Sunday, November 15, 2015

Religious Education Lesson Plans: Classes 1-7

Sorry, not many pictures, just catching up on record keeping so I won't have to reinvent the wheel next year!

The books we are using are Christ Our Life.

Each class we sit on a tablecloth of the liturgical color around a piece of religious art and a (battery powered!) candle.  I try to get as many kinds of religious art as I can, with a special emphasis on images showing the ethnic backgrounds of the kids in the class, and significant art they may never have seen (icons, for example).

We discuss that Sunday's Gospel and we pray together.  We do individual prayers (usually petitions and thanksgiving) and say the Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be together.

Each week, I like to have one "act it out" story, one hands on project, and one game.

I like to give religious prizes for memorizing prayers, and for anything else I can think of.  It's a triple win: the kids are motivated, they have a tangible reminder of the Faith between classes, and they get more religious things in their houses, helping to make the Faith part of their lives. I never insist on a kid memorizing anything, just offer the prize and celebrate when they get it (which encourages the other kids).

Class 1
Theme: Faith as Gift: God Calls Us
Review Gospel
Introduce prayer time, light candle, pray (image of Jesus with children), hand out, decorate books
Discuss children's names, meanings, and patron saints; how God calls us each by name with love
Tell the story of Abram and Sarai's name change
Act out the story of Ruth
Explain Prizes: Cross prize for memorization of Our Father
Game: Telephone
(this was too short, maybe add an art project next time)

Class 2
Theme: God Gives Us Talents
Review Gospel, prayer time (Good Shepherd statue)
Discuss talents, gifts to serve others, how do we serve?
Tell the parable of the talents (page 10)
Act out the story of David: awards for how he used his talents: shepherd (stuffed sheep), protector (sling shot), king (crown),  and psalmist (music scroll).
Our Father poster (check for memorization)
Game: knocking over paper cup "Goliath" with air cannon - takes practice, developing your talent!

Class 3
Theme: God Calls Us to be Holy
Review Gospel, prayer time (saint statues), check Our Father
Discuss what does it mean to be holy? (pages 15, 16)
Tell story of each child's patron saint: how they knew, loved, and served God (saint cards)
Act out St. Francis and St. Clare (T27-29)
Game: St. Francis and the Wolf tag (one kid is St. Francis, one kid is the wolf, the rest are villagers.  The wolf tries to catch the villagers, St. Francis tries to catch the wolf.  He says, "In the name of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Let there be peace between you and the villagers.")

Class 4
Theme: God Calls Mary
Review Gospel, prayer time (Mary statue), introduce Rosary.  Pray first Joyful Mystery: each child places a rose in the vase after "their" Hail Mary (we say all the Hail Marys together, but one for each child's intention), looking at pictures in big Rosary book. Check Our Father
Discuss Mary's yes
Act out Annunciation, tell story of O.L. of Fatima
Color Hail Mary image, introduce Hail Mary prize: Rosary in Our Lady of Grace case
Children each take home a rose.
(part of this class was taken up with Child Safety)

Class 5
Theme: Jesus Calls Us to Follow
Review Gospel, prayer time (Jesus Fishers of Men statue). Picture of crowd beneath clear, water filled pie plate: drop in pebbles, see how ripples move.  How we follow Jesus (or don't) affects many, many others. Check Hail Mary, Our Father
Discuss how apostles were called, how did they follow?  How are we called to follow?
Tell story of Peter
(pg 29,31) lots of situations: how would you follow Jesus in this situation?
Act out Saul
Game: Magnetic Fishing  (BLM 12) Each fish shows a way to follow Jesus

Class 6
Theme: We believe in God
Review Gospel, prayer time (12 Apostles Crucifix)
Discuss: Does what we believe matter?  How do we know what we believe?
Creed project: kids illustrate Nicene Creed
We grow in faith by learning more about God, following Jesus, helping others
God keeps His promises
Act out Exodus (T61-T62)
Code breaking worksheet (BLM 14)
Game: Exodus relay race with stuffed lamb

Class 7: All Saints Party

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