Mercy, Mercy, Mercy

Here’s my lesson plan for Monday, November 8, 2010

Theme: Jesus Sends the Holy Spirit    Big Idea: The Holy Spirit guides us to serve others (through works of mercy) in Jesus’ name


  • As kids arrive, have them draw a picture of themselves acting as a GUIDE at some location of their choosing (provide crayons/markers).
  • Invite them to share where they chose to be a GUIDE
  • Explain that we rely on GUIDES to show us how to find places and to do things
  • Say, “Today, we’re going to learn about how the Holy Spirit GUIDES us to serve others as Jesus did.
  • Opening prayer


  • Explain that one of the things that the Holy Spirit guides us to do is to show MERCY
  • Show two brief video clips, one in which a person shows no mercy and another in which a person shows mercy.
    • No mercy: Ebeneezer Scrooge
    • Mercy: Mother Teresa
    • Ask students to explain what mercy is, based on these examples (tenderness, warmth, compassion)
    • Point out that nearby Mother McAuley High School and St. Xavier University are owned and operated by the Sisters of MERCY.
    • Read aloud Finding God pages 68, 69, and 71
    • Explain that Corporal refers to the body/the physical
    • Give kids materials they need to complete picture frames of the works of mercy
      • Make 2-sided copies (enlarged to 11 x 17) of the blank picture frames for the Corporal Works of Mercy and the Spiritual Works of Mercy and provide one for each student.
      • Provide students with one of each of the following: Corporal Works of Mercy Pictures and Spiritual Works of Mercy pictures.
      • Note: the pictures are not in the same order as the frames…that would be too easy! For the Corporal works, they are – top, left to right: shelter the homeless, give alms to the poor, and bury the dead; bottom, left to right: visit the sick and imprisoned, feed the hungry, clothe the naked. For the Spiritual works, they are – top, left to right: console the doubter, forgive injuries, and bear wrongs patiently; bottom, left to right: instruct the ignorant, advise the sinner, and comfort the sorrowful.
      • Go over the materials with them
      • Provide scissors and glue sticks and have them cut and paste the pictures into the proper picture frame.
      • Have them take these home
      • If time permits, have half the class work in pairs on the Corporal Works of Mercy worksheet and the other half work in pairs on the Spiritual Works of Mercy worksheet
      • Go over the worksheets with the kids using the Corporal Works of Mercy worksheet answer key and the Spiritual Works of Mercy worksheet answer key.
      • Please note: these worksheets are not intended to be used as a quiz. Some of the answers can be argued for more than one work of mercy (especially the spiritual works). Be generous but reasonable in accepting answers.


  • Listen to hymn.
  • Lead a guided reflection using Finding God page 72 and focusing on the Holy Spirit as the “breath” of God within us.


  • Encourage the kids to select a work of mercy to perform in the days ahead (describe it on page 73 of FG)
  • Send home BLM 25
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. Thanks for sharing this lesson plan, it sounds great! I am sure to incorporate some of the above when I reach that lesson with my 4th grade class. Thanks too for sharing in general. I go to your blog almost every day! God bless.

  2. We used the portion using the “picture frames” with the 10th grade Confirmation class, believe-it-or-not. They seemed to really enjoy having the opportunity to use scissors and glue like in the “old days” when they were younger!

    • Mrs. Tracy, that’s so cool! Kids that age do enjoy such activities as long as they are substantive. Glad it worked for you!

  3. Hi Joe, I used a lot of your above lesson plan for my class today. They really enjoyed matching the pictures to the picture frames for the spiritual and corporal works of mercy. I also made transparencies of your Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy worksheets. I projected your worksheets onto the white board and we went through the questions as a class. Whoever got the question right got a piece of candy (a little bribery). In general I felt a had a very good class session (partly I think, because a couple of my chatty/goofy students were absent). Thanks again for sharing and blogging. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Josie

    • Josie, sounds like a great session. I especially like what you did with using the transparencies…very effective. Always nice to catch a break when a couple of troublemakers aren’t present! 🙂 Happy Thanksgiving!

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