Hello! I’m brand new to these forums and found them while searching for creative ways to teach teenagers the sacrament of Confirmation. I know what to teach them, but I’d like to do it in ways that are exciting, fun, interactive, creative, etc. There is only so much informing one can do before they just get bored. Any help/ideas would be greatly appreciated! Thank you and God Bless!
I have facilitated Confirmation for almost six years and have been a catechist for fourteen years. I am a master catechist as well. I tell you all of this not to put a feather in my cap but to let you know that I had some time to fall, make mistakes, and learn. It’s really all about discipleship. Allow the young people to fall in love with Christ with your zeal for the faith. Kids in high school love to be social so let them socialize. I have 14 kids in my group and we have great interaction. I am currently teaching level 2 and we only have a few months left.
Remember that informing is good but that does not create a personal relationship with Christ. Allow them to share how Christ affects their lives and the counter-cultural efforts of a Christian. Kids love to open up at this age with deep questions. Do not be afraid to attack any topic that they bring up. I discuss questions on morality of every kind and they feel safe bringing them up.
I don’t do a song and a dance with them just because I can’t sing or dance. Really, teaching styles will vary but ultimately your expression of the faith is what the kids are observing. I am very animated in my teaching because that’s just how I am. I teach adults the same way. Sorry that I couldn’t provide a more specific activity outline but my teaching is me being me and letting my students be who they are. I also teach junior high and carry them over to confirmation at their request. We have fun, learn about the faith but, most of all, love Jesus. We cannot catechize those who are not yet disciples. If we try we are only providing a biography of a Man that they do not know.
That’s my two cents. Probably not much help but I am having a blast with my group. God bless you and give you the grace to let the light shine within you.
Teenagers like movies. Show movies, and bring them popcorn and drinks. That will give them something to look forward to.
Use technology if you can. If you have a laptop show youtube videos or things from great catholic websites like Busted Halo or Outsidedabox (there is a fee for this). Try finding an activity to go along with the lesson You’d be surprised how easy it is to link food and fun with their learning. The new YouCat is a great way for them to be exposed to the Catechism in an easy to read question and answer series and there is a workbook that goes with it. Kids that age are competitive try online jeopardy games or trivia games. As the previous poster says, try to have a little fun and let them see your passion. It’s important for them to learn the truth and be well catechized but if they are zoning out and not listening you’re not getting anywhere either. If you structure each class similarly they will come to look forward to the “game” or activity and you can easily slip in the prayer, learning and other necessary items in between. Be confident! You are doing a great thing.
This is how I was taught to teach confirmation
Take a glass of plain milk and a bottle of chocolate syrup, and say at baptism we receive the holy spirit and put a drop of syrup in the milk.
Then say that each time we receive the Eucharist, we receive Christ into us which nourishes us, adding a few more drops of the syrup.
Then point out to them that although the milk and the syrup are in the same glass, the syrup is not fully integrated with the milk. Taking a spoon and mix the milk and syrup together you explain that confirmation fully seals the holy spirit within us (thus making chocolate milk) and that by being sealed with the spirit we receive the gifts of the holy spirit. You can also point out to them that how well the milk and chocolate is mixed depends on how much we are willing to let God into our lives.
Hopefully this helps.
I am definitely enthusiastic about teaching our Faith! We have a great time as well. There are just weeks I get stumped and search for ideas to “top myself” from the week before. I love the ideas and the excitement I read in your replies. Thank you so much! I’ll take what I can and keep on teaching
My approach is different from some. That doesn’t make it better or worse than any of them.
I treat my students as if they are young adults and have very high expectations for them. They have routine homework assignments which are mostly reading and researching. During class I do my best to embellish the text and offer examples “on their (teenagers) terms” They respond to this pretty well. I add humor and drop in some “vernacular” so that I know they understand. I encourage them to repeat the lesson in their own words. We do a lot of role playing. Last week’s 90 minute class was 70 minutes on the Prodigal Son, and they stayed after ten minutes extra to perform a skit that I found.
I try to engage them so that THEY are asking questions and making observations instead of me lecturing constantly. I do enough lecturing as needed to instruct them on what the Church says, what Christ says, what Pauls says, etc. and use various resources such as the Catechism and Bible. I print a lot of “extras” from the internet (google images) but in our class we have no high tech or low tech either.
God bless you and your class!