Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Reformation Day!

Repost:  For those wanting to celebrate Martin Luther's Reformation Day...here is a blog post blast from the past!  

I decided the day before Halloween that I didn't really want that to be the focus of our October 31st this year.  While you all KNOW I love to have kids dress up and enjoy that aspect of childhood (and occasional adulthood too) - I wanted to "shift" the focus a little bit while still allowing dress up and fun to ensue!  So....I decided to invite just a few kids over to dress up and learn with us about the Reformation and life of Martin Luther the Reformer!
So we were able to pull out two Martin Luther's and a Pope Leo X!  That works....I thought!

We prepared to receive our friends by nailing our own 95 Theses to our front door.
Then once our friends arrived I had them start with coloring the Luther Seal and the 5 Sola's.  I talked as they colored, about who Martin Luther was and then explained the meaning and use of Luther's Seal and how it was designed by Lazarus Spengler while Luther was at the Coburg Fortress.  We talked about the 5 Sola's and how they were a rally cry from the Reformers against corruption in the Church.  (One of those was familiar to us all...Sola Gratia - Grace Alone.)  I just googled coloring pages with those two search words - luther rose and 5 sola's to find them for the kids to do.
Then we discussed alms for the poor in the 1500's and I set up a basket for alms then gave the kids a pile of change to each take turns tossing into the basket.  I told them that whatever change they got into the basket I would donate to our Church for those in need.
They ended up with a larger pile then this picture and we put it all into a felt bag to donate!

Then we talked about Artisan's in that time period and we became "stained glass artisans" and made alms jars to keep spare change in so when it was full they could donate their own "alms" to the poor.
Supplies You Need:

Recycled Glass Jars
Pieces of fall colored tissue paper
paint brushes
Mod Podge
Rope or thick twine
Leaves freshly fallen and not dried out
Hot glue gun

 What I had the girls do is paint the jar with Mod Podge and then place pieces of the tissue paper all over the jar to look like "stained glass" and then add another coat of Mod Podge and add a few fall leaves to the jar and Mod Podge over them all to complete the design.  Then I just took a hot glue gun and glued the rope around the lip of the jar to make it decorative.  I chose fall colors and leaves to remind them that Reformation day is in the fall.
We then discussed the way that Luther translated the Bible into common languages which was against the law at that time.  We further talked about how they were distributed via "smuggling" and how today Bibles are still "smuggled" into Countries around the world that are hostile to the Word of God.  We played a game where they were told to imagine they were assigned by Luther to carry 3 Bibles into Wittenburg for distribution.  They had to hide them so that they would not be found by the authorities if they were stopped and searched.  I took them to my piano and told them that was their "coach" they were traveling in and they could hide the Bibles anywhere in the vicinity of their "coach" or persons.  I left the room for a few minutes then came back as the "authorities" - stopping them and searching their "coach" for Bibles.  They enjoyed that activity and wanted to do it again!  I eventually found all 3 Bibles -but they did a great job hiding them.

They were "riding" their Coach when I approached to search them!  LOL
Next we nailed our own 95 Theses to the Wittenburg Door!  So I had a sign up over a door with pre-printed copies of all 95 Theses in a one page document and they took pretend hammer with a piece of sticky tape and nailed up their 95 Theses like Luther to the door!

The last two activities we did were to make Illuminations and find the locations Luther traveled to on the map of Germany.

To make the Illuminations you need:

Card stock or construction paper
colored pencils
gold glitter glue

We began by discussing what Illuminations were, how they were used, what was used and who were the skilled workers that did the various parts of creating them.  You had a Parchmenter, Monk/Scribe and Illuminator/Monk.  I showed them some pictures on my laptop of what Illuminations looked like to give them ideas for their own to make.
I had the kids decide what size their illuminations would be.  One chose 4"x4" to be the first letter in a story and the other two chose larger illuminations 7"x7".  Any size will work.  They then need to decide what letter they want to illuminate and what their theme for illumination will be.  Animals, plants, vines, flowers, mythological creatures and religious symbols were all used.  After they use the ruler to draw their outside box, they then use the ruler to draw an inside box -this creates a "frame" around their illumination.  Then I let them take off with their imaginations drawing their designs.  Once they penciled it in they went back with colored pencils to darken and color in their design.  As a final step they used gold glitter glue to simulate the idea of gold leafing that was used during that time period to illuminate.

It was so much fun that I think next year I will actually plan ahead and do this again!

What I loved about this idea was all the tie ins to our CC memory work.  Memory work we touched on:

Martin Luther  (timeline and history sentence)
95 Theses  "
Pope Leo X  "
John Calvin "
Gutenburg's Printing Press (timeline)
Germany (geography)
Italy (geography)
Latin (5 Solas)
Medieval Times (history sentence)
Renaissance (history/timeline)
Math (counting change for the poor, using a ruler to measure)
Fine Arts (Illuminations)

Those are the ones that come to mind off the top of my head.  I'm sure there were more and the kids were making their own connections as we discussed various aspects of things during the day.  It was a lot of fun!

We did have some Halloween type fun too with carving pumpkins and sitting around the fire pit eating s'mores!

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