Childrens activities/crafts for Saint Francis of Assisi Day?? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 09-27-2009, 11:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello, I am teacher in the RE program at my church for 4-6th grade children. This year, we are learning about celebrations and Holy days from around the world. This coming Sunday we will be learning about St.Francis of Assisi. I have books to read but I need some ideas for activities or crafts for children ages 9-13. I am not Catholic so this is unfamiliar territory for me. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated :-)
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#2 of 5 Old 09-29-2009, 06:04 PM
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Hi. I am not Catholic and don't actually really know much about St. Francis, but it seems that nobody is responding to this thread so thought I would throw out a few thoughts.

- What I do know is that St. Francis had a deep love and respect for *all* of God's creation. If I recall correctly I read a story about him spending all day moving some snails off a path or something like that. He spoke with the animals too (preaching to the birds comes to mind). He was simply filled with love and goodwill and spontaneity. Probably this is covered in the books you said you have. So, some kind of activity having to do with the animal world? Take them outside to watch the birds and insects?

- Apparently he also played some kind of early guitar. Possibly singing songs accompanied by guitar (if you or someone available can play a bit)? Outside?

- There's this:
"The Divine Praises"
Francis of Assisi

You are holy, Lord, the only God,
and Your deeds are wonderful.
You are strong.
You are great.
You are the Most High.
You are Almighty.
You, Holy Father are King of heaven and earth.
You are Three and One, Lord God, all Good.
You are Good, all Good, supreme Good,
Lord God, living and true.
You are love. You are wisdom.
You are humility. You are endurance.
You are rest. You are peace.
You are joy and gladness.
You are justice and moderation.
You are all our riches, and You suffice for us.
You are beauty.
You are gentleness.
You are our protector.
You are our guardian and defender.
You are our courage. You are our haven and our hope.
You are our faith, our great consolation.
You are our eternal life, Great and Wonderful Lord,
God Almighty, Merciful Saviour.
And of course this:
LORD, make us instruments of Your peace.

Where there is hatred, let us sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is discord, union;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master, grant that we may not seek to much

to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive;

it is in pardonning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Can you do some kind of role playing, with difficult situations in which they have to figure out the "St. Francis" way of dealing with it? Explore how acting in a selfless, trusting, loving way makes them feel?

Anyway, good luck with that. Hopefully somebody else will answer too!

Me treehugger.gif and DH caffix.gif and sweet baby DD heartbeat.gif born 08/2011.

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#3 of 5 Old 09-30-2009, 05:33 PM
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St Francis was one of my favorite saints! He and a few others are one of the things I miss about not being Catholic anymore. Legend says that the birds would come to him when he walked outside. Definitely environmental/animal theme would be good. Also he was the son of a wealthy man (royalty? merchant? I can't remember) and he gave up his riches to humble himself, be closer to God and to help the poor. So something along the lines of non-commercialism might not be a bad idea. It's too early for "buy nothing day" though.

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#4 of 5 Old 09-30-2009, 07:00 PM
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In our neck of the woods, the Episcopal churches all hold a blessing of the pets day. No idea if you could take a field trip or hold a similar thing.

In keeping with the loving all creatures theme, maybe you could make pine-cone bird feeders or something? Cat toys (feathers on a string...or little cat nip pillows) for the local animal shelter?

Another thing would be to have them copy the prayer of St. Francis on something... maybe in Calligraphy... as it's so powerful. Maybe you could make bracelets and have a different color/shape stand for the main points... peace, love, pardon, faith, love, hope, etc...

Mom to DS(8), DS(6), DD(4), and DS(1).  "Kids do as well as they can."

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#5 of 5 Old 09-30-2009, 07:51 PM
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Umsami - you gave me a good idea. (I subscribed to this thread in hopes of getting an idea of something to do - we just read a beautiful picture book about St. Francis the other night and with his feast day so close, dh and I thought it would be nice to honor it some way even if we aren't Catholic.) One of my planned art projects with the boys is the art of illumination as done by the monks in the Middle Ages (we're studying medieval times right now. I think I'll print out St. Francis's Canticle of the Sun but leave off the first letter, and have them "illuminate" the prayer with a fancy first letter and then maybe drawings/paintings of all the natural elements mentioned in the prayer/song.

 Me + dh = heartbeat.gif ds (7/01), ds (11/03), ds (6/06)
and dd born 11/21/10 - our T21 SuperBaby ribbluyel.gif heartbeat.gif
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