As I approached the last faith formation class of the year, I was looking for ways to review the material we had covered during our time together. In the past I’ve used some kind of game or competition as a review activity. But with this being my first year teaching fourth grade, I wasn’t sure if these activities would work well with this older group of students.
When I was preparing for our final class, I looked through my textbook, notes, and handouts and realized that there were a bunch of extra worksheets and activities that I didn’t use. I had an idea: why not use these leftovers as a review? I had plenty of material. There were worksheets that covered a wide range of topics, and I had multiple copies of each. Reusing them would be a good way to make use of forgotten resources rather than discarding them in the recycling bin. I organized the material and packed it up for class.
Once I arrived in the classroom, I arranged the papers in stacks and placed them on tables. The children noticed the stacks immediately and wanted to know what we were doing. I invited them to check out the stacks and pick up whatever interested them. There was a mad rush toward the tables. I’m not exactly sure why they were so excited. Maybe they were excited about being able to choose for themselves instead of doing whatever I told them; maybe they were racing their classmates to be the first one to pick a worksheet; maybe they had in mind a particular worksheet they really wanted to work on. Whatever their reasons, I was just glad that they were excited.
Some of the students discovered worksheets and activities they had missed because they were absent from a class. A few more picked up a word puzzle they remembered and enjoyed. Some of the children worked with a friend on a worksheet, while others worked independently. A couple of the boys sat on the floor together with Bibles and a worksheet that listed several Scripture verses. They raced each other to see who would be the first one to find the verses in the Bible. This was a skill we worked on this year.
I was very pleased with the outcome of this review, especially since it was such a spontaneous idea. We had the opportunity to review the course material in a relaxed way. The children could focus on what they were most interested in or what they enjoyed learning about, and they could do it in a way that suited their learning styles. I had the chance to remind everyone of important lessons, and I worked with the students in small groups. It was a nice way to spend a class time of review.
How do you review the faith formation year with your class?