Jared Dees, Creator of The Religion Teacher

Jared Dees is the creator of The Religion Teacher and has worked in catechetical ministry for over ten years. He is the Digital Publishing Specialist at Ave Maria Press and the author of 31 Days to Becoming a Better Religious Educator.

The Religion Teacher Turns Six (and a Birthday Giveaway)


March 12th marked the sixth birthday of The Religion Teacher. It is hard to believe it has been that long and it’s incredible to think about how far we’ve come. I remember sitting in the living room of a rented home in South Bend, Indiana six years ago ready to hit the publish button on [...]

Transfiguration Activities & Worksheets

Transfiguration Activities & Worksheets

Jesus took Peter, James, and his brother John, and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no fuller on earth could bleach them. Mark 9:2-3 At a turning point in the Gospels, Jesus was transfigured along with Moses and Elijah. The disciples [...]

Beatitudes Activities: 11 Teaching Ideas for Religious Educators

Beatitude Activity Ideas

One of the most commonly requested topics from teachers, catechists, and fans of The Religion Teacher has been the Beatitudes. I cannot believe this is the first time I’ve ever written or created something about this important set of teachings of Christ. I took a little time and did some brainstorming on all of the [...]

The Religion Teacher: Membership Benefits

Why join The Religion Teacher?

It has been awhile since I shared an update on The Religion Teacher membership website. Since it opened in March, dozens of new resources and teaching ideas have been posted for premium members for the hundreds of people who have registered so far. Here are a few reasons why I think you will love the [...]

Sacraments Activity: Matching/Memory Game

Sacraments Matching Game

Kids love playing games. As a catechist, I love seeing kids learn about their faith. When you find an activity that kids love while they learn, you’ve hit a sweet spot. The sacraments matching game did that for our class this year and I’m looking forward to being able to use the game again throughout [...]

What is the Church? Lesson Plan

Church Lesson Plan

One of my favorite lessons to teach students of all ages is the distinction between a church as a building and the Church as a people. We use the word “church” in so many different ways, but it is so important that our young people know that the real meaning of the Church refers to [...]

Fun Catholic Ice Breaker Games

Catholic Ice Breaker Games

It is the beginning a new year and for many of us that means . . . fun Catholic ice breakers! I know, I know, ice breakers aren’t always the most exciting things to do, but they are effective. You want to build a community as quickly as possible so you might as well have [...]

Practicing Penance: A First Reconciliation Activity

First Reconciliation Activity: Examination of Conscience Box

One of my biggest goals this year for my second grade students was to encourage them to feel comfortable going to confession and communion for the first time. Even seasoned veterans have a hard time remembering what to do during the Sacrament of Reconciliation. I wanted to come up with a a fun First Reconciliation [...]

Teaching with the Joy of the Gospel

Teaching with the Joy of the Gospel

Some teachers and catechists walk around with so much joy. You know the people I’m talking about, right? They’re always smiling. They’re good listeners and they always put a positive spin on things. They never complain. They get excited when they talk about their lesson plans or activities. They’re humble. They want to know about [...]

The Liturgy of the Eucharist Lesson Plan

Liturgy of the Eucharist

This is part 2 of a lesson I recently shared: The Liturgy of the Word Lesson Plan. In this short lesson, I wanted to introduce my second grade students to the importance of the words we pray during the Liturgy of the Eucharist and to help them understand the meaning of transubstantiation (without actually introducing [...]