For several years I’ve shared on the blog some of the ideas my students and I come up with for the celebration of Catholic Schools Week (CSW). This will be my sixth year in charge of all the planning, and I am glad that I have a few years under my belt as I head into a year of no all school prayer services, assemblies or masses. Because our school is about 350 students, there isn’t a way to safely gather everyone together the way that we used to. Add in the fact that we are in person and online simultaneously, and there was a huge need for creativity. Here are five of my favorite ideas for this year’s unique CSW.
Please note: our school is online and in person at the same time. These activities are geared towards in person schooling, but could certainly be adapted for online or hybrid schedules.
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- Create a mask that represents your class. Each class will be given a plain white cotton mask and tasked with designing and decorating it in a way that represents their class. We will then display these masks on a bulletin board during the month of February and most likely save them as a time capsule of this crazy time in our school.
- Mask decorating contest. Similar to the previous idea, on the day celebrating community, students will decorate personal masks reflecting our school values and their own gifts and talents. We will use the same white cotton masks and I am scouring the internet for cheap decorating tools. So far these permanent markers and stick on jewels are front runners. *
- School wide Kahoot game. If you’re new to Kahoot, it’s amazing for virtual teaching. You create quizzes about anything, and you can host from your computer while students log in with their own pin. After each question there’s a leaderboard and it’s a really fun way to review. Because our theme for students day this year is Disney day, we created a Disney quiz and each classroom will login as one player while we host from my room. If you don’t want to build your own quiz, there are plenty of other quizzes you can use on the site. You can even find some great religious ones- for Christmas my class played some about Our Lady of Guadalupe and St. Nicholas.
- Unlock your vocation escape room. This is by far our most ambitious plan, and initially I wasn’t sure how it would work, but my 8th graders convinced me that it could work and it would be really cool. On the day of the week celebrating vocations, each class will get a kit to play a short escape room based on the vocations. The puzzles will be preset for them in the boxes, and the goal of the escape room will be to highlight the four vocations and that the “secret” to unlocking your vocation is prayer. Once we have the kits put together I will post a picture here on the blog.
- Introduce the year of St. Joseph. Your school may have already talked about the year of St. Joseph, but mine hasn’t done much about it yet, and he is our patron. In our research about how to celebrate this year, the 8th graders and I learned about consecration to St. Joseph. I’ve taken part in Marian consecrations before, but never a St. Joseph one. The basic idea is that you pray for 33 days, and then ask Joseph to be your special patron. And here’s the part where the Holy Spirit is really cool. On our school calendar, from February 1 (start of CSW) to March 19 (Feast of St. Joseph) is EXACTLY 33 SCHOOL DAYS. We developed a kid friendly St. Joseph Prayer, and we will consecrate our whole school to St. Joseph on his feast day in March!
I know Catholic Schools Week will look different this year, but I am really excited about this plans and very proud of my students and their creativity. What will your CSW celebrations look like this year? Share your ideas in the comments!
* the link for the markers and for the jewels is an affiliate link. This means if you use the link to purchase the items I receive a small commission at no cost to you.