Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Celebrating the Brown Scapular

 

One exciting part of 5th Grade at my school is the honor of receiving the Brown Scapular.  The Brown Scapular is an outward sign of asking Mary's protection and guidance in knowing her Son more.  (More info on the Brown Scapular here and here and here.)  The Scapular is a Sacramental, an object or action that we use as Catholics to connect to the Sacraments and live out our faith.  Because my students receive the Scapular, I have the responsibility of preparing them.  Here are a few resources and ideas that I have used:

We decorate a bulletin board in the hallway.  One title I have used is "Mother Mary, lead us to the heart of Jesus."  This year, I used a large piece of brown paper to create a kind of mantle that said, "Mother Mary, help us love your Son more."

We surround the bulletin board with coloring pages of the Brown Scapular:

Click here for my favorite Brown Scapular coloring pages.


The bulletin board also had "St. Simon Stock and Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, pray for us!" signs made by students:

I made a giant Brown Scapular using one of the coloring pages (linked above), two sheets of brown felt, and brown yarn.  It makes a nice visual for our bulletin board:


I use this story book to prep my kids: The Brown Scapular, Catholic Story Coloring Book by Mary Fabyan Windeatt.  It is published by TAN books, but unfortunately, I don't think that it is in print any longer.  (If anyone knows of another publisher that is carrying it, please let me know.  My google searches have proved fruitless.)
I like the detail in this book, and the story of St. Simon Stock's life from childhood.  It has one page of text and then one coloring page.  My students have provided color for each of them, creating a nice book for all of us to enjoy.
(I will note that while this is a coloring book, it is not a coloring book that you can copy for your kids or students.  I do love finding a publisher that allows copies for classroom or home use, but this is not one of them.)

Incorporating several curriculum areas into one topic is a necessity for covering skills and content in my classroom, so I also created a Spelling List to go along with this Brown Scapular book.  The words are not all necessarily vocab for the book, but all follow the pattern of different ways to spell the long e sound.  Some words are easy, some are more challenging.

Click here for the list:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5ETRkL51fhMVUN0bkV0RnRPbzA/view?usp=sharing
Click on the following three documents for three days of spelling practice, focusing on spelling skills as well as vocab usage:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5ETRkL51fhMcTRnc2VoRlhfXzA/view?usp=sharing

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5ETRkL51fhMRkszRGtZWWx0TUU/view?usp=sharing

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5ETRkL51fhMcVN0cXpLVkprWGs/view?usp=sharing
 Click here for a fill-in-the-blank spelling test:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5ETRkL51fhMb2plTEUtLTk1N0E/view?usp=sharing

And finally, we ended the week with some comprehension questions over the life of St. Simon Stock, Our Lady, and the Brown Scapular.  There also is a place for the students to ask any questions about receiving the Brown Scapular without having to do it in front of the class.  Click here for the document:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5ETRkL51fhMdjF3MkF4cFFOWkE/view?usp=sharing

The Brown Scapular ceremony was lovely.  The students all received the Brown Scapular, as did many of their parents.  Our priest always reminds the kids that wearing the Brown Scapular is like reminding yourself that you "are on Mary's team."  It is common to wear sports jerseys, uniforms, or matching jackets for a team or organization, and the Brown Scapular helps us see that Mary is our coach, teaching us to know her Son more and preparing us for "the game" of this life.

After the ceremony, we celebrate in two ways.  I always take a group picture and individual pictures of the kids showing their Brown Scapular.  (I use the bulletin board as a background so it is a little more apparent what they are holding out.)  We always mark important dates with photos, so I think this is a good way to continue to show the kids how important it is.


And then...we have Brown Scapular Brownies!  At 10:00 in the morning, which always makes for a fun sugar-induced rest of the school day. :)  I made this simple by baking a double batch of brownies, putting them on a tray, and stringing two pieces of brown ribbon between them.  I wrote in frosting the phrase on our scapulars "Put on the Lord Jesus Christ," and then laid a printed picture of our Lady of Mt. Carmel on the other side. (Drawing Mary in frosting is out of my skill zone.)

I hope this encourages you to consider having your kids (own or students) enrolled in the Brown Scapular, and gives you some ideas for preparing them and celebrating.  I'd love to hear your ideas as well!

2 comments:

  1. Michael Emerson LongJuly 25, 2016 at 2:52 PM

    Where can I order the Scapular on the school chalk board ? From Michael Emerson Long,, E-mail is -- underourmothermarysmantle@gmail.com my address is 145 Wagontrail Lane, Latrobe, Pa. 15650 U.S.A. THANK YOU ALL.

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    1. Hi Michael! I just made the large scapular using a coloring page, felt, and yarn. The link to some options for coloring pages is in the post above, I colored it, attached it to 9x12 brown felt, and braided brown yarn for the ribbons. It is then stapled together on the bulletin board. They are not available to order, but it would be easy to make yourself!

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