Bring the saints to life through creativity and storytelling.
By Sheri Wohlfert
In a culture where the role models for our children are rock stars, athletes and movie stars it becomes even more important for us to highlight and showcase some real role models. The holy men and women we know as the saints lived with superstar virtue, strength, and faith. If you are looking for a new way to bring the saints to life, you might consider a Saint Art Show.
The objective is to bring the saints to life through creativity and storytelling. This is how we do it at St. Mary School. The fifth and sixth graders draw the name of a saint from the basket, and they have three weeks to create a 3-D representation of that saint’s life. We move beyond birth, death, and geography and focus on an element of their life and discipleship.
The only rule is that the exhibits have to fit through the front door. The students bring their entries on All Saints Day, and the representations are displayed throughout the school hallways. After Mass, the students and parish community walk through the halls exploring the exhibits as the students tell the story of how their creation represents the saint they chose.
Here are a few examples of the entries from our last show:
St. Faustina. The Divine Mercy image was traced onto fabric, and Grandma taught her granddaughter simple embroidery. The student stitched and framed the image.
St. Andre Bessette. A miniature pair of crutches was made out of paper-towel tubes and branches to represent the story of this saint’s many healings.
St. Pio of Pietrelcina (Padre Pio). A chalice and pair of gloves were formed out of modeling clay to tell the story of Padre Pio’s love of the Eucharist and his Stigmata.
St. Peter. His key was re-created completely out of dryer lint and spray-painted gold.
St. Dominic Savio. A life-size version of the young saint was created out of stuffed clothes and a wig stand painted to look like him.
St. Dominic. A representation of the rosary given to him by the Blessed Mother was made out of chestnuts gathered in the woods, and pieces of chain.
The entries come in every shape, size, and form you can imagine. They are as diverse as the children who create them. The best part is watching the students stand by their entries and teach people of all ages the stories of their saints.
Sheri Wohlfert is a Catholic wife, mom, speaker, and teacher who writes from Michigan. She uses her sense of humor and her deep faith to help others discover the joy of being a child of God. Sheri also writes at JoyfulWords.org.
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