Thursday, October 27, 2016

God Writes His Name Coloring Page

"God writes His name on the soul of every man."
~Venerable Fulton J. Sheen

This new-to-me but current favorite Sheen quote is featured on the wall of my classroom to match my pencil theme and a reader asked if I had it available as a coloring page.   I do now! ;)

Click here for a coloring page of this quote:

And it's not too late to join us in praying the Fulton Sheen Novena!  An important court case relating to his Cause for Canonization will be heard in New York on November 1st.  Please pray with us:

Heavenly Father, source of all holiness, You raise up within the Church in every age men and women who serve with heroic love and dedication. You have blessed Your Church through the life and ministry of Your faithful servant, Archbishop Fulton J Sheen. He has written and spoken well of Your Divine Son, Jesus Christ, and was a true instrument of the Holy Spirit in touching the hearts of countless people.
If it be according to Your Will, for the honor and glory of the Most Holy Trinity and for the salvation of souls, we ask You to move the Church to proclaim him a saint. We ask this prayer through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Imprimatur: Most Reverend Daniel R. Jenky, C.S.C., Bishop of Peoria

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Fulton Sheen Novena

If you've visited this site much at all, you know that Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen is someone that I greatly admire and a person who has influenced and improved my teaching style.  I believe that he is a phenomenal model of virtue, prayer, Marian devotion, global service, quiet suffering, and evangelism.  

A court case which will be heard in New York on November 1st will determine if Venerable Fulton Sheen's Cause for Canonization can be reopened and move forward.  Because his Cause is so important to our Diocese and the students at my school, we will be praying a novena together leading up to this important decision. 

A novena is simply nine (or more) days of dedicated prayer for a specific intention.  If you want to pray for the nine days leading up to Nov. 1st, you can start praying Sheen's Prayer for Canonization on October 23rd.  We are going to adapt a little and pray the novena on nine school days, so we will begin on Thursday, October 20th. 

We would love for you and your children/students to join in prayer with us.  Here are a few options to guide you:

The Sheen Novena for his Canonization can be found here.
More info about Sheen's Cause for Canonization can be found here.

This coloring page contains the text of the main Prayer for Canonization as well as nine pictures about Fulton Sheen's life to color in each day you pray.
Click here for the Color-A-Novena coloring page:
Talking points about the images for each day of the novena:
Day 1: Fulton Sheen wrote 66 books all about Jesus, Mary, the Mass, prayer, and more!
Day 2: Fulton Sheen was an altar server and student at the Cathedral of St. Mary in Peoria, IL.  This is also where he was ordained a priest.
Day 3: Fulton Sheen was very pro-life and especially dedicated to helping unborn babies.  He wrote the Spiritual Adoption prayer that begins "Jesus, Mary and Joseph, I love you very much..."
Day 4: Fulton Sheen was the star of a popular television show called "Life is Worth Living." It was all about teaching the faith.  He even won an Emmy!
Day 5: Fulton Sheen had a devoted prayer life.  At his ordination, he promised to make a Holy Hour everyday and he kept that promise for the rest of his life.
Day 6: Fulton Sheen created the World Mission Rosary when he was the Director for the Society for the Propagation of the Faith.  It helps us to remember to pray for people everywhere in the world.
Day 7: Fulton Sheen loved Mary.  He dedicated each of his 66 books to her and often prayed a poem called "Lovely Lady Dressed in Blue."
Day 8: Fulton Sheen taught about the Gospels his entire life.  All of his books, radio and television shows, and retreats helped people know Jesus more.
Day 9: Fulton Sheen was ordained a Bishop and later an Archbishop.  He was a shepherd to and a powerful influence on people all around the world.

Another Diocese of Peoria Catholic teacher (who also is a friend of mine) created this slide show to project in her classroom as they prayed the full readings for the novena.  She graciously agreed to share it with us! Click here for the Google Slide Presentation with all of the Novena Prayers:

Thank you for joining with us in prayer!

"It does not take us much time to make us saints.  It only requires much love."
 ~Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Halloween, All Saints, and All Souls

Here's a repost of my 12 favorite activities for Halloween, All Saints Day, and All Souls Day, some of my favorite celebrations of the year!

1. Here's a Happy All Saints Day coloring page: (Click on image for the file)
2. Litany of the Saints and All Souls prayer cards:
My students loved these when we used them the first time last year.  I took the general opening/closing for most litanies and put it on one side of the prayer cards.  On the other side they get to create their own "All Star" cast. Oh, and we'll be listening to this song this week as well.

We will also use these prayer cards with the Eternal Rest prayer on one side and a place to list specific people on the back.  We plan to use this prayer card for the rest of the month as November is dedicated to praying for all souls in purgatory.  It would also be a great resource any time of the year to teach about the Spiritual Works of Mercy, or for kids who are experiencing a death and working through grief.  (You may be interested in my post on Helping Kids Grieve.)

3. We love this All Saints Day art project. Click on the image to go to a post with step-by-step instructions and ideas:

4. If a whole art project won't be in the works this week, I have several Saints coloring pages you can use instead. The growing list of coloring pages can be found under this tab and then under the Saints heading.

 5. You could quickly make these easy Saint shrines.  This one features St. Joseph, but you could have each student pick a different Saint and then display them all together.  Click on the image for the post with details:

 6. Practice some writing skills and intercessory prayer with these All Saints and All Souls Day Letters.  Click on either image to go to the post:

 7. You could play this Beatitude and Modern Saints game, which is modeled after the idea of Old Maid, but introduces kids to facts about eight modern Saints and the Beatitude they exemplified.  And instead of the "Old Maid" card, there is a "Bad-Attitude" card in the mix.  (Get it? Be-attitude, bad-attitude...I know, groan.)  Click on the image to go to the post:

8. Here's a whole playlist of videos on YouTube about Saints or the Canonization process.  Click on the image to go to the post:

9. Tying All Hallows Eve in with All Saints and All Souls Day has been a part of my curriculum for several years.  This post has a mini coloring book and many coloring pages about those topics. Click on the image to go to the post:

In that post, there is an All Saints Day page with a list of great Saints who can be intercessors in kids lives.  I love to introduce them to new Saints and give them some heavenly heroes to look up to and be inspired by. They also love using the Saints Name Generator to learn about new Saints and chose patrons.  Click on the image to go to the post:

10. An easy and cool art project is to make giant Saint medal using tin foil and a coloring page of a Saint (or student drawing).  I always have the kids make Miraculous Medals like this during our St. Maximilian Kolbe unit, but this year I had several early finishers ask if they could make a Saint medal too.  Here we have St. Max:

Sts. George, Elizabeth Ann Seton, Hubert, and Christopher:

And St. John Paul II. Click on any of those images to read about our Miraculous Medals and you can use the same technique for Saints.

11. This post gives you seven ideas for celebrating a Patron Saint Day (ours is St. Joseph) but many of the ideas would transfer to All Saints Day as well.  Click on the image to go to the post:

12.  We aren't actually doing this on All Saints Day, but this year my class is making a point to celebrate the specific patron Saints of each class with them throughout the school year.  So on St. Vincent de Paul's feast day, we sent 2nd Grade a card, and on St. John Paul II's feast day we sent one to 3rd grade, etc.  You wouldn't have to wait all year though- using a list of classroom Saints, have your class send each of them a card on All Saints Day.

So there you have it!  Tons of options, so don't let this great Solemnity pass you by! :)
How will you be celebrating All the Saints with the kids in your life?  I'd love to hear from you in the comments!

Friday, October 7, 2016

Finding the Seven Sacraments in My Church {scavenger hunt & technology project}

One of my favorite things to do with a class of kids is to take them on a "field trip" to our church.  We are there regularly for Mass, Confession, and Adoration, but there is something special about an unscheduled visit to the quiet church for time in prayer.  I also like to make sure we get in good church tours so that the students are familiar with the structure, decor, and items found in the church.

One way to go about a church tour that is more student directed is a "Sacred Scavenger Hunt."  Instead of the teacher being the expert, the students are able to show what they already know as well as discover new information.  (Hint- call it a Sacred Scavenger Hunt to set the tone- we are still in God's House, we walk, we whisper, etc.)

Because so much of my curriculum focuses on the Sacraments, we go on a Sacred Scavenger Hunt looking for signs and symbols relating to the seven Sacraments.

Here is one recording sheet that lists items the students can try and find, as well as space for them to record other items that relate to each Sacrament:  (Click on image for printable)
Or, you can challenge the students to discover their own connections with this blank record sheet. (Click on image for printable)
We always gather back together and share the symbols each student found.  They are welcome to "borrow" their classmates ideas and record them as well.  I am always amazed at the different things that each child finds, from the sacred vessels for Mass to the images in the stained glass windows.

I make sure as the students are working that I take pictures of all of the items they find. You can see and use some of the images from one of our scavenger hunts in this gallery:

And then, as a cross curricular project between religion and their technology class, the students create a presentation in Google Slides (or you could use Power Point) connecting their knowledge of the Sacraments with their experience in the church.

Click here to view a pdf version of a sample of student work:

And click here for the instructions for the technology project:

How do you incorporate and use technology to strengthen your religion instruction?  I'd love to hear your ideas!