SR. NANETTE ZEIMET, SND
I first became aware of Shadow-Style Stations of the Cross from one of our older infirm Sisters who I believe devised it. Shadow Stations makes the Stations of the Cross come alive for the children.
I have done this activity with as few as eight students in a religious education class and with as many as 28 students in a day school. I usually work with third-graders.
To do Shadow Stations, you need a solid white double bed flat sheet with an opening in the wide part of the top of the sheet’s hem. You also need wide plastic pipe tubing that can fit together like a garment rack. Take out the side stitches and fit the sheet over the top tubing.
Color a stained glass window on a transparency.
Locate an Overhead Projector. Put the transparency on the Overhead. Put the Overhead on the floor and position it so that when it is on, the light covers most of the sheet.
Place the hanging sheet a few feet in front of the Overhead. You will also need a small cot. You can use any large cross, but for safety, I would suggest a cardboard one.
I use a Stations of the Cross coloring book for the summary of the Station and so the children can see the positions they need to be in to act out each Station.
Appoint a student to read the titles of the Stations. The children will assume the positions needed for each Station. Have them stand as close to the sheet as possible.
When the Station is read, turn on the Overhead. Wait about 8-10 seconds. Appoint a child to read the summary prayer and then turn off the Overhead. Follow the same procedure for all of the Stations. Use the cot for those Stations involving a reclining position.
Practice with the students as often as you can.
It usually takes 15 minutes to complete all the Stations.
Sr. Nanette M. Zeimet, SND, MLA, is a licensed third-grade elementary school teacher, taught religious education for 13 years, and a Master Catechist who has had two religious games published by Creative Teaching LLC.
Image credit: Photos courtesy of Sr. Nanette M. Zeitmet, SND.