Friday, October 25, 2019

A Digital Saint Scavenger Hunt {and other activities for All Hallows Eve, All Saint, and All Souls}

All Hallows Eve, All Saints Day, and All Souls Day are just a week away! They are some of my favorite liturgical feasts to teach about and celebrate with my students. I've got quite a few resources from the past, but the nature of teaching students more than one year in a row (I see mine 6th-8th grade) and also teaching older students than I have in the past means I'm still making a lot of activities. (Plus it's fun to mix things up and create with your current students in mind!)

This digital Saints Scavenger Hunt is mostly meant to increase my students' exposure to Saints beyond their favorites, whether they find a connection to a patronage that is important to them, find a Saint who shares their name or birthday, or discover a Saint who faced similar struggles as their own.

In this scavenger hunt, the students have seven different types of tasks to complete. A few screen shots are show below- they'll look for a Saint for their birthday, name, patronages, and culture, as well as be challenged to find Saints that fit into certain categories. The final slide sends them to a random Saint name generator, so they could be introduced to anyone!

The slides include links to recommended sources, but you could open it up to using Saint encyclopedias or reference books or a plain old Google search. The students have to fill in all of the blue boxes on each slide, making it easy to see at a glance what is completed and what is not. We'll plan on working on this in at least two classes for my junior highers, so you could always edit it down for a shorter amount of time.

The scavenger hunt was created in Google Slides and I will share it with my students in Google Classroom, where they will each have their own copy to edit. If you would like to use it, click on any of the images and it will open in Google Slides (you don't have to have an account). 

  • If you are going to use in Google Slides, it is set in view only mode so you can't edit it. Please make a copy and save to your own drive to make edits to the content and then share with your students.
  • If you would like to download and edit in PowerPoint, go to File > Download > PowerPoint and save to your computer.

If you'd like to do something similar but on paper instead of digital, and at a little lower level, I also have this paper Saint Scavenger Hunt:

And here are some other activities for Halloween, All Saint, and All Souls:
12+ Ideas for Celebrating Halloween, All Saints, and All Souls Day*
Finding Truth in Halloween*
Saint Scavenger Hunt*
All Saints Day Art Project
All Saints and All Souls Day Letters*
Beatitudes and Modern Saints Card Game*
All Saints Day Info Coloring Page*
Happy All Saints Day Coloring Page*
All Saints Day Litany Prayer Cards*
All Souls Day Prayer Cards (Eternal Rest Prayer)*
Memento Mori Printables*

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Katie Reads {19} LOTS of Catholic Children's Books!

I've been collecting the most wonderful stack of Catholic kids' books that need to finally get shelved in my classroom- but first I wanted to share them with you! Some of these books are new and came from the authors, some of them are ones I've purchased recently, and some of them are from a Catechetical conference I attended at the beginning of the school year- it's always so fun to get to browse through the books in person! I wish I could do a little page by page tour, but at least in these posts you might come across a book you hadn't seen before.

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. :)

### On a Mission to Love by Debbie Staresinic
Both a tool for the why and the how behind praying the Rosary, this lovely publication, while titled "for children and families," really would be a useful prayer tool for anyone. On a Mission to Love includes all the prayers needed for the Rosary, but also an aspiration for each Hail Mary relating back to the Mystery. There is a full page, full color piece of beautiful artwork for every Mystery. Between the provided visual and the aspirations that pull you back into the story, this book is the best I've seen as a resource on the Rosary for a wide range of kids, promoting both understanding and meditation.

Who is the Holy Spirit? from Education in Virtue, Lumen Ecclesiae Press
My school is in it's second year of implementing the Education in Virtue program, and I love it. Providing all the support info, including examples of what the virtue sounds like and looks like, Saints who lived it out, and places to read about the virtue in the Bible. I'm supportive of any new products coming from Lumen Ecclesiae Press, so I was excited to see this new book intended for Confirmation prep. It's not a typical textbook by any means, but it still contains info about the effects and signs of Confirmation, symbols, Gifts and Fruits of the Holy Spirit. It also has opportunity and space for Lectio Divina and journaling about the Holy Spirit. It would be a fabulous gift for a Confirmand before or after their Confirmation, or even to supplement school and parish prep at home. I might be looking into a class set of these for Confirmation next year, but in the mean time am definitely inspired by the prayer and content shared!

An Alphabet of Saints by Robert Hugh Benson
I couldn't not pick up this reproduction publication of these fabulous vintage illustrations and well written rhymes. Featuring a Saint for every letter of the alphabet and originally published in 1912, this treasure really is good for the whole family. Little ones can work on letters and recognizing the Saints, older kids can learn from the Saints lives and even memorize the rhyming poems. (I also think the pages would look fabulous framed in a kid's room or classroom!)

The Christian Alphabet by Traci Sands
I purchased this sweet and creative book from a local author when I was at a conference in Georgia. Traci has created a detailed and symbol rich image in the shape of each of the 26 letters of the alphabet and put them together into a book with a companion song. Each page of the book has the letter as well as layers and layers of explanation, connecting Bible verses, and prayers. The info in the book makes it valuable for preschools all the way through adults. Little ones could work on identifying their letters and recognize some of the pictures that make them up, older kids could investigate the meaning of the symbols, and even adults could use them images for study and prayer. It's a unique resource, and she also has matching bookmarks, posters, and options to create names and words with the letter designs.

The Sacraments in Action from Sophia Press
I really like the comic book style publications Sophia Press has been creating (I recommended the Saint Chronicles in one of my last Katie Reads posts). In this new publication, three stories within the graphic novel teach about the Sacraments of Initiation. Characters Hannah and Andy carry the connecting story line through all three sections, learning about Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist. The narrative teaches about each Sacrament naturally as part of the events of the story, and you can see Hannah and Andy grow and mature in their faith in each encounter with the Sacraments. Perfect for a kid preparing for the Sacrament of Confirmation, or a sibling of a First Communicant or baby to be Baptized, I like that the graphic novel format brings such important info into the hands of reluctant readers or kids who learn best with visual support.

###Beatitales: 80 Fables about the Beatitudes for Children by Jared Dees
The Beatitudes are unarguably one of the important of Jesus' teachings, but are also certainly one of the hardest to explain and make practical for kids. Coming up with a creative solution to make the Beatitudes more practical to teach, author Jared Dees (of has written a set of short stories that fit within the themes of the eight Beatitudes. Each fable is only a page or two long and gives a tangible example of the Beatitude in real life. Reminiscent of Jesus' Parables, the ten stories for each Beatitude range from very traditional topics to more modern situations. The entire book would make for a great family or classroom read aloud for a wide range of ages, helping guide discussions and give kids the needed background knowledge to see the teachings of Jesus come to life in their daily interactions. Beatitales is a wonderful example of the powerful role storytelling can have in both catechesis and evanglization.

Angel in the Waters by Regina Doman, illustrated by Ben Hatke
This imaginative and beautifully illustrated book features a conversation between a baby in his mama's womb and his guardian angel. It's a great resource for a child about to become a big brother or sister, as the story shares about the baby being born, meeting his family, and continuing to grow. Full of wonder and beauty about the coming birth of a new baby, this book is perfect to encourage a culture of life with kids of all ages.
(As I'm just adding this book to my collection, please keep illustrator Ben Hatke and his family in your prayers. He and his wife tragically lost their four year old daughter a few weeks ago.)

^^^Let Us Pray by Katie Warner, illustrated by Meg Whalen
Another welcome addition to the growing First Faith Treasury Collection, this lovely little board book features eleven classic Catholic prayers every child should know. The sweet and bright pictures are a welcoming compliment to the prayers that could be read and prayed together as a family. I love the work that Katie and Meg are doing to make the faith accessible and friendly to the littlest of Catholics. I absolutely love the matching design, color schemes, and illustrations of this series and think that every Catholic toddler should have a set!

Patrick and the Fire by Cornelia Bilinski
The Queen and the Cross by Cornelia Bilinski
Brigid and the Butter by Pamela Love
Adding to a collection of legends about Saints (I already have The Sword and the Cape and A Staircase for the Sisters), these cute little picture books are warm and welcoming and tell the traditional tales of some favorite Saints. Patrick and the Fire shares how and why Patrick returned to Ireland to share Christianity with the pagan people. The Queen and the Cross is about St. Helen's journey to the Holy Land to find the True Cross. Brigid and the Butter teaches about the miracle of St. Brigid's generosity. Each of them are charmingly illustrated and sweet way to introduce kids in the primary grades to some Saints of the first few centuries of Christianity.

Angel Stories from the Bible from Magnificat/Ignatius, multiple authors
Mary Stories from the Bible from Magnificat/Ignatius, multiple authors
These collections from Magnificat really offer the value of five books in one. Five stories retold from the Bible, each with a different author and illustrator all bound in a lovely large hardback book. In Mary Stories, you can read about the Annunciation and the Crucifixion, and Angel Stories includes tales from both the Old and New Testaments like Tobias and Raphael and Sleeping St. Joseph. I love the variety of illustrations, with two of my favorite styles depicted in the covers above.

24 Christmas Stories for Little Ones from Magnificat/Ignatius, multiple authors
I know many families that have a tradition of wrapping a Christmas themed book to open and read each day of Advent. If your collection doesn't quite provide for a new book each day (or if you don't want to do all of that extra wrapping!) this sweet collection from Magnificat is perfect.  With 24 stories on the theme of Christmas, the variety of authors and illustration styles make it like 24 different books in one. Some entries tell about the birth of Jesus, some share other traditional Christmas tales, and there are also some original stories with modern characters. It's the perfect collection for a family to share each day of December!

 ***My Bible: God's Word for Me by Mary Martha Moss, FSP
This colorful Bible story book would be perfect for 2nd-4th graders. With a little over 200 pages and stories that are 3-4 pages long, it would make a great daily Bible read aloud or personal Bible for a young kiddo's independent prayer. The watercolor style illustrations are often full paged, wrapping around the text and bringing details of the story to life. I like that the book is only about 8" square, making it easy to hold and carry around, not a giant book that might get stuck on a shelf. With lots of Bible story books on the market, I think this is a great option if you are looking for a well made Catholic edition for young readers.

***Joseph: Guardian of the Holy Family by Marlyn Evangelina Monge, FSP
This cute board book rounds out the series from Pauline kids about the Holy Family. Three books, each on Jesus, Mary, and Joseph feature cute illustrations and simple lines that teach about life of St. Joseph. Just right for a Mass bag or book basket, I think this sweet book is perfect for introducing kids to the events in Bible surrounding the birth and childhood of Jesus and the role this holy man and guardian of the Church.

***Guess Who's in the Manger: A Christmas Story by Vickie Howie
This would be a perfect addition to a preschooler through early elementary kiddo's Advent Countdown books or Christmas basket! Told from the perspective of a curious owl in the rafters of a Bethlehem stable, the cute rhyming lyrics retell the story of the first Christmas. On a search to find light to fill the gloom of the stable, the owl seeks out the sun and the moon and eventually is led back to their very own manger where he meets the Light of the World. The bright illustrations compliment the text that will make a great read a loud for the Christmas season.

The Tale of Three Trees, retold by Angela Ewell Hunt
This was another book that I can't believe I hadn't added to my library yet! A retelling of a folktale, this story shares the aspirations of three trees. One wants to hold valuable treasure, one wants to be a mighty sailing ship, one wants to be the tallest tree and point others to God. After they are grown they are chopped down and turned into objects that fail to fulfill their dreams. But one day the first tree, after being made into a lowly manger, holds a precious baby instead of hay. The second tree, which was a small fishing boat, held a group of travelers and saw a powerful Man calm a storm. And the third tree, turned into beams left in a pile, was carried on the back of Man whose hands were nailed into her wood. But after three days, that tree's wish to point others to God would never be forgotten. With so many applications and connections to make, this retelling would be a perfect tool to use with any age from preschools through adults. Obviously relevant anytime, it especially would be meaningful to read during Advent and Lent as we prepare ourselves to welcome and celebrate the Savior.

The Wolf and the Shield by Sherry Weaver Smith
Adding more books to my Catholic/Christian novel collection in my classroom is a current goal of mine.  I want my students to know that there are quality stories out there that won't make them question what they believe, and might even help them understand and deepen their faith. This fictional tale of young Kieran tells of the struggles he faces and his friendship with St. Patrick. Set in 5th Century Ireland, I think it will capture my students' imaginations and help them learn about virtue and choices, challenges and faith.

Clown of God by Tomie dePaola
This was a lucky find at one of my favorite thrift stores this week. I love Tomie de Paola's books, starting with my obsession with the Legend of the Bluebonnet and Indian Painbrush as a kid, and then finding his Saint and Bible story books as a teacher. I had seen this one but never read it, and honestly was a little skeptical (clowns?), but now know it to be a gem. Based on a French legend, this tale of the seeds that are planted when we share our faith and how they can change someone's life is a really unique lesson that you can't always pull out of a simple children's story. I like how we get to watch the character age, as well as the embedded details found in the architecture and Catholic art throughout the book. And the Franciscan monks! They are adorable and makes me think that this story would even be a great addition to a read aloud on St. Francis' Feast Day. This one was certainly worth my 99 cents! ;)

There you go! And if you haven't already seen it, Kendra has a fabulous list up of Saint books sorted by month!

And I keep adding to my growing mega post of Catholic Kids' Books- you can find it here or in the side bar!