Lesson Planning Resources
The Religion Teacher’s Guide to Lesson Planning by Jared Dees – This is a free e-book that includes tutorials on how to lesson plan effectively. This step-by-step to lesson planning for religion teachers and catechists teaches readers how to prepare a lesson, craft clear lesson objectives, implement effective assessments, and meet the students’ needs. It includes lesson templates, lesson objective starts, assessment ideas, and 250 teaching strategies and activities from the latest research in education.
31 Days to Becoming a Better Religious Educator by Jared Dees – 31 Days covers a wide range of topics with many exercises to become a better disciple, servant, leader, and teacher. Part IV includes many resources for creating engaging and interactive lesson plans.
The Catechist’s Toolbox by Joe Paprocki – A great resource for both new and experienced catechists. Joe creatively shares number strategies and advice for all facets of religious education in a way only he can.
Beyond the Catechist’s Toolbox by Joe Paprocki – A follow-up to The Catechist’s Toolbox, this short book provides a lesson planning framework to use in class that mimics the Liturgy.
Classroom Instruction that Works: Research-Based Strategies for Increasing Student Achievement by Robert Marzano – Marzano is one of my favorite educational researchers. This book contains research-proven ideas for various teaching strategies and activities. You might also want to check out the more practical A Handbook for Classroom Instruction That Works, which includes worksheets, rubrics, and summaries of the research in the main text.
Catholic Religious Education Activities
Faith Facts for Young Catholics: Drills, Games and Activities for Middle School Students by Sr. Kieran Sawyer – Sr. Kieran’s popular book for middle schools students offers a great resource to get middle school students excited about learning. Anyone teaching middle school knows the challenges of getting students interested. Faith Facts helps meet that need.
Bundles of Faith and Tons of Fun: Easy Activities, Prayers, and Projects for Children by Patricia Mathson – This treasure chest of ideas includes activities and projects for prayer, social justice, the Bible, Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter, and many other special days like Valentines Day and May Crowning. This is another great resource to have on your shelf for quick activity ideas.
The Big Book of Catholic Customs and Traditions for Children’s Faith Formation by Beth McNamara Branigan, Sue Robinson, and Ann E. Neuberger – This collection of activities for Catholic kids is organized by month and liturgical year. This is a great set up for anyone looking for ideas on the spot and at the last minute.
The First Days of School: How to Be an Effective Teacher by Harry Wong - This is a revised edition of Harry Wong’s classic book about classroom management that includes vital tips for the entire school year. This is a requirement for every teacher’s library.
Classroom Management That Works by Robert Marzano – Another key element of the ASCD’s series on effective research-based instruction, this book offers effective teaching strategies for classroom management. This book also has a more practical supplement: A Handbook for Classroom Management That Works.
31 Days to Becoming a Better Religious Educator by Jared Dees - How do you become a better leader in the classroom? Try one of the exercises in Part III of 31 Days to Becoming a Better Religious Educator.
Catholic Classroom Prayer
Praying All Ways by Sr. Caroljean Willie - Although this book may be out of print, I have found that if offers an invaluable resources for teachers that focus on a multiple intelligences approach. Sr. Caroljean offers a number of prayer ideas for every learning style.
Time to Pray!: Seasonal Prayer Services for Middle Grades by Patricia Mathson – If you teach elementary or middle school children, then this book has a number of useful prayer ideas that you will find helpful.
Lectio Divina for Children and Teens by Jared Dees – This collection of handouts can be used in the classroom to teach students how to read the Bible in a whole new way. These easy-to-implement activities will help young people encounter God in the Sacred Word and help you become a better teacher of Sacred Scripture.
Prayers on The Religion Teacher - I periodically post prayers for various saint feast days, liturgical seasons, and various topics. Feel free to do some browsing.
(Check out these other class prayer ideas: www.thereligionteacher.com/class-prayer/.)
New Testament Resources – A collection of books, resources, lesson plans, and activities from The Religion Teacher and elsewhere.
Old Testament Resources – A collection of books, resources, lesson plans, and activities from The Religion Teacher and elsewhere.