October 29 Session Summary – Part III: Getting Down to Business

Here’s the third installment of a summary of this past Monday’s session on Abraham and God’s plan for salvation.

  • About a half-hour into the session, after prayer and reviewing the previous session (and a ton of Q & A!), I then arranged the kids in pairs and assigned them a passage about Abraham that they were to read in their Bibles and report on (using this worksheet). As I suspected, they were loathe to move on to doing actual work so lots of hands were going up to ask questions which I promptly dismissed by saying, “OK, it’s time for you to get to work learning about Abraham” after which they finally got the message and got down to business.
  • I gave them about 5-7 minutes to complete their tasks and then to report back as the group filled in their worksheets from one another’s presentations. We plowed through this but it wasn’t easy as attention waivered and more and more questions came up. At this point, however, I was open to more questions because they were probing the Abraham story and they were especially confounded by the story of Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son, Isaac (“Wait. What? Didn’t God just tell Abraham that he and Sarah would have a child and now he wants them to kill it?”) This made for some very important and worthwhile discussion which took us almost to the end of class.
  • I then asked if there was a volunteer willing to try telling the “entire” Abraham story based on our activity. One very bright young lady did an exemplary job of summarizing the highlights: Abram’s call and migration, God’s promise of land, God’s covenant with Abram, God changes Abram’s and Sarai’s names, 3 visitors tell Abraham and Sarah they will have a son, God tests Abraham’s faith). This is a good way to do some informal assessment to see if they are grasping the main story lines of the Old Testament.

The stage is set for us to move on to Moses and the Exodus/Passover event – the primary story of the Old Testament!

[free clip art by Phillip Martin]

About Joe Paprocki 2344 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.

2 Comments on October 29 Session Summary – Part III: Getting Down to Business

  1. Great Worksheet Joe!
    I love the hands on activity this really enforces learning scripture.
    I quizzed my kids this week: 4th and 3rd grade I asked them how many sacraments were there what is a sacrament? and they could not tell me. The following week we went over the mass and used the children’s missel I asked them what is a homily what is a lector, what is a gospel, who wrote the gospels? could not tell me. What is holy water and why do we use it? they had a hard time. so we went over the very basics and I asked the same questions at the end of the session and wow mission accomplished!! all hands went up they got. We need to really assess the basics of the teachings of the church and make sure they understand the mass and they also need to understand the importance of their participation in the mass not just watching from the sidelines. I said to them so you really like standing on the sidelines during the sports you play like soccer they said no we like to play and be involved I said well the same thing when it comes to the mass God wants us to be involved our voice is important! and receiving Him is important.
    God Bless!

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