One of the most common challenges religious educators face is teaching everything they are supposed to teach in the amount of time they have to do it. We all have to come to terms with the fact that there is more in our religion textbook than we could possibly teach in a given year.
As a result, we have to focus our efforts. Given the choice, I would rather teach a lot about a little rather than just a little about a lot. The deeper you go into a topic, the longer students will understand a concept.
Look at your upcoming lesson plan or evaluate your most recent lesson plan. Complete the following statements:
The single most important thing for students to learn in the lesson is. . .
I will teach about this core concept in the following ways. . .
Our goal is to focus on one core concept that we can really drive home for the students. We want to help students have enduring understandings of the core concepts of each lesson. We want to focus our efforts on things that will have a high impact on the spiritual lives of our students and equip them for further study of their faith in the years ahead.
Once you have selected and trimmed down your lesson into one core concept, rewrite the lesson plan to focus your time on this lesson. Teach and reteach the core. Review it next week and the week after that. You will find that when students truly master certain concepts, it makes introducing new concepts so much easier.