Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Catholic Words & Games {Review}

Can you believe that it is already back to school time? (I can't!)  Whether you are a parent, teacher, or catechist, I bet a lot of you are thinking about shopping for school supplies, preparing for being back on a schedule, and planning for changes and opportunities for the new year.  With all of that looking ahead, it's also a great time to explore new resources that can be used in the home or classroom to strengthen your child's faith, and I've got a few new ideas to share with you today!

Catholic Words & Games sent me these free products in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions and ideas are my own.  I only recommend resources I know and love and think you might like too!

Catholic Words & Games and The Mass Explained offers a set of incredible resources to provide catechesis for ALL ages on "the source and summit" of our faith.  They have physical evangelization tools like card games, tshirts, and clever buttons, as well as a set of awesome apps for both kids and adults are fun, attractive, well made, and faithful.  Today, I'd like to share with you the Catholic Words Memory Match Card Games, Courageous Catholic Saints Coloring Book, and Catholic Words and Games App, but I'd also highly recommend you go check out the Mass Explained App for older kids and adults! (And there is also a fun Catholic Word Search App for you puzzle-loving people!)

First up, these stellar Catholic Words Memory Match Cards.  There are two decks available, each with 26 different pairs of Catholic vocab words.  The words are all items used during Mass or other Sacraments, and each card also contains a well illustrated full color image.  I can't speak highly enough of these graphics- they are easily discernible while still being detailed and are child-friendly without being childish.  The cards could be used with littles to introduce basic Mass articles and then add more and more items and info for older kids.  The decks are set up to be used to play memory with matching pairs of cards, but also could be adapted to play old maid, I have who has, go fish, etc.  They also have a companion definition sheet available as a free download here.  I'm totally excited to add these to my Mass teaching resources and can see tons of applications for the classroom.

Using the technology in the best way, the Catholic Words and Games App corresponds with the Memory Match cards but allows the user to flip through flash cards, read their definition, play matching and naming games, etc.  It has both the great illustrations I described above as well as real photographs, making it easier for kids to locate these articles in their own church.  The games have music, sound effects, and time and accuracy challenge options.  There are tons of options and settings to make the games as easy or as challenging as desired, so I can see applicable uses with preschoolers all the way to RCIA candidates.

And finally, look at this sweet Courageous Catholic Saints Coloring book.  I have to admit, sometimes I am disappointed by the illustrations in Catholic coloring books, but I LOVE these.  They are simple for even young artists, but also contain details that tell a little about the background and lives of the Saint depicted on the page.  Thirty-two varying Saints are included, and in the back of the coloring book there are little biography cards for each Saint that shares a few paragraphs about their lives, birth and death dates, canonization, feast day, and patronages.

Make sure you also check out their free resources here (I love the matching cards and the priest craft!), and to help out those ready to order catechetical materials for the new school year, they are offering 10% off in their webstore Agnus Gift Shop with the code "TENOFF" at checkout.

AND last but not least, they also sent me two extra sets of cards and coloring books to give away!  Head on over to Instagram and enter to win them for your own home or classroom!

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Teaching Tools for the Ten Commandments

Ideas for teaching about the Ten Commandments is one of my top requests in emails, so I'm not sure why I've never posted about it on the blog!  Remedying that today with a few printables about the Ten Commandments that could be used in a variety of ways for kids of different ages.

First up, Ten Commandment sort card.  (FYI, the wording I used is the "Traditional Catechetical Formula" from the Catechism of the Catholic Church).  These cards print on one page and then can be cut out and are easy to store with a paperclip or ziplock.

A few ideas for using the cards:
-Sort between the first three "God centered" commandments and the next seven "neighbor centered" commandments
-Put the Ten Commandments in order
-Pull one card out of the stack at a time and discuss what it means
-Pull one card and write/talk about how we can follow that commandment
-Pull one card and draw an illustration of someone keeping that commandment, then share with your class/group
-Read and compare the wording of the Ten Commandments in Ex. 20:2-17 and Deut. 5:6-21

 And I always number the back of sorting cards so that kids can self check. :)

I also have a set of graphic organizers for discussing how we keep and how we break the commandments.  Each commandment has its own page with room for writing and drawing.

A few ideas for using the graphic organizers:
-Print enough pages for all the students in the class, give each one commandment, and ask them to brainstorm how people can keep/break that commandment.  Then have them compare with other students that have the same commandment, and finally share with the class
-For younger students, give them one page have them draw an illustration of how people can keep/break that commandment
-Print a whole set for each student and use it as a unit booklet as you work your way through all the Commandments.  They could write on one side and draw on the other
-Pull the slide up on your SmartBoard and write on them as a class, creating a digital list of how to keep and break the commandments.  Post in your digital classroom files, or print as posters to hang in the classrom

And this graphic organizer teaches the same keep/break concepts as the activity above, but is all contained on one sheet (and also includes the Greatest Commandments at the top).  This is a much better fit for older students (small area to write) and works great as a page for notes or also could be adapted as an assessment after teaching a unit on the Ten Commandments.

And, are you looking for some resources for teaching those tough-to-talk-about 6th and 9th commandments?  Age appropriate conversations are key here, and you know your kids.  Here are a few links that might be helpful as you are prepping, whether it is for primary schoolers or high schoolers:
The Sixth Commandment from The Catholic Toolbox
David & Bathsheba and the Sixth Commandment from Catholic Mom
Teaching the Ten Commandments from The Religion Teacher 
Close Your Eyes: Porn and the Sixth Commandment from LifeTeen

Click here to download the Ten Commandment Sorting Cards;

 Click here to download the Ten Commandments Keep/Break graphic organizers:

Click here to download the Ten Commandments Keep/Break sheet: