This is a family project where everyone will learn about the major feast days of the Church during the course of one year.
In the Classroom:
This is a class project where the students and teacher(s) will learn about the the major feast days of the Church during the course of one year.
- An icon of each of the major feast days
- Access to the Internet or Festal Menaion (Additional resource: Festival Icons for the Christian Year)
- Post-it Notes
- Pens or pencils
- A way to hang up the icons on the wall (shelf, nails, Command hooks, tape, etc)
- Banner saying "Feast Days" (optional)
An Option for Icons:
- Purchase pre-cut wood from Hobby Lobby for mounting icon prints
- Wood stain (optional)
- Mod Podge and sponge brush
- Icon prints (Note: I printed my icons from my printer prior to purchasing wood. I recommend buying your desired sizes of wood BEFORE printing your icons. This way you can size the icon prints to fit the wood instead of the other way around. Also, Hobby Lobby has regular sales on their wood too.)
Major Feast Days:
Why a Feast Days Timeline?
I've taught a wide range of age groups, different learning styles, and special needs - in classrooms and in my own home. I don't always have the opportunity to separate the children into similar learning groups. Most of the time, I need to adapt to the group in front of me - including all their varying degrees of learning needs.
This activity appeals to the visual child who wants to see the icons as well as visualize the sequence of events. It also appeals to the verbal learner who wants to read and write about the feast day. This activity is appropriate for all grades - with additional guidance and help for the younger children.
For non-readers: Write down all the dates for feast day before beginning this activity. Hold up each icon and talk about each feast day. Next, hand one icon at a time to be placed on the shelf (hook, etc). Tell each child, "The Nativity of the Theotokos is the first feast day of the church year. It goes first on our timeline. The Exaltation of the Holy Cross is the second feast day of the church year. It goes on our timeline next."
Younger children can often tell you the sequence of events before they can tell you specific dates.
For readers: It is up to you whether you want the children to research each of the feast days themselves, do it as a group, or hand them the information to read. Talk about each of the icons before having the kids place the icons in the correct chronological order along your timeline. Next, you're ready to label them!
Use some sort of marker to show which is the next feast day
Label Under the Icons
Using Post-it Notes, write the desired information about each feast day and place the note below the icon.
I want to learn:
- When do we celebrate this feast day?
- What is this feast day about?
- Who is depicted in the icon on this feast day?
Mix It Up!
A few weeks after they have completed this activity, see how much the kids remember!
Take all the Post-it Notes down. Take all the icons off the shelf and mix up their order. Then ask the kids to put the icons back up in the correct chronological order. After putting the icons back on the shelf, hand them the Post-It Notes and ask them to put them back under the correct icon. (Tell them if you want the order to begin in September or January.)