Each month, Family Formation provides a packet full of creative and effective ideas for passing on the Faith, but we also LOVE to see what our inspired catechists do with them. One of my goals for this year is to collect some of those ideas and share them with you! For October’s Classroom Lesson on the Mass, a member of our Core Group has taken an advance peek at the lessons and suggests the following:
When talking about the two major parts of the Mass, Liturgy of the Word and Liturgy of the Eucharist, you could make a visual prop where the kids would each receive a different part of the Mass written down on an index card and then when that specific part of the Mass is introduced the child comes up to label it under a heading of Liturgy of the Word or Liturgy of the Eucharist. It would allow for student participation, small movement, and a visual reminder of the various parts of each Liturgy.
Another activity that works well with K-3, but would also work well with 4-6 this particular lesson, is throwing a ball around in class for question and answer parts of a lesson. Use a small, soft colorful ball like a Nerf or foam ball. The teacher starts by asking a question and then throws it to a child to answer the question. It works best if you say the child’s name to whom you are throwing the ball, so no one gets caught off guard and gets hit. One could throw the ball randomly or only to a child with their hand up prepared to answer the question. The teacher then asks a second question and the child with the ball throws it to a classmate, again saying their name first. This game also allows for classmates to get to know and use each other’s names.
This month we’re encouraging students to memorize a silent prayer to say as they’re tracing small crosses on their forehead, lips, and chest before the Gospel is read at each Mass. (“Lord, may Your Word always be in my mind, on my lips, and in my heart.”) Be sure to point out this month’s memory prayer as you’re talking about the Liturgy of the Word, and specifically the Gospel, during your lesson time.
The lesson talks about various prayers we say during mass like, The Confiteor or The Creed. A way to get the children more involved is to provide a copy to read out loud with during that part of the lesson. Then they are not just listening, but verbally participating and connecting the Confiteor to the Penitential Act.
Use some of the terms introduced in this lesson (confiteor, consecration, genuflect, liturgy of the word, etc.) for a quick game of hangman at the end of your class time. Obviously, this is going to work best with students who are readers.
Many thanks to Theresa for sharing her teaching experience with us!