Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Baptism in the Old and New Testaments Bible Studies

Finding the Sacraments in Scripture was one of my favorite activities I did with my 6th graders this year.  While both catechizing them about the origin and depth of the Sacraments, we were also developing a love of the Bible and familiarity with Typology and the connection of the Old and New Testaments.  As you are planning ahead for the next school year (or looking for a summer activity to do with your own kids) here are two Bible Studies for connecting the Sacrament of Baptism to the Old and New Testaments.

Each study contains three stories in Scripture and the following reflections/resources:
-Scripture reference for the story
-Spot to summarize the story
-Place to write a favorite verse
-Challenge to connect the story to the Sacrament of Baptism
-Quote from the Catechism of the Catholic Church or the Blessing of Water at Easter Vigil related to the Scripture

On the front cover, there is a title, Catechism quote, place for a name, and a spot for an illustration of their favorite story.  The Bible Studies are meant to be printed two sided and folded in half, so they fit perfectly tucked into the cover of a Bible, which is a great way to help students return to stories they have studied during personal prayer time.

The three studies in the Old Testament study include Creation, Noah's Ark, and Crossing the Red Sea.

The three studies in the New Testament Study include Christ's Baptism, the Water and Blood from Christ's Side at the Crucifixion, and Baptism in the Acts of the Apostles.

I hope these resources are a good tool for you in your classroom or youth group!

Click here for the Baptism in the New Testament Bible Study:

Click here for the Baptism in the Old Testament Bible Study:

You might also like these other Baptism activities. Click on the picture or title to go to these posts:

Renewal of Baptismal Promises foldable:

Paschal Candle door/bulletin board:

Baptism in the Old Testament Stained Glass project:

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Katie Reads {17}

Summer is here! Last week I gave you a huge list of ideas of books for your kids to read this summer, and now here is a stack of books for you!

This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. That means that if you click through and purchase something, I will receive a small commission at no cost to you.
***Pauline Books & Media provided me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
^^^Author provided me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I only recommend things I use and love and want to share with you. All opinions are my own. :)

Eucharistic Adoration Prayer Book and Mary, Mother of God Prayer Book, from Pauline Books and Media ***
One can never have too many prayer books on hand, and these two make a great addition to any Catholic home.  The Eucharistic Adoration prayer book is formed on Pauline Spirituality and contains reflections on Adoration as well as a collection of prayers, litanies, and hymns.  The Marian Prayer Book contains an exhaustive compilation of prayers, litanies, and novenas, as well as a large section on the Rosary and its Mysteries.  Resources for Marian devotions and Consecration are also included. The small size and soft covers make them perfect to tuck in a pocket or purse, and certainly would make lovely gifts.  Gilded edge pages and ribbon bookmarks compliment the design, although I will honestly share that the gold embossing is rubbing off on one of my books after light use.  The other is in perfect shape, so hopefully it was a fluke.  Everything about their publication is otherwise high quality, and I certainly would consider these as gifts for special events like Confirmations, Graduations, Weddings, etc.

In Heaven We'll Meet Again, by Fr. Francois Rene Blot
This was a gift after the loss of my mom from a friend who recently experienced her own loss. A collection of seven letters from a priest to a grieving woman, this little book is a treasure trove.  Full of wisdom from Scripture and many Saints, Fr. Blot's letters link together quote after powerful quote about suffering, redemption, heaven, and hope. I gained so much from reading it, and know that I will pick it up again and again.  The beautiful cover featuring scores of Saints and choirs of angels is an accurate image to portray the beauty and hope of the content within.

Guardian of the Redeemer, by Pope John Paul II
This Apostolic Exportation of Saint JP2 is a power packed read on the role of St. Joseph in the Church and what we can learn from his mission and call.  Shared on the 100th anniversary of Pope Leo XIII's Encyclical Quamquam Pluries on St. Joseph, JP2's writing pulls on Pope Leo while bringing St. Joseph's guidance into the modern world.  There is so much to contemplate and pray with in these two documents, and while they are available freely on the Vatican website, I certainly like having my favorite Church documents in book form so that I can underline, reread, and reference them easily.

The Strangeness of Truth, by Fr. Damian Ference ***
Part memoir, part evangelical discourse, and part connection of faith to pop culture, this page turner was a compelling read and pulled me in.  Fr. Ference weaves together major events from his life as the opening to every chapter, but then connects each to a tenet of the faith- for example, he shares about his mom's early death from cancer and then writes about the power of the Resurrection, or an encounter he had in seminary as a less-than-stellar student paired with the intellectual beauty to be found in the Church.  Fr. Ference's style certainly finds a home in the New Evangelization, and I think this book would be a great resource for young adult, especially one on the fence about the relevance of faith in real life.

My Catholic Prayer Journal, by Lis Luwia ^^^
Bringing back the practice of celebrating the monthly devotions of the Church is a powerful way to recenter our homes and lives around the timeless culture of our faith.  This journal revolves around just that idea, giving you plenty of space and structure to plan your month and the ways you want to develop your spiritual life.  This isn't a typical planner or a blank journal, but rather is a place to set holy goals, hold yourself accountable to them, and record the beauty and rhythm of your walk with Christ.  Each month begins with the theme of monthly devotion and gives you space to record things like your Spiritual Reading Log, Prayer Requests, Gratitude List, and Monthly Goals.  There are also accountability pieces like a Rosary/Chaplet Trackers, Action Step Lists for Goals, and a place to record your last Confession Date.  There are a couple of extra pages each month for the space you might need for a specific project or to reflect and journal.  While short and seemingly simple, this pocket edition journal has everything needed to be used a powerful tool for growth in virtue no matter your vocation or state in life.

The Mass Explained Explained, by Maria Grace Dateno, FSP ***
This little booklet is a lovely publication with full color glossy pages, and would make a great resource for anyone new to the Mass or looking to learn more about the Eucharistic celebration.  The first 3/4 of the book contains the Order of the Mass, and much like the children's version I reviewed here, the actual text of the Mass is on the left page with a commentary/description on the facing right page.  It is a great way to offer more explanation without detracting or distracting from the actual words and gestures. Offered in the supplementary materials at the end is info on common objects used in the Mass, including names, descriptions, and photographs.  There are also details on the Liturgical year, the Lectionary, the history of the Mass, guidelines for receiving Communion, and Adoration.  This would be a perfect resource to share with a guest at Mass, RCIA candidate, or someone ready to go deeper rather than just go through the motions.

Beautiful Hope, Multiple Authors, from Dynamic Catholic
This compilation book was also given to me after the death of my mom, and as the word hope has been so important to my family, it was a perfect book to turn to for encouragement.  The twenty stories within come from well known authors like Pope Francis, Matthew Kelly, and Fr. Jacques Philippe, as well as never before published writers.  Each chapter brings a testimony and message from that person's life about the power of the virtue of hope.  I underlined and wrote out quotes from many of the passages, and know that this book will be a good one to reread when things are hard.  I certainly would recommend it as a gift book for a friend who is experiencing any kind of struggle, helping them redeem their suffering and unite it back to Christ.

Father Augustus Tolton, by Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers
The first African American priest Fr. Tolton and his story has captured the imagination of my students and I after we read this graphic novel (also reviewed in this post), especially since he was a resident of Quincy, IL just a few hours from us.  This new book from Deacon Burke Sivers is beautifully written, full of source material from Church documents, Saints, and modern writers, about pursuing a life of holiness through the lens of Servant of God Tolton's story.  I will admit that between the cover and the book description on the back, I assumed that this was a biography of Fr. Tolton, but really only the first chapter and the epilogue summarize his life and path to Sainthood. The majority of the book is a commentary on racism, strong families, prayer, the culture of life, and mercy interwoven with connection to Augustus Tolton.  While a very good book, I am a bit disappointed and plan to pick up the frequently referenced "From Slave to Priest: A Biography of the Reverend Augustine Tolton, First Black American Priest of the United States" by Caroline Hemesath to deepen my knowledge of his actual life.  I think that Deacon Burke-Sivers' book could certainly benefit from a subtitle like "Father Augustus Tolton: Lessons on Life from the First African American Priest."  Regardless, it is a great book, with lots of guidance and wisdom for anyone looking to deepen their relationship with Christ while learning more about a man of virtue and hopefully a future American Saint.

Jesus and the Jewish Roots of Mary, by Brant Pitre
I've already shared how much I love Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist in this review, and this next book didn't disappoint.  Brant's extensive research on the typology of Marian teaching found in the Old Testament, the implication of Jewish teaching and tradition on Mariology, as well as the role she is given in the Church today is all woven together in one cohesive book.  I underlined more than I didn't, and have tons of notes to transcribe in my Bible.  While Fulton Sheen's The World's First Love first helped me understand Mary back in college when I had lots of questions, this book solidified and supported so many things I've learned about Mary since then.  It is the most comprehensive but readable book on Mary I've studied, and the first I'll hand to someone who has questions of their own.
The Printed Letter Bookshop, by Katherine Reay
The one is my only fiction selection for you, not intentionally, but obviously I haven't been reading a lot just for pleasure lately. (I can tell you that next on my stack now that it is summer is Far from the Madding Crowd and The Memory House). Katherine Reay remains one of my favorite authors, with her first book Dear Mr. Knightley definitely in my top ten novels.  The Printed Letter Bookshop is now a close second among her books.  The interweaving of the three main characters and their stories is an intriguing look at change, growth, forgiveness, and purpose.  Each character receives a new beginning, but not necessarily the one that they were looking for.  Good books, characters, and quotes carry the story, making it a delight to read and contemplate the books that have changed your own life.  It was sweet without being sappy, honest without being dark, and hopeful without being fake.  If you desire true friendships, believe in forgiveness and grace, and love books, you'll thoroughly enjoy this novel!

I've got a pile of books that are next for me this summer, but I'd love to know what you are reading! Did any of these books catch your eye?

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Katie Reads 16 {Kids' Books for Summer}

Summer is rapidly approaching, and what better way to set your kids up for a season of rest and relaxation than to get some great new books in their hands, especially ones that will help them grow in their faith. Here are the latest additions to my classroom library, starting with books best suited to young readers and working up to selections for older kids.

This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. That means that if you click through and purchase something, I will receive a small commission at no cost to you.
***Pauline Books & Media provided me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
###Tan Books provided me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
^^^Author provided me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I only recommend things I use and love and want to share with you. All opinions are my own. :)

Father Ben Gets Ready for Mass, by Katie Warner, illustrated by Meg Whalen ###
This books is the sweetest interactive picture book about the Mass for perschoolers and toddlers.  Each page invites the little readers to participate in helping Fr. Ben get ready for Mass- from "dipping" their hands into the Holy Water to make the Sign of the Cross, to "lighting" the candles for the procession.  Skills like sequencing and color are taught naturally through the text alongside the structure of the Mass and names of Liturgical vessels.  Creative illustrations show a great variety of perspectives that will keep both kids and the adults reading to them engaged.  After receiving my review copy, I loved it so much I promptly ordered another copy for my nephew, and I know this will be a great book to use for Baptism gifts in the future!

The Fruit Tree, by Mark Restaino, illustrated by JP Alcomendas ^^^
Growth, fruit, seeds, vines, farmers, and trees are frequent subject matter for parables and poems in the Bible.  This original story draws from John 15:5 and uses rich allegory in its words and layered symbolism in its illustrations to help the reader draw closer to the plan the God the Creator has for each of us.  Through the guidance of the gardener and the sacrifice of a generous fruit tree, the other trees grow from being competitive and cruel into a virtuous and beautiful orchard.  The story connects back to so many themes and stories in the Bible, which are conveniently listed in the back of the book for further reading in your home or classroom.  The vibrant illustrations also contain a story all their own full of Biblical symbols that help deepen the message.  A key of the symbols is also included in the back of the book to help continue that conversation after you read.  The Fruit Tree is a well crafted story that can be understood by young readers while also probing and bringing out depth with older kids.

Roses in the Snow; A Tale of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, by Dessi Jackson, illustrated by Lydia Grace Kadar-Kallen
This lovely book has been on my to-get list for a while.  The fictionalized story of a young girl listening to her grandmother tell the story of her namesake, Elizabeth of Hungary, is a warm and memorable tale of the Saint's life.  The beautiful watercolor illustrations pair perfectly with the story.  The book is supplemented with a map of Europe around the time of St. Elizabeth and a brief biography fleshing out some details of her life.  It would make a perfect cozy bedtime read, especially for a grandmother and granddaughter!

Sitting Like a Saint, by Dr. Gregory & Barbara Bottaro, illustrated by Michael Corsini
I first read this brand new book when my sister ordered it for my nephew, and was super impressed with the content and illustrations.  Each two page spread features a Saint (or Biblical figure) and includes a bright and original illustration of their life, feast day, patronage, quote or Bible verse, and brief biography.  Then, the author connects a strength or virtue of the Saint with a struggle the reader might be facing- distraction, fear, anger, or sorrow.  Using the Saint as a guide, we are led through a brief prayerful meditation, including movements and deep breaths.  When reading about Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati, the child "climbs" a mountain while they pray about letting go of distractions.  The Prophet Elijah helps them practice really listening to sounds, helping them remember to listen for God's still small voice. The child is invited to lay prostrate on the floor, focusing on God's presence, much like St. John Paul II would pray in adoration.  We are indeed both body and soul, and these meditations seek to help the littlest of children see the union of the two. I think that this book would be a strong resource in homes and classrooms, both to teach techniques to name and control emotions, as well as to give tools and strategies when those emotions are most difficult to control, all through the guidance of Scripture and Saints.  Gregory has a doctorate in clinical psychology and he and Barbara are parents of four young children. In the introduction for parents, they explain the theory of the book, which is desiring to introduce children to the Saints as well as to help them grow in the peace that surpasses all understanding by using their God-given bodies to help name and control their emotions. You can read the whole intro at the Amazon link above.

Anna Goes to a Party...and Learns About the Mass, by Gabriele Kramer Kost, illustrated by Tanja Husmann ***
This cute little chapter book is a perfect gift for a girl getting ready for her First Communion. Character Anna is doing just that, and learns more and more about Jesus in the Eucharist while celebrating her Grandpa's birthday and spending some special time with her Godmother.  Those Parallels between Mass and her life as well as stories from the Bible help her understand just how special the gift of her First Communion is.  Each chapter contains a few full color illustrations in the same sweet style you see on the cover. The book has seven chapters over about 50 pages and then contains a 25 page guide to the Mass, including responses, motions, and brief explanations.  It would make a great family read-a-loud during the time of preparation for a First Communion, and a then good resource for following along and talking about the Mass.

Stories of the Blessed Sacrament, by Francine Bay, illustrated by Hengjing Zang
This beautifully illustrated and published book contains twelve stories of the Eucharist, emphasizing the True Presence and the centrality of this Sacrament to our faith.  Each chapter is told in narrative format and reads like an independent picture book of its own, making this a perfect book to use as a read-a-loud many, many times over.  I absolutely love the style, color, and expression of the illustrations and think they really add a lot of depth and character to the stories.  The first five chapters are Biblical stories of the Eucharist, including one from the Old Testament and four from the New.  The other seven stories tell of Eucharistic events that stretch from the early Church until World War II.  The are certainly friendly enough to read with second graders preparing for First Communion (this would make a lovely gift book) but also would be inspiring for older kids to read and then maybe do further research into each event.  It is an inspirational keepsake that I think has a place on a bookshelf in any Catholic home or classroom.  

Heavenly Hosts; Eucharistic Miracles for Kids, by Kathryn Swegart OFS, illustrated by John Folley and Hannah West-Ireland
The True Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist has been documented by the Church in countless Eucharistic Miracles.  The author has chosen ten of those events and retold them as stories suitable for elementary students.  The miracles range in era from the 200s to 1994 and occurred all throughout the world.  Each chapter is only a few pages long and features a black and white illustration.  This book would also make a great read-a-loud as all of the chapters are independent from one another, and also would make for the basis of an awesome research project for older students, helping them know, understand, and believe in both the power and gift of the Blessed Sacrament.

The Mass Explained for Kids (Second Edition), commentary by Maria Grace Dateno FSP and Jaymie Stuart Wolfe ***
There are many children's Mass guides out there, but I really like this new one from Pauline Kids.  Affordably priced, it is still printed in full color on nice glossy paper and would be a great family resource or could be used in a class set for a school or religious education program.  One of the main reasons that I like it is that the commentary and definitions are not interspersed among the text of the Mass or in footnotes of the pages, which can be really hard for young readers to follow.  Instead, the left page contains the words and actions of the Order of the Mass, and then color coded notes correspond on the facing right page.  The child can follow along with the Mass without interruption, but can trace the dotted line to the info box to read more or have a word defined.  The layout is a smart move to make this a very usable Children's Mass guide.

These actually aren't a book, but have been a favorite new resource in my classroom.  A set of 100 large Saint cards comes in a sturdy box with a sliding drawer, and have attractive consistent illustrations (meaning the whole set matches- it's not a mishmash of various artwork and artists comprising the images of the Saints). On the back, each card contains three fast facts, feast day, patronage, and a brief biography.  These cards have worked well in my classroom for quick games, ten minute filler activities, icebreakers, etc. all while learning about the Saints. 

Catholic Funny Fill-Ins, by Karen and Tommy Tighe, illustrated by Jason Bach ***
My generation grew up doing mad-libs all the time- on the bus, while waiting after sports events, at slumber parties... and when we ran out, we made our own.  Karen and Tommy Tigue (The Catholic Hipster) have done just that but with fun with Catholic topics.  Fill in  a list of random adjectives, verbs, and names, and you suddenly have a hilarious story about what to give up for Lent or the struggle to get ready for Mass or how to elect a new Pope.  This book would be absolutely perfect for a family road trip, and I've been using it for earlier finishers this spring in my classroom.  I'm grateful that Pauline Kids allows in the copyright for pages to be reproduced for educators, because my students are certainly getting some good use out of it!

The Saints Chronicles from Sophia Institute Press (multiple authors and illustrators)
Graphic novels deserve a post of their own here on my blog, as I feel that they are an incredibly relevant way to share the faith, especially with reluctant readers or kids that are predominantly visual learners.  Well written and illustrated graphic novels can convey just as much (if not more) information as a chapter book, and often do by developing and challenging reading skills like sequencing, making inferences, and understanding dialogue and perspective. The Saints Chronicles collection has a mature look for middle school or older readers and features five Saints in each book.  Well known Saints like Anthony, Patrick and Nicolas are mixed in with lesser known Henry Morse, Charles Lwanga, and Pachomus.  Creatively told by many different authors and illustrators, there is something new to learn each time the novels are read and reread.  They'd make the perfect gift to inspire virtue in any preteen or teen.

While this is not a new book, as I was organizing this set of book reviews, I wanted something with a little more substance for a middle or high schooler, but also with summer in mind.  This collection of 52 reflections straight from the words of St. John Paul II would make a great companion for any teen.  Each page has a Bible verse, a quote from JP2 (as well as the source of document or address if they want to read more), a guided reflection, an action point, and a prayer.  Each page also has a little "Did you know?" trivia helping the reader get to know this beloved Saint.  I think this little book would make a great graduation gift to promote reflection and growth during such formative years.

While there are many adult coloring books on the market, and even tons of faith centered ones, I really like this new collection of Saint coloring pages and think older kids would really enjoy the detailed designs and intricate patterns.  Each two page spread features a Saint, depicting images of them, symbols, and quotes, often in a stained glass window kind of style.  The opposite page contains a biography of the Saint as well as a prayer or quote to supplement and help make the time spent coloring and fruitful opportunity for prayer.

And why not dive into summer with a giveaway!  One winner will receive:
-Inspiration from the Saints Coloring Book
-The Fruit Tree
-Father Ben Gets Ready for Mass
-Anna Goes to a Party
-And a set of beautiful vinyl stickers from Catholic Paper Goods

This giveaway will be hosted over on my Instagram Friday 5/31- Sunday 6/2, but I know some of my readers don't have an account there,  so to enter here, just leave a comment on this post with one book that you hope to read over your summer (or get your kids to read!). If you are on Instagram, feel free to enter in both places!  Happy reading!

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Little Saints for Little (or Big!) Learners

Incorporating inspiration from the Saints into daily life is an important goal for all Catholic classrooms and homes.  Holy cards, artwork, statues, and books are a great way to keep the Saints present, but it is also nice to have things that are designed with kids in mind.  Little Drops of Water is a family company that started with a dream of their daughter Anna to learn and share the stories of the Saints with other kids.  Today the company offers a line of Catholic figurines and keychains with sweet, child friendly style.  Little Drops of Water sent me some of their figurines to try in my classroom, and I'm happy to share this great resource with you as well!

***Little Drops of Water, Pauline Books & Media, and TAN Books provided me with free items in exchange for an honest review. I only recommend things I use and love and want to share with you. All opinions are my own. :)
This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. That means that if you click through and purchase something, I will receive a small commission at no cost to you.

And as you browse, make sure you check out the promos and sales available on their website here!

Each statue comes packaged in a giftable box which includes a great description of the statue, whether symbols on the image or a bio of the Saint or the history of an image.  That info is a great tool to add in that important catechetical piece along with each figurine.  They average about 3-3.5" in height and are made of a heavy resin material, painted with bright eye catching colors.

Let me show you some of the adorable statues offered by Little Drops of Water.  First up, figures of Jesus, including the Sacred Heart, the Holy Family, and Divine Mercy.  I love how the figures are such a friendly image for kids- they are perfect to hold and pray with, fitting just right in little hands.

These modern Saints are one of my very favorite thing they carry- here you can see Mother Teresa, John Bosco, Padre Pio, and Josephine Bakhita.  One of the best advantages of having figures like this around your home and classroom are that you are increasing the children's recognition of Jesus, Mary, and the Saints.  By helping them see the common symbols, color, and style of simple depictions like these, they are better able to recognize them in other Catholic art.

I love the variety of Marian titles and apparitions they've created, which also have companion Saints- there's a Juan Diego to go with Our Lady of Guadalupe, Bernadette for Lourdes, etc.

They also carry collections that are for special occasions like births, Baptisms, and First Communions.  And make sure you check out their Nativities and Last Supper set which are so adorable and would make such special gifts.

The statues have passed required safety testing, and while not completely UNbreakable, are appropriate for gentle play in my opinion. I shared some of these with my three and four year old nephews and niece and they are holding up pretty well.  I will be honest and tell you that we have broken one hand from the St. Nicolas figurine from a drop, but the rest look great.  They are intended for display as opposed to active play, so you'd have to decide based on your kids how to best use them.  The material is not as study as plastic, but certainly stronger than glass or ceramic.

I think that Little Drops of Water Saints pair perfectly with these Catholic books for gifts or Feast Days.  (More these books in my next Katie Reads post!) so I thought I'd share some of my favorite combos!
Father Ben Gets Ready for Mass by Katie Warner and little St. John Bosco are a perfect reminder to pray for priests and the youth in their parishes:

The Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary statues (my personal favorite ;) ) look so nice on display with Fulton Sheen's Jesus Son of Mary:

Anna Goes to a Party and Learns About the Mass by Gabriele Kramer-Kost pairs perfectly with the Jesus and First Communicant statue for a special Sacramental gift:
I love featuring these modern Saints in my classroom alongside the sweet book Saintly Rhymes for Modern Times on top of my Saint book shelf:

Go check out their site and think about all the possibilities- birthdays, First Communions, teacher gifts, graduations... so many great ways to bring these Saints into the lives of all the little (and big!) people in your life. :)

And helping fulfill their mission to educate Catholic kids, Little Drops of Water also offers some great FREE resources including coloring pages, posters, and printable activity books! Check those out here.  The coloring book is full of awesome Marian apparition pages that would pair perfectly to make this activity a multi age unit!

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Marian Apparition Investigation

We've reached the end of the school year, and my students are well, a little restless, as I can imagine yours are too. :) With the time that we have left, I've decided to try some high interest Catholic topics to keep them learning and (hopefully) engaged during our last classes- things like Eucharistic Miracles, incorrupt Saints, the Stigmata, etc.)

One group is going to be studying Marian Apparitions, a perfect topic for this month of May.  My hope is to help develop Marian devotion and understanding of the guidance Mary still gives to the Church.  I also want the students to more readily recognize different Marian titles and devotions and their symbols.

I used these Marian prayer cards to intro the lesson and talk about titles of Mary we know, as well as the symbols, etc. in the images.  (These lovely cards are from Avery & Co on Etsy.)

On the back of this booklet, I provided a list of Marian titles (certainly not exhaustive, but a good place to start) and a list of (what I think are) Vatican approved apparitions.  I talked with the students about the purpose of Marian Apparitions, and how they can be approved for devotion but that we are not required to believe private revelation- it does not (and cannot) change the content of our faith. I tried to find a reliable source that lists all the Vatican approved Marian apparitions, but couldn't locate a single exhaustive source.  This list is the best I could find by cross referencing several places.  If you know of a good, reliable website to check, please let me know!

Once the students chose a Marian Apparition, we got started on research.  They looked for basic facts like where, when, and to whom the apparition occurred.  We used the internet (again- would love to have a specific reliable site to have them use!) and my collection of Marian books.  (You can see some of them in this post). The students also had to summarize the message or purpose of the apparition.  On the front, there is space to draw an image of the apparition or list the symbols described.

Then, to work in a little more content no matter the apparition chosen, I had them read a few paragraphs in the Catechism and summarize some Marian facts.  And finally to develop some higher level thinking, I asked them to consider what we can learn from this apparition and the message shared for the Church today.

Finally, the students will share a little mini report on the apparition they chose with their classmates, so we are all learning more about these Marian devotions.  So far it's working great and been a high interest way to use some of our last days this school year. 

I hope that it might be a good resource for you as well!  Feel free to add in the comments or send me an email if you have any great books or websites that you think would be helpful for this project- I'd love your input!

Click here to download your copy of the student guide: