Faith that Works

Teaching middle schoolers how to live and practice their faith

It’s almost October, and in my planning for classes, this is when I prep for my students to learn about Saint Gianna and for my 8th grade students to begin researching and learning the lives of the saints they will perform on All Saints Day. You can read more about that here. While my enthusiasm for All Saints is certainly ok, sometimes it means that I miss the beautiful month of the Rosary in my preparations for November’s feasts. So this year I want to make sure that I spend October celebrating in addition to preparing. Here are five ways I am going to celebrate the month of the rosary in my classroom.

  1. Start each class with a decade of the rosary. If you do a different set of mysteries for 5 days each week of the month, by the end of the month your class will know and have prayed all 20 mysteries of the rosary. Of course some school schedules won’t have a full four weeks of classes in October, but that can be a great way to encourage families to pray the rosary at home!
  2. Pray the rosary at Eucharistic Adoration. I am so blessed that my 8th grade class has the opportunity to go to Adoration each Thursday afternoon, so during the month of the rosary, we are going to bring our rosaries and pray together in front of the Eucharist.
  3. Learn the history of the Rosary. It took many years for the Rosary as we now know it to come together. And because the Rosary has always been a way of learning the faith in addition to a way of praying, it makes sense to learn some of its history. Franciscan media has a great article on this topic and Loyola press also has some interesting resources.
  4. Find all the mysteries of the rosary in the Bible. While there are certainly great scriptural rosary books, I like to have my students look up the scriptural references themselves, especially because my 7th grade curriculum is New Testament. As an added prayer activity, I sometimes have the students write the mystery from a new point of view- like the Annunciation from Gabriel’s point of view, or the Baptism of Jesus through John the Baptist’s eyes. It’s a beautiful creative writing exercise and then can be used for class prayer.
  5. Learn about saints who loved the rosary. There are so many! Saint John Paul the Second would be an easy place to start, especially because of the luminous mysteries. But there are many saints who famously loved the devotion to Mary through the rosary- Maximilian Kolbe, Padre Pio, Mother Teresa, Louis De Montfort and so many more!

Check out some of my other posts about the rosary:
Our Lady of Fatima Rosary
Five ways to celebrate the month of the Rosary (2016)
Ponder

What ways do you make a rosary a part of your life at home or in the classroom? Let me know in the comments!

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