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 […]

Inviting Students to Evaluate

One of the things I plan on doing this Monday evening is having the kids complete an evaluation of their experience with me this past year. I often did this when I was a high school religion teacher and I found the feedback very helpful. I’ll have to formulate some kind of an evaluation form for them to use…that is, unless someone out there already has one!!! If so, I’d love to see it if […]

A Case of the Sixth Commandment Giggles

On Monday evening, I had a cozy little group of 7 students, since 3 were rehearsing for the Living Stations. I used this opportunity to continue our exploration of the Ten Commandments, looking at real-life examples of how to live out the spirit of each of the Commandments. It turned out to be a very nice evening except for one thing: the boys (3 of 4) developed a severe case of the Sixth Commandment giggles. […]

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