Here is another methodology to consider. I use this method in 1st – 6th grade class lessons. Catechists find the outlines I’ve created and connected with this method very helpful.
The goal of a method is to replicate or imitate the way God teaches us.
A. He reveals gradually and in stages
B. He reveals and seeks our response, He reveals more and we respond again, etc.
The Method: Gather, Proclaim, Break and Send
A. It is a way to replicate God’s way of teaching
B. It helps bring structure to an hour and fifteen minutes or an hour and a half class period.
C. It helps catechists clearly articulate the topic of the lesson and bring life application to it.
D. It helps the catechist recap and “send” students out to go ponder and live their faith.
III. The Specifics
1. The suggestions given are aimed at helping the student be open to what will be discussed. It seeks to get students “docile” to what is about to be taught.
2. Prayer should always be an important part of the opening section. However, it is more than merely an opening prayer.
1. This is the heart of your message (the nuts and bolts) – sharing the truths of the faith. The info provided to you under the proclaim section are the “key points” regarding the topic at hand.
2. It is important that this section hands on authentic Catholic teaching. This is the Church’s teaching we are passing on, not our “personal ideas” or “opinions”.
3. It is recommended that you look up the Catechism reference so you as a catechist can understand the topic better and more fully. You are not expected to read to the students out of the Catechism.
4. Note: Some of the textbook chapters simply try to cover too much material. There is a conscience effort in the outlines to keep the topic at hand more focused than the book sometimes does.
1. This section is the “Practical Application” or “Life Application” component.
2. Be creative. Feel free to add your own ideas.
3. The goal is to “make it real” to your students the content just discussed in the proclaim section.
1. This section is aimed at bringing closure to the day’s lesson.
2. It helps summarize/recap what has been discussed.
3. It should encourage and challenge students to go and live their faith.
4. Always close in prayer, even if it is brief. If you run out of time to cover the majority of the “send” part, please seek to end your class with a brief prayer.
I have taken all the lessons grades 1st – 6th and formatted each lesson according to this method. Catechists really appreciate it. It is empowering to them and gives them the focus and clarity they are looking for. This method I believe is very similar to the Ecclesial Method and is equal to it. It just covers it in one less step or stage. As I mentioned in a previous post, LIFE TEEN, a international Youth Ministry organization, uses this method in their model of interacting with Junior High and High School Youth in a gathering model (as compared to a classroom model). The Gather, Proclaim, Break, Send is the 4 parts of the Mass. I believe very strongly in this method and believe it helps accomplish God’s way of teaching us.
What method have you used that helps replicate God’s Pedagogy? In the near future I will post some thoughts on why all methods are not equal in successfully passing on the faith.