Trust Me!

teaching fourth grade

In my ongoing efforts to teach according to a principle set forth by St. Ignatius of Loyola—”When teaching, enter through their door, but be sure to leave through your door”—I have found a couple of cute video clips that fourth graders should be able to relate to as a way of introducing the concept of trust and how God can be trusted because he kept his promise of salvation.

The first is the Geico insurance commercial in which the CEO talks about trust and then invites the little Gecko to catch him as he falls backwards in a trust activity.

The second is the classic scene from “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown,” in which Lucy promises to hold the football for Charlie Brown instead of pulling it away as she always does. She tells Charlie that he can trust her.

I plan to use these two as a prelude to learning about the story of Adam and Eve and God’s promise of salvation.

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


  1. I love the Charlie Brown idea! I wish I had more technology in my classroom. I could bring my laptop but am not sure all the kids could view it well. BTW, we passed around a sacred item during our prayer circle and told of one thing we were thankful for…for the most part that went well…except for a couple “goofy” kids. I think the kids are starting to feel more at ease now that we have completed 3 classes. Thanks for all your really good ideas…hope your class is great today!

    • Thanks, Josie. You’re right, it can be hard to have kids view around one computer. Glad to hear that the kids are coming around a little bit. Press those “goofy” kids to show that they can be mature during the prayer circle. I have a few who giggle a bit during that activity as well.

  2. But Joe – I know trust is the proper response, but what IF it feels like God does the Lucy thing with the football? Sometimes life just is NOT fair… and bad things do happen to good people. Do you have a backup plan to talk about what to do then? Some of these students may already have experienced some of these things. .. and that could lead to a discussion of Paschal Mystery and trust.

    • Joyce, how true, although when I encouraged thinking about feminine images of God the other day here on my blog, I didn’t have Lucy in mind! Seriously though, that is an important isssue to raise. I like to remind my students that our trust in God does not prevent bad things from happening in our lives but rather gives us someone to turn to during those times, as hard as that may be. Even last week, when I had the kids make shields with symbols of faith, hope, and love on them, I told them that these are the 3 things that God gives us to “arm us” and protect us, not from bad things happening, but from the dangers of sin. It is very important that we help young people to develop with a mature faith that they don’t see as some sort of magical guarantee against bad things happening. Thanks for making this very important point.

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