Wednesday, September 15, 2021

"Notes from Our Lady" Bulletin Board Set



I posted a little classroom tour on Instagram a few weeks ago and got tons of questions about this bulletin board! These narrow bulletin boards have presented a bit of a challenge to decorate, so for a couple of years I featured #NotesFromTheSaints with a rotating collection of Saint prints and handlettered quotes. Ready to change it up this year, I'm featuring #NotesFromOurLady! I've picked out a collection of quotes about Mary from the Bible, Catechism, Saints, and other authors to rotate every week or so. Paired with my favorite Mary poster from Catholic Paper Goods and a little Ave Maria banners, this stack of 35 mini posters presents teachings about Mary that are good and true and beautiful, and making it easy to work in a little extra catechesis and inspiration for my students.

While you might not have need of bulletin board decor, these Marian quote posters have lots of applications. Print a favorite from the collection to hang above your desk or kitchen sink,  use the 1/4 scale set as note cards, or pull quotes from the list to write in your planner.

I love using a clipboard on a display like this- it adds a little depth, makes it easy to hang up the prints, and even allows you to "store" the set all in one place. You can print the Ave Maria banners and the set of quotes below.


Click here for the Ave Maria mini banners. Print on colored paper, trim, and you've got a bulletin board header!


You can pair with your favorite Marian image, but if you like the Miraculous Medal poster I used in my classroom, you can purchase it from my friend Shari at Catholic Paper Goods. She has it both in her shop and on Etsy. With her digital download, you can easily send it to your local office store to print inexpensively. I trimmed the white edges off mine to make it fit on my bulletin board.
(She also has the same image available as a sticker too! Oh, and I love her Marian coloring page bundle!)


Click here for the 35 Notes from Mary quotes. This pdf is a regular 8.5x11" size, so they are quick and easy to print on a regular printer. I grabbed a variety of shades of blue paper from my stash and have them on my clipboard ready to rotate each week.


Or if you'd like to print the quotes on a smaller scale, this pdf has four quotes per page:

Aaaannnnddddd... I might have Mary on the brain for a while, because I have a little surprise!

After all of your excitement and support for Through the Year with Jesus: Gospel Reading and Reflections for Children, I'm so happy to share that a companion book called Through the Year with Mary: Ponder and Pray Together with Children is on its way!

Similar in structure but independent from the first book, Through the Year with Mary offers weekly readings, prayers, and art covering Marian devotions, apparitions, Saints, stories from the Bible, and more. Each reflection invites the the children to connect the teaching about Mary to how she helps us to know and love her Son, Jesus. All of the quotes from this "Notes from Mary" bulletin board set are actually in the book somewhere, showing the great variety of wisdom we have as a Church on our Blessed Mother.

Through the Year with Mary should be available before Christmas, and I can't wait to see it at work in your homes and classrooms! I'll keep you in the loop when it is available for preorder, and in the meantime, I'm working on lots of freebies to help you teach your kiddos about Our Lady. 

Sunday, September 5, 2021

Pilgrimage Postcards

Hi Friends! Well, it's been quite a while since I've posted new content on the blog- the longest stretch between posts since I started ten years ago, to be honest! Don't worry, nothing is wrong- life just has been busy! Summer was filled with tons of wonderful time with my family. I've been working hard to pick up a book more than I pick up my phone (I'm at 48 completed books this year with several more already started!). Back to school has been a little crazy, but it's so, so good to be back in my classroom. And I have lots of exciting projects in the works I can't wait to tell you about.

One to mention now is that I am in between blog email subscription services this month. If you are used to receiving LHBR content right in your inbox, no worries, I'll be back, but just have some bugs to work out. I am likely going to start offering a "monthly newsletter" style subscription versus a "blog roll update/every new post" as it had been in the past. One reason is that I have a decade of content to point you towards, and with a monthly newsletter I can dig some things from the archives that fit well for upcoming seasons and feasts as well as share new resources with you. Never fear, all the content on the blog will always be free and easy to access. That won't change! If you have any questions while I work out the details, don't hesitate to contact me at looktohimandberadiant (at) gmail (dot) com.

Have you ever been on pilgrimage? Whether across the world to a well known site or just across town to a local shrine, a trip made for a religious purpose can be an intentional and memorable way to draw closer to God. 

Providential Co.'s beautiful pilgrimage themed calendar inspired my classroom door decorations at the start of this school year. I snatched up one of her calendars on sale this summer, pulled off the wire binding, trimmed the edges, and had twelve mini posters to use in my classroom. I love the vintage postcard style she created, and after they were hung up, my mind rolled toward a fun first-week-of school activity I could do with all my classes. Inspired by the Christian tradition of pilgrimages, I want my students to know about their purpose as well as the many holy sites around the world. So I made a quick little project that was a great "ease in" activity for everyone and added to our classroom display. The kids flipped through the collection of student created postcards while they waited in line or went in and out of the classroom. I think this would be a great mini unit or open ended project for your middle or high schoolers!

A quick note- Providential Co. is all sold out of her awesome 2021 calendars. I have chatted with her and she plans to have a new calendar for 2022, so be on the lookout! In the meantime, if there is a particular pilgrimage image that you love, she does have them available as large art prints (Lourdes, for example) or sets of postcard sized images here and stickers here.


If you 'd like to teach a pilgrimage project with your own students, I have a few resources for you to get you started!

We used these booklet style notes to discuss the basics of pilgrimages and pilgrimage locations around the world and locally. The booklet also contains a page for researching one pilgrimage location.


After doing some quick research on a pilgrimage location of their choice, the students' task was to create a postcard as if they had traveled on pilgrimage to that site. You could adapt your expectations to whatever standard, but for this simple project, my students had to write a 2-3 sentence message describing their pilgrimage (including some features of the site) on one side. On the blank side they needed to create a simple illustration depicting the pilgrimage location. Some kids drew the outlines of churches/shrines, some Marian apparitions or Saints, and some drew flags of the countries or word banners with symbols tied to the reason for the pilgrimage. There are so many possibilities to stretch this to older or younger kids, or to a short and simple project or something with greater detail.

You also could use these same materials to research one specific pilgrimage site as a class, studying its features, history, and unique story. The resources work just as well for a famous international location, or discussion how your diocesan cathedral or a local church or shrine can be a place of pilgrimage.


You can use the Pilgrimage Postcard and notes as they were created, or I'm also including a digital version that you can edit (or share more easily on a platform like Google Classroom). The editable version will open in Google Slides. To edit or share with your students, you will need to either download or "make a copy" into your own Google Drive. Instructions are in the notes section of each file.



Click here for the Pilgrimage Postcards as a pdf.
These are far from perfect, but are where we recorded our discussion each day. There are a couple of videos I used with different classes, as well as a few quotes from Scripture and the CCC.

I hope you and your students enjoy these resources!

If you are looking to do some research on a specific location, I will recommend checking out the actual websites of both local and international pilgrimage sites. Some places offer virtual or video tours, or even just collections of photos with descriptions. 

Here is a basic list of sites I have found that offer virtual or video pilgrimages. I'll try to add more as I find them- and if you know of a good one that is missing, leave a comment or send me an email!

And I'd also like to recommend that you check out The Little Pilgrim- they have a bunch of exciting projects in the works, all intended to help kids have an authentically spiritual and educational experience while on pilgrimages. Her Instagram is also filled with tons of awesome info on the history of Catholicism and Saints in the United States of America!