Since October is the month of the Rosary, this actually worked out perfectly. We spent a few days in class just learning about the Rosary. I explained to the class that the Rosary is an item that the Blessed Mother gave us to pray. The children learned how to treat a Rosary with reverence and that each bead on the Rosary serves as a guide to help us pray. I own several Rosaries which I had on display in our prayer area for the class to examine and touch. The initial lessons were worthwhile because my students were fascinated by my personal Rosaries and interacted with the very reverently.
After a few days of learning about the Rosary, my students made kinder-friendly Rosaries in class using white pipe cleaners and pastel pony beads. I love this project - it is a simple little craft that helps children develop a personal connection to the Rosary. You can find step-by-step directions for the project here.
The next day, we were finally ready to pray a decade of the Rosary in class. I held my own pipe cleaner Rosary for the children to see and guided my students through the transitions from one bead to the next. Each child held his or her own Rosary and followed along the beads with their fingers while I led the class in prayer.
I do not have all of the steps of praying the Rosary memorized, so I created a guide for myself to follow while I pray with the children. It's very visual and clearly indicates the prayer that corresponds to each bead on the Rosary. I also typed the words to all the prayers (including the tricky ones like the Hail Holy Queen and Apostles Creed). Those sheets are both 8.5x11".
For convenience, I also created a quick reference guide that can be trimmed into 5.5x4.25" cards. The quick reference guide contains the words for each prayer, as well as a listing of all of the mysteries for me to easily hold and refer to while I lead the class in prayer. I printed the guide on white paper, trimmed the edges and glued onto light blue car stock, and finished by punching holes in each card to store on a binder ring. This is a small and very convenient tool that I keep nearby when we pray together in class.
I am sharing my Rosary materials with you as a FREEBIE. If you teach the Rosary in your classroom, it is be a very helpful guide for your students and their parents. Click the image below to grab this great Freebie!
Over the course of the year, we will make our way through all of the mysteries of the Rosary. We started with the Joyful mysteries (so far we have included the first two Joyful Mysteries in our classroom decades). This is how my classroom prayer space looks when it is set up to pray the Rosary.
The mysteries themselves an be difficult to adequately explain to my students and I like to show them a picture of the each one as it is introduced. Fortunately, I have a wonderful children's Bible that I always keep in my classroom prayer space. It has child-friendly illustrations and tells the story of most of the mysteries of the Rosary quite well.
The stories for a few mysteries (such as The Wedding at Cana, some specific events of the Passion for the Sorrowful Mysteries, as well as Mary's Assumption and Coronation) are missing from this Bible but I don't mind supplementing a bit. Of the three children's Bibles I have in my classroom, this one contained narratives of the most mysteries and was the most kinder-friendly.
After praying the Rosary only a few times in class, I can already tell that this will be one of my favorite activities each week with my students. This prayer time has become a special moment in our weekly schedule and I invite other Catholic teachers to share the same experience with your students.