Friday, February 24, 2012

Lenten plans

Here are our 2012 Lenten plans.
Since my little guy really enjoyed the Jesse Tree this Advent, I made us a Jesus Tree for Lent. The tree is from our local Dollar Tree, in the Easter section. I have a jewelry tree for our Jesse Tree, but I wanted something I could also take into Religious Education without concern about it getting damaged. For our Jesus Tree I used the ornaments found on Thank you Melissa! I used the black and white images and watercolored them, hung with ribbon according to litergical colors of purple, red or white, and laminated them to last. I found it best to use a lot of clear scrapbooking tape to stick the two images together as the painting onto cardstock makes for a less than smooth sticking surface. That's also the reason for the larger than I'd like edging as the clear stickiness doesn't want to stay stuck together near the edge. Maybe Modge Podge would've been a better choice? Oh well, lent isn't about perfection right?!

Here's our lenten prayer table. Instead of a bean sacrifice jar, I found some purple plastic hearts (table scatter) at Target on clearance. The purple straw bucket and purple felt bin are from Target as well. I set out the plain cross from Michael's to represent the crosses we bear. My son last night picked up the cross and said "I could be a priest!" with a big smile on his face. We shall see, but his enthusiasm was a wonderful gift. He's equally excited to paint it with bright colors for Eastertide. (This idea also came from Melissa at
We are also participating in the Holy Heroes Lenten Adventure at . This is our first year and so far it's a hit! We are using the Lenten calendar found at for the cover of his Lenten activity folder for all the printables from Holy Heroes and others we may find along the way.
Our Lenten wreath on the front door...

Happy Lent! For more wonderful ideas go to for her Lenten Linkup!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

How time flys...

So I haven't been posting...too busy gathering ideas from other wonderful sites like Catholic Icing and The Catholic Toolbox.

This week we had our second prayer testing. So to keep them busy and learning in a fun way, I prepared some crafts while they were waiting for their turn.

I had the kids decorate crafted lenten offering banks.
* small white plastic cups (Dollar General $1/50 cups). This may also work with paper or styrofoam, but not sure if they'll hold up throughout the lenten season or not.
* hot glue gun and hot glue
* 1 inch white cardstock circles
* 1/2 inch purple paper or ribbon strips (optional, cups will hold without it)
* purple foam stickers (I used Valentines pack from Dollar Tree with hearts, circles and "x's" that come in purple, red and pink.
* razor blade knife
1. Hot glue white circles onto outside bottom of cup
2. Cut slot large enough for quarter into bottom of cup/circle
3. Hot glue slotted cup and regular cup, rim sides together
4. Hot glue puple strip/ribbon around middle to cover glued edges
5. I wrote words on some of the foam stickers: heart - "lent", circle - cent sign, double heart - "give alms", flower - "pray" and "fast". I also trimmed "x" into a cross.
Kids decorated their banks with stickers. Some also colored their banks with markers, but be aware the washable markers were a little messy as the cups are plastic.
I kept my demo really plain as I like the kids to use their own imaginations to express themselves. They could really use some dolling up with glitter glue or sequins or something. I have to admit, I really thought twice about even using them as they are pretty goofy looking. Not the prettiest things I've ever done, but they got the point across and I hope having the sayings on the stickers will be a more constant reminder at home about lent.

Also created a hanging Valentine/theological virtues craft:
* paper plate
* doilies (either 6in red and pink or 10in white)
* ribbon to hang (used red gift wrapping ribbon)
* hole punch (punched two holes on top to thread ribbon for hanger)
* glue stick
* marker
* if using 6in doilies, I used 1 purple foam heart sticker for space in center

1. Write scripture verse I Corinthians 13:13
2. color doily lacy edge as desired
3. glue doily to backside of paper plate
4. punch 2 holes at top, thread ribbon for hanger

We also made heart shaped one decade rosaries with pipe cleaners and pony beads from Lacy at

Hopefully as time marches on I will get more of the hang of this blogging stuff. Until then...

For more Lent crafts and ideas, go to Catholic Icing at

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

'Tis the season to prepare

After 4 weeks of presentations, games, and review, the class had their 1st quiz on the 10 Commandments. Not so good for the overall scores, but a few really studied and did very well. We'll be reviewing the quiz in two weeks as next week is Reconciliation. We also reviewed the steps of Confession from start to finish, including what is said, so the kids would feel more comfortable as most have not gone since last year. We reviewed the Act of Contrition again. This time I printed up very large font signs with parts of the prayer held by 6 volunteers in the front. Then as a class they reordered the prayer correctly with just a little help and we recited it out load with each added part and then all the way through twice. I'm grateful that the prayer is available in the Confessional as I don't feel most of the students could recite it by heart. I also taught them the parable of the Prodigal Son. I was suprised that none of the students could tell me anything about the story prior to starting. I'm certain they heard it at least last year in preparation for their First Reconciliation. I plan to review and re-present this parable in a different way prior to the Reconciliation planned during Lent.

I made a battery operated Advent wreath to use in the classroom during the season. For less then $7, I was pleased. I used a plastic silver charger plate, silver battery operated candles wrapped in purple and pink paper, artificial evergreen wreath, and purple curled ribbons spilling out of the middle. The Christ candle was silver wrapped in white and placed in the center on top of a small circle plastic tub to elevate it. The ribbons are taped onto the plastic tub and spill onto the wreath. If I figure out how to upload a picture, then I'll post it for fun. The Advent wreath craft went over well ( We went over the significance of the colors, meanings of the candles (hope, love, joy, peace), and the season of Advent as preparation for Christ's birth.

As I review today's class, I am hoping that at least some of the information was sown as seeds into their minds and hearts. Next week, I will give them the same examination of conscience I sent home to be reviewed with their parents. I'm interested to see how Reconciliation goes with all the CCD classes at the same time. If I remember correctly, when I was in CCD I believe different grades went at different times and days. So I'm hoping that with all the potential distractions, the students will remain focused and will be prepared to receive the grace of our merciful and loving God.

My son will be making his First Reconciliation next week. On the way home, he said "I'm so excited!" My mother's heart rejoices!! For the second graders, I will be making white chocolate covered prezels. I found the idea here ( Scroll down to January 2011 by Lori Crawford, Our Lady of Light Parish, Ft. Myers, FL. I'm sure they'll love her treat idea!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Thoughts on Reconciliation

Last week we reviewed all 7 Sacraments with pictures. Hopefully I can figure out how to link to them here ( . We also covered the Greatest Commandment and the parable of the Good Samaritan from Scripture, both Gospel of Luke and the old testament. It is my hope that they will know how to use the Bible by the end of class this year. We made a paper heart from hot pink paper and reviewed the 10 Commandments, writing 1-3 under Love God and 4-10 under Love each other.  This was an idea I came across in my internet searching, but now cannot recall where I originally noted the idea. If the originator of the idea would please let me know in the comments, I would love to give credit where credit is due. They seemed to enjoy the project, although not all of the kids knew how to cut out a heart shape. They really seemed to engage in the Good Samaritan story and each child offered a different way to be the Good Samaritan in their day to day lives. It truly warmed my heart!

So on Tuesday, we'll further cover the Sacrament of Reconcilation as they will be recieving the Sacrament the following week. I will be giving them a fill in the blank quiz on the 10 Commandments. When I learn how to add things to the blog, I'll post it for use. We'll be covering the parable of the Prodigal Son. Then we'll make a paper Advent wreath. Again, forgive me for not knowing how to link just yet. Once I figure it out, I'll link to the free printable project here ( I printed them in color on white cardstock so they can hopefully use them more than once.


I have created this blog to compile lesson plans, ideas, crafts and activies to use in my 3rd grade CCD class. I have and will continue to use the wisdom and talents of others who have graciously allowed others access to their sites and ideas. I thank them from the bottom of my heart; without them I would be lost. This is my first year teaching CCD classes. I am anticipating much growth of my faith as I teach my students, hence Auctus Fides.