Looking for creative ideas - Teaching 7th grade ccd


I have been surfing the net for some answers on teaching 7th grade CCD. I am hoping that someone can help me. This is my first time teaching, and I remember when I went how boring it was. I want the kids to have fun, but remember what they learn so that they look forward to coming each week. I am stumped on some activities or proejcts that I can do with them. Seventh grade is very akward. Any suggestions!!! Thank you.


DH has taught 7th grade for two years now.

What series are you using?


This age likes to learn, and they like to ask questions.

They don’t need “art projects”. They need doctrine. But, they need it presented in a way that involves them instead of lecture-- because they’ve been lectured at all day long.

This age group is still very competitive with boys-against-girls type games. Jeopardy and “who wants to be a millionaire” are easy games to use for review games.

A couple of things I used last year:

Parts of the mass scramble game. I put each part of the Mass on an index card and shuffled them, making enough sets of index cards for the number of teams I divided them into. I put the 4 sections of the Mass (Introductory Rites; Liturgy of the Word; Liturgy of the Eucharist; Concluding Rites) up on the wall as headers for each team (to make it easier the index cards were color coded and so were the headings-- for example, yellow was introductory rites, green LOTW, etc). They divided into teams and had to put the index cards in oder, under the correct mass section. The team with the most correct won a prize (no matter how pitiful their final score). We then went over the correct answers AND used missalettes to read about each part.

More in next post…


12 Apostles. In this lesson we learned about each of the 12 Apostles and about the 4 marks of the Church. This lesson took about 4 weeks total but it was worth the time.

I gave them handouts (stuff I got out of other books and off the internet) about the 12 Apostles, and had each of them responsible for 3 apostles (I only had 4 kids in my class). They had to create a poster, one per Apostle, with symbols and facts about the Apostle-- things like Andrew was crucified on an X cross, Peter was the first Pope, St. James was the Bishop of Spain, etc. Then, they had to present their Apostles to the rest of the class and teach each other about them. We left the posters up all year. They know all about the Apostles, learned vocabulary like Martyr, Magesterium, Successors of the Apostles, Bishops, Pope, Marks of the Church, and learned about Church art and symbolism, etc. I got a lot of mileage out of this one activity.

Another was a tour of the Church, the Sacristan (my MIL) did a guided tour, and I used all sorts of trivia about how things got their name and what the symbols on the various vessels and vestments means. Again, it was a lesson but they were involved and could see, hear, smell, touch.


If you are using Faith and Life, 7th grade is Sacraments.

That Catholic Show has a brand new episode on Confession (and you might browse the other episodes to find items that fit into your lessons):


There is a great video called “Fishers of Men” that will relate to Holy Orders. Have special speakers come in who relate to the topic.

Be willing to answer the HARD questions. First 7th grade class this year had questions on the Mark of the Beast and “why can’t women be priests”. That was day one when they are still shy :slight_smile:


p.s. I rarely used the textbook, they are junk.

This year I’m moving up with this same group and I’m doing the teen Great Adventure Bible Study with them.


Ah, yes, do be prepared for the question “what’s adultery” on the Sixth Commandment. They’ve said it all their life, but they don’t know what it means.


Of course, any change to the text should be approved by the DRE and Pastor.


If we had one. We are a small parish. As long as I’m meeting diocesan guidelines and doing what I think is best for the kids in my class I’m not worried about it.

He’s from Poland, has a language barrier, and isn’t involved with anything. We are on our own.


Every diocese will have objectives and guidelines for each grade. It’s perfectly okay to teach to those objectives using the text as a resource.

Just ask your DRE for a copy or go to the diocese website.


Exactly. The problem is when people bring in a book or literature of their own and teach it without running it thruogh the proper channels.

We had a CCD volunteer bring in information on an unapproved apparition or Protestant books, and teach it as doctrine.


Ah! I understand you now. Our DRE encourages us to teach directly from the book, chapter to chapter in sequence. I don’t particularly like our text, so I’m teaching toward the objectives.

good point!


Catechism Baseball:

Two teams - you can either make bases for them to walk or draw a baseball diamond on a board.

A single is an easy question, a double is a bit harder, a triple is hard and a homerun is the most challenging.

When they come up to bat, they ask for a single, double, triple or homer. Ask question accordingly. Score runs like in baseball. A wrong answer is an out.

I’ve done this in Confirmation prep and Geography class (just w/ different questions!). As you move along in the school year, what was a homer will become a double or single, because now you expect them to know. It’s a great way to review. —KCT


I teach 7th grade Sunday School as well.

Here’s what I do: I teach them some Latin. It is not as hard as you think, and it will give them an appreciation of the history of our church, as well as lead them to celebrate the church’s rich culture and heritage.


That’s a great idea, esp since they should be studying Mass. Use Mass prayers. Maybe your pastor will agree to use some of the Latin prayers in the Mass for the kids.

I used to have the priest come and talk to the kids about the priest hood and also about any questions they came up with. It was a good class.


the textbook is a templae, a guideline, an organized statement of goals and objectives, a suggested jumping off space, and most helpful as prep for the catechist. Pay special attention to the scripture and CCC cites for each unit or lesson, and read, pray and meditate with them as the foundation of your lesson planning.

your textbook publisher has an on-line help for catechists, along with seasonal material for Advent Lent etc. but they have great features and suggestions for thinking outside the textbook. So does your catechist manual.

reading the textbook for an hour, answering the questions and memorizing the vocabulary 1) probably won’t happen and 2) will teach them very little.

focus on one concept in each lesson, with one or two key words or ideas you want them to remember and take away. you will be reinforcing these briefly in successive lessons.

follow the guidelines of your diocese for what should be taught in 7th grade, otherwise they come to 8th grade without the background they need. in most places 7th grade focuses on the life and mission of Christ in the NT, and there are lots of ways, besides the textbook, to do this. For this year, and 6th where focus is on OT, the more they have their hands on the bible, the better. these are the years to “make friends with the bible.”

get Group magazine for good ideas for discussion starters, games and lead-ins to lessons or bible studies. not Catholic, and not sound on doctrine, but great for practical help. they also have on-line resources.

cruise the Christian bookstore for ideas.

use music and movement in general. if they come after school they are restless and tired (and sick of textbooks).

encourage if not full-fledged journaling, some time for quiet reflection.

if you have only a few minutes left and want to cram in one more concept, idea or vocabularly word, but that will leave no time for prayer, forget the teaching, do the prayer.


Thank you to everyone for your suggestions, I have had so many, and I think I am ready to go. I have my lesson plan, and spoke with the Religous Teacher, and I am good to go. Wish me luck, the first day I think is the toughest. Not to mention I have my daughter in this class, who is already trying to tell me how to teach them. How funny. Thank you again.


Hi Patty,
Last yr. was my first time teaching 7th grade. One of the classes I taught them about St. Theresa and her “Little Way”. The next class we made “Good Deed Beads” from plastic pony beads and plastic cord. They told me that was the best class they’d ever had and at the end of the year they were still using their beads to keep track of the good deeds they did each day.
Here’s where I got the directions. thelittleways.com/how-to-make-sacrifice-beads
Loyal Servant T. O. Carm.


Funny you should say this. Last night I’m teaching my 7 grade boys PRE class when one of the boys (a very intelligent one) raises his hand.

When I acknowledge him he says, “I have a question - I know it’s off topic - but can I ask anyway?” I said okay. He says “It says here [pointing to his Bible] ‘If a man divorces his wife and marries another, he commits adultery.’ Does that mean that my step-dad is committing adultery with my mom?”

I very bravely said “we’ll have a class on marriage later in the year. Can I put you off until then?”


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