Let’s Give ‘Em Something to Talk About!

Catechists are always looking for ways to get parents talking with their kids about what they learned in faith formation. Here’s a simple idea I came up with that can help you to review the main points of your lesson and to provide parents with something they can ask their kids about when they pick […]

A Simple Way to Choose Volunteer Readers

My third-grade class likes to read aloud during our faith formation classes. Fortunately, I have no shortage of volunteers: they all want to take turns reading. While this is a good problem for a teacher to have, it’s not without its drawbacks. I struggle with how to be fair in calling on students to read […]

Taking to Heart the Apostles’ Creed

Each year, the Archdiocese of Omaha requires all third-grade Catholic-school teachers to teach the Apostles’ Creed. Teaching young children to memorize a prayer involves some traditional and non-traditional methods. I am always looking for new methods to help my students since every class is different. What worked with one class may not work with another. […]

Four Ideas for Engaging Parents in Faith Formation

While there is often agreement among catechists that parental involvement in their children’s faith journey is essential, it can often be quite challenging to actually encourage and engage parents in the process. The business of family life, the idea that the teaching of the faith is a role reserved for the classroom teacher, DRE, or […]

Expect the Unexpected

This week in third-grade faith formation class, we were to introduce the students to the seven Sacraments, focusing on two of the Sacraments of Initiation—Baptism and Confirmation. Excited to share this lesson, I brought pictures of my own Baptism and Confirmation to show the children. We had barely started with class prayer and introducing the […]

How Do You Approach Lesson Planning?

How do you plan your lessons for faith formation sessions? The majority of us catechists don’t hold education degrees, so we likely don’t have much, if any, formal training in lesson planning. A good catechetical textbook with a teacher’s manual may outline ways to approach each lesson. This can be a great starting point, especially […]

Four Reasons Movement Is Important for Catechists

I wear a pedometer to track the number of steps I take daily. It’s a fitness reminder, but I was surprised to notice that in one recent class period I had added almost 2,000 steps to my count! I knew I moved around a lot during class, but this was near one mile, which was […]

10 Ways for Catholic School Teachers to Reinforce Catholic Identity Outside of Religion Class

I recently did a presentation on Catholic identity for the Catholic school teachers of the Diocese of Worcester, MA. Realizing that a portion of my audience was made up of teachers who do not teach religion class, I focused on ways that teachers in any subject area can reinforce Catholic identity in their learning environment in […]

A Thanksgiving Lesson Plan: It Is Right and Just

A few years ago, I developed a lesson plan on the theme of thanksgiving titled “It Is Right and Just.” It is packed with ideas, so you will probably have to pick and choose how much of it you actually hope to/think you can accomplish in the time you have during your sessions between now […]

Heaven Is in the Details

One Sunday, as I was preparing my classroom for the arrival of my second graders, the popular saying “The devil is in the details” came to mind. I seemed to spend an inordinate amount of time preparing for my class and attending to every little detail. I noticed that I began to worry: Is my […]