Tonight’s Class: The Ten Commandments

For this evening’s class, I plan to focus on the Ten Commandments. One of the things that the Confirmation assessment revealed is that many of the young people in my group do not know the Commandments well at all. Here’s my plan:

  1. Two Sides to Every Coin – I’ll begin by flipping a coin several times, asking different young people to call out “heads” or “tails.” I’ll use this to illustrate that, just as every coin has 2 sides, there are 2 sides to every relationship: what we are given (what we expect) and what we must give (what is expected of us). Tonight we’re going to look at the 2 sides of our relationship with God.
  2. Terms of Agreement – I’ll refer to Websites such as Facebook to illustrate how, whenever we sign up or register for a Web site, we are asked to accept the Terms of Agreement, which we rarely look at. Knowing that most young people have a Facebook or other social media account, I’ve printed out the Terms of Agreement from the sites. In exchange for getting this wonderful free space on the Web to share our story with others, we are required to follow many rules…for MySpace, 10 pages in all! In our relationship with God, we are asked to follow 10 rules (not 10 pages worth of rules!). I will then distribute a worksheet that invites them to imagine that they have their own personal Web site and that people can register to become their friend, only after agreeing to the Terms of Agreement that he or she has set forth. The worksheet invites them to identify 5 things that they expect of a friend. I’ll use this to show how any relationship carries expectations.
  3. Covenant – I’ll emphasize the word covenant as describing the agreement between God and his people…a solemn and sacred relationship.
  4. The Ten Commandments – God gives of himself totally in this relationship…he gave his very own Son, Jesus. We, in turn, are asked to love God above all else and our neighbor as ourself. I’ll arrange the young people in pairs and allow them to assist each other in completing a worksheet on the wording of the Ten Commandments. The worksheet (Ten Commandments Worksheet pdf) contains clues for each commandment (i.e. it’s more of a fill-in-the-blank or complete-the-sentence worksheet: “Remember to keep…(holy the Sabbath Day)”
  5. I will then go over each of the Commandments with them, seeking to explain as much as possible what each Commandment means for our daily living.
  6. I will then distribute another Ten Commandments worksheet, which is a duplicate of the first one except there are no clues on this one. The challenge now is to recall the commandments from memory based on the learning in the session. They will do this individually, not in pairs.
  7. We will conclude with a reflective prayer on the Ten Commandments.

Then, it’s off to the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership (NCCL) in Houston. I’ll meet you back here Friday!

About Joe Paprocki 2257 Articles
Joe Paprocki, DMin, is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press, where, in addition to his traveling/speaking responsibilities, he works on the development team for faith formation curriculum resources including Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts and God’s Gift: Reconciliation and Eucharist. Joe has more than 35 years of experience in ministry and has presented keynotes, presentations, and workshops in more than 100 dioceses in North America. Joe is a frequent presenter at national conferences including the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, the Mid-Atlantic Congress, and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. He is the author of numerous books, including the best seller The Catechist’s Toolbox, A Church on the Move, Under the Influence of Jesus, and Called to Be Catholic—a bilingual, foundational supplemental program that helps young people know their faith and grow in their relationship with God. Joe is also the series editor for the Effective Catechetical Leader and blogs about his experiences in faith formation at www.catechistsjourney.com.

2 Comments on Tonight’s Class: The Ten Commandments

  1. Thanks, Mallys. This session went reasonably well…I saw some improvement in the young people’s grasp of the Ten Commandments.

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