Friday, September 21, 2012

Catholic Religious Education (CRE) Week #3

Welcome once again to my weekly installment as a catechist. As you recall, last week my 7th Graders learned about Truth and Knowing God. I was all excited about my mosaic project, but it seemed to flop and the kids either didn't get it or didn't care. I did have a few that were excited to read aloud, so I guess we will be doing more reading in the class.

My aide also seemed a little discouraged so I tried to find more for her do than "just write on the board" as she worded it. So I have put her in charge of leading opening prayer, and am going to try my hardest to make her more involved. I asked for her input on craft ideas, but have received no input yet, so there won't be anything crafty this week but a puzzle instead.

This week we are learning about the Trinity. I am going to bring in three ropes braided into one rope and a shamrock, and at some point in the lesson ask them, "What do you see?" and "Is it one rope (or leaf) or three?" I also have a trinity shield. See image below. I am going to remove the words from it and pass it out and write the words on the board and have them solve the "puzzle." For those of you who don't speak Latin, Deus = God, Pater = Father, Filius = Son, Spiritus Sanctus = Holy Spirit, Est = Is, and Non Est = Is Not.

On to the lesson plan!

  • Preparation for the Lesson
    • Bring Icon of the Baptism, rope, shamrock, Trinity Shield.
    • Write RELATIONSHIP on the board
    • Write instructions on board to turn to page 32, read instructions and fill it out. Basically the instructions are they have to come up with a word that represents a good relationship starting with each letter of the word relationship. So R could be Realistic.
  • Introduction
    • Good morning. Today we are going to talk about relationships and the Trinity, but before we get to the word on the board, I would like us to turn to page 31 and begin with the opening prayer.
    • Like last week, Ms. Hannah will be the Leader and you will respond to the words after All.
    • Okay! While waiting for class to start, I had each of you fill out the activity on page 32.
    • We’re going to go around the class and I’m going to let you write a word on the board to describe the elements of a good relationship.
      • Review what was written
  • Chapter 3
    • Now I would like you to turn into your books and I want someone to read the poem on page 33.
    • Think about that poem for a minute.
    • The author was only 12 years old (your age or younger) and already had a profound understanding of one of the things that matters most in life.
      • It’s not school or work or parties or TV or computer games.
      • One of the main points of life is to make someone else’s life a little better.
      • And how do we do that?
      • By spreading God’s love.
  • Now I need a reader on page 34.
    • Write the keywords on the board as they come to them and review with them after each passage.
    • Blessed Trinity
      • What is it?
    • What does it mean to be a mystery of the Church?
      • Explain that a mystery is something we cannot explain, but have to accept on faith.
    • Reference the rope and especially shamrock and St. Patrick as an example.
      • Even back in the 300s and 400s, people couldn’t wrap their head around the idea of the Trinity. St. Patrick therefore held up a shamrock to people he was teaching and ask:
      • Is it one leaf or three?
      • I am asking you the same question. Is it one leaf or three?
      • Answer: It is both one leaf and three leaves. The same is true of God. He is one God, but three Persons.
    • Another example of the Trinity is the Trinity Shield.
      • Draw the shield on the board.
      • Have them fill it out for 5 to 10 minutes.
    • Explain how God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
      • Explain that the Father is not the Son, etc.
  • Continue reading page 35.
    • The word Trinity appears nowhere in the Bible. However, in one Gospel story we see all three members of the Trinity present at one time.
      • Does anyone know where?
      • We see them all present in the Baptism of Jesus. Have someone read the passage in Matthew 3:13-17.
    • Present icon. Pass it around. And explain:
      • Jesus is present being baptized.
      • God speaks saying, “This is my beloved Son.”
      • And the Holy Spirit descended on Jesus like a dove.
  • Continue reading pages 36-37
    • Evangelization
      • What does it mean?
    • Have them complete activity on Page 37. How would you witness to different age groups? Kids? Teens? Adults?
      • Go over their answers
    • Challenge them to take the answer next to teens and do it this week.

Well that's all for this week. Good luck my fellow Catechists. May God bless you in your ministry!