Thursday, October 24, 2013

Finding Truth in Halloween


[***update- you might want to click over to this post for an updated (Oct. 2015) edited version of the coloring pages and book.  Thanks!]

It's almost Halloween.
Will you be decorating with skulls or cornstalks?
Dressing your kid as a zombie or St. Francis?
Teaching about death and salvation or pretending that the holiday isn't really happening?

I have to admit, all of the "camps" of opinions about Halloween can be confusing.  Redeem the holiday.  Ignore the holiday.  Revive the "holy day" in the holiday. Reject the dark, embrace the harvest. Focus on the Saints, forget about the evil...

There is great truth in the traditions and rituals of Halloween, and I think that instead of forgetting about them entirely, we can use this holiday (which the culture has abused) to teach kids about topics that can be easy to skip over, like death, purgatory, praying for the dead, relics, and good & evil.

My friend Bonnie at A Knotted Life is tackling her parish's All Saints Day party, and has set a goal for bringing in as much symbolic truth into the celebration as she can.  You can read about her ideas here, which includes great plans for snacks, games, structure, and decorations.  She also has a Pinterest board with all kinds of fabulous ideas.

Per her request, I put together some coloring pages with explanations, prayers, and Scripture to explain some of the "holy" found in All Hallow's Eve.  I was more than happy to comply, because after talking about many of these things in my classroom last year, the idea of a teaching tool like this was something that I knew I would be able to use.

Click here for an 8 page mini book about All Hallow's Eve, including its origins and traditions, All Saints Day, relics, praying for the dead, Jack-O-Lanterns, Saints and souls, good and evil, etc.
I also turned some of the pictures and information into single sheet coloring pages, better for little hands or shorter lessons.

Click here for one with info on a few of the traditions of All Hallow's Eve:

 Here is one about All Saints Day:
 Here is a connection between Jack-O-Lanterns and the Morning Offering:

 And one about praying for the dead:
 Here is one about zombies and the resurrection of the dead:
And one on relics:
Do you have any ideas on incorporating truth into Halloween and All Saints Day?  I'd love to hear them here, or you can join the conversation at A Knotted Life.

39 comments:

  1. Thanks so much for these wonderful resources that you share so willingly! What a blessing you are!
    Mary Chris

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  2. Tomorrow Luke and I are going to be teaching our CCD class about "St. Katherine of Sparland," patron saint of Religious Ed teachers who neglect preparing for class until the night before and luckily have this blog to depend on for lesson planning. She's a very valuable asset to the Catholic Church.

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    1. A very interesting patronage to be sure. What symbols would be on her icon? :)

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    2. Hilarious! St. Katherine of Sparland - that is so true, Katie. So. true!

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    3. Patron Saint of procrastination. A bit of an oxymoron, me thinks. However, if anyone were to support the procrastinators of the world, it would be me!

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    4. Ha, I laughed out loud at this, as it is Halloween night 2015 at 9:46 pm and here I am, frantically looking for supplemental material for my first graders tomorrow morning! Thanks, ladies, you made me feel not so alone.

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    5. Eileen, you are always in good company! :)

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  3. Love these! Thank you so much for creating and sharing.

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  4. Thank you so much! These are wonderful. What a great way to keep Halloween fun and holy!

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  5. Thanks so much! This is just what I've been looking for. My 2nd and 3rd grader are enjoying this very much!

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    1. Wonderful! I am glad to hear that they are being put to good use!

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  6. Katie,
    Thank you so much for putting your creative efforts into these pages and sharing them with us. We have an awesome faith, thank you for helping me to teach it to my children!

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  7. Excellent resources, Katie! Thanks for freely sharing your talents!

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  8. This is WONDERFUL! Thank you for sharing :)

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  9. These are great!!! Thanks for sharing!

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  10. Thank you so much for sharing these. They are exactly what I was looking for, great work!

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  11. These are amazing, thank you so much for sharing them! I only very recently found your blog and have read just about the entire thing. You are a very talented and generous person!

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  12. Katie, thank you very much for sharing these! We are making them part of our day today. :-) -Anne

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  13. May Go Bless You! Thank you. You are helping a newbie a teaching Sunday school!

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  14. Love this, thank you so much!

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  15. Great work. Thank you so much. God Bless.

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  16. Katie,

    Any chance that you can update the "There's a Saint for That!" sheet in the Finding Truth booklet to reflect changes in sainthood? JPII to saint, JXXIII to saint, and bl. Louis and Zelie Martin will be named saints 10/18/15. Pretty please? :)

    Susan

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    1. Hi Susan! I'm going to send you to the repost I did of these pages last year- it had JP2 and John XXIII, and I just updated the Martins. Finding Truth in Halloween Repost Now if only I could change Ven. Sheen to Blessed... :)

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    2. Wonderful! Thank you so much! What a great resource for religious ed!

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