Teaching the Rosary

rosaries - image by Barb Gilman

During October and May, I focus on teaching and praying the Rosary with my third graders. Since the Church honors Mary during these months, I want to make this time extra special for my students by passing on my love for Mary. I do this by making each student a twine rosary and giving them the materials for a keepsake Rosary prayer book.

Each year our students are asked to bring a rosary from home to keep in their desks for prayer time. My third-grade students like to bring in the brand-new rosaries that they received for their First Holy Communion. Of course, I worry that these rosaries might be lost or broken. To avoid this heartbreak, I learned how to make twine rosaries, which I now make for each of my students.

I like to use colored twine and a small metal crucifix for each rosary. With practice, you can make a rosary quickly. It takes me about 30 minutes to make one.

I make all the rosaries by October 1, which is my rosary give-away day. I spread out the rosaries on a table in the back of the room. The rosaries form a nice rainbow of colors. I then call each child’s name in random order and invite him or her to pick out a rosary. I always make a few extra rosaries so that the last few children have a few choices.

After all the children have picked a rosary, I allow one minute for them to trade their rosaries with each other in case they would like one that is a different color than the one they picked. I then ask the children to do a quality check on their rosaries. I share with them my worry that I might have accidentally made a rosary with a decade that has only nine beads. I have them make sure each decade has 10 beads. Without them realizing it, I just taught children their first Rosary lesson: a decade has 10 beads!

After the quality check, I teach them how to pray the Rosary. I have used posters, worksheets, and booklets in the past, but this year I am going to have children make their own Rosary guide and prayer book. My students add the prayers and the Mysteries of the Rosary. The albums are a nice size for my students, and they fit into students’ desks for easy retrieval when it’s time to pray.

As a seasoned teacher, I am always looking for new and better ways to teach. Maybe this will be the year that I get my Rosary lessons just right! If not, I will keep on adjusting and modifying my lessons.

How do you teach children to pray the Rosary?

Don’t forget to download Rosary Craft Activities here. The prayers and Mysteries of the Rosary can be found in the Prayers and Practices of Our Faith section of Finding God or the What Catholics Should Know section of Christ Our Life.

About Barb Gilman 50 Articles
Barb Gilman is a wife, mother, and third-grade Catholic school teacher. She is the winner of the 2014 NCEA Distinguished Teacher Award for the Plains States. Active on social media, @BarbinNebraska is the co-organizer of the #CatholicEdChat on Twitter.

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