It IS Possible to Have a Normal Conversation with an 8th Grader!

I was absolutely delighted to have an enjoyable 10-minute conversation with one of my 8th graders before class last night! This doesn’t happen often for me. For one, the kids usually don’t arrive early or stay after class. Second, I don’t usually seek out conversations…it’s just not my style. Third, I’m very careful about not presenting myself as their “buddy” – I’m not seeking their friendship, just their apprenticeship. So, needless to say, I was […]

Repetition – The Rosary

What do all of the following have in common? “The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant!” “There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home.” “I think I can. I think I can. I think I can.” Repetition, of course. We human beings tend to repeat ourselves whenever we feel strongly about something, are excited about something, or want to convince […]

Unforeseen Distractions

Interestingly enough, one of the problems that I ran into while walking my class through the Bible on Monday evening was the unforeseen distractions that occurred while they were reading aloud…and these distractions came from the text itself! What am I talking about? Here’s what I mean: Exodus 20:10 – “No work may be done then either by you….or by the alien who lives with you.” Had to pause and explain that this was not […]

On Second Thought…

Last evening’s session went OK, however, as I look back over my attempt to walk the young people through the Bible in preparation for the unit on Jesus, I’m having second thoughts about my approach. Frankly, I think it was a bit beyond them to explore so many Scripture passages (as outlined in my handout)  in one swoop. As brief as most of those passages are and as easy as I thought it would be […]

Setting the Stage for Jesus

For tonight’s class, my plan is to continue walking the young people through the story of salvation history in the Bible, setting the stage for the unit on Jesus that we are beginning. You may recall that 2 weeks ago (we were off last week for Columbus Day), I began walking them through the story of salvation history in the Bible and, because of a few interruptions (fire drill, etc.) only got as far as […]

A Walk Through the Bible

For last night’s class, I did my best  to walk the young people through the Bible. Unfortunately, as happens, we had some interruptions (a fire drill and a time out to have the kids sign a banner for the Year of the Priest) so in the end I only had about 40 minutes to teach…I got as far as getting the Jewish people out of Egypt and across the Red Sea and ran out of […]

The Story of the Bible in a Nutshell

I’ve decided that, since we’ll have no class next Monday (Columbus Day) and that when we return, we jump right into a unit on Jesus Christ, tonight will be a good night to do an overview of the Bible with my 8th graders, taking them through the story of salvation history that culminates with Jesus Christ. Click here for an outline of passages that tell the narrative of the story of salvation history in a chronological sequence […]

The Holy Spirit: Our Advocate

As I mentioned yesterday, one of the concepts we covered in Monday evening’s class was the Holy Spirit as our ADVOCATE. To help illustrate this point, I invited my aide, Lucy, to share her experience as a nurse, explaining how she advocates for patients. Here’s what happened: I first asked if anyone knew what an advocate is or what it means to advocate for someone. One of the young men responded that “it means to […]

A Mighty Wind!

This past Monday evening, Chicago lived up to its name as the “windy city” (although that name originated not as a description of the climate in Chicago but of the politics!) with wind gusts reaching 40-50 mph. A good night to be teaching about the Holy Spirit! Sure enough, just as I told the young people that we would be learning about the Holy Spirit, a huge gust of wind blew through an open window, […]

Teaching About the Holy Spirit and the Trinity

I’ve had just enough time to prepare my lesson for tonight and have not left enough time to tell you about it in detail! Suffice to say that we will be learning about the Holy Spirit and how we are never alone because of the Spirit’s presence. We’ll focus on the word ADVOCATE to talk about how the Spirit helps us (my aide is a nurse and I’ve asked her to talk about how as […]

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