Preparing to Teach a Lesson

  1. Always pray before you prepare and before you teach your classes. Call on the power of the Holy Spirit to inspire you with His love and truth so that you can be an effective catechist. Your conviction of the truth will make a difference in how the faith is absorbed by the students.
  2. Read the Chapter Summary and the chapter chart to familiarize yourself with the aims and the flow of the lesson. The Teacher Manual provides engaging dialogue to present the truths of the faith fully. Sidebars (Digging Deeper, Living the Virtues, and Teaching Tips) are also provided to give teachers a foundation for the information being taught. If there is a topic for which you would like more background to prepare your lesson, see the Catechism references and other online resources that are provided.
  3. The Preparing My Heart section provides spiritual formation for the teacher. It includes quoted passages from Scripture, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, or a saint, along with reflection questions, to provide catechist formation. The purpose of this section is to evangelize and enlighten you so that you may become an effective witness to the faith.
  4. Review vocabulary words for the chapter. Each chapter has Words to Know. Students will be assessed on these definitions. In longer definitions, the first sentence will be the formal definition that the students will be expected to memorize. Any subsequent sentences that are in italics provide helpful context but will not be required for memorization.

Timeframe for Lessons in a Parish session

Overall, it takes 40–60 minute to present a lesson if you follow the lesson plans in each chapter. It is that simple! The ecclesial method is strategically developed to ensure that effective evangelization and catechesis will occur. It is important not to skip any of the steps. If lessons need to be shortened, focus and conclusion statements should be used to summarize the main points of the lesson.

  • Preparation: 5–7 minutes
  • Optional Memory Verse Activity: < 5 minutes. This activity will help students memorize Scripture verses. Note that this can be done at the beginning, end, or anytime during the lesson. • Prayer: 2 minutes
  • Review of either previous chapter (Lesson 1) or previous lesson (Lessons 2–4): 2–3 minutes
  • Introduction: < 2 minutes (Lesson 1 only)
  • Proclamation: 1 minute
  • Explanation: 15–20 minutes
  • Application: 15 minutes
  • Student Text activity: 5 minutes
  • Optional Activity: 5–8 minutes (printable blackline masters available online)
  • Living Our Faith: 5–10 minutes OR: Enrichment page: 10 minutes OR: Bonus activity: 15 minutes (Bonus activities can also be completed with the brief review.)
  • Review of current lesson (Lessons 1–4): 2 minutes Celebration: 3 minutes