Monday, March 15, 2010

St. Patrick's Day

I love St. Patrick's Day. This day gives me a wonderful opportunity to share our Celtic heritage with the children. We are teetotalers here, so no green beer or anything like that, we celebrate with nice Celtic music, and maybe a movie with an Irish theme (this year we will be watching The Secret of Roan Inish), but best of all we have one of our favorite meals, Corned Beef, Cabbage, Potatoes, and Soda Bread, and some yummy dessert. This is also a perfect opportunity for explaining to children about the Trinity using the same example St. Patrick did- the Shamrock.

This year I had fun making St. Patrick's Day mix Cd's for my friends and family with lots of my favorite Celtic Music. I also thought I would share with you some of my favorite Children's Book selections for St. Pat's day.

First I will start with Tomie DePaola books-He happens to be one of my all time favorite children's author's and writes some wonderful books for St. Patrick's Day.

Jamie O'Rourke and the Big Potato an Irish Folktale by DePaola is a wonderful story about a lazy Jamie O'Rourke whose poor wife throws out her back doing all the work Jamie doesn't do, and has to stay in bed, so Jamie becomes worried about what he'll do about the potato harvest and then has a lucky encounter with a leprechaun. Very funny book, great illustrations.

Jamie O'Rourke and the Pooka by DePaola- another story about the lazy Jamie O'Rourke, this time his wife is going out of town and he has to keep up with house chores, but every night he has his buddies over and they make a mess, then a pooka cleans up every night until the last night, and I will leave that surprise for you to find out when you read this fun story , this has a great little lesson in not being lazy.

Fin M'Coul The Giant of Knockmany Hill by DePaola- this is a story about a how the giant Fin and his wife Oonagh trick the bad giant Cucullin. Good classic Irish tale, great illustrations, I will say that some people have commented that they don't like that Cucullin's finger gets bitten off, and that there is some talk of fighting in the book as well as a little magic. This never bothered me or my children since it is in the realm of folk tales, we have always enjoyed this tale, good introduction to Irish lore.

Patrick Patron Saint of Ireland by DePaola- wonderfully illustrated book that teaches about who St. Patrick was, and some of the history and lore that surrounds him. Wonderful introduction to St. Patrick. I enjoy this book even as an adult.

Now for three other books- St. Patrick's Day in the Morning by Eve Bunting Illustrated by Jan Brett- this is an absolutely darling story about a little boy up early on St. Patrick's Day morning, and how everyone in town is getting ready for the parade. Great drawings of how it might actually be in a small Irish town on St. Pat's morning. Perfect for young children, when my kids were younger we read this many times in March, it is a family favorite.

This year I added two new books to our collection of St. Patrick's Day Children's Books- the illustrations were so beautiful they books just drew me in- when they arrived in the mail, I read them right away, and was not disappointed, wonderful stories.

First was A Fine St. Patrick's Day by Susan Wojciechowski a story about two towns competing in a town decorating contest, and how one town ended up winning because of their kindness to a stranger. Cute tale about keeping perspective of what's really important.

And last- Fiona's Luck by Teresa Bateman- beautiful book- great tale about how cleverness can be worth more than strength, and how a young girl uses cleverness to help her community when the leprechaun king takes all the luck.

Hope everyone gets a chance to read a few of these books, they are all wonderful, and are a great way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day.

Here are my Amazon affiliate links for the books mentioned in this post.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Moses Lapbook

As some of you know I have been a children's Sunday school teacher for the last 15 years. I love coming up with wonderful new ways to teach Bible stories to the kids. Recently, I learned about lapbooks through some homeschool websites I was surfing through for new ideas. For those who are unfamiliar with lapbooks, basically they are file folders folded like shown in the pictures I included, and filled with interactive little crafts, like mini books or other paper crafts. There are tons of websites out there with lots of great ideas for every subject.

I currently teach an all grade early Sunday morning class- ages 5-12- and felt like this would be a great way to teach a multi-week unit on Moses. For the younger kids I pre-cut some of the items, and they colored and glued, and the older kids were able to piece the crafts together by themselves using my teacher's copy as a guide. Our Moses unit took 6 weeks- the stories we learned were Baby Moses, Moses and the Burning Bush, The Ten Plagues, Parting of the Red Sea, Manna & Quail, and The 10 Commandments. It was a lot of fun, the lapbooks turned out really nice, and were a fun thing for the kids to take home and keep. I wanted to do another one for Easter but didn't get it put together in time, so I will save that for next year, next I plan to do a lapbook of either Parables or Jesus' miracles. I have included pictures, for the patterns I used some pattern books I have had for years, as well as mini book printables, and lots of Internet searches.

For those interested in the printouts I used to make parts of this craft I have included links to some of the places I found printouts.

This website has pictures of the 10 plagues-

Also a lot of good info can be found at this web site-

Here is where I found the crafts for Moses as a baby in the basket, and the parting of the red sea- this site has a lot of good info and printouts as well.

As far as the 10 commandments I just drew them out by hand. The pattern on the front of the book of Moses is from an old pattern book I have that they no longer sell- but I think you should be able to find a good picture to use at one of the links above.

This book is where I got the mini book printout- I use this book as well as the one for the new testament all of the time.