classroom with fellow students.

Nature Smart Kids (Naturalist Intelligence)
Nature Smart Kids love the world around them. Get those kids outside as much as possible. Go on Rosary walks so that you can pray for the community around your church. Have those students help you plan a Mary Garden as a place of beauty and prayer. They will love seeing and growing all kinds of plants and flowers named in honor of Mary, whether you create a shrine, prayer labyrinth, or outdoor Stations of the Cross. They also could collect flowers and greenery to make arrangements for the church interior for a Mass or prayer service.

Number Smart Kids (Logical-Mathematical Intelligence)
Number Smart Kids are all about numbers. They are good with math and tend to think in a very logical and organized fashion. Let them be the “math whiz” and figure out how many years it has been since St. Dominic was given the Rosary, how many Hail Marys are said in a complete Rosary, etc. Plan a make-your-own Rosary activity and let them organize how many beads, the length of cord, etc. your class would need for each student. They even can help figure out the budget for the project and cost compare different supplies.

Click here for a two page printable with a description and teaching examples for each of the intelligences:

Read more about the Life and Dignity of the Human Person from the USCCB here.

Scripture verses for meditation:

“There are different kids of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit; there are different forms of service but the same Lord; there are different workings but the same God who produces all of them in everyone.
To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit it given for some benefit.”
~1 Corinthians 12:4-7

"It will as when a man who was going on a journey called in his servants and entrusted his possessions to them.  To one he gave five talents; to another, two; to a third, one- to each according to his ability."
~Matthew 25:14-15

"As each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of God's varied grace."
~1 Peter 4:10

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

St. Ambrose and St. Abigail Coloring Pages


Last week I posted about my CCD Sweeter Than Honey theme for this fall, and got so many nice emails!  Thank you for your sweet encouragement- I'm very excited to be sharing this with you and your students. :)  I've been hard at work churning out more resources, and today I have a set of coloring pages for our Patron Saints for the year: St. Ambrose and St. Abigail.  Both this holy man and holy woman are patrons of beekeepers and have stories from their lives connected to honey and bees.  I think the students will enjoy learning a little more about these unique two Saints!

I've made a set of coloring pages and info pages for each Saint, and also posted an already colored version as well for you to print.  It would make a great mini poster or addition to a bulletin board.  If you are looking for Sweeter than Honey verse coloring pages, folder/notebook covers, room signs, etc. or info on the theme, check out my last post.

Click here for the St. Ambrose coloring page:
Click here for the St. Ambrose info coloring page:
Click here for the St. Ambrose info page in color:

Click here for the St. Abigail coloring page:

Click here for the St. Abigail info coloring page:
Click here for the St. Abigail page in color:

Click here for the St. Abigail and St. Ambrose sweeter than honey verse coloring page:

I'll be back soon with the first set of Sweeter than Honey Psalm coloring pages and ideas for theme bulletin boards and decorations!

Friday, July 7, 2017

Sweeter Than Honey Theme Resources


Today was one of those productive days that you dream about having in the summer.  Among other things, I finished a bunch of work for an upcoming project I am super excited to share with you- very, very soon! I decided to switch gears and do some planning for the upcoming CCD year... and then churned out a ton of completed work for our CCD theme.  I am so excited about how it turned out, so I thought I would stay on a roll and get it all posted on the blog to share with you!  If you are looking for a new CCD or classroom theme, maybe you can use our "Sweeter than Honey" idea!

The complete theme verse is, "How sweet to my tongue is your promise, sweeter than honey to my mouth." from Psalm 119:103.  Among the cute bee and honeycomb decor we'll have, we also are going to have an emphasis on memorizing Scripture, specifically the Psalms.  We want the kids to have God's promises, which are so sweet, close to their heart.

I'll be making coloring pages to match the Responsorial Psalm for each week of the school year and sharing them here on the blog starting later this summer.  Those coloring pages could go on the back of your CCD newsletter, near the bulletins at church, as that five-minute-filler we all need at the end of class, or as a take home activity.  I dream of the weekly coloring pages being collected in a folder, notebook, or little mini book, so I've already created some covers for your planning.

Here are some of the printables I have ready for you to use as you begin your planning for the fall,  Let me know if you have any ideas for the theme, or if you know of a good patron Saint we can enlist- St. Gobnait/Abigail? St. Ambrose?  Maybe both?  What do you think?

Click on the images below to download and print the resources.

Sweeter Than Honey coloring page with Scripture Verse:

Sweeter Than Honey coloring page plain:

Room signs: (Also could be used for folder covers or teacher binder labels)
(Includes Preschool, Kindergarten, 1st-8th Grade, Confirmation, First Communion, Jr. High, High School, and Office).  I tried to make a collection of all encompassing signs, but if you need a specific grade level that is not in the collection, feel free to email me at looktohimandberadiant@gmail.com and I'd be happy to make those quick edits for you.

 Folder or notebook cover:

My Scripture Book half page cover:
This will be one place to collect the half page memory verses that I'll share in the coming months.

Gray scale honeycomb page:

Yellow honey comb page:

Black honeycomb page:

I'll be back with more soon!  In the meantime, if you see any cute bee or honey classroom decor, send it my way! ;)

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Sacrament Sort- The Sacraments of Initiation


I'm nearing the half way point of my summer, and so naturally my mind has turned more towards planning for the upcoming school year.  Among my goals for this new class is to make my religion curriculum more hands-on, station based, and designed around exploring and reflecting.  I plan to use a lot of the activities I already have created and prepped, but present them in a different way.  I'll keep you posted about the plans and how it actually plays out in the classroom, but along the way I thought I'd start sharing some of the stations I like to use when teaching about the Sacraments.

This Sacrament Sort (fyi- this post contains just for the Sacraments of Initiation, I'll have a later post for the Sacraments of Healing and Vocation) is a great review covering the signs, symbols, ministers, meaning, and actions of Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist.  It helps develop my students' skills of comparing and contrasting, as well as using evidence to defend their arguments to a peer.  I keep two big hula hoops hanging in my room just for activities like this.  Lay them on the floor, and you have a giant interactive Venn Diagram.

For this activity, the students get a stack of cards relating to the Sacraments of Initiation.  They first choose how to organize their diagram- two Sacraments become the topic for each circle, and the remaining Sacrament is in a pile outside of the circles.  If you are not familiar with Venn Diagrams, they are a great sorting tool for kids.  Cards that are true for both Sacraments are placed in the overlapped section of the circles, and cards that are only true for a specific Sacrament are placed in the section that does not overlap.  This manipulative and visual method helps students identify similarities and differences, and can then be used as a springboard for discussion or writing.

If you don't have two hula hoops handy (school teachers, don't forget to see if you could borrow from the PE teacher!), you also could draw a large Venn Diagram on a piece of poster board, or have them sort the cards into labeled columns on a table.  The hula hoops aren't the most important part, but they sure are fun. :)

I have a printable set of Sacrament cards linked below.  The set contains:
-A title card
-Label cards for Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist
-36 detail cards
-Full page key

The students always worked with at least one partner, promoting discussion and reasoning as they worked sort the stack of cards.  They were able to use their Fulton Sheen notebook as a resource, and I noticed that they frequently referenced this Sacrament signs and actions review sheet to verify their answers.  In this station set up, I asked them to let me know when they were done and I glanced over their work, but they then checked the cards themselves and let me know how they did.

To have the students self check their work (or to make it easier for you) they could use the full page key at the back of the document.  The cards are listed in alphabetical order on the left and the Sacraments they represent are on the right.  Or, to make it a little easier for the kids, after printing off the cards you can turn them over and write B, C, and/or E in the corner, so to self check the kids just have to flip all the cards over and see if they are in the right spot.

To adapt this activity for younger students or students who need a little more help, I would limit the choices.  First, I would choose only two Sacraments to be compared, for example Baptism and the Eucharist, and then would remove any cards that are just about Confirmation.  The teacher could also par down the detail cards the kids are working with and give them 10-15 instead of the full stack.

Click on either image to download and print all the cards and the corresponding key:



If you teach a lot about the Sacraments, you might also like some of these links:
All of my Sacrament posts are found under this tab
Sacraments Idea Board on Pinterest
Video Playlist for the Seven Sacraments
Sacrament Symbols Graphic Organizer
Sacraments and Grace Graphic Organizer
Sacraments Signs and Actions 

Have you ever used hula hoops to make a giant Venn diagram?  What ideas do you have for using this strategy in religious education?

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Katie Reads {7}



Time to chat about what I've been reading!  I've got a stack of various genres for you today, with books for both kids and adults.  

(FYI- the links for the books are Amazon Affiliate links.  That means that if you click through and purchase something, I will receive a small commission at no cost to you.  I will gratefully use it, probably to stock up on more books! :)  Thanks for supporting my little blog! )

Since I would rather be reading than writing long book reviews, I'll give you a grade and a quick run down- totally just my opinion based on what I enjoy.  I'd love to hear your thoughts on these books or suggestions of what I should read next in the comments! 


Praying the Angelus, Jared Dees, {A}
Ave Maria Press provided me with a copy of Praying the Angelus in exchange for an honest review.
  • The Angelus prayer is an integral part of my classroom routine.  I use this printable mini book (and matching booklet about the Regina Coeli) to help my students not only memorize the prayer, but also to understand its vocabulary, Scriptural base, and historical significance.
  • Jared Dees, best known in my circles as the The Religion Teacher, also has created the site The Angelus Prayer which features resources about praying the Angelus.  He contacted me for a feature called Why I Pray the Angelus and also sent me a copy of his new book for review.  I think that this new book is a great read for both those that are well practiced in praying the Angelus as well as those that might be new to the prayer.
  • Broken into two main sections, this book chronicles the history and origin of the beautiful Angelus prayer woven in with Jared Dees' personal connections.  The second half of the book provides line-by-line meditations for both the Angelus and the Regina Coeli.  Each 1-2 page reflection focuses on just a few words from each prayer and also gives a matching meditation for you to take into personal prayer or would work for group discussion.
  • This is a book I plan to keep near my prayer table at home as well as take in to my classroom use for quiet reflection time with my students. 


Anointed, Gifts of the Holy Spirit, Pope Francis, compiled by Jaymie Stuart Wolfe, {A}
Pauline Books & Media provided me with a copy of Anointed, Gifts of the Holy Spirit in exchange for an honest review.

  • This beautiful, new, hardbound book form Pauline Books & Media is going to become my go-to Confirmation gift.  Filled with beautiful minimalist graphics representing the Gifts of the Holy Spirit as well as interesting typography and photographs, this little book packs in a lot visually.
  • It is also filled with snippets of wisdom related to each of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit pulled from Pope Francis' teachings.  The short pieces from Pope Francis lend themselves perfectly to discussion or individual reflection.  
  • The book also includes prayers, Scripture verses, and more.  I plan to use this in my classroom prayer space when we are studying the Sacrament of Confirmation, but could see it being used for prayer or reflection in a Confirmation class or in the home of a student preparing for Confirmation.
  • Because of the modern design, there are some blank spaces on the pages introducing each new Gift of the Holy Spirit.  I can't help but think that Anointed would also make a great gift book for a Confirmand.  I would have parents, sponsors, catechists, pastor, etc. write a special message to the Confirmand throughout the book.  It also could be set out at a Confirmation celebration for guests to write in, making it not only a keepsake but also a tool for future prayer.  Its eye catching cover would help entice those students to return to Pope Francis' wisdom time and time again. 



Into the Sea, Out of the Tomb: Jonah and Jesus, Maura Roan McKeegan, {A+}

  • This book and its companion, The End of the Fiery Sword by the same author, have been my favorite new (to me) picture books this year.  I L-O-V-E Old Testament typology; digging into how the past events of the Bible pointed to Christ and the Church is fascinating and makes studying Scripture a bit like a rewarding detective hunt.
  • McKeegan has taken a couple of the biggest typology themes and turned them into accessible, reverent, and beautiful children's books. The End of the Fiery Sword compares Adam and Eve to Jesus and Mary.  This book, Into the Sea, Out of the Tomb, compares Jonah and Jesus.  Both books use vivid, lovely illustrations and lyrical language to draw connections between the Old and New Testament on side by side pages.  These books would make a wonderful addition to libraries in Catholic homes and Classrooms.
  • As St. Augustine said, "The New Testament lies hidden in the Old, and the Old is unveiled in the New."  What better way to unfold these truths with children- I hope that the author continues to add to the series!



Trials of the Earth, The True Story of a Pioneer Woman, Mary Mann Hamilton, {A}

  • Pioneer Lit has long been a favorite of mine (I've reviewed A Lantern in Her Hand and Giants in the Earth this year).  Trials of the Earth is a bit different because it is actually an autobiography even though it reads much like a novel.  Mary Mann Hamilton was one of the first pioneers to settle in the Mississippi Delta and wrote down the events of her life after decades of surviving hardship and adversity.  Her memoirs remained unpublished until the 1990s, but are now collected into this powerful book.  (Which probably has my favorite cover art of anything I've read this year!)
  • I thoroughly enjoyed reading the chronicle of her life.  The incredible struggles and circumstances she faced would break most modern Americans, but even though she was fairly ordinary, Mary was tough.  The "pioneer spirit" that can be romanticized in some novels manifests itself in her more as a gritty perseverance.  I was inspired to feel even more respect for the settlers of our country, as well as those around the world today in difficult refugee circumstances.  I think that anyone with a penchant for American history, Pioneer Lit, or interesting autobiographies would enjoy this book. 



Wonder, R.J. Palacio, {A+}

  • This is the "IT" book in middle school classrooms right now, and for good reason.  With the movie being released this fall, I wanted this at the top of my summer reading list and I was not disappointed.  Wonder tells the heartwarming story of Auggie, a 10 year old boy with facial abnormalities who is going to attend school for the first time.  Switching from Auggie's perspective to other characters like his new classmates and his older sister, the reader has a unique view of events in the book and the unfolding of the change Auggie brings to those around him.
  • As an educator who works with 10 and 11 year olds each day, this book really made me think about the lives led by my students and the depth of who they each are as a person.  Auggie's story and struggles were supposedly apparent, but who he was and what he had to offer the world ran much deeper than anything related to his appearance.  The same is true of my students- the talents, hurts, histories, and potential found in each of them lies well under the surface.  Just like Auggie, they deserve to be known and loved for who they are.
  • I'm hoping that I'll be able to get my hands on some affordable copies of this so that I can use it with my students this fall as a book study or read aloud.  I can't wait to hear what they think about it! 
  • (Note- there are a couple of references that I don't think are appropriate for my students- discussing girls being "flat" or not, for example.  I haven't decided yet if I will just skip those short sections as a read aloud or how I will handle it, but overall the content and theme of the book outweighs the small points that are a little too old for my students.  Parents and teachers, I would recommend you pre-read before sharing with students 12 and under.)



The Zookeeper's Wife, Diane Acherman, {A-}

  • Speaking of books and movies, a few friends and I "accidentally" saw the Zookeeper's Wife in theaters a couple months ago after missing the movie we came to see.  I didn't know anything about it, and in this case I'm actually glad I didn't read the book first.
  • The Zookeeper's Wife is the true story of Jan and Antonina Zabinski who owned the Warsaw Zoo before and after the invasion of Poland during WWII.  The family worked with the Polish resistance movement and also helped to hide and house Polish Jews and resistance workers in the almost empty zoo. They ended up helping save at least 300 Jews from a city where few survived.  
  • While the movie is a clean, two hour narrative summary of all of the events of the war with a clear beginning, middle, and end, the book isn't as linear.  It does include biographical information about the Zabinskis, but it weaves in stories of some of the Jews they helped, the resistance workers they worked alongside (Irena Sendler and Janusz Korczak, for example), and Nazi idealogies.  While all of us know that the Nazis wanted to create a pure race of humans, the book outlines their plans to create pure races of animals and plants as well.  
  • If you've seen the movie first, don't expect the book to be the same.  It isn't quite a page turner.  I struggled a bit with the structure and lack of a clear narrative thread, but it is more realistic that way and I did learn a lot of new information about a subject frequently in my reading topics.  (Other Holocaust/WWII books I've reviewed include The Nightingale, Night, For Such a Time, and All the Light We Cannot See.)



Traces of Guilt, Dee Henderson, {A}

  • Dee Henderson has long been a favorite author of mine when I am looking for a page turning, suspenseful novel with intriguing characters and subtle Christian values.  The O'Malley series and Uncommon Heros series are among my favorite books.  I started to read them in early college and have reread them many times over the years.  
  • Henderson is now writing stand alone novels that continue to tie characters together like Unspoken and Full Disclosure.  These books showcase her talent for writing a complexly woven story that you often can't see the ending of until reaching the last page.  There are ties between her books most evident for someone who has been a long time reader, but they don't hinder a new reader from picking up a single book and being immersed in the story.
  • This new series about character Evie Blackwell centers around a cold case task force.  Her writing is intriguing and character driven.  I love that Dee Henderson can write crime fiction without being raunchy or gory like so many other novels in the genre.  
  • I won't tell you much else about this book so that I don't give away any spoilers, but I will say that I already have the second Evie Blackwell book Threads of Suspicion and am loving this new series as a perfect summer read.  I would recommend anything that she has written! 



Which of these books would you most like to read?  What is on your To-Be-Read Stack?

You might like these other Katie Reads posts:
Katie Reads {1} 
Katie Reads {2}  
Katie Reads {3} 
Katie Reads {4}
Katie Reads {5}
Katie Reads {6}

Friday, June 23, 2017

Studying Scripture: Adding Art to a Non-Journaling Bible


In my last post on Studying Scripture, I shared all the details about how I have been reading, color coding, studying, and filling my new Bible with notes.  Because there is not (yet) a journaling Bible with wide margins or interleaved pages in an approved Catholic translation, I had to get a bit creative about how to include everything.  I also wanted to be able to add in art and handlettering to my Bible as part of my prayer and study, so I thought I'd share some of the techniques that worked for me.
Here are the supplies that I have been using over the past year and half and am very, very happy with:
(My suggestions in this post contain affiliate links, meaning that if you decide to make a purchase through me, I make a small percentage at no cost to you.  Thanks for supporting my little blog!)
1. I have this version of the New American Standard Bible (mine is navy, also available in burgundywhitehunter green, brown, and black)
2. These colored pencils (supplemented with a few Crayola colors)
3. This pencil sharpener (sharpens both large and small colored pencils)
4. These pencils (the only kind worth having!)
5. This eraser
6. These fine tipped pens, brush pens, and bolder pens.  I also love these pens, but they are likely to bleed through Bible pages- I recommend them for art done separately
7. Washi Tape like this
8. Vellum like this or this or this
9. Various sizes of blue post it notes (I do not recommend Post-It brand Super Sticky notes- they can damage the delicate Bible pages if you try to move them)
10. And a pouch to hold it all in like this one or this one or this one.
(You can also see the whole supply list on Amazon here.)

*Holy Cards
Taping in my favorite holy cards with washi tape is a perfect way to add in holy art.  It does nothing to damage the page- you simply lift or turn the flap to access the text.  I love that it easily provides beautiful images to meditate on while reading corresponding Scripture:



*Post It Notes
In my other post, I mentioned that I use tons of post its to compile notes from talks, homilies, and books I've read that I want to have close at hand in my Bible.  Post its also work great for adding art to my pages. Little lettering on post its of various sizes also works great, and the post its can be lifted or removed:

*Footnotes
Sometimes I'll create art over the footnotes.  They are still able to be read, but I have the added beauty of color, lettering, and sketches without covering the actual text.  I know that some people have created room for art and journaling in a non-journaling Bible by painting the footnotes with white paint or covering them with a large white label sticker.  If you are looking to create just a Bible for art, with another Bible available for study and prayer, that is a valid option.  My Bible however serves for studying as well, so I want to make sure the footnotes are still legible:


*Vellum
Probably my favorite way to add art in my Bible is using vellum.  Transparent paper that allows you to see Scripture behind it, using vellum is also super easy and fun because you can trace your designs from a pattern, prototype, or other work and then easy add them into your Bible.  Here are a couple of examples that I created by tracing verses that I had previously lettered in a notebook but wanted to add to my Bible:


*Tracing & Computer Fonts
This technique makes it easy to add lettering even if you don't consider yourself an artist or don't like your handwriting.  First, I highly recommend you go read my post called Your Handwriting Matters, because if there was ever place to use your handwriting, your Bible is it.

However, if you want to try a different lettering technique you can easily do that.  Using a program like Word or Publisher, type your verse in a font you like.  I recommend doing this as a piece of word art or in a text box so it is easier to manipulate.  You can set the text fill to white and the text outline to black creating a font that can be colored in.  Print to a size that you can trim and fit in your Bible.  Then color and decorate and add it to the matching page:

Or you could use that font as a template.  Here I printed the verse, taped a piece of vellum over it, and then used it as practice using a brush pen:

Then I taped the vellum art into my Bible.  This is a great technique to help you develop your own lettering style.

*Coloring Pages
There are a lot of really pretty adult coloring books with Scripture and Tradition as themes (like this and this and this).  You could put that beautiful coloring to good use by trimming your final art work and adding it into your Bible as a flap by taping it only on one side.  (Bonus- the back side can be used for notes or prayers!) Here, I added in one of my favorite coloring pages I've created, the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  You can find that coloring page here, and I have tons of other printables listed under the tabs above that could be used for the same purpose. 


*Notebooks
Another option is to create your art or lettering in a separate, special notebook just for that purpose. I've been doing that with my Sunday Readings Scripture Doodle using these notebooks for the past two years.  They give me just enough room to letter a verse.  I add the reference in the corner, and I know some people also make a notation in their Bible as well (a great use of washi tape for example) that they have corresponding art in a journal:


There's a few of my ideas for adding art in your Bible!  You might also like this post with tips on adding notes, color coding, tabs, tools, and more:

So, how do you use your Bible for art and prayer?  What has worked for you?  What stumbling blocks or challenges have you faced? What new techniques would you like to try?  I'd love to hear from you in the comments!