Saturday, May 11, 2013

Reviewing the Sacraments- The Eucharist, Part One

Time to review the Sacrament of the Eucharist.
Step One: Beautiful Monstrances.

Mission: find gold things.  Lots of them.  Enough to allow for some creativity.  I scoured Hobby Lobby and found some beautiful gold things, but ended up opting for the following because of price.  Gold things, even the fake ones, are not cheap.  Therefore, I had to be a little choosy.  This craft ended up costing about 40 cents or so per student, so it wasn't terrible, but it wasn't typical for me.  I purchased some gold tissue paper (cheap and a little goes a long way), gold curling ribbon from the wrapping aisle (I had real ribbon first and then realized my terrible expensive mistake), and gold metallic scrapbook paper.  All of these things were cut into equal sized portions and then passed out to the kids.  They got two pieces of scrapbook paper that were 4" x 6", a similar sized piece of tissue paper, and a length of ribbon, of which they could cut off more.  In the picture, there is glitter, but we ended up not using any.  I am not anti-glitter like some teachers, but we just didn't get around to it with this project.

 I then did a little more prep work for the Jesus element.  Kids could totally do this, but I was trying to fit in this art project in a short amount of time, so prep was important.

First. I folded a piece of heavy paper over about 1 1/2".
 I then used my 1 1/4' circle punch.  Such a time saver, but of course, you could cut these by hand.  I left a bit of space between the edge of the punch and the folded edge of the paper.  By watching the underneath of the punch I was able to do this quickly.
 The result was a circle that actually opened up into two attached circles.
 I then pulled out some fabulous stickers that I think I found at Dollar Tree. God bless them for their $1 religious ed supplies.  I also know that Autom has some similar Jesus stickers.
 I used a slightly smaller punch to create circles with Jesus on them that would fit inside of the white circle, like this:
 Here is a bucket of them ready to go for my class:
 And here it is inside my original white double circle.
 Next, I prepped sheets of black paper.  I used 8 1/2 x 11" cardstock.   To make my monstrance, I drew some pencil lines finding the midpoint for the top half of the paper.  Not necessary, but helpful for a student that either needs some spacial guidance...or is a little OCD like me.
 I then drew a rough outline for the base of the monstrance on scratch paper.  This is only half, which I then cut out and used as a stencil.  I recommended this technique to the students, which saved on random unplanned cuts on the rationed gold paper.
 Here is my stencil: (fyi, it actually needed to be a bit longer, but it worked.)

 And here it is in gold with some ribbon wrapped around for depth:
 Then we talked a bit about symmetry.  The kids were challenged to be creative, so I didn't show them anything after this step except the idea that if they started with a vertical line and a horizontal line and then kept splitting them in half, they would end up with a monstrance with balanced radial symmetry.  Except, I probably did not say balanced radial symmetry.  They are only 5th graders, after all!
 Starting with 8 pieces:
 Then add more in between:
 Add a few more and then some layers of concentric circles in the middle, and we are almost finished.

We then glued on a white circle for the host and added a Jesus sticker on the inside, representing how Jesus is hidden in the Eucharist.

Here is my final product:

 And here are some of the students':
I know that you can't see them well, but they are all a little different, and I have gotten lots of comments from students from other classes who have peeked at them in the hallway and have said something like, "Jesus is inside there!"  Yup, that he is.
 We then added the monstrance to our Sheen Notebooks, with a few other things about the Eucharist.
Included is a notes page about Liturgical Vestments and items used at Mass.  The sheet itself is not that exciting, but we used it for a review game.

We also made this cool pop out altar and priest craft, which I will post more about later.  Finally, I included a great quote about the Eucharist.

"Man should tremble, the world should vibrate, 
all heaven should be deeply moved 
when the Son of God appears on the altar 
in the hands of the priest." 
~St. Francis of Assisi


  1. Once again, Katie Anne!

    But did you teach them my sacristan song? Obviously your lesson is very impressive but if it lacks the sacristan song... well... it's just lacking. ;)

    Also, if you are still teaching when my kids are in 5th grade you WILL be their teacher. I hope you're in it for the long haul.

    1. Make me a youtube video of the sacristan song. I don't sing unaccompanied! :)

  2. Hi Katie Anne!
    I stumbled across your page and am in awe! What a blessing you are to so many. I was wondering if you could share how you made or where you found) your pop-up altar and priest with me. I'm looking for something just like that to share with my CCD class. Thanks so much.

    1. I am so glad you have found some good things! Thank you for your kind words. I would love to be able to share the priest and altar craft with you, but unfortunately I can't :(. It was a download from Catechist magazine several years ago that I have used many times over. However, when I went to post about all of these activities I did, the activity has been removed and all of the old links are inactive. I have contacted them to ask if there is a way that I can (legally) still share it, but they have never contacted me. Since it is not something I created, I can't in good conscious do anything else, which is a bummer. So sorry!

    2. No problem! Thank you so much for getting back to me. I appreciate your honesty heaps!

  3. Love your site! Wanted to let you know that the priest craft from Catechist Magazine is actually from the Nippert Family. You can find their work at They are reasonably priced with great items. The priest at the altar changes around to be Jesus at a dinner table. I hope this helps with your notebooking.

    1. Thanks for making sure I knew about! I actually am familiar with their work, starting with the projects they posted in Catechist Magazine to their business now. Unfortunately, I have had a bad sales and customer service experience with them. Basically, I placed an order, never received it, was never reimbursed, and never got an answer as to why despite multiple contacts with them. So, I won't buy from them nor will I send others their way. It's a bummer on all parts, because I really like their materials! I was planning on showing how we used the priest/Jesus/altar craft in another post after this one and sending people their way, but I can't now after my experience.

    2. I'm glad I'm not alone. Only wished I saw this before I ordered from them :-(
      I placed an order through the phone on June 20, 2017, they have never contacted me, and I have called them and email them.. So sad, their artwork is so beautiful...such a disappointment

    3. I'm really sad and disheartened to hear that this is still a problem! I also love their artwork and wish I could support them (and recommend others support them as well). It really is too bad.

  4. Hi Katie, it's me again. I know you don't have access to the priest pop-up, but just a question, does it actually pop up or is popped up by you (the sides fold in and down manually)? I think I have a way to recreate it but was curious. Also, the printout bit you did on the clothes, vessels, and liturgical colors... were you the creator or was that a long-ago link? I was going to type up something of my own but thought I'd ask. Thanks!

    1. Hi Nicole! The priest and altar was originally meant to stand alone, but we glue one side of the altar into the notebook and make the sides fold down. The priest/Jesus still flips either direction and slides behind the altar. You can see several more pictures of it in this post:
      The liturgical colors/vestments page that I use must have just been a hard copy that I inherited somewhere, because I can't find the link. Here are some others that you might like:

  5. Love this! It looks like your students keep a notebook Do you have a post about that?

  6. Ooops! Just saw the link! Thank you!

  7. Hmmm...the link doesn't seem to lead to the notebooks...could I be missing something?

    1. Sorry about that it! It is fixed now. Here are the links you might be interested in:
      Fulton Sheen Notebooks (pictured in this post)
      Fulton Sheen Notebooks
      A project notebooking about the Creed:
      The Creed and Notebooking

  8. I did this with my 2nd grade Communion class and we just loved it! They did an amazing job and all were so happy! Thank you for sharing this idea. Delia