Ideas and resources for schools

24th February 2017

Some ideas and resources to get the most out of Lent in a school context…

This blog is written for lay chaplains and teachers who are passionate about providing faith opportunities within their school. Below are some resources sourced from across the internet that may help to spark some creativity.

A Lent intro clip

Preparing For Lent

Top 5 activities and ideas for Lent & links

5. Lentsanity App

LENTSANITY is an app developed by FOCUS an American University outreach apostolate. A few years ago they released an app to help young adults in their Lenten practices. The app has very impressive illustrated guides, reminder can be set up not to eat meat on Friday and many more features – More info about the app

4. Crown of thorns  

Making a craft crown of thorns can serve as a really good centre piece in an assembly of reflection. It involves making a crown of thorns by gluing twigs into a wreath and then placing toothpicks in the gaps. In the reflection you can invite students to take a toothpick as s symbol of a sacrifice or good deed they are going to perform. There is a variation where the crown of thorns can be made with salt dough – http://catechistsjourney.loyolapress.com/2012/02/4040-lenten-activities-salt-dough-crown-of-thorns/

3. Stain Glass Craft activity  

This is a great craft activity that can be done with a small chaplaincy group. There are various methods which result in the creation of an artistic piece that can used in a chapel space. The first option is to make a faux stain glass cross using different types of tissue paper, this is the least expensive and least time consuming and can be done with a much larger group – instructions here. A more permanent or large scale version can be done using acetate or glass paint on actual glass, here is a website that provides the materials at a cost – http://www.decraled.co.uk

2. Stations of the Cross ‘freeze-frame’

An oldy but a goody, you could perform freeze frames of the stations of the cross using students in an assembly. The added difference is that you have someone take a photo of each freeze frame and then turn the photos into home made stations of the cross which can be printed and put around the school. In terms of preparing the students for the assembly this could be something that the Drama Dept might be able to help arrange – http://catechistsjourney.loyolapress.com/2009/03/4040-lenten-activities-stations-of-the-cross-tableaus/ *

*Note: In the next week a link will be placed here for simple overlays of each of the stations of the cross that can be downloaded and applied to the photos taken to make them match and look professional.

1. School Wide campaigns  

For maximal impact and using the opportunity that lent provides, promoting a single school wide campaign might be the most effective means of providing an inspiring and transformative experience for students. Often channelling enthusiasm behind one project that keys in with a liturgical season can be more effective that lots of little projects.

Here are some ideas that might work in your context and that can directly contribute to the spiritual preparation and transformation that the Church desires for every young person:

  • Youth Alpha – Alpha is not a new idea, but in a Catholic context it has been a standout tool for parish renewal and evangelisation. There is a youth alpha course that can provide an opportunity to encounter the Gospel. There are roughly 10 sessions so even if done one a week it would run long after Lent showing something of a continuity between Lent and Easter. Find out more about how to run an Alpha here.
  • Go to Mass for someone who can’t – Aid to the Church in Need in the lead up to Red Wednesday (where Brentwood & Westminster Cathedral, the Houses of Parliament and other places were lit up red to raise awareness) started a campaign to raise awareness about Christian persecution called ‘Go to Mass for someone who can’t’ , this is as practical as it sounds, it’s inviting young people to appreciate the religious freedom they have and pray in solidarity for those who are not afforded the same. ACN provides a whole host of resources to support chaplains and teachers in promoting this cause, find more info here.
  • siLENT – This is a charity findrasing initiative run by Million Minutes. Million Minutes is a charity enabling youth action and advocacy activities that give voice and support to young people. Tis requires students getting sponsored to support the work of Million Minutes, the idea being that students choose silence to help give a voice to young people for whom silence isn’t choice, those overlooked by society and who are cast out of decision making. Participants can get sponsored to give up Instagram/Snapchat, or cut it out one day a week or stay silent this Lent. More info here.

Our very own campaign from the BCYS

If you want something more simple, a ‘back to basics’ approach the BCYS have developed a very simple Lent campaign called ‘Pray, Fast, Give’. Find out more info by reading our blog post dedicated to there subject here.