Advice for Catechists of Intermediate Age Children

Thanks to the folks who shared some excellent advice for catechists of primary age children last week! This week, we turn our attention to those who teach children in grades 4, 5, and 6 – the intermediate grades. What works? What doesn’t work? What approaches are most effective? What skills, techniques, and strategies are needed? Allow me to begin since I taught 4th graders last year! My advice? Don’t “baby” this age group. They have […]

Advice for Catechists of Primary Age Children

What advice would you give to someone who was about to become a catechist of primary age children (grades 1, 2, and 3)? What works? What doesn’t work? What approaches are most effective? What skills, techniques, and strategies are needed?

Stories on the Journey – Kids Will be Kids

Serving as a catechist means dealing with kids whose minds are often elsewehere! All too often we find ourselves having to discipline kids because of disruptive behavior. Like the late comedian Rodney Dangerfield, we shake our heads and say, “tough crowd, tough crowd” and  “I get no respect.” Fact is, we’re in good company. Scripture tells us about the many “tough crowds” that St. Paul faced as he proclaimed God’s Word. It comes with the […]

Chatting, Cutting, Chatting, Cutting

My goodness, 4th graders can be chatty! 🙂 Last evening, as they worked on their Works of Mercy project, cutting and pasting pictures of the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy in the correct frames, my young apprentices were extremely chatty! Several of them were singing (or rapping) outloud to themselves as they worked while most of them chatted unceasingly with one another as they diligently performed surgery with their scissors and glue. It was […]

Yesterday’s Class – Concern About Those Who Are Homeless

Last evening’s session went very nicely as we looked at Jesus’ Law of Love (Love one another as I have loved you) and learned about how we are called to imitate Jesus’ love for others. Here’s a summary: We had a nice review of our last session which was 2 weeks ago. I held up a can of Play-Doh and asked, “Anyone remember what we learned?” and one girl said, “That we can shape our […]

How Old Do They Think I Am?

During last week’s class, as the kids were playing with the Play-Doh I had set out for them, I commented that, when I was a kid, I loved playing with Play-Doh. One of the boys asked, most sincerely without being a smart-aleck, “They had Play-Doh back then?” Ugh!  🙂

Testing the 4th Grade Waters

As part of my lesson this past Monday, I wanted to emphasize how human beings are the greatest part of God’s creation and I wanted to incorporate the use of the Internet in my classes for the first time. I located a brief YouTube video that shows images of babies growing in the womb. I made sure that the video did not have any images relating to the act of sexual intercourse or the fertilization […]

Books, Books, Books!

I found the following article to be very interesting. Basically, it is saying that kids who grow up surrounded by lots of books grow up smarter! http://www.salon.com/books/laura_miller/2010/06/02/summer_book_giveaway/ As always, I think of the ramifications for religious education. I wonder what we could do to expose our students to more age-appropriate books about the Catholic faith to help them be smarter Catholics. For example, wouldn’t it be cool if  we catechists had access to a box […]

Teaching Church Behavior

Last night, we had our end-of-the-year grade level meeting with Arlene, our DRE, and we talked about how things went this year and what we can do better next year. One of the main issues that came up was our concern over the kids’ behavior in Church when we go over for prayer services or Mass. Each year, we go to the Church probably 5 or 6 times: opening prayer for the year, Advent Reconciliation, […]

Encouraging Our Fledgling Actors!

Many catechists enjoy having their students perform skits, role plays, or short plays. It can be a great way of encouraging some young people to hone their acting/public speaking skills. Who knows, you may have a future Olivier of Streep in your class! Anyway, one of my readers would like to share the fact that she is also an author of a book titled 12 Fun and Easy Plays for Middle Schoolers (Twenty-Third Publications). Quiet […]

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