Catholic Identity in the Early Learning Classroom

Cheryl Moon, Early Learning Leader from Our Lady of Hope, presented an awesome session at the INSPIRE 2023 Conference that showed how to bring Catholic Identity to all parts of the program day using commonly known Bible Stories from Math to Literacy to Outdoor time.

On this page you will find a Bible Story idea from each letter of the alphabet.  Below that you will find ideas and examples of how to expand Bible Stories to different parts of your programming day.


Bible stories (alphabetized)

A:  Abraham (God’s promise of a large family and a new land, emphasis on Abraham’s trust and how God always keeps His promises, we have a purpose in God’s plan); Assumption of Mary (liturgical, we have a purpose in God’s plan); Annunciation (liturgical); Advent (getting ready for the promise of a Messiah)

B:  Jesus heals a blind beggar, Bartimaeus (focus on Bartimaeus’ faith and miracle, we have a purpose in God’s plan); Baptism of Jesus (liturgical) and ours (we are called to be saints, we have a purpose in God’s plan)

C:  Joseph’s Colorful Coat (we have a purpose in God’s plan); Creation; Christmas (liturgical) (candy cane significance); 10 Commandments

D:  Daniel and the lion’s den (power of prayer); Mary riding a donkey to Bethlehem; David and Goliath

E:  God created the earth and everything; Epiphany (liturgical); Easter (liturgical); Eucharist

F:  Fishers of men

G:  David and Goliath; Good shepherd

H: House on the Rock

I: Isaac (fulfillment of God’s promise); I love Jesus

J:  Jonah and the Whale; Jesus; Jonathan (story of David and his friendship)

K: Three Kings (liturgical); Jesus, King of the Universe (liturgical); Good Samaritan (kindness)

L: Lent (liturgical); little boy’s lunch (feeding of the 5,000); Loaves and fishes (feeding of 5,000); Light of the world (Jesus and us)

M:  Baby Moses (we have a purpose in God’s plan), Big Moses, (wrap in the 10 commandments); monstrance (Eucharist, Lent); Music (praising Jesus, David and his harp, Miriam’s song, Psalm 117 in our religion standards, Psalm 23 with shepherds); Make a joyful noise

N:  Noah’s ark (we have a purpose in God’s plan)

O:  Oil in lamp (parable of the bridesmaids waiting for the bridegroom), what do we need to do to be ready for Jesus (the bridegroom)

P:  Praising Jesus; Prayer (Lent, liturgical); Pretzels (Lent, liturgical); Priests; Pope; Presentation of Jesus in the temple (liturgical, God keeps His promises: the coming of the Messiah)

Q:  Queenship of Mary (liturgical); Queen Esther

R:  Rainbow, end of Noah’s ark (God never breaks His promise), getting Ready for Jesus (Advent, liturgical); Rosary

S:  Samson; Shepherds (liturgical, Jesus came for everyone); Jesus stills the storm (miracle); Stations of the cross

T:  Jesus teaching in the temple when he was twelve (obey your parents); Thanksgiving (Eucharist, holiday); Ten Commandments; Solomon’s Temple

U:  Jesus, King of the Universe (liturgical); Universe (creation)

V:  I am the Vine, you are the branches; Vocations; Virtues

W:  Jonah and the whale (obeying God, we have a purpose in God’s plan); worship

X:  You can take a story and say “X (or this) marks the spot of God’s love”

Y:  Saying “Yes” to God like Mary did at the Annunciation; like Jesus did to God (Lent, the cross); like Abraham, Noah, Shepherds, Fishermen, the little boy.  I do the letter “Y” during Lent to show the overarching beauty of God’s promises and people saying “yes” to Him and what that accomplishes:  Our Salvation!

Z:  Zacchaeus

Ideas and Examples of how to bring these Bible Stories to life in your program!


Story – Noah’s Ark:

  • Animals in block area.
  • Build an ark out of blocks.
  • Art (STEM): Build an ark with art materials (popsicle sticks, etc.) Have all the colors of the rainbow at the easel. Color mixing.
  • Math: two or more animals to sort/pattern/categorize (differentiated for ability). For example: giraffes and zebras. Pattern: g-z-g-z. Describe the animal’s pattern. How are their patterns the same and different? Why do animals have patterns? Add one or two more animals with no pattern. Sort. Separate by height, etc.
  • Sensory: animals in the sensory table.
  • Circle: “Old McDonald” with various animals. What is your favorite animal? Why? Act out each animal. “Animals on the Bus” (instead of “wheels on the bus”).
  • Literacy: Read the story. Act out the story. Who wants to be an animal? Noah? How do you think Noah got them on the boat? How would a giraffe go through the door? An elephant? How do you think Noah fed them? Water? How did they get exercise?
  • Science: prisms, rainbows, sun/water activity. Extend to weather: evaporation (when the water dried up).
  • Story- Nativity:
  • Literacy: preface: where were you born? What is a stable? Read the story. What would it be like to be born in a stable? Where would you sleep?
  • Science: bring out hay. (add to sensory table later). Let them touch it. Feel it. Lay on it. Is that comfortable? Add Christmas figures to the hay in the sensory table. Act out the Christmas story.
  • Story – Jesus stills (calms) the storm:
  • Weather unit: what is a storm? How does it make you feel?
  • SEL: Talk about feelings around loud noises, etc. Some of us feel differently about the same thing. And that is ok.
  • Sensory: Add water to sensory table: sink and float.

  • Story- Feeding of the 5,000
  • Tell the story.
  • Make fishing poles.
  • Have plastic fish in the sensory table.
  • Have different types of fish for sorting/patterning, etc.
  • Weaving (to make a basket).
  • Cut out fish shapes. Decorate them.
  • Make bread for cooking/science/math. What do you pack in your lunch? Would you share it? What does multiply mean? What is a miracle? Little people can do big things too. Without that little boy, the miracle wouldn’t have happened. God needs us to participate for miraculous things to happen.
  • Activities with 5 things and 2 things. Adding and subtracting items to 10.
  • Story- David and Goliath:
  • Making sling shots.
  • Creating their own BIG Goliath.
  • Game: big steps/little steps toward the teacher (similar to red light/green light).
  • Lists of big things in your room. Small things in your room.
  • What are some big and little things God created.
  • Does a bigger item weigh more than a smaller item? Weigh them.
  • Expand it to capacity: a short, fat glass and a tall, thin glass. Which one holds more? Just because it was taller, did it make it hold more? Songs: “Only a boy named David”.
  • Story – Creation:
  • God made us! He made us special and unique.
  • Great time to talk about same/different.
  • Science: we talk about our skin, and how we are all different shades. Then, we do an experiment that I call Skin: the great protector”. This could be part of a 5 senses unit. We talk about what our skin is for. Keeping our insides in (you could do this leading up to Halloween and a bones study). It also protects us from infection. I use a cup with red tinted water and put plastic wrap over it. The plastic wrap is the skin. I turn it upside down and show them that the “blood” stays on the inside of our body. When we fall down and get a scrape (I use a rock to “cut” the skin), dirt can get in. I sprinkle some dirt on top and some falls in. I use a baby wipe to clean the wound and then put a band aid over the cut. I talk about that parents love us and take care of us, etc. You could have this be with a doctor unit.
  • Story- The Pearl of Great Price:
  • You could use this story to talk to the children about what is important to them: toys, family, etc.
  • Talk about how God gave us our families (moms/dads) who take care of us. They (the children) are so important to the parents, that parents give up things to take care of them. But the sacrifice is worth it for their children. Jesus loved us so much; he gave up his life for us. The sacrifice was worth it for His children. We need to want heaven so bad, that we would give up everything for it. What does Jesus call us to do to discover/attain that pearl of great price? Go to Mass. Pray. Have the Bible read to us. Love God. Love our neighbor. Jesus isn’t hiding from us. He wants us to find Him and follow Him
  • You could make a class book of each child dictating and drawing a picture about what they would give up for Jesus.
  • This could be a great story to launch into the Lenten season in talking about fasting, almsgiving, praying.
  • Story – The Lost Sheep:
  • I talk about the David being a shepherd. I talk about the shepherds finding Jesus in the stable. I talk about Jesus being our Good Shepherd. I focus on the shepherd being there to protect his sheep. I have a staff in my class and talk about the crook being to pull the sheep back who wander away and the other end is to defend the sheep against lions/bears, etc.
  • You could talk about how if we got lost our parents would do anything to find us. Just like Jesus (who loves us, too) will do anything to draw us back to Him. Talk about ways we disobey our parents/Jesus. Talk about confession/saying “I’m sorry” heals us. Song: “I just want to be a sheep”.
  • Have the child cut out oval shapes from paper, glue cotton balls on them, attach them to a headband to turn them into sheep.
  • Play follow the leader (Jesus).