Saturday, August 19, 2023

Ascension or Assumption- Do your students know the difference?

I know this activity is coming in a little late to be useful this year, but I figured I might as well get it posted so it is ready for next year!

I think Ascension and Assumption are two of the most mixed up Catholic terms. The Ascension occurred forty days after Easter when Christ returned to Heaven. The Assumption happened at the end of Mary's earthly life when she was brought to Heaven body and soul by God.

We were back to school a little early this year, so for the first time in my memory I actually had classes on the Solemnity of the Assumption. We started with all school Mass, and then I used these activities during the rest of the day with my six junior high classes.

I used a collection of classic art to get the conversation started- and I was right- very few of my students knew much about the Ascension or the Assumption or the difference between the two. Starting with the art was a great way to get them talking and think about similarities and differences. For example, they readily noticed that the artists showed Christ rising on His own, while Mary is often being carried by angels.

After looking at the art and reading a short snippet about each from the Bible and the Catechism, they worked on sorting these facts into what was true about the Ascension and the Assumption or applied to both. (I included a couple of short videos in the slides as well.) We talked through their answers on the worksheet and they did quite well! 

While the Solemnity of the Assumption has already passed this month, you certainly could still use this activity during August! And of course it will make a great tool for the Ascension at the end of the Easter Season as well.

Click here for a slideshow with the art, quotes, and videos:

Click here for the Ascension or Assumption worksheet:
Click here for the answer key:

Click here for a version set up as a Venn Diagram:

And here for the key:

The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin is a singular participation in her Son's Resurrection and an anticipation of the resurrection of other Christians. ~CCC 966

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