6th Grade, Here I Come!

Finding God 2013 Grade 6I’m excited about the prospect of teaching 6th grade religious education next year! I’ve spoken to my DRE, Arlene, and she said that she would be happy to have me take a 6th grade slot come September. This will be the first time that I teach this age level as I continue to experience the catechists’ journey! I’m especially excited about the notion of teaching Scripture (Old Testament) which is the umbrella theme for 6th grade.

Any tips out there from 6th grade catechists?

About Joe Paprocki 2373 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.

16 Comments on 6th Grade, Here I Come!

  1. Exciting Exodus Genesis! there was a movie on internet it was free viewing and we read the Exodus chapter in old testament discussed it and then watched
    Exodus with our children at home! they loved it and had some popcorn. they said it was better than Lord of the Rings. We also did the plagues in water color and paint, the art work was amazing! you can even display the art in the church for all to view!

  2. I have taught 6th grade for several years now and have come to the conclusion that to make the Old Testament meaningful and not just about stories, I must parallel the Old and New Testaments. The children have grown up with Jesus and to introduce the Old without Jesus does each a disservice. The connections on the prophesies have to be drawn so the students understand that after the Garden all is leading to the Incarnation. I compare Adam to the New Adam,Jesus; Moses to the new Moses, Jesus. Every aspect of the Old Testament has its roots in the Jesus of Jesus time period. The rituals came from the Old. The changes he made at the Passover before his death lead to the Eucharist.

    I have just studied a wonderful work by Brant Pitrie, JESUS AND THE JEWISH ROOTS OF THE EUCHARIST. Worth a look. I read the entire book but extrapolated the portions I will use and then reworked them into lesson plans that are usable and understandable the keep Jesus on board.

  3. One of the things I have found that the kids really enjoy (I teach 7th grade) is to be able to act out the scripture story. I read it the first time. Then someone in the class reads it and they are told to pay careful attention to the story. Then I randomly choose kids to play the various parts, including one to be the story narrator. Then we kind of discuss how the story fits into our modern times especially in light of being a 6th or 7th grader. The kids always love doing this.

  4. Lisa writes:

    Keep them moving… you have about seven minutes of concentration on one thing – then move along to a new way of learning! We created a “flyswatter” game that is very fun and an interactive way of teaching… love those!

    Good luck,
    Lisa

  5. Great year to teach. They are open and interested and challenging. For most of them they have not experienced the Bible as a book. While they know alot of the stories, they have no clue where they can find them. I used your book, The Bible Blueprint, to introduce them. Your dividers were most helpful and we placed those in the Bible where they remained all year. One important thing I found out this year is that their social studies classes at school covered the
    same times in history. This gave them a good prospective on the Judeo-Christian timeline and input on what We believe as Church. They are given their Bibles at the end of the year in a special presentation……What a great time they will have with you!

    • I just completed my first full year as a sixth grade catechist after being used to seventh grade. I was surprised how often the kids would tell me, “Oh, that was in our history book,” but it helped in making connections as you say, Mary.

  6. When I taught 6th grade, I made the mistake of trying to breeze through the entire Old Testament. The more I focused on real stories the students could connect with, the more they learned and the more they cared.

  7. Hi Joe,
    I am familiar with your work and believe you are an awesome catholic. I also believe you will be great with 6th graders. I have taught that grade for 2 years now and they are simply wonderful, exciting, curious, hands-on, asks tons of questions and love to find things out for themselves students. Techy savvy, I find they enjoy researching topics and sharing with the class. They love to interact and play different games. Little treats are always welcome especially with those who have to attend a class in the evening after a hard day at public schools. Making your class presentations interactive and challenging would be my recommendation.

    The very best to you,

    Noila

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