Third Graders and the Ten Commandments

As we move through the school year, my students become more comfortable sharing and asking questions during religion class. I welcome this opportunity to answer questions, and I’m grateful that they can do this in a safe environment that is free of judgment. I want them always to feel that God loves them. When I can’t answer a question, I admit that and promise to get back to them with an answer. If the question […]

“Alternative Facts” and the Eighth Commandment

Recently, we have been hearing references in the news to the phrase “alternative facts” when folks are debating the veracity of the reporting on an event. The truth is, while there can be different perspectives and different interpretations of the same event, there is an objective element to the story that demands accuracy. For catechists, this issue provides us with an opportunity to talk about the Eighth Commandment, which is ultimately about communicating truth. I’ve always […]

Ten Commandments Games

My second-grade students have very busy bodies. I have struggled to accomplish anything in class, and I have been growing frustrated—I waste too much time trying to get their attention. After a few weeks together, I am realizing that I should find ways to focus their excitement and energy rather than stifle it. I am going to try a new approach: we will play more learning games and do fewer crafts, and I will incorporate lots […]

This is MY Story!

I was delighted to discover last evening that my 6th graders had retained a great deal of what we covered during the year! In essence, I really emphasized 3 main topics this year: Old Testament stories, the Ten Commandments, and the Sacraments. Last night, we did a review of the Old Testament stories and it went very nicely. Here’s a pic that sets the stage: On the board is the theme/big idea for the session […]

It Was the Quietest of Times, It Was the Noisiest of Times!

Our session this past Tuesday (Jan. 14, 2014) was very enjoyable and was a study in contrasts. I actually began the session (after preliminary chit-chat and our opening prayer ritual) with a guided reflection in which I invited the young people to talk with Jesus about what they have learned in the first half of the year. The kids were amazingly quiet! It was a very prayerful experience and, in all, lasted about 15 minutes. You […]

Remember!

Here is my lesson plan for this evening! Tuesday, January 14, 2014 BIG IDEA: “Remember all my commands!” Scripture: Numbers 15:37-41 Learning Outcome: As a result of this session, students will be able to recall and articulate the major concepts covered in the first half of the year, especially the Ten Commandments Preliminaries/Engage (20 mins) As they enter, have the young people write down one thing they remember learning during the first half of the […]

David: Shepherd and King – A Summary of Monday’s Session

We had a very nice session last evening on the topic of David, shepherd and king. I hadn’t seen “my kids” for 3 weeks due to traveling and a holiday so it was great to see them again. I had 3 absences so the room seemed a little emptier and, for the most part, the kids were very cooperative and in good spirits. Here’s a summary of some of the high and low points: The […]

David: Shepherd and King – Lesson Plan

Here is my lesson plan for this evening’s session focusing on David…ambitious as usual! Session 10: David – Shepherd and King BIG IDEA David: shepherd and king, points the way to Jesus: the Good Shepherd and Christ the King PRELIMINARIES (15 mins) Students fill out prayer intention slips upon arrival Opening procession to set up prayer table Opening prayer ritual ENGAGE (20 mins) Give Ten Commandments Quiz and review (answer key). Invite volunteer to come […]

Year of Faith Retreat – Week 3, Day 2: What’s Your Secret? (The Commandments, Beatitudes, and Virtues)

WEEK THREE: The Moral Life (Life in Christ) DAY 2:  What’s Your Secret?  (The Commandments, Beatitudes, and Virtues) Did you ever try to find out if someone was planning a surprise party for you or try to find out what kind of gift they may have gotten you for your birthday or Christmas? It’s not easy to pry a secret out of someone!  Thankfully, we have a God who does not keep secrets. In fact, God is quite the opposite. God […]

“People like that have poop for brains” – Pardon my “French”

Last evening’s class was a lot of fun and very productive. I told the kids that they were going to take a “final exam” and, of course, they all freaked out. I then proceeded to calm their fears and tell them that we were going to review first and that the test was just a way to see what “stuck” and what we might need to cover on our last class. I then did the […]

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