Sunday, March 18, 2012

Stations of the Cross Coloring Book

Each year, our Parish has the children lead the Stations of the Cross on the Friday before Holy Week begins.  As RE teachers, our task is to get the K-1 children ready to participate in the event by giving them an understanding of what is happening and teaching them the Stations of the Cross prayer (already one of the required prayers for our 1st graders, but typically the last one they get around to memorizing on their own).

I found a free printable Stations of the Cross coloring book several years ago on the Internet.  Despite my best efforts, I haven't found it again to link to this post today.  However, Catholic Mom does have a nice version that you can access here which is similar.  (BTW, if you see my pictures and know where I can find these, please leave the address in a comment- Thanks).

At the start of class, I wrote the Stations of the Cross prayer on the white board.  Each child was given one of the Stations to color-- we asked them to do their best as these would be on display for the class.  Depending on their age, their "best" varied, but we have kids from age 2 to age 7 that show up for our class, and we figure all of pictures are in fact beautiful in God's eyes!

After each child colored a Station, we glued it onto poster board, and cut it out, and attached a label hand printed on a cardstock flashcard (these were left over from something else--any cardstock would do).

For circle time, we read our class the story of Jesus's last day and his Resurrection.

at the end of class, we posted each station on the wall
We  then placed the stations around the classroom and selected one child to read the first part of the Stations of the Cross prayed.  We moved from Station to Station with the class, with the student that colored the picture holding it in the air as either they read out the narrative of the Station (or a teacher read it if they needed assistance depending on reading level).  Our "reader" read the first part of the stations prayer, the class responed where it starts..."because...".

We completed each Station this way, and were able to keep the children interested the entire time, I think due to their involvement in making and presenting the Stations to their classmates.

After we completed the Stations, we gave each child an entire coloring book with all the Stations to work on until their parents came, and to take home to either keep in a coloring book or make their own stations for the home. 

This was an easy lesson to plan, with a great impact for all younger children.

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