Sunday, July 3, 2016

4+ Sensory-Smart Ways to Learn about St. Maximilian Kolbe

I learned this week that a church not too far from us will be hosting the Pilgrimage of the Relic of St. Maximilian M. Kolbe this coming week, so I hope re-arrange our schedule in order to bring my children to either a prayer service, Mass, or veneration at the hosting church. 

Whether we are able to work such a visit into our schedule or not, I plan to focus this week's faith-learning time on St. Maximilian Kolbe, whose feast day is coming up on August 14.  I've come up with seven sensory-smart ways to share ore about St. Maximilian M. Kolbe with my children and thought you might be inspired by them, too.  Of course, I'd love to hear about your favorite
St. Maximilian Kolbe prayers, activities, resources, ideas, and links, too!

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Taste Saint Maximilian Kolbe's Geography


My children know very little about St. Maximilian Kolbe, so we will likely begin our study about him with a reading and prayer from the Picture Book of Saints which focuses on him.  Within this reading, there is mention of some of the places St. Maximilian Kolbe lived: Poland, Japan and India.  Thus, as a part of our ongoing gentle geography studies, we will likely locate these places on a map and, then, to tickle our gustatory senses, we may plan some simple Polish, Japanese, and Indian dishes into our weekly meal plan.  We will also chat about how blessed we are to have ample food to eat and what we can do for those that do in conjunction with discussion about how St. Maximilian Kolbe often shared his food with other prisoners at Auschwitz and, ultimately, suffered starvation.

View Saint Maximilian Kolbe's Life

I am not sure my younger children are ready for the heaviness of learning too much about Nazi prison camps, but I think my oldest (who happens to love audio-visual learning) can handle it, so we may watch a short video about Saint Maximilian Kolbe together.  I have this one bookmarked, but welcome your suggestions, too.

Please do share your favorite titles and ideas for learning about Saint. Maximilian Kolbe.  Also, be sure to see if
the Pilgrimage of the Relic of St. Maximilian M. Kolbe will be close to your area soon, too.

Love Like Saint Maximilian Kolbe

We will also read the story about Saint Maximilian Kolbe in the Loyola Kids Books of Saints, which ends with asking readers to think of hard steps taken to live in difficult situations.  I am thinking hat after chatting about the story and the question it concludes with, we might get some proprioceptive input in by lifting, bending low, and reaching high to collect and deliver donations for those in need.  Or, we might focus on tactile or visual input with a "loving others" artwork that the children can help envision and create.

Sculpt or Scavenge for Saint Maximilian Kolbe Symbols

Source:  Our Lady of Angels Province

As I read about the reliquary used for the pilgrimage, two connected learning-and-sensory activities popped into my head.  The first is to engage the tactile and visual senses in sculpting symbols related to St. Maximilian Kolbe's life.  The second is to use our visual, vestibular, and proprioceptive senses with an outdoor scavenger hunt related to St. Maximilian Kolbe - finding a thorn bush to symbolize the thorny occupation of Poland, a white bloom to represent purity, a red bloom to represent martyrdom, something hair-like in nature to remind us of St. Maximilan Kolbe's beard, Japanese knotwood to remind us of a country the saint had once lived in, etc.

Connect Kids to Learning About St. Maximilian Kolbe

As I read Word on Fire's 9 Things to Know about St. Maximilain Kolbe yet more ideas came to mind.  However, I know we'll be too busy this week to weave many of them in.  Still, I thought I'd share my quick thoughts in case any spark a learning experience idea for you:
  • Engage the visual sense in making red or white crowns or visions of Mary paintings.
  • Enjoy STEM activities.
  • Tour a printing place, radio station, or movie studio.
  • Make cards for the imprisoned.
  • Share food with the hungry.
  • Get involved with the works of an organization that supports families, prisoners, journalists, political prisoners, drug addicts, or pro-life activities -- all things St. Maximilian Kolbe is patron to.

Undoubtedly, there are plenty more resources, ideas, and sensory-smart activities that can engage children in learning more about Saint Maximilian Kolbe.  I would love it if you'd share thoughts and links!  Also, do check if the Pilgrimage of the Relic of St. Maximilian M. Kolbe is headed towards your area as well.


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