Papal Lap Book Unit One: St. Peter, The First Pope

by | Feb 28, 2013 | Papal Unit Study, St. Peter, Timeline | 18 comments

Thank you all so very much for your enthusiastic support for my Papal Lap Book!   You all are the best, and I am so touched by all of your kind comments and generosity to my family!   Since I spent so much time on the computer over the weekend I’ve had a little catching up to do around our home, in addition to trying to keep up with our school week, so I am once again extremely behind with answering emails.  If you are still waiting for a response from me, do know that I usually do receive all the emails that have been sent (on occasion some disappear to my spam folder, but I am making an effort to check it frequently) and read and appreciate each and every one.  However, even though I try, it is often impossible for me to respond to them all.  So thank you again, and to those who have asked questions I will either email you soon, or try and make a point of trying to blog about those topics sometime in the future.  ðŸ™‚

Anyways, back to the Lap Book!  That brief study-guide/outline I shared in my last post (to go along with the Lap Book) was created very late Sunday night (or rather early Monday morning)  and was thrown together rather quickly since I wanted to finish up the post to share with you all.   I broke it into 5 “Units” (my original document read days, due to lack of sleep) based on the order in which I thought I would have my children complete the mini-books.

Since last Friday, the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter, we have been working on our first unit: St. Peter, The First Pope.  The boys were gone most of Friday, but the girls had started working on their St. Peter’s Basilica Pop-up Books that day, and we read St. Peter’s Story.  We continued this theme over the past few days.

To answer some questions I’ve been receiving I thought it might be helpful to some of you to share how my children have been completing this Unit Study and the progress we have been making. Plus I would like to document it here anyways.  I am hoping to blog a little about what we accomplish during each of the units.   

(Remember, there is no “right” way to do this… Unit studies can be as simple or elaborate as you choose to make them, and just because something works well for my family, doesn’t mean it will for yours!  Sometimes we put together a Lap Book in an afternoon, other times we spend weeks.  My guess is we will spend the next two weeks completing this unit study and Lap Book, adding in additional reading, crafts and activities.)

Unit One :: St. Peter, The First Pope


Family Read Aloud:

Younger Children:

Older Children:

Other Reading:

  • St. Peter page A Holy Card Prayer Book
  • I think I’m going to send the little kids on a scavenger hunt to see how many of our Saint Books in which they can find Saint Peter! 😉 



NOTE:  I have created a second collection on Scribd where I will upload any additional documents I create to go along with our Papal Unit Study.   I just added this traceable quote for younger children.

Begin Creating Lap Book Mini-Books:

  • Write a Paragraph about St. Peter, for Some Special Popes, based on one of the reading assignments.  (I’m creating a fill-in the blank for Chiquita and a reduced sized coloring picture for the two youngest.  Twinkle Toes wrote a paragraph based on a picture book, Rascal used the reading selection from My Catholic Faith, and I assigned Captain three paragraphs from the CCC (You can download my document here.). 
  • Create St. Peter’s Basilica Pop-Up Book and add cover picture.
  • Write a Paragraph about St. Peter’s Basilica.
A Beautiful Day at St. Peter’s Basilica by Captain

Lightning Strikes St. Peter’s by Rascal   (He cracks me up! I figured one of my boys would try and figure a way to create a pop-out lightning strike…) 
After the Storm by Twinkle Toes

by Chiquita 

by Snuggles

PURPLE! by Rose (I would have guessed pink…)

Additional Activities:

  • Enjoyed “The Barque of Peter” Banana Boats with a Fishers of Men Snack for lunch one afternoon… 

  • And added St. Peter, The First Pope to the History Through the Ages Record of Time.  (FYI:  Yes, this is a rather expensive timeline, but it is awesome!  Each of our school age children have their own treasured copy that they will continue to add to throughout their education.  It will be such a fun keepsake for them.   I’ve posted more about these here and here.) 
by Twinkle Toes
By Chiquita and Captain
A few of the children still have a little writing to finish up, but tomorrow, we will begin our second unit on Our Holy Fathers – Past and Present, as we say goodbye to our dear Pope Benedict XVI on his last day…  We will miss you dear Holy Father, so very much!  We will continue to pray for you, and we are so very thankful for that last gift you recently sent our way!


  1. Lena

    i love the lessons that include the entire family. very inspiring. i will have to settle to live vicariously through you for the time being. thank you for that blessing.

  2. Krista

    Thanks for much for posting your "lapbooking" endeavors – it sure does help to see how you are all creating it!!!

    Watching Papa in the helicopter on his way to Castle Gondalfo now… Going to MISS Papa Benedetto!!!!!! I hope we are blessed with another humble and holy Papa as his successor!!

  3. Anonymous

    Once again, thank you for your posts. Somewhere in one of them you had the adopt a cardinal site. We went there as a family. If you have a minute, go over to my blog and read the post about it. You'll probably get a kick out of it.

    My children and I really and truly appreciate all the time and effort you put into this blog and the wonderful ideas you give us. May God continue to bless you and your beautiful family.

  4. Amber

    I really like those timeline books too! We've decided that they will be something each child will be given when they reach 5th grade. I am so pleased with their quality and how they have the pages laid out.

    Thanks for your peek into how you're putting together the lapbook in your home! We're going to start ours on Monday and I am going to spend some time planning and printing this afternoon/evening.

  5. Kimberly

    Jessica, do you sleep train your children? I know this is a very off-hand question, but I just don't understand how you accomplish so much in one day and one week! Does baby sleep through the night? Or is the schedule so set that it maximizes time and talent? Either way, it's all very beautiful and I pray for many blessings upon you all, as you have so blessed our home! Just looking for some pointers, though!

  6. Erin

    How did you make the tracing copywork? I use Startwrite on my computer to make copywork tracing, but I don't know that I could get it into another template… but how handy that would be if I could!

  7. Kerry

    Love the Papal lap books! Once again, I wish I was a student in your homeschool class! What a delightful way to learn! Your young ones are so blessed to have you as a mom!

  8. Jessica Gordon

    I'm not exactly sure what you mean by sleep train, but I don't think so… My "baby" (who is now nearly 15 months) still wakes up wanting to nurse during the night (about half the time now, so he is getting better), and my schedule is not set whatsoever. I feel like I am able to get the most accomplished when we are able to be flexible, though I do try and use schedules as a guide/goal. But I do love love love my checklists! (and the big kids love their's too!)

  9. Jessica Gordon

    I have a font on my computer! Love it!! 🙂

  10. ProLIFEmommy

    We are enjoying this activity SO MUCH, Jessica! Thank you for the guided updates you've been providing…and, once again, thank you—from the bottom of my heart—-for so GENEROUSLY sharing your time & talents with us! Words simply cannot express the gratitude I feel in my heart! God Bless you AND your beautiful family!

  11. Jessica Gordon

    You are very welcome! I am so glad that everyone seems to be enjoying it!! 🙂

  12. jmp

    I love the St. Peter lesson ideas! I cannot seem to find the pop-up Basilica though. Is this available to download from your site? Thank you so much for your inspiring ideas and generous spirit! God Bless!

  13. CeAnne @ Sanctus Simplicitus

    A lot of work you have put into this project Jessica! I love the pop up St. Peter's Basilica piece! Makes me want to go back climb the cupola again 🙂 Though finding a reason to return to Rome isn't hard! We have a coloring page of Jesus giving the keys to St. Peter if you are interested, I'll have to save some of these ideas for when the Feast of St. Peter and Paul come up! We will probably be making some unit studies in this area too to go with my husbands site… a history and geography saint's site, check out his map its pretty neat!

    The coloring page is here, scroll down the list to find the right one:

    God bless!


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Father in heaven, grant me the grace to appreciate the dignity which you have conferred on me. Let me realize that not even the Angels have been blessed with such a privilege—to share in your creative miracle and bring new Saints to heaven. Make me a good mother to all my children after the example of Mary, the Mother of your Son. Through the intercession of Jesus and Mary I ask your continued blessings on my family. Let us all be dedicated to your service on earth and attain the eternal happiness of your kingdom in heaven. Amen.

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Sean & Jessica, Captain-23, Ranger-22, Twinkle Toes-20, Chiquita-19, Snuggles-16, Rose-14, Bud-12, Grace-6 and Joy-4 (blog nicknames)

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Hi! I'm Jessica, a Roman Catholic wife and home educating mother to our nine children. I was home educated myself, along with my eleven younger siblings. I have a special devotion to St. Therese, through whom I have been given much help and many blessings--the beautiful "Shower of Roses" that she has sent my way! Here I will record a few of the blessings I treasure. Please remember that what you see here is just a little glimpse at our lives, so please say a prayer for us, as we continue to strive for holiness.

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