St. Patrick's Day is almost upon us and one of the things my seven year old, J, decided to do for Lent was to learn more about the Saints. What better Saint to begin with than Patrick? I volunteer in J's class during library so I helped him pick out Patrick Patron Saint of Ireland by Tomie dePaola.
This book tells Patrick's story from a young boy until his death. I like that it saved the legends as an aftermath to his life story. There were some I did not know, like his fingers lighting up to help find the lost horses. I thought J could best remember the story of Saint Patrick if we did an interactive craft.
We started with a coloring sheet of St. Patrick. I found the link at Catholic Icing's blog. J colored the picture and then cut it out. We taped a skewer to the back to make a stick puppet. I think a popsicle stick would have worked better but this was the first thing I found.
Next we cut a 12x12 piece of white paper int o thirds. Using one third, we glued on strips of colored paper to make a rainbow. The use of the rainbow, while not part of Saint Patrick's story, is often associated with St. Patrick's Day and I thought it would add a bit of fun and whimsy to the learning. J cut clouds out another third of the paper. I wrote Britain on one and Ireland on the other. Using sharp scissors I cut a slit right under the first colored line to insert our puppet.
J also made a shamrock or clover using one of my heart punches and to which he added a little rectangle for the stem. The three leaf clover was said to be one of St. Patrick's teaching tools in regards to the Holy Trinity, so I wrote "Father", "Son," and "Holy Spirit" on the leaves. We glued that to the center of the picture because his Faith is the center of his life.
Once the Saint Puppet was inserted into the picture, J could tell the story by sliding Patrick back and forth. He started with Patrick growing up near the shore in Britain and being kidnapped and taken by boat to Ireland. It was just coincidence but worked out well that the top strip was blue like the water. Eventually Patrick received word from God that a boat would be waiting for him and he sailed back to Britain. Then he decided he needed to take the word of God back to Ireland and sailed across again to build the first Church.