My Top Ten Favorite Lessons: #1

girl with modeling clay

I thought it would be fun to go back over the archives of my blog here at Catechist’s Journey and select my “Top Ten Favorite Lessons” from all of the lessons I have taught over the years! In case you were not aware of this, all of my lesson plans (including follow-up summaries) are archived here on the blog. Go to the tab titled “Being a Catechist” just under the Catechist’s Journey header banner. When you hover over that, you will find sub-categories including one titled “Stories from the Field,” which will then send you to another drop-down list. My lessons are found under Intermediate Grades and Junior High. There you will find lessons from my experiences of teaching fourth, sixth, and eighth grades. I have chosen several of each grade for my Top Ten Favorite Lessons list.

For my first favorite lesson, we go back to my days of teaching fourth grade to look at a lesson titled “God Asks Us to Obey,” which focused on how we are called to form our consciences so that we can know right from wrong and be faithful followers of Jesus. I like to talk about this lesson to demonstrate how to engage young people at the start of a lesson in the way St. Ignatius of Loyola encouraged his followers to “enter through their door but be sure to leave through your door.” In this particular lesson, I engaged the children with an activity involving Play-Doh (their door) to help them understand how our consciences can be shaped and formed (my door). Several weeks later, when the Associate Pastor came to ask the kids what they had learned so far that year, the kids offered a few thoughts and then went blank. I said, “Someone tell Father about Play-Doh.” After a moment, a girl raised her hand and said, “Oh yeah, God can shape our conscience!” The connection had been made!

So, without further adieu, here is “God Asks Us to Obey.”

About Joe Paprocki 2746 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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