Lent has arrived and I wanted our thematic unit this month to include some significant faith-based work. I decided on a Catholic A-Z because we can cover all sorts of cross-curricular parts of our faith, from the saints to historical artefacts, from parts of the Mass to the geography of the Holy Land.
A - The Acts of the Apostles
The kiddies grabbed duvets for an introduction to St. Luke's Acts of the Apostles. We have continued to read a chapter a day and it's getting all very exciting.
Making parchment to re-create their own Acts of the Apostles.
An attempt at writing Ancient Hebrew. I'm not sure St. Luke would have worn a Spiderman hoodie but it was fun all the same.
B- The Bible, Bethlehem and St. Brigid
We have a daily prayer book which includes quotes from the Bible. The kiddies searched through our lovely family bible for the quotes, learning the names of each book as they did so.
We watched a short video on the Bethlehem today - vastly different to the small, silent Bethlehem of the first Christmas.
St. Brigid is one of our new favourite saints. Stubborn and steadfast and kind and generous.
St. Brigid crosses
C - The Catacombs, Calvary and St. Clare
After morning prayers we sat under the table. I always keep the kiddies in the dark (no pun intended) about each morning's work because it keeps them enthusiastic and curious. Hilariously nobody thought it was that weird when I told them to sit under the table. I read them the history of the Catacombs in Rome and it opened up a whole new world of adventure and understanding of the early Christians.
Copying the symbols found in the Catacombs - representing among others, everlasting peace, hope and Jesus.
Chiselling the symbols into bricks
And reading books with Sunbaby in the new den :)
We researched correlating Bible verses about where Christ died. All four gospels say he died at the 'place of the skull', which, in Aramaic, is Golgotha. In Latin this translates as Calvaria which in the King James Bible became 'Calvary'. The Bible also offers clues as to its whereabouts: outside the city walls of Jerusalem and near a public road from where passers-by could shout insults. From this we looked at images of possible 'Golgothas' - just spine tingling.
We also read about St. Clare - friend of St. Francis of Assisi. Panda Girl is going to read a longer version of her life.
D - The Dead Sea Scrolls, St. Dominic Savio and St. Dominic of the Rosary
The Dead Sea Scrolls are a collection of manuscripts discovered to the north west of the Dead Sea in and after 1947, when a shepherd boy threw a stone into a cave in search of a lost sheep and it hit an earthenware jug. Cool story! The scrolls date back to shortly before Christ and are works of the Old Testament, psalms and prayers. It seems the community to which they belong had journeyed into the desert in preparation for the coming of the Messiah. Such an historically fascinating find!
So we made them and found north west in dining room :)
We also read the lives of Dominic Savio and St. Dominic of the Rosary
E - Edward the Confessor, Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and St. Elizabeth of Hungary
Edward the Confessor replaced an Anglo-Saxon church with the breathtaking Westminster Abbey because he was unable to keep a vow to visit St. Peter's once he had returned to the English throne. The Pope requested he build a monastery instead. It has seen the coronation of the English monarchy since 1066! We You-Tubed our way around the cathedral and spent some quiet time drawing the cathedral.
Ballet Girl's and Monkey Girl's study room was invaded by workmen so they (the girls, not the workmen) joined us for the story of St. Elizabeth of Hungary, one of Ballet Girl's favourite saints.
Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament was introduced in the 1300s after the Elevation at Mass increased the faithfuls' understanding of the Body of Christ.
The Boy made a beautiful monstrance to complete our week. Watch this space!