St. Michael's
Orthodox School
Santa Rosa, CA
Curriculum Ideas
In this section of our site, we would like to share some of the various ideas that have worked very well for the children. Some of these ideas were the teachers', some were the students' and some were started without a definite plan. Please take a look and use whatever you can in your situation. The red links will take you to a page dedicated to each idea.


Poetry Tea

Try a Poetry Tea as a wonderful way of exposing children to poetry in a very enjoyable, low pressure setting.  This section also includes links to some of our favorite poems.

Celebrating the Feast of St. Brigid

We celebrate the St. Brigid’s Day, each year on February 1, by making Irish Soda Bread and butter. Sometimes we also make other crafts, but we always make the bread and butter, tell the story of her life and sing the troparion in her honor. We often have tea with our bread and butter.

We also make extra to give away, to emphasize caring for others and hospitality, as the saint did.

Here is a Life of St. Brigid, and here is a recipe for the Irish Soda Bread. We hope you enjoy reading her life and making Irish Soda Bread and butter. It is a delightful custom.

There are several sites with more information about this saint, and a lovely icon at

Celebrating St. Patrick's Day

When St. Patrick arrived in Ireland to preach the gospel, he encountered much opposition from the Druid leaders. One of the greatest opponents was a king named Loegaire, son of Niall. King Loegaire and his servants had failed in their contests with St. Patrick so they devised a plan to kill him. The king invited him to his residence in Tara, saying that there he would submit himself before St. Patrick officially. The plan was to ambush St. Patrick and his disciples as they journeyed.

St. Patrick, knowing the king’s deceit, sang a hymn as a prayer while he traveled to Tara. The title, The Deer’s Cry, comes from the fact that the king’s men never saw St. Patrick and his disciples, but only a herd of deer passing by.

We usually recite The Deer's Cry, which is also called The Lorica, each morning for several weeks in the spring. The children naturally "act out" the prayer with various movements.

Here are two files of The Deer’s Cry, one designed for 8.5 x 14 paper, landscape, and one for 8.5 x 11 portrait. The translation is from Celtic Christianity, Ecology and Holiness, an anthology by Christopher Bamford and William Parker Marsh

The Beauty of the Times Tables
Did you ever see the beautiful Patterns in the Simple Times Tables? There are patterns within patterns. Can you find them?

Various Movement Activites

       Each morning, before we start the regular classes, the whole school, (all 15-20) of us, would gather for prayer, recitation of Psalms and poetry, singing, and enjoy some challeging movement games.  A couple of schools have asked us to write out the instructions for these games, so we have done so.  Most of the games require at least five or six students, so the typical home-schooling family may not be able to use them.  However, the games would be a great addition to any gathering where there are more children ready to play.

      The instructions can be downloaded here, as a PDF file.  Enjoy.