Teaching children to pray is so important yet can be a challenge. With our first graders in our religious education after school program, we try to expose them to many different kinds of prayer so that they see that there is no right or wrong way to pray. Part of our Catholic faith is learning traditional memorized prayers. Some of these are recited in mass each week, others are used at different times throughout the year. These are important to our faith, yet most of our first graders come in without knowing them. We work hard all year to get our students to memorize these prayers. In first grade, we focus on Our Father, Hail Mary, Sign of the Cross, Glory Be, Prayer Before Meals and Angel of God. We practice these in class, but we also expect the parents to practice these at home with their children.
In years past, we worked on one prayer at a time. We would type up the words to the prayer and attach it to a foam shape (in hopes of it not getting lost in their folders and backpacks) and send it home. When a student had the prayer memorized, he/she would come to us at the beginning of class and recite it. If they got it right, they picked a prize out of the prize box. Once the majority of the class had the prayer memorized, we handed out the next one. This seemed to work okay. Some students memorized them all, other students memorized very few. I knew this year I wanted to try something new. I hated penalizing the students who were eager to memorize more and make them wait for their classmates to catch up.
This year, I created a lapbook instead. In it would be all of the prayers they would need to memorize for the year. They could work at their own pace, focusing on the prayer of their choosing. We wouldn't have to send home each individual prayer and they would have a helpful tool at home to help them practice.
Assembling them was pretty easy. Since we are limited on time (I only have them for an hour and a half each week) and it was the beginning of the year, I pre cut all the pieces so that they just had to glue them. This was our first year with glue sponges and they are awesome!! No more sharing glue or having huge globs of glue on our papers.
fact that we ditched the treasure box for brag tags, or just the make up of this class, but they are on fire this year and are LOVING memorizing and reciting their prayers. We've even had to add The Nicene Creed, The Apostle's Creed and The Act of Contrition as a challenge for those students who want to learn more prayers. It is so nice to see young children embracing the faith and learning new ways to pray.
If you are interested in implementing this Catholic Prayers Lapbook, you can find if HERE in my store.
Looking for other ideas to use in a Catholic classroom? Check out my Pinterest board for great ideas!