Anyone have any teaching ideas for Reconciliation. Lecturing at this grade level is not enjoyable for the students.
Is this for a deepening and age appropirate understanding of the Sacrament or are they preparing for their First Reconciliation?
This is to gain a better understanding. All of the children have already made their first reconciliation.
How about having all of them take turns as the penitent or the priest. After a while, especially with prompts from you, they can start to understand 1) the priest as being in persona christi and, 2) the Divine Mercy given to the truly penitent along with the needed examinations of conscience (from “practicing” them).
How about making columns of the 10 commandments and another two for "love the Lord your God . . " and “your neighbor as yourself.”
Then have them suggest questionable activities they actually find in their 10 year old world and where they may fall. For example, Susie mentions “cheating on a test” – that could go under “not steal,” “not lie,” and maybe event loving your neighbor (rather than messing up the grade curve because you get a better grade than you should). Lying to a parent under both not lying and honoring parents. Missing church under honoring the Sabath and love God.
Things like that as they begin to understand how an examination of conscience works.
Which text series are you using? If you are using Faith First, they have a good website with ideas.
Ignatius Faith and Life has a web site as well.
The St. Joseph Picture Book Series has a book on Confession that is fantastic.
One of the best ways? Take them to Confession. Prep before Confession, talk abou the Prodigal Son, and when he came home his dad ran to meet him and put a new robe on him and a ring on his finger. Get some inexpensive rings.
As they each leave Confession, present them with the ring.
I agree taking them to Confession would be the best way to teach them, but beforehand give them certian situations and see if they can identify what should have been done, and which sins were comitted.
I too am teaching well I should assistant teaching with another Mother 4th grade CCD, neither of us has any teaching experience nor do we have a teacher edition of our text, Finding God (our response to God’s gifts)
I like the idea of the Ten Commandments and would really like to borrow that idea but going fourth what should we try to teach these children, I became Catholic later in life so this is helping me to learn more about my faith as well. I just want to know if we should follow a carriculm going forward that will help them develope knowledge about making their next sacrement when the next sacrement is not for another 2 years or should we discuss their Holy communion and what they have done since receiving communion and when they feel they should start talking to a preist in confession
I usually do a skit with them like the one suggested above. I also use "reconciliation pamphlets" that I have printed off from catholicmom.com. You can also find some interesting worskheets with wordbanks that go through the rite of confession and an examination of conscience. You may want to work on going through an examination of conscience with them that is not wham,bam, thank you mam. But gets them to think and sit in the prescence of God. It gets them into the habit of slowing down and that not everything is a race. Hope this helps!
I teach a 7th grade CCD class. One Sunday, I used the ten commandments as a basis for the Examination of Conscience. I think this would also work for fourth graders where you could get them involved in the classroom.
We wrote on the board what all the ten commandments were, and gave examples. There are 15 kids in the class, and the majority participated. I used the Examination of Conscience as a basis to use before going to the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
I also explained the seal of confession, and that the penitent can go either behind the curtain or face-to-face. I could tell I was getting through to the kids, when one shy 7th grade boy in particular asked, “you mean the priest is not allowed to tell our parents what are sins were?”
Our parish is doing Reconciliation Services during the month of December. Two weeks ago, I went to one where the priest had all the kids present (and there were many) go first for Reconciliation. This was done in part for the children to be able to get home at a reasonable hour too, and I was pleased that many children of all ages attended. I was also pleased that many of their parents came, and received the Sacrament of Reconciliation as well. I’m also glad that our parish priests has emphasized the importance of this Sacrament.
It’s been awhile, but here’s what I did for fifth graders:
1st class: the beatitudes, they made flags with the Maltese Cross and learned about St. John and heroic virtue and knights. (they were all boys. They ate it up. It was one of the best classes ever!)
2nd class: reviewed the steps … What to do and say in the confessional. Do’s and don’ts.
3rd class: examination of conscience. Based on Beatitudes & Ten Commandments.
4th class: lesson on forgiveness. More review of what to say.
5th class: prearranged w priest to be in the confessional. All but one showed up.
The priest was so happy with the turnout that he started having Confession for the entire PSR in place of class twice a year - Advent and Lent.