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.
Click here to download your copy of the student guide: