Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Making Up Religious Lesson Plans

By Jose McDonald

Whether you teach in a private faith-affiliated school or you teach Sunday school once a week after church, you may need to know the finer points of making up religious lesson plans that accommodate the ages and needs of your students. Depending on how old your pupils are and how well-versed they are in the canon of your religion, you might want to create lessons that are easy to understand yet also build on knowledge they already have. Your lessons likewise might reinforce their faith and prepare them for sacraments that could be in line for them in the next few years.

Children who are five, six, or seven years old have only the most basic capacity for learning. They need lessons tailored to their particular level of skills and even made fun so that they can remember it longer. As such, you could make a game out of learning the names of central people in the faith or the names of saints that are the subject of prayers that they will be required to learn later. These basics come in handy as they move through the sacraments of the church and become more mature in their involvement later.

They also learn through mimicking and imitating your actions. If you are tasked with teaching young Catholics how to make the sign of the cross before prayer, for example, you might stand up before them and show them how to do it. You also could teach them how to bend their right knee to genuflect when entering into the sanctuary for Mass.

Older pupils will presumably know these fundamentals and thus be ready to take on more complex concepts. Your lessons might need to tackle controversial subjects that could make or break a young person's faith in the church. They might even ask you embarrassing or challenging questions regarding sexuality, drug use, and other topics. You may need to create lessons that will answer those concerns sufficiently.

Adults likewise might struggle to understand the principles of the church with which you are affiliated. They may want to know why the church does not condone divorce or why couples are encouraged to stay together even in the face of infidelity. These difficult questions might be answered by referring to church doctrine.

If you yourself do not know how to accomplish this based on your own knowledge of those tenets, you might wonder where you can go to find the information that you need. You could go online to do your own independent research. Many faith doctrines are now available to download and read at your leisure.

You may find the catechism online today. Many churches have uploaded their basic tenants to the Internet. You also could refer to websites dedicated to faith-based teaching. These online examples could be incorporated into your own teaching.

Writing plans for religious teachings can be made simpler by reviewing your own knowledge of the catechism and by also using the Internet for help. You can create lessons that are suited for the age of children in your classroom. You can also be factual and make a lasting impression on adults and older students who might struggle with their faith.

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