Saturday, September 26, 2020

Month of the Rosary- Editable and Sharable Activities to Send Home

October is the month of the Rosary, so it's a perfect opportunity to share this beautiful prayer with our kids and students. Rather than just pull out a Rosary and start reciting the prayers, I think we need to slow down and first share with them the why and the how and the meaning behind this tradition. With that knowledge, its much more likely the Rosary, whether prayed completely or a decade at a time, will impact kids and help them know the major stories from the life of Christ.

If you are teaching in the classroom, some of these printables or links hopefully will help you as you pray together with your students. If you are teaching virtually or providing support for at-home catechesis, this schedule is ready to email and provides guidance for how to learn about the Rosary. All of the linked printables and videos are free to access. I'm sharing three versions of the schedule- one that is date specific to October 2020, one that is just broken down by a four week period, and one that is editable and can be used how ever you like.

Click here for a schedule of activities with dates marked for the four weeks in October:

Click here for a generic schedule with no dates:

Click here for a printable with all the prayers of the Rosary:
If you print two sided, cut in half horizontally, stack, fold, and staple, you've got an easy little mini book.
If you can't print two sided, just cut all the cards apart, stack, and staple.

Click here for a set of cards with all the Mysteries and where to find them in the Bible:
If you cut this page in quarters, they will fit just right with the Rosary prayers mini book above.

Want to design your own schedule but not start from scratch? Click here for a version in Google Slides that you can make a copy of or edit and make your own: 

Our Lady of the Rosary, Pray for us!

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Celebrating the Archangels with Older Kids: A Bible Study (Paper and Digital), Prayer Cards, and a Bulletin Board

The Feast of the Holy Archangels is coming up on September 29th. My students might be able to name the three Archangels (maybe?) but I don't think they know their stories. So between now and the feast day, I plan to work in this Archangel Bible study to help them grow in devotion to these mighty servants of God. 

Today I'm sharing a variety of resources with you, mostly inspired by these lovely images of the Archangels I found in the public domain. I printed them in black and white on bright paper to make this quick bulletin board: 

Next up, here is a Lectio Divina style Bible Study covering one story from the Bible for each Archangel. Each angel has a one page study. I would recommend either letting the students choose one of the three to complete (and then sharing with classmates) or working on them over three different days, allowing them to focus on one story at a time.
Click here for the the pdf version of the three Bible studies:

If you'd like to be able to assign the Bible Study to your students digitally, I also created this slide show version. Again, you can assign this over multiple days, allow the students to choose just one angel, or delete unnecessary sections. Click here for a digital version of the Bible Study using Google Slides. You can download them to use in PowerPoint or assign to students using Google Classroom:

While I was at it, I also used a few of the printables for some Bible Journaling. (I included a small version in the bulletin board set that would be great for making prayer cards, etc. Here I printed them on clear sticker paper and stuck in the margins of my journaling Bible).

Also in the bulletin board set are these quotes/Bible verses for the Archangels. Click here for the prayer cards:

Click here for the Archangel Art printables in three different sizes:

Sts. Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, pray for us!

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

New Editable & Shareable Resources for the Catholic Classroom

Hello! I hope you are hanging in there with whatever back-to-school looks like in your neck of the woods. ;)

For school, I am back in person in the classroom while also teaching some students virtually. At my parish, we are still finalizing plans but are looking at creating at-home whole family catechesis resources (and I'll certainly share what we end up making!).

I've heard so much feedback from many of you across both school and parish work how helpful it has been to have editable, shareable resources, allowing you to tailor them to the needs of your students and families and send over a digital platform. I shared six different sets of Google Slides with varying topics in this post in May, and I'm back today with a few more to add to the collection. 

The Details:

-Topics today include the Sacred Heart of Jesus, American Saints, and prep for the Mass

-Target age for the Sacred Heart and American Saints is junior high, but of course can be modified to go up or down. These two are actual projects/assignments that could be used for an individual study/grade. These could be taught in the classroom, assigned remotely, or used as a back up set of plans if you need a sub.

-The Mass reflection slides have choices that are intended to span across grade levels. This is a resource especially for those that might be watching the Mass via a livestream or in unusual circumstances to try and provide reverence before, during, and after the Holy Mass.

-These assignments were created in Google Slides with the intention of being assigned in Google Classroom. You can certainly download them in PowerPoint and send them through email, or whatever tool you are using to communicate with your students.

-They are totally editable. You just have to make a copy or download before making any changes. Delete, change, add-- make them work for your kids.

-The Sacred Heart and American Saints projects are multi day assignments- otherwise they would be way too long! You can use them multi day, split them up, or just delete slides you find less important to create a shorter task

***All of the resources needed for the tasks are readily available- like public websites or docs I've created. If you share the slides with your students, make sure that they can access all of the links as well. For example, if you have a closed Google Domain (many schools are) they will not be able to open any of the Google docs I have linked because I am outside of their domain. You will have to make a copy, save in your own Google Drive, and link. (Unfortunately, I get A LOT of student access requests to docs shared by their teachers, but I can't even email them back because of domain permissions. It breaks my teacher heart to not be able to help them- so if you are in a closed Google Domain, keep that in mind!)***

Mass Reflection Slides:

These slides were designed to help teachers maintain an atmosphere of reverence before and after Mass even if circumstances are out of the ordinary- like watching a livestream or attending Mass in a new location. For example, right now my class participates in school Mass every Friday, but alternate weeks we are in the church and in my classroom watching a livestream. Immediately following, we are able to receive Holy Communion, but as you can imagine, it is a challenge to create an environment fitting of the Sacrament in a regular old classroom. 

To help, I've been leaving the lights off to keep the focus on the smart board, encouraging the kids to fully participate with responses and postures, and also using these slides before and after Mass, as well as for a time of thanksgiving after receiving Communion. The were created with our whole school in mind, so there are lots of options and needed variety for different grade levels or amounts of time available.

Even after we move past the strange circumstances of Mass at present, I am planning on continuing to use these to set the tone before we walk over to the church and after as well if time is available. It's nice to be doing something differently right now that actually will be fruitful even under more normal circumstances! :) These also could totally be used at home or inspiration for prayers or songs in the car on the way to and from Mass as a family.

Click here to open the Mass Reflection Slides:

America the Beautiful Saint Study:

This study is based on the At-Home VBS I shared earlier this summer, but turned into a junior high level research project with a choice based culminating activity. It is a self led five day project where the students chose four Saints (one each day) to research and on the final day create a project synthesizes some of their new knowledge. In my classroom, I'm supplementing with some short videos, but those are a little harder to share in this format so you can add your own if you think that would be of help. ;) You could adapt this for younger students by choosing which Saints to study as a class and then working together to fill out the biography forms. You could also stretch to last more days by adding more Saints or expanding the final project.

Click here to open the American Saint study:

Sacred Heart of Jesus Study:

This study is based on another At-Home VBS I shared earlier this summer, but turned into a junior high level research project with a choice based culminating activity. It is a self led five day project where the students study different aspects of the Sacred Heart (symbolism, Saints with devotion to, 12 Promises, Scripture Study) and on the final day create a project synthesizes some of their new knowledge. This one does include embedded videos for each day. You could certainly stretch this by adding additional days of Lectio Divina or Saint study (those days have multiple choices) or expanding the requirements for the final project.

Click here to open the Sacred Heart study:

Know of my prayers for all of you, your families, students, parishes, and schools! I was already in the habit of praying for my blog readers daily, but it seems to be even more important now. Don't hesitate to reach out if there is something I can be doing or sharing that might help all of us!