Lesson Plan - Sampling of Ideas
The following are a few creative ideas for teaching religion to younger students. All of them were gleaned from a discussion group called Catholic catechists. They are not full blown lesson plans, but suggestions of activies that you can integrate into your own lesson plans.
A letter to a special person By Elaine
Here's an idea that doesn't require much preparation. When I did a prayer, I told the kids (second graders) that with prayer you can feel the same warmth, love and closeness to God that you feel when you've spent special time with a loved one -- for example, when Mom or Dad gets up with you at night during a storm or when a favorite aunt takes just you out to lunch for some special time together. I then passed out paper and had them write a letter to a special person in their life. I had them finish the sentence "I especially like it when we..." Next I had them write a letter to God thanking Him for the special person they wrote to. We folded both letters and put them in an envelope for the kids to deliver or mail. I know I'll keep my own son's letter to me forever! It was heartwarming.
Prayer Rocks By Diane
During my third-grade class lesson on prayer, I ended with having them make prayer... I found landscape rocks (don't ask what I went through to get them), nice sized ones, and gave one to each child, along with a square of fabric (mine had smiley faces on it). They wrapped the rock up into the fabric and tied a ribbon around it to secure it. Then I gave them each the prayer rock poem to attach to the rock. First I read the poem aloud and they all laughed uproariously -- thought it was hilarious. But it spurred a conversation about morning prayers and night-time prayers and some kids never thought about saying a morning prayer. To attach the poem, I stumbled upon a great way to make any kind of labels that are sturdy. I typed the poem and printed it out on normal computer paper, then stuck it to a piece of white contact paper on the back. Then I used zig-zag scissors to cut it out, punched a whole in the corner and they attached it onto the ribbon. The tag looks like I had it printed on some special paper. Very nice. I'm now using it for Christmas gift tabs. Here's the poem:
stay there through the night-time
Ice Cream Party By Kathy
Last year I took my 7th grade class to the nursing home for a visit. I suggested that we play Bingo or do a craft together or have a sing-a-long. One of the kids said we should have an ice cream party. I didn't think it was such a good idea because I assumed there would be dietary restrictions. But the class thought this would be a terrific idea, so I called the social director of the home. She thought it was a wonderful idea and said a little ice cream wouldn't hurt anyone. I brought the ice cream and asked each student to bring a topping. We then set up an ice cream sundae bar in the community room. It was the best thing I've ever done. The nursing home residents were like kids in an ice cream store(pardon the pun). For those who couldn't walk up to the table, the kids took orders and delivered a customized sundae to them. We talked about our favorite flavors and the patients told the kids their memories of 5 cent ice cream cones. It was a great treat for everyone and I'm looking forward to visiting again this year. One more thought--we did this in January and the nursing home director mentioned that they get a lot of visitors around the holidays, but by the end of January everyone is feeling a little down and getting tired of the dreary winter.
Prayer Box By Tracy Brunelle
I brought in decorated box (shoebox will work). The box is full of blank sheets of paper. At the end of the lesson, I will write a sentence starter: I am thankful for...Please watch over...Lord, hear my prayers...Help me to understand..... They take a few minutes to write out their prayers, we close with a short scripture reading and a plea to hear our prayers. Sometimes, we will make it communal -- that is, we add the sheets to the box, mix them up and pass them back out. It doesn't matter whether you get your sheet back or not, no one knows. After every 3 or 4 students, we respond together..Lord, hear our prayers or Thank you, Lord. My 5-6-7th graders seem to respond.
Related: Lesson Plans