Lesson Plan: Pope Francis TED Talk

Pope Francis surprised the conference guests (and the world) when he offered the first TED talk by a pope. TED stands for “Technology, Entertainment, Design.” It is a conference that is popular among tech startups, science enthusiasts, and Silicon valley entrepreneurs. The talks given during these conferences are distributed online and often have viral messages […]

New Resources to Teach the Changes to the Catholic Mass

I am excited to release The Religion Teacher’s New Roman Missal Student Activity Pack! If you are looking for resources to teach young people about the changes to the Catholic Mass, you will appreciate the worksheets, lesson plans, PowerPoints in The Religion Teacher’s New Roman Missal Student Activity Pack. The Religion Teacher’s New Roman Missal […]

Genesis Creation Stories Lesson Plan

The first three chapters of the book of Genesis relate important truths about ourselves, our humanity, and our relationship with God. A common pitfall we can run into when teaching about these chapters is the differences between the first chapter and chapters two and three. In this lesson plan, students will compare the first two […]

Rite of Confirmation Lesson Plan

According to the National Directory for Catechesis, there are two approaches to teaching ritual: the inductive method and the deductive method (NDC, 29). I wrote about these two approaches in a general way in a recent article published in the National Catholic Educational Association’s journal, Momemtum (February/March 2011, pp. 22-23). In the lesson plan below, […]

Symbol or Sign? A Mystogogical Pedagogy of the Sacraments

Teaching about the sacraments What is a sacrament? The definition drawn from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which most children are asked to memorize, is “an efficacious sign of grace, instituted by Christ and entrusted to the Church, by which we receive the life of God through the work of the Holy Spirit.” In […]

Classroom Procedures and the First Weeks of School

Classroom procedures and routines are the key to effective classroom management. One of the earliest and best lessons I learned as a teacher was the importance of classroom procedures above and beyond classroom rules. All teachers have rules in their classrooms, but many teachers waste time and energy enforcing rules instead of practicing procedures until […]

If Jesus Had a Cell Phone…

If Jesus had a cell phone, who would be in his “fave five”? Or, If Jesus had a cell phone who would be a part of his “in network”? Or, If Jesus had a phone, who would be on his speed dial? Try posing this question as Bell Work. Have the students write out a […]

Catholic Mass Reflection Questions

Occasionally you will have the opportunity to meet with students either before or after mass. As I mentioned in my post on CatholicMom.com, “How to Get Teens to Participate in Mass,” it is critical that we help young people connect their personal experiences with the Liturgy (“find their feelings”) and learn more about the God […]

Virtual Tour of the Sistine Chapel on Vatican Website – Activities

The Vatican has added another interactive feature to their website. Have you ever been to the Sistine Chapel? Have your students been? With so many things to see in Rome, I was never able to block out the time to wait in line to see it. A “virtual” tour may not be as good as […]

End of the School Year Ideas and Activities

The end of the year is quickly approaching for most schools and religious education programs. For teachers this can be just as stressful that the rest of the year. Many students—especially seniors and 8th graders—“check-out” early in the second semester with a bad case of “senioritis.” Other students wait joyfully in anticipation of the close […]