The Sermon on the Mount – Beatitudes

For this coming Monday’s session (10/25/10), we will be taking the children to the church for the Living Rosary. We will most likely still have time left for class – probably 20-30 minutes. Our schedule calls for us to learn about the Sermon on the Mount and the Beatitudes.

To introduce the idea of the Sermon on the Mount, I’m going to talk about examples of great speeches in history. To assist, I put together a simple pdf that invites them to try to match phrases from famous speeches with the person who said those words. Take a look.

Famous Speeches pdf

I don’t think that 4th graders will be familiar with all of these quotes but I think they’ll know a few and I’ll tell the stories about each one (don’t forget, I also majored in history, so I can’t resist this kind of stuff!)

From there, we’ll take a look at the Sermon on the Mount, specifically the Beatitudes. I’m thinking that I will read the Beatitudes as though I’m giving a campaign speech, asking them to applaud after each Beatitude. Then, I’ll invite volunteers – one boy and one girl – to follow my example and do the same thing. At this point, we will have read the Beatitudes 3 times.

With whatever time we have left, we’ll talk about the Beatitudes and how they turn upside-down our expectations of what will make us happy. I might invite the kids to find something in the classroom that they can turn upside-down just to illustrate the point. Of course, we’ll be sure to return it right-side-up before we leave! 🙂

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. This sounds like a really interesting lesson that you have planned. This week I am planning the seasonal lesson, all souls and all saints day. This will give me the opportunity to use some of your Beatitudes lesson ideas when I teach it! Keep on blogging and I hope your lesson goes well 🙂

    • Thanks Josie. One more thought I had about the Beatitudes, with regards to understanding their meaning, is to talk about what an illusion or mirage is, and then to explain that the Beatitudes help us to see beyond the mirage or illusion of wealth/possessions (blessed are the poor in spirit), pleasure-seeking (blest are those who mourn), self-importance (blessed are the meek), and so on.

      • Thanks Joe! I will print what you have written here and plan on incorporating some of it when I do the beatitudes lesson. (I am doing all saints and all souls day this Sunday because we do not meet on Sunday, 10/31…thought it would be interesting to teach the kids about the origin of Halloween. )

        • Josie, I think Halloween is a great entry point into kids lives to talk about certain aspects of the Catholic faith (the saints, communion of saints, souls in purgatory, afterlife, etc.) I think that people who shun Halloween because of its pagan origins miss a golden catechetical opportunity.

  2. Thank, Joe. I honestly don’t know what I would do without your blog-it helps me in so many of my Confirmation. I am currently using your book, “The Bible Blueprint” for my opening “Bible Mini-lessons” and the kids are not only learning a lot, they are (*gasp*) enjoying it!!

    Keep blogging-I read daily.

    • Shelly, thanks so much for the kind words. I’m so glad to hear that kids are using The Bible Blueprint and that they’re enjoying it! Keep up the great work!

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