Using moral dilemmas to teach Catholic morality is a tried and true, effective teaching method. I recently had an email exchange with a catechist about the topic of teaching morality and, in the course of our sharing, she generously shared with me some moral dilemma scripts she developed for teaching the virtues and the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. Here’s our exchange:
Hi Joe, I, too, am an 8th grade catechist this year. I appreciate your blog posts which often help me with new ideas and formats. My question is this: have you ever taught a lesson on morality or conscience formation? Some of the catechists I work with feel as I do, that our kids need to be empower and informed in the faith so that they can make good decisions in high school and beyond. It’s important to us that we find a way to engage the kids and make this material meaningful to them so that they take something with them when they leave. And, as a parent as an 8th grader, I also want my son to hear someone other than his parents “preaching” to him. Any resources you could recommend would also be helpful. Thanks for sharing your faith and supporting all of us catechists.
Hi Joe, Thanks for all your helpful tips on the morality module. We held our session last night and thought it went well. After giving them a morality framework based on the laws God has given us, we spent a lot of time role-playing various morality dilemmas. My co-catechist and I used the topics we found through various resources (Quest Magazine, LoveMyCatholicFaith.com, and goodcharacter.com), but added a script for the kids and inserted places in the dialogue where we could stop and discuss influences on decision making. We also assigned those who weren’t role-playing the tasks of holding up cards with various fruits/gifts/virtues which the character in the skit had employed to resolve the moral dilemma. My son, who is in 8th grade, thought it was one of the best sessions and enjoyed it. I’ve attached the scripts for the four dilemmas in the event you feel they would be instructive. Good luck!
A great big THANK YOU to our fellow-catechist for sharing her creative ideas with all of us!