Here’s the first Catechism 101 lesson plan! Click here for an introduction to the Catechism 101 Lesson Plan Project. In brief, each lesson plan will correspond to a section of the Catechism (starting at the beginning, and working our way through), and will provide, in addition to the main ideas and objectives, activities for a variety of age groups (6-8, 9-11, 11-13). The 11-13 activities could be used for older children as well (probably through 15 or 16) if you don’t have a different religious ed program for high school.
Catechism 101 – Lesson 1: Man’s Desire for God
Reading Material: Catechism of the Catholic Church #27-30
Objective: Students will understand that man is naturally inclined toward God, but has the freedom to accept or reject this relationship with God. Students will reflect on their own desire for God and how they can foster that desire.
- Man is called to communion with God, and is therefore naturally drawn toward God.
- Religion is a reflection of man’s natural inclination toward God. Different religions vary greatly, but all of them point toward man’s spiritual nature and innate awareness of God.
- Man is free. In his freedom, he can choose to respond to his natural desire for God, or he can choose to reject God.
- God always continues calling man to himself. To respond to this call, man needs to use his whole mind, heart and will.
Focus: We are free to follow God.
Activity 1: Talk about making choices and our freedom to choose what is right and what is wrong. Brief introduction to the 10 Commandments as one of the ways God tells us what is right and wrong. Then complete the following worksheet (in writing or orally with a parent/teacher)
Activity 2: Take a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle. On one side of the paper, make a list of things you can choose to do to follow God. On the other side, make a list of things that can distract you from following God. Do you want to follow God? Why? If you do want to follow God, what are some things you can do or think about to help yourself choose to follow God?
Activity 3: Interview 3 people you know. Ask them questions about why they follow God and specific things they do because they believe in God. Compare their answers. Are there any similarities? What are some things all Christians do to be united to God?
Focus: How do we know God is constantly calling man to himself?
Activity 1: How do we know God is calling us? See the following worksheet.
Activity 2: How is God has God been calling me to himself throughout my life, and how have I been responding? Make a collage of your journey of faith. Take a blank poster or large piece of paper, and surround yourself with materials (art materials, pictures or things you can make cut-outs from, etc.). The bottom of the page represents the beginning of your journey of faith. The top represents you now. Fill the page with images, symbols and reflections, each of which illustrates something that either reflects God calling you, or shows your response to God.
Focus: Religion as an expression of man’s natural desire for God.
Activity 1: Research 3 few world religions, such as: Judaism, Islam, and Buddhism. Choose two of these religions to compare and contrast with Christianity in the following worksheets.
Activity 2: Write an analytical essay responding to the following statement: Faith is a personal choice. What factors influence this personal choice? What is your personal choice and why? Is saying “we believe” sufficient? How do we have to live to choose to follow God? Use at least two references.
Scripture: The Bible