Hooking Your Students: An Idea for Lent

LENT: Love – Enjoy – Nurture – Transform

I’m a firm believer in doing short transitional activities (three to five minutes) in religious education that engage the students and act as segues into the “meat” of the lesson. They act as attention-getters or “hooks” that make a connection for the students. Here’s an example of one such activity that can be used to introduce the season of Lent.

Select four or five students, and hand each of them some paper plates, paper cups, and plasticware (or anything else that is unbreakable and lightweight) so that their hands are full. Then, bring out a foam ball and begin playing catch with the entire class, randomly throwing to various students, including those with their hands full. Observe how they attempt to catch the ball with their hands full. After a number of tosses, point out how difficult it is to catch the ball if our hands are full. Explain that, in a similar way, it is very difficult for us to receive God’s grace if we are holding on to sin. Point out that, during Lent, we practice letting go of things (i.e. fasting, giving things up) as a way of opening our hearts to receive God’s grace.

For more Lent ideas, visit LoyolaPress.com/Lent.

About Joe Paprocki 2199 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.

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