Faith that Works

Teaching middle schoolers how to live and practice their faith

For the past few years our school has focused on the four word theme for Catholic Schools Week: Learn, Serve, Lead, Succeed. The 8th grade students planned activities and events for each of the four days we were in school during the week and matched the free dress themes to each of the words. I really enjoyed seeing their fresh new takes on a long time tradition at our school.

Here are five ideas for ways to celebrate the theme of Learning during Catholic Schools Week.

  1. Pick a patron saint associated with schools and learning to be the patron of the day. Find an easy biography or activity page related to the saint, or maybe a few at different difficulty levels. We chose Elizabeth Ann Seton as our patron for the theme of learning, but there are many other good choices including Thomas Aquinas, John Baptiste De LaSalle, and Aloysius Gonzaga would all be good choices too.
  2. Have students dress in bright colors to celebrate both their good ideas and also the light that Catholic education brings to the world.
  3. Give each class a puzzle piece to fill with all the things they have learned so far this year. Assemble all the pieces to create a school wide work of art that celebrates student learning.
  4. Celebrate your learning environment by creating a bulletin board as a class that celebrates milestones in each student’s learning. Last year my 8th grade class also designed a scavenger hunt for each classroom, hiding clues in items that most classrooms will have, such as books, a map or globe, hand sanitizer etc. At the end of the scavenger hunt classes found a flash light to remind them that Jesus is the light.
  5. Have students dress as a favorite book character. We did this a few years ago and it was so fun to see even the big kids dress like some of my childhood favorites. We had Max and Ruby, Madeline, Horton the Elephant, Nancy Drew and more!

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