Getting Ready for My First Session with Sixth Graders

Tonight’s the night! I begin teaching 6th graders (Old Testament)! I’ve put together a little video that shows you some of my catechist preparations not only for tonight but for the year…I hope you find it helpful.


In the video, I mention or show a number of resources. Here are links to all of them:

I pray that the Holy Spirit will guide and inspire all of us catechists throughout this Year of Faith!

About Joe Paprocki 2741 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

10 Comments on Getting Ready for My First Session with Sixth Graders

  1. Such good information, in particular having a seating chart. I’m definitively going to implement that in my classroom! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Thank you for going into step by step detail how you run your class. It gives all of us great ways to enrich our own classrooms. I was wondering what the “secret code” sheet was that you had the students do?

    • Hi Tracy. For the secret code, each slip of paper had the letters Xnt fds sn fn sn gdzudm. The code can be cracked by simply finding the letter in the alphabet that comes after the letter in the code. When you do so, the secret revealed are the words “you get to go to heaven!” I offered them NO help so that they would get frustrated. Only 2 kids solved it. I said, “wouldn’t it be frustrating if the key to an eternity with God was a secret? Luckily, we have a God who does the opposite: he doesn’t keep secrets, he reveals!” That was my lead in to the Bible. Make sense?

  3. Thanks, Joe. I am starting my second year as a 5th grade catechist and I enjoy reading your posts. I am curious as to how you use the students’ written intentions. My students often have so many intentions that it takes over our prayer service. Do you read them or have the students read them? I would love to know how you organize the prayer service.

  4. Joe, We are doing a year on the Bible with our Family/adult Catechesis Montly program. I really appreciate all the great ideas. Where did you get the maps/charts that you show being attached to the back of the poster board? I have looked and looked for wall charts or ones like yours to buy for our program. I cant find any from Loyala in your online catalog . Are they from a different publisher?

    Barb Gerdes DRE
    St. John the Baptist
    Dayton, MN 55327

    • Hi Barb. The posters come with the Finding God program. You can contact customer service and find out if they can be purchased separately. 800-621-1008

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