Theme (from the text book) – God Creates the World
My BIG Idea: We Care for God’s Gift of Creation
ENGAGE STEP (10-15 min)
- As the students arrive, I will greet them at the door and hand them a worksheet that invites them to identify the names of some famous beautiful locations pictured (Grand Canyon, Niagara Falls, etc.) and to add a brief description of the most beautiful place they visited this past summer.
- Once we’re all in place, we’ll take attendance. I’ll ask for volunteers to name the famous places on the worksheet. Then I’ll invite each one to share the beautiful place that they visited this summer.
- I’ll explain that today we’re going to be learning about God’s great and beautiful gift of creation and how we are called to care for it.
- I’ll introduce our opening prayer ritual: all stand and I say, “This is the day the Lord has made” to which they respond, “Let us rejoice and be glad!” We then sign our foreheads, lips, and chests with the Cross praying that tonight God’s Word will be in our minds, on our lips, and in our hearts. Each one then “lights” their tea light (battery operated candles) one at a time, placing them on the prayer table, as they mention for whom or what they are lighting their candle.
Explore Step (30-35 mins)
- I’ll prayerfully present each of the students with their Finding God textbook
- A volunteer will read pg. 3 – God Creates the World (brief discussion, naming people who take care of the earth and ways we can all care for the earth).
- Watch brief YouTube video – God of Wonders by Third Day
- Invite volunteers to read aloud pages 5-6 (God the Creator and The Wonder of God’s World)
- To emphasize that humanity is God’s most amazing creation, show YouTube video The Realm of the Unborn (Note: at this point I am not planning to address the issue of abortion but rather stressing the amazing beauty and complexity of human life)
- Invite volunteers to read aloud pg. 7 (Caring for the Earth and What Can We Do?)
Reflect Step (10-15 mins)
- I’ll introduce the concept of “sacred space” – our reflective prayer time. Each student will come forward, one at a time, pick up their tea light candle, and move a place in the room that they will designate as their sacred space. God’s wonderful creation 15 mins
- Once in place, I’ll lead a Guided Reflection: God’s Wonderful Creation (adapted from Finding God gr. 4 catechist manual pg. 318-19)
- Call students back to their places and listen to hymn “How Great Thou Art” focusing on the lyrics as they relate to God’s creation.
Respond Step (5-10 mins)
- Students complete My Response on pg. 9
- Each student tells me one thing they learned today
- Distribute homework – handout #1: each student is to bring in a personal symbol for the prayer table and handout #2: Blackline Master 3 Caring for Our Earth (to complete with parents)
- Together we read the closing prayer on pg. 9 and students bless themselves with holy water as they leave.