Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Teaching about the Mass Activity Sheets

Each year as I teach about the Sacraments, I try to gauge the needs and interests of my students and create activities that are right for them.  This year after learning more about the Eucharist, I set up a review week with four tasks related to the Mass.  I made four activity sheets to guide their reflections and help me assess their learning.  The sheets are all linked below and could be used with a wide range of ages and specific activities.  I intentionally did not include written instructions so that I (and you!) could tailor them to individual kids, groups, and tasks. 

Here are the ways I used these sheets this year:

Mass Articles
These Mass sets, which really are designed for younger learners, were actually incredibly helpful for my students as they learned the proper names and uses of items that they see in the church.  After reviewing our resources on things used in the Mass, they had to choose four of them that they learned something new about, draw their own picture and then write their own description, helping me gauge their understanding.

The Order of the Mass
This page was used to review the four main parts in the Order of the Mass.  I labeled the Introductory Rites, Liturgy of the Word, Liturgy of the Eucharist, and Concluding Rites.  The students had to draw something that illustrated the main action of that part of the Mass as well as write a description.  Using these Order of the Mass Cards in earlier lessons definitely helped my students know how the parts of the Mass fit together.  For younger students or if using this as an introduction, you could have the students copy a "definition" for that part of the Mass and then draw their own illustrations.

Mass Book Review
The next page was an opportunity to read and review a book about the Mass.  I set out a basket of books (including the kids' books from this list) and they had the chance to read, analyze, and recommend the book they chose.

Mass Reflection
Aaaaand disappointingly, I can't find any photos of the fourth page, which was a Mass Reflection.  It has a space for a large illustration and many lines of writing.  I had prepped my students before a school Mass to pay attention for a moment when they felt particularly close to Jesus.  They drew their own pictures of that moment and then wrote a couple of paragraphs about it.  You could use that page in many other ways. including writing about the homily, the readings, a particular prayer of the Mass, why Mass matters to them, etc.

I happened to have a stack of leftover posters from a Eucharist centered retreat, and was able to trim them down and use as covers for a book about the Mass that my students then added to their Fulton Sheen Notebooks.  (Waste not, want not, right?)

Click on any of the images below to get the four Mass Activity Pages:

P.S.- This is unrelated, but I just had to share:
I've posted several times here on the blog about the new Catholic Journaling Bible (the list of posts is here) and I also started an Etsy shop earlier this year with stamps and stickers to use in Bibles, planners, journals, or anywhere you want to bring a little bit of your faith.  This week I finished a project that had been in my head for a while, and am so, so happy with how they turned out.  These Stained Glass Biblical Ladies Stickers are based on windows found in the Lady Chapel of St. Mary Cathedral in Peoria, IL.  I have them both as line art that you can color yourself and as a watercolor set that is ready to print.  I added them to my Bible, and just love them.  They're in my Etsy shop now if you'd like to have a set for yourself!
P.P.S.- Make sure to check back next week for a revival of the Why Make Beautiful Things Series!  Monday through Thursday will feature guest posts on the topic of beauty, why it matters, and how it points to our Creator, and Friday I'll be hosting a HUGE giveaway with over $200 worth of prizes.  You don't want to miss it!

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Make Your Own Mini Peg Doll Mass Set

Painting peg dolls has become a little hobby of mine, and ever since I posted this set of Peg Doll Saints and a church with a Mass set a couple of years ago, I've gotten lots of questions about the items I used for the Mass vessels.  I'm currently working on gathering examples of tools for teaching about the Liturgical Year, so I figured now was a good time share an updated post with you.  If you're interested in a way to teach about Mass articles, the order of the Mass, the Liturgical year, or if you just want to encourage creative Catholic play, you might like this little Make-Your-Own Mass set.

Here are the items in this little set- a priest and altar, real candles and candle holders, altar cloths and chasubles in the major Liturgical colors, a paten and chalice, a crucifix, and a Roman Missal.

Here are links to the items needed for this Mass kit.  Many of the small wood items I actually purchased at Hobby Lobby, but these are very similar:
(Amazon affiliate links- If you click through and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no cost to you.)
Candle Holders
Roman Missal
Chasubles and Altar Cloths (white, purple, green, red)
Acrylic Craft Paint (white, tan, burgundy, gold, brown, black)

Here are a few details about how I made each item in this mini Mass set.  They vary slightly from the Mass set in this post,  but I like this new chalice much better and wanted to add the altar crucifix to the kit.  Pretty much everything I painted required 2-3 coats of paint.  I didn't seal the sets, which is just a personal preference, but sometimes I've used a matte spray sealer like this, and I know some people really like a glossy finish like this.

-Paint gold, add white host (I used a marker cap to "stamp" the circle) and small tan cross

-Paint candle holders gold
-Cut birthday candles to make a little shorter using a sharp knife
-Shave down end of candle so that it will more easily fit in holder

-Paint face dark tan and body white
-Paint hair
-Paint beard & mustache (I was going for a Jesus-look-alike-priest to emphasize that the priest acts In Persona Christi, but you could also paint yours to look a little more like your own parish priest)
-Paint eyes
-Paint hands & arms

-One sheet of felt can make 8 chasubles that are 2 1/4" x 6"
-Fold chasuble in half and cut out small "V" to make neckline
-While still folded, round corners
-Try on peg doll to see if it fits
-You can use gold fabric paint to decorate!

Altar cloths:
-Cut to fit your altar, in this case 4" x 6"
-One sheet of felt made four altar cloths
-If you have extra white, you also could make corporals and purificators

-Using a 1 1/2" spindle, cut off the top and bottom small pegs
-I used a Dremel with a cutting disc, and it was fast & easy- no sanding even necessary!
-Paint gold, add burgundy paint on top for wine

Roman Missal:
-Paint burgundy
-Add gold Chi Rho (or Alpha & Omega, or cross, etc.)

-Paint dark brown
-Add gold Corpus ("W" for arms, head, body, legs)

And there you have it!  All of the items for this mini Mass set fit right inside the altar, making it perfect to pull out in your home and classroom and then store away when you are done.

If you are interested in some other ideas, here are all of my other peg doll posts:

All Natural Peg Doll Nativity:

Peg Doll Nativity:

Wooden Animals for a Peg Doll Nativity:

Passion & Resurrection Peg Doll Set:

Saints, Cathedral, and Mass Set:

All Natural Noah's Ark Set:

Kid Made Peg Doll Nativity

Friday, May 18, 2018

Katie Reads {11} New Classroom Books

I've added quite a few new favorites to my classroom faith library this spring!  I wanted to share them with you as you are planning for your classrooms in the fall or looking for books for your own kiddos to read over the summer.  This collection of recommendations includes some gorgeous picture books and detailed graphic novels that all would work in upper elementary or middle school classrooms (or even with teens and adults!)

AND if you want to click over to Instagram, I also have a giveaway going on for the whole Old and New series from Emmaus Road Publishing!  Go check it out!

*Post contains Amazon Affiliate links

The End of the Fiery Sword,
Into the Sea, Out of the Tomb, and
Building the Way to Heaven
all by Maura Roan McKeegan, illustrated by T. Schluenderfritz from Emmaus Road Publishing.
Emmaus Road Publishing provided me with a copy of Building the Way to Heaven in exchange for an honest review.
If you followed along with my #BeautifulTypology series, you know that connections between the Old and New Testaments are one of my most beloved topics to study and pray with.  I've mentioned them before in this Katie Reads post, but this series is probably my favorite set of Scripture books in my classroom.  The gorgeous, detailed illustrations and captivating text both create a beautifully thought provoking little book connecting the Old with the New.  They help kids and adults alike dig into how the past events of the Bible point to Christ and the Church, turning these stories into a fascinating and rewarding treasure hunt.

McKeegan has taken a few 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. Into the Sea, Out of the Tomb compares Jonah and Jesus. The brand new Building the Way to Heaven compares the Tower of Babel and Pentecost.  Each book uses 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!

Just in time for Pentecost, I'm giving away a set of these three books over on Instagram!  The giveaway closes on Sunday, May 20, 2018 at midnight, Central.

Here's a scene from The End of the Fiery Sword featuring Adam and Eve on the right and Joseph, Mary, and in utero Baby Jesus:

And one from Into the Sea, Out of the Tomb with the storm and the boats for both Jonah and Jesus:

And here is a beautiful image of the connection to the Crucifixion and the Mass, showing that God brings heaven down to earth, we cannot build earth up to heaven like the people of Shinar tried to do with the Tower of Babel:

The Catholic Field Guide to the Liturgy by Michele E. Chronister
The author provided me with a copy of the Catholic Field Guide in exchange for an honest review.

I just love Michelle's new book on the Liturgy!  She's written books for kids before about the Rosary and praying during the Liturgical Seasons, as well as books for adults on Adaptive Catechesis.  This brand new book is a 156 page treasury of articles used in the Mass and other Sacraments.  Perfect for anyone who is ready to learn about about the names and purposes of these sacred items, it could be used with early elementary aged students as an introduction and even all the way up to for adults who want to learn the difference between the cassock and the chasuble or the paten and the pyx.  I wish that I had this earlier in the year during our unit on the Eucharist, but will be glad to add it to our collection of books on the Mass for future students.

Organized by color coded categories with a convenient index in the back, each item has a watercolor illustration and detailed description that is very user friendly.  She even has a companion book called My First Book of Catholic Pictures for little learners.  Perfect for church tours, Sacramental years, RCIA candidates, Liturgical Ministers, or any curious Catholic, this handy guide is certainly a welcome tool for any classroom or home.

Fr. Augustus Tolton: The First Recognized Black Catholic Priest in America, by Corinna Laughlin and Maria Laughlin, Liturgical Training Publications

This was an impulse purchase from my local Catholic book store that I am super happy with. Fr. Tolton served as a priest in Quincy, IL and later Chicago, making him even more relevant for my central Illinois classroom. The quality of the images and text in this graphic novel can't be beat, and I'm not ashamed to admit I was so moved by the storytelling that I cried when I first read it at home before bringing it to school. It was passed from student to student and they raved over the emotion and detail in the illustrations that tell Fr. Tolton's story.

The Story of Father Emil Kapaun, by Fr. William J. Donnelly, M.M.

I picked up this comic book on my pilgrimage last month to Pilsen, KS, hometown of Fr. Kapuan. I've since shared about his life in my classroom during the month of April, including watching a couple of videos and adding this book to our Saint of the month display. I've also pulled a few resources from the Fr. Kapaun curriculum freely shared by the Diocese of Wichita- tons of ideas for teaching about him, as well as about virtue, prayer, and more.

Dearest Children: A Message Inspired by Father Edward J. Flanagan, by Eli Hernandez, Boys Town Press

My students enjoyed the style of this book and remarked that it had something for everyone. Sweet drawings based on real photographs of Fr. Flanagan (also documented in the book), direct quotes of his wisdom, and kid friendly reflections about the things Fr. Flanagan stood for and taught. This particular copy of the book was pretty special because it is signed by the author and is on a #SaintBookTrek, visiting Catholic schools all around the country. It traveled to Massachusetts after it left our classroom!

The Catechism of the Seven Sacraments by Kevin and Mary O'Neill from StoryTel Press

We are thoroughly loving this giant-comic strip-Lego illustrated-Sacrament themed-Scripture rich brand new book from StoryTel Press.  Almost 300 pages tell the story of the Sacraments through the eyes of two kids, Fulton and Cynthia.  Exploring the connecting typology of the Sacraments as found in the Old Testament and the Church today, the book also weaves in Saints, morality, prayer, and more.  My students are fascinated by the details in the Lego scenes that tell the story and enjoy finding bricks that they have at home to recreate the pictures.  I love the richness of the faith that is shared in such a multifaceted manner throughout the book, and how they use the Sacraments to weave together the story of Salvation History.  The graphic novel style compels you to keep picking it up, flipping to a new section, and reading more.  There is also a handy glossary in the back, color coded sections by Sacraments, and frequent Scripture and Catechism references in the margins.  We look forward to more books from the O'Neill Family!

Our Lady of Fatima, the Graphic Novel from the Dio Gratias Company

Dio Gratias Company provided me with a copy of Our Lady of Fatima in exchange for an honest review.

A beautifully illustrated large hardback book, this comic book style story shares the awesome events that occurred in Fatima in 1916 and 1917 and includes biographical information about Sts. Jacinta and Francisco Marto and Sr. Lucia dos Santos. Told from the interesting perspective of Sr. Lucia looking back on the apparitions at the end of her life, the book would be a great introduction for kids learning about OLF as well as those that already know a lot about the story. Go check out the Deo Gratias' next graphic novel project on Kickstarter for Our Lady of Guadalupe!

Those are our new additions!  What great Catholic kids' books have you seen lately?

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Come, Holy Spirit Pentecost Coloring Page

The Solemnity of Pentecost is this Sunday!  Here's a new coloring page to use as your and your kiddos prepare, featuring the prayer "Come, Holy Spirit," a dove, wind, and flames representing the Apostles and Mary.

Click on the image below for the printable:

You might like these other activities connected to Pentecost:
Pentecost Self Portraits
Connecting Pentecost & The Sacrament of Confirmation
Mary, Mother of the Church*