Good Discussion Questions for Catechist Grade Level Breakout Sessions

As I mentioned in a previous post, I enjoyed a day in the Diocese of Peoria, in particular, participating in a grade-level breakout session for 5th and 6th grade catechists. Some of these grade level sessions can grow tedious if not facilitated well. I like the fact that for these breakouts, the diocese provided questions to guide the discussions. Here they are:

  1. Bringing Prayer into the classroom.
    • Are there any regular prayers you use and why? Opening? Closing? Intercessory?
    • Are there any special prayers or devotions you use during the liturgical year?
    • Are there any ideas for prayer you’ve thought about and would like to use in the future?
  2. Bringing Saints into the classroom.
    • How are saints brought into your class?
    • Any special feast days you highlight? Why?
    • Are there any ideas for bringing saints into your classroom you’ve thought about and would like to use in the future?
  3. Use of Music in the classroom.
    • Is music used in your class? When and how?
    • What resources do you use?
    • In what ways might music be used in your class in the future?
  4. Use of Art in the classroom.
    • In what ways do you use art in the classroom and how does it illustrate the point or knowledge you are trying to get across? Favorite craft, etc?
    • Do you bring your own religious art into the classroom? Favorite statues, paintings, icons, etc?
    • Are there any ideas for using art in the classroom you’ve thought about and would like to use in the future?
  5. Handling Discipline in the classroom.
    • How do you handle discipline in the classroom?
    • Do you use any type of system to maintain order?
    • Are there any ideas for handling the classroom which you’ve thought about and would like to use in the future?
  6. Promoting Parental involvement.
    • In what way(s) are parents currently encouraged to participate in the formation of their children in your current class or program?
    • Are there any ideas for encouraging parental involvement you’ve thought about and would like to see implemented in the future?
  7. Favorite Lesson to teach – Why and How?
    • Think for a moment about that topic, lesson, which you really look forward to teaching every year. What is it?
    • Why do you so enjoy teaching this topic?
    • How exactly do you present the material and how to the children react?
  8. The Strengths and Weaknesses of the text you use in the classroom.
    • What are the strengths and weaknesses of the textbook and materials provided to you?
    • How do you overcome the weaknesses? What supplemental materials do you use?
    • In what ways do you use Scripture and the Catechism to supplement the provided texts?
  9. Games and Activities
    • What game or activity do you use in the classroom which the students seem to really enjoy and really is effective as a teaching tool?
    • What games and activities have you tried which really flopped or didn’t work as expected? Any ideas why it flopped?
    • What games and activities have you thought about trying in the future?

Finally, I like this little disclaimer that they added to the handout!


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

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