Learning from Our Past

Tonight, we begin our unit on Church History. We kick off this unit by bringing all five eighth grade classes together for a PowerPoint presentation on Church history to give them a sweeping overview of major events in Church history over the past 2,000 years. Each of the five catechists “narrates” a period of Church history and the kids take notes on a fill-in-the-blank note-taking sheet we provide. It’s an engaging way to introduce a topic that they may otherwise not find very interesting.

church history powerpoint in pdf part 1

church history powerpoint in pdf part 2

About Joe Paprocki 2742 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.


  1. That is very substantial, it’ll require real thinking from the kids….did you make that P’point? Also, for this amount of material, how many (90 min.?) classes will you need?

    And do I understand your parish has five 8th grade classes and five 8th grade catechists? If so, your parish is truly blessed to have such participation….I’m gettin’ dizzy….take me now, Lord.

    • Christian, you are so funny! I did indeed make the Powerpoint and we whisked through it in one session last evening. That’s a lot to take in in one setting but over the next few classes, we can unpack things more slowly. This presentation gives the kids a feel for the whole story and some sense of chronology. The note-taking sheet keeps them focused and on-task.

      Yes, the parish I serve at has five 8th grade classes, each with its own catechist. Hats off to my DRE, Arlene, who does such a wonderful job of recruiting and retaining catechists.

  2. Joe,
    I am a huge fan of your website and have already incorporated many of your ideas in my lesson plans. I teach 8th Grade Confirmation class at St. Basil, Carrick, PA. Over the summer I plan to embellish my lesson plans a bit further in preparation for the next class in September 2011 and would like to incorporate the Church History. Can you please send me the actual powerpoint file for church history parts 1 and 2? I’d be most grateful. Thank you, Mary Beth Gugliuzza

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