So Far So Good

Almost 2 months have passed since our Year I Confirmation students have been encountering a new curriculum on the major events of Salvation History.  This curriculum that we have created seeks to not only convey the major events of Salvation History, especially through the 6 major covenants, but also aims to engage 7th graders in a fresh way.  Students rotate classes approximately every 30 minutes.

Today’s Topic

During the first 30 to 40  minutes students review the lesson from the week before and then the current lesson not only shares about that particular covenant we are talking about but it also answers the homework questions that were given to them the week before. The hope is that they will have read and reflected on the Scripture that speaks about the covenant we will be focusing on that particular class period.

Practical Application

Next students build on what they are learning by going to 30 minutes of what we call “practical application”.  For example, last night each class (we have 6 Year I classes) discussed God’s covenant with Abraham, His Call, and his journey.  After about 35 minutes discussing this covenant students switched classes and went to “practical application” where they discussed how we are “maxed out” in our lives and so busy with noise and activity that we don’t hear God.  The question they explored is does God still speak to His people like He spoke to Abraham?  Students were broken up into groups and given a skit they had to perform.  Skit #1 was entitled: “Constant noise – never even noticing God”, skit #2 was entitled: “No time – too many important things to do – doesn’t stop for, recognize, or make time for God”.  Skit #3 was entitled: “We do all the talking – Too busy talking to every listen”. These skits were followed up by some questions.

Spotlight

During the last 30 minutes students switched to spotlight and encountered a great video about Abraham and Isaac.  The video was 17 minutes and very powerful.  There were also discussion questions that followed the video.

At the end of each class we encourage catechist to do a brief review and go over what their assignment is for next week’s class.  Finally, we ask the catechists to close in prayer.

What We Are Hearing

We are getting great feedback about this format and how students are engaged and really talking and interacting.  Catechists are really enjoying this format and there is a great vibe from them about how things are going.  Praise God for these blessings!

P.S. We have 6 classes and each class has a “team class” which means when it’s time to switch the students for example in Class 1 go to their team class, 2 and class 2 goes to into class 1.  So when one group is covering practical application the other is covering spotlight and then after 30 minutes they switch and experience the section they have not covered yet.  I hope that makes sense.  I thought it might sound a little confusing if I articulated it up above.


I was reading a great blog post from rciablog.com speaking about how telling the story of salvation has been a common part of passing on the faith. Children from a young age ought to be taught the story (at their age level). Here are some things to keep in mind when telling the story that I found from the website mentioned above:

* The eternal life of the Blessed Trinity – an eternal exchange of love
* The creation of the angels – some chose to rebel
* The creation of humanity out of love to share in God’s own Trinitarian life
* Our temptation by Satin and our fall from grace through Original Sin
* God’s promise of a redeemer and plan of salvation
* God’s gradual gathering of a people (Israel) through successive covenants
* A brief history of Israel
* The promises and prophecies of the prophets
* Mary’s “yes” to angel Gabriel
* The Incarnation – which should be given great emphasis!
* The life of Jesus Christ
* Jesus’ redemptive sacrifice on the cross and resurrection from the dead
* The giving of the Holy Spirit and the birth of the Catholic Church at Pentecost
* The Church as the Family and Kingdom of God – the Body of Christ
* A brief history of the Church – saints are in constant supply
* Today, we are living in the midst of this Story
* The sure promise and hope that Jesus will come again to judge the living and the dead

Granted this is too much for say a 2nd or 3rd grader, but I believe each grade can be taught aspects of this story. Children love stories as do adults. All the more reason to make sure we are tell this story…it is our story and through Baptism we become a part of the story of salvation history.

Now that is Good News!!!