The Bible Tells Our Story

Here is the outline for my session on Monday, October 1, 2012:

Big Idea: The Bible Tells Our Story

Action Plan

Preliminaries: (15 mins)

  1. Instrumental music in background (CD/player)
  2. Prayer intention slips and pens at places
  3. Prayer center objects on side table
  4. Hold bowl of holy water at the door
  5. Greet students at door with holy water – bless selves
  6. Students are seated and write out prayer intentions
  7. Take attendance
  8. Do Prayer Center Procession
  9. Opening prayer

Engage: (5 mins)

  1. Show picture of my great-grandfather, Jozef (Joe) Paprocki (c. 1900)
  2. Explain that all of us have a history – a story of who we are and how we came to be the person we are today.
  3. Show a Bible – explain that we share a story of who we are and how we came to be. This year, we’re going to continue to learn more about that story as it is told to us in the Bible. 
  4. Distribute Bibles

Explore: (35 mins)

  1. Invite reader to come forward and proclaim Scripture:  2Tim 3:14-17 (have students find the passage and read along silently)
  2. Distribute Bible Learning Stations Fill-in Sheets from last week and review by having the students volunteer the answers:

Reflect: (10 mins)

  1. Invite students into Sacred Space
  2. Slowly read the words of the Guided Reflection on pg. 12 of Finding God Catechist manual
  3. Allow quiet and silence the music
  4. Gently and gradually call them back to their places.

Respond: (10 mins)

  1. Have students tear out pages 9-14 (chapter 2) of their Finding God textbook and staple them to the Homework Notification Sheet along with BLM 1 and have them take them home to complete over the Columbus Day break.
  2. Ask the young people to describe who they resemble most in their family (either by looks or personality characteristics) – Go around and share
  3. Explain that the Bible reveals to us that we come from a God who is good, loving, forgiving, and fair. Challenge them to show a resemblance to God in their daily living.
  4. Closing prayer:
About Joe Paprocki 2770 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

7 Comments on The Bible Tells Our Story

  1. Hi Joe,
    Thank you for sharing your lesson plan steps by steps. I have a question for you and our fellow catechist. I see here that you assign homework to the kids. Do you assign it on a weekly basis? Also, do you grade the kids work and assign a grade to it? Are you planning on having unit test or midterm test and provide a year end overall grade? I am new to teaching 6th grades and not sure about homework and grades. When I was teaching 1st and 2nd grades, I never give homework, quiz, test, or grades. Thanks and God Bless!

    • Hi Jenny. This is the first year that I am striving to give homework and so far it is working fairly well, namely because of the Homework Notification Sheet that accompanies the assignment so that the parents are involved. Also, I am making sure the assignments are focused and bitesize. I’m also trying to take advantage of those weeks we have off for a holiday to assign a chapter so that we don’t fall behind. I am not grading the work but we do go over it when they return it and so far I’d say about 2/3 are completing and returning it. I will occasionally give quizzes to assess how well things are coming along and we do an end of the year test. Grades are not assigned however a progress report is completed at the “semester” and end of the year. I hope this is helpful.

  2. God Bless you for your enthusiasm and commitment to your students. I am inspired by. I am a first time Catechist, I have the 6th graders. I am preparing for my week 4 class and this is very helpful to see your lesson plan outline. I tried to use the one on the Loyola site but it was too big and when i tried to edit the document which the page allows, it moved too slow to be practical. It was much faster to simply write it down or type it in Microsoft Word. But i am doing my best and planning and hanging in there as i look forward to seeing my students and pray that i am able to truly communicate my faith and that they learn something. The time spent planning is key, but i was caught unaware as to how much time i would be spending preparing. I know it will be easier next year, assuming i am assigned the same grade!

    • Thanks Jessica and I’m glad that you are finding inspiration here for your 6th grade teaching. Planning is indeed the key and you are right…it gets easier as you gain more experience so keep at it!

  3. Thanks Joe. Last night’s class went much better. I am not a teacher by trade so I probably should have known this would not be easy! But i truly enjoyed what i was doing last night and had some good insights from my students. I think it is finally getting easier. Thanks for the encouragement!

    • Jessica, thanks for the update and I’m glad things are getting easier. Most catechists are NOT teachers by trade which is why I try to devote so much of my attention to offering the support you deserve! Continue being patient with yourself and be grateful for the progress as it comes!

  4. Joe, great lesson plans I wish all books in each chapter came with an easy to follow lesson plan like this. As a certified teacher I think this would help new catechists so much and it would be wonderful for recruiting purposes to say we even have lesson plans step by step for each session if you would like to make it easier. (to the curriculum- according to the Majesteriums of the church) for each grade level.

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