Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Finding Truth in Halloween: Repost


It's October, so that means it's time for a repost of one of my most popular activities on this blog.  Looking to teach your kids about the truth behind Halloween?  The history of All Hallows Eve and the Connection to All Souls Day and All Saints Day?  The deal with relics, zombies, and praying for the dead?  Well, here you go!  Plenty of information packed into a booklet or several coloring/info pages, ready for you to use in your classroom or home.  Enjoy!

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: 
(You might also like these All Saints & All Souls Day Letters.)

 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.

20 comments:

  1. I found your website through pinterest! I love your All Saint's/Soul's Day printables. I was hoping I could use them with your permission in my CCD class for 2nd graders. I opened up the documents and the words are blurred out. Wasn't sure if that was intentional or not..

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    1. Hi Lydia! I am glad that you found my site, and you are free to use any of the printables in your classroom. I am sorry that you are having trouble with the documents- I just rechecked all the links and they are working. When you click on them, are you able to open them in Google Drive? Then try and download them and see if they are clear. If you still have trouble, email me at katherine (dot) bogner (at) gmail (dot) com. Hope that it works!

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  2. What a wonderful resource! Thanks so much for sharing.

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    1. Thanks, Julie! I hope you are able to put them to good use!

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  3. You are awesome! Thank you so much for putting this together. I will present this to my 5th grade CCD tomorrow. This is JUST what I was looking for to explain Halloween and All Saints. Thank you!!

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    1. I am so glad that it will work for you, Andrea! God Bless you and your students!

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  4. This is a fantastic mini-book! I cant wait to share it with my grade 4/5 religious education class! Thank you! I found you on Pinterest, and now I've bookmarked your site. Great stuff, God bless you.

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    1. Great, Janice! Blessings on you and your students!

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  5. Such fantastic work, thank you! We will happily use them for our All Saints Party on Halloween. God bless you and your wonderful work.

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  6. I'm so glad I came across this! I need something to share with a group of elementary kids, and this is perfect. I'm have trouble getting it to print though, half of each page has black lines through it instead of words. Any idea why?

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    1. I'm so glad you found it, but sorry you are having trouble printing. Here are my suggestions:
      1. I've checked the links and google drive files, and they are all active and there are no lines or blurry words.
      2. It might be a conflict with your browser. I would recommend viewing them on Google Chrome or Firefox- I haven't had any problems with either of those.
      3. When you are ready to print the files, I highly recommend downloading them first and then printing from the pdf viewer (like acrobat). This can solve lots of problems. I do not recommend printing straight from the browser- it tends to mess with formatting and fonts.
      4. If you try those steps and still have trouble, please email me at katherine (dot) bogner (at) gmail (dot) com and will send you the pdf directly.
      Thanks so much!

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  7. Hello,
    These are wonderful!! Please help me print double sided. The second and fourth page is printing upside down. I have tried printing after downloading or before with the same results. I would like to print them for prizes for our All Saints Party for my Homeschool Support group. Thanks!

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    1. Hi Susie! I am so glad that you like it and are going to share it with more kids! I'm sorry that you are having trouble printing, but that is something that will be hard for me to help with because it totally depends on the settings on your printer or copier. Two things to watch for- is it set to print two sided? And is it set to flip "on the long side" or on the short side"? Those settings will affect if some of the pages are upside down. My only suggestion is to print it all single sided first, and then test copying it until they are facing the correct way. Hope that helps!

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  8. Hello,
    I am so glad to have stumbled on your site. Halloween is becoming more and more of a difficult time for my husband and I. We have heard it explained recently that "Trick or Treat" had to do with a consequence of not granting a request. In other words, a "spell" or "trick" was cast if a person didn't comply with whatever request was made (the treat). Wondering how you would address this and what source did you find your information on the same topic. Thank you for providing much needed materials.

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    1. Ooo, that is another take that I hadn't talked about with my students. Our pastor came to visit last week and talked about Trick or Treating. He said that it is ok to enjoy the experience of visiting, showing off costumes, and collecting candy (the good of the situation) but we never should consider being upset if someone doesn't offer candy and damaging their property. Have you read anything about Soul Cakes, which is one of the original forms of trick or treating? Check out this article or do some google searches Soul Cakes. I think that this is a good example of how an old tradition can now be used for evil or for good- it depends on our intentions and purpose. Hope that helps.

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  9. Hello,
    I just found your site via Pinterest. I was wondering if I could use a few of these for my Preschool CCD class and all of them my Sunday's Children liturgy classes? I would love to use them because this would go great for All Soul's Day. Well it would be the 30th this year, for my Sunday class. It would All Saint's Day for my CCD class. Still I would love to use them. I will give you all the credit of course. :)

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    1. Hi! That is exactly what they are here for! Feel free to use them in your classrooms. Thanks!

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  10. This is the second year I am using these for our Religions Education program. I love them.
    Please check out our free coloring pages at: http://sjtb.org/releducolor.html

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  11. Thank you for making this. My children loved it.

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