How Much Time Should a Catechist Spend Preparing Lessons?

October 21, 2016 Joe Paprocki 5

I recently received an e-mail from a veteran catechist asking how much time catechists should put into planning their lessons. She had been using a textbook from another publisher for 10 years but was now using Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts from Loyola Press and was struck by the realization that she was being asked, not just to transmit information, but to facilitate a transformation of those she teaches. Here’s my reply to […]

Reading Ahead and Preparing for the Year to Come

June 2, 2016 Shannon Chisholm 2

Each summer I like to dedicate my office time towards a specific project. Last summer I opted to cozy up with the catechist’s books and become really familiar with the curriculum. Though I have taught much of the material in previous years, I wanted to have a more intimate understanding of our textbooks and the subjects that my students would cover. At my parish the DRE traditionally dictates which chapters should be taught each week. […]

How Do You Approach Lesson Planning?

January 26, 2016 Denise Gorss 3

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 for new catechists. But with some experience, we can approach lesson planning in ways personalized to the group we have […]

A Thanksgiving Lesson Plan: It Is Right and Just

November 13, 2015 Joe Paprocki 1

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 and Thanksgiving. This lesson is most appropriate for intermediate and junior high kids but can easily be adapted for younger […]

Seven Discoveries I’ve Made in Reevaluating the Year’s Plan

March 10, 2015 Denise Gorss 0

About this time of year, we catechists might be feeling great about how the year is going or frustrated that things aren’t going as expected—probably a mix of both. We find ourselves in the middle of Lent, wondering whether our efforts will bear fruit. This is an excellent time to pause and reevaluate the year’s plan and make adjustments where appropriate. I am in a program that allows the catechists the flexibility to arrange the […]

An Oldie But Goodie: Resources to Make Your Religion Class More Catholic

September 12, 2014 Joe Paprocki 0

A catechist recently asked me for a resource that I had forgotten about! A few years back, I offered a Webinar based on my book Practice Makes Catholic and I offered a PDF with links to a number of resources that can make your religion class “more Catholic.” In looking it up, I realized that there was some pretty good stuff here so I thought I’d make it available once again. A handful of links […]

A Session Planning Form – For Your Convenience!

September 10, 2013 Joe Paprocki 0

So, as it turns out, my first session of religious education for this evening was canceled due to the excessive heat here in Chicago! It is in the mid to upper 90s during this 2nd week of September! Well, that’ll give me more time to polish my own lesson which will now take place next Tuesday! In the meantime, I’ve put the finishing touches on a resource I think you’ll find helpful. It is a Session […]

Happy New Year! My First Lesson of 2013

January 1, 2013 Joe Paprocki 2

As we begin 2013 and continue with our Year of Faith, I wish you abundant blessings! It’s time to get back to work as a catechist! New Year’s Day proved to be a good day for me to plan my lesson for this coming Monday evening. Here is the outline of our session for Monday, January 7, 2013: The Prophets of Israel Challenge the People Big Idea: Prophets “get in the face” of the People […]

David: Shepherd and King – A Summary of Monday’s Session

November 27, 2012 Joe Paprocki 4

We had a very nice session last evening on the topic of David, shepherd and king. I hadn’t seen “my kids” for 3 weeks due to traveling and a holiday so it was great to see them again. I had 3 absences so the room seemed a little emptier and, for the most part, the kids were very cooperative and in good spirits. Here’s a summary of some of the high and low points: The […]

Substitute Lesson Plan

November 9, 2012 Joe Paprocki 4

This coming Monday, November 12, I am going to be on the road and will not be able to teach my 6th graders 🙁 so I prepared a simple lesson plan for the substitute catechist to complete in my place. The focus continues to be on Moses and the Exodus/Passover event. Here’s what I sent to my DRE: Hi Arlene, For Monday (11/12), please have a sub do the following: Distribute Finding God student books (they […]

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