Downloadable Worksheet: Find the Signs and Symbols in Your Church

When children visit a church, they may see sculptures, paintings, objects, and gestures new to them but steeped in Church tradition. Help children begin to understand the Catholic imagery around them with this month’s downloadable activity, “Find the Signs and Symbols in Your Church.” Use the worksheet in the context of a classroom visit to the parish church, or invite children to complete it independently on Sunday. If children visit different churches throughout the year, […]

Coloring Pages with Older Students

Another catechist had a coloring page he recommended—“except for the older kids, of course.” I, as the seventh-grade catechist, took the page anyway. While I never want to bore or insult the young people with an activity that is too young for them, I have found coloring pages to be useful activities from time to time. A simple outline to color can help make a point in a learning station, such as an image of […]

Low-Tech Ideas for Engaging Students

You don’t need the latest technology to capture your students’ attention. They’re probably so plugged in during their day that low-tech (or no-tech) activities will seem novel. I have created a variety of resources with nothing more than markers and construction paper. Add variety to your lesson by incorporating activities that use low-cost teaching supplies. Make sure that whatever you create has a learning component to it. Flash Cards Buy pre-cut flashcards or simply cut […]

Eight Ways to Use Worksheets Effectively in Faith Formation

I have heard some catechists say they will never use blackline masters (BLMs) in religious education classrooms, and other catechists like to use every one their curriculum provides. These worksheets and other handouts are usually provided as part of the curriculum; a good catechist manual will advise when to integrate a BLM into the lesson. The key to using worksheets effectively in faith formation is understanding that they are resources for activities, not time-fillers, and […]

Facebook Followers Share about Activities in the Classroom

What’s your most creative idea for the Catholic classroom? We asked this question on our Catholic Faith Formation Facebook page and received a list of creative responses. From a jumbo Rosary to hashtags about holiness, catechists shared about activities for multiple grade levels, parents, and families. Saint Strips Catechist Kathleen Horrigan Butler from Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Washington, D.C., shared a first-grade activity that helps children pray with the saints, using art from Happy […]

Finding the Faces of Jesus in Your Life

I’ve always had a feeling of synergy when working with my friend and colleague, Tom McGrath. All he has to do is open his mouth and share some insights and wisdom and I immediately feel like I can turn it into an activity that others can use and benefit from! Recently, Tom led a reflection for a small group that I was participating in. He invited us to think about the qualities and characteristics of […]

Journey through Jerusalem

Living in the Boston suburbs, my students have the privilege of regularly visiting many of our nation’s important historical sites. As much of a blessing as this is, it also makes it more difficult for them to conceptualize the setting of the important events in their faith heritage. I have been challenged by the task of finding ways of making Jesus’ life come alive for my students from the confines of our parish hall. The […]

Independence Day: Revisiting How to Create a Declaration of DEpendence

As we celebrate Independence Day, I thought it would be a good idea to revisit an idea from a lesson I taught several years ago about the Lord’s Prayer as our Declaration of DEpendence. Through the seven petitions of the Lord’s Prayer, we express our dependence on what God provides for us: his name, kingdom, will, daily bread, forgiveness, direction, and deliverance. Have a wonderful and blessed holiday! Here’s how to make your own “parchment.” […]

The ABCs of God’s Love

Jesus calls each of us to spread the Good News. One way we can do this as Catholic Christians is to show God’s love to those we encounter no matter if they are friend, family, or stranger. This concept can be tough for many adults to live out. How do we teach the children in our faith formation classes to show God’s love to all those we encounter? I recently wrestled with this concept in […]

40 Ideas for 40 Days of Lent!

It’s that time once again! The Lenten season is just one month away! To help you with your planning, I’m once again providing my popular 40 Ideas for 40 Days. Let me know which activities you chose to do, how you did them (adding your own twists) and  how things turned out! In addition, here are lots more Lenten resources from Loyola Press. And don’t forget my list of Lenten resources for small faith groups!

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